Airship

Gartner stats place Huawei as second biggest smartphone maker, overtaking Apple

Tim Maytom

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has overtaken Apple to become the world's second largest smartphone vendor, at least according to Gartner's figures for Q2 2018. The business insights firm's figures saw Apple dropping to the number three spot as overall sales of smartphones to end users rose by two per cent.

"Huawei's smartphone sales grew 38.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2018," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. "Huawei continues to bring innovative features into its smartphones and expand its smartphone portfolio to cover larger consumer segments.

"Its investment into channels, brand building and position of the Honor devices helped drive sales. Huawei is shipping its Honor smartphones into 70 markets worldwide and is emerging as Huawei's key growth driver."

Samsung maintained its position as the leading global smartphone vendor despite a 12.7 per cent drop in the second quarter, largely due to slowing global demand and increased competition from Chiense manufacturers. That decrease in demand for its flagship models has left the firm hoping that the recently announced Note 9 can revive growth, but with 19.3 per cent of global shipments, the company still has a healthy lead on Huawei's 13.3 per cent.

Apple's performance held more or less steady in Q2, with demand for the iPhone X slowing much faster compared to earlier models. The X added only minimal incremental value to previous versions, and so Apple may have to produce something interesting to boost its 11.9 per cent market share and take back second place.

"Growing competition from Chinese brands and consumers' greater expectations for phone value is putting immense pressure on Apple to deliver enhanced value on their premium iPhones to foster growth," said Gupta.

The encouraging figures come less than a month after Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, announced ambitions to become the world's largest smartphone vendor within a year. While the firm is still a considerable way from this target, it's certainly good news.