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Apple Just Fell Behind Huawei in Smartphone Shipments

by Justin Herrick | August 1, 2018August 1, 2018 11:30 am PDT

Huawei is the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer, according to multiple research firms.

The latest reports from IDC and Canalys reveal the Chinese brand experienced a surge in shipments over the last few months. Aside from rolling out an ambitious new flagship, Huawei also delivered mid-range and entry-level devices that perform well in Asia and emerging regions. Rather than focusing on the high-end segment alone, the company spreads its business across various segments.

Apple, meanwhile, fell behind and landed in third place during Q2 2018. The battle between these two companies might not be so public, but it’s an ongoing race to knock Samsung for global dominance.

Even with the overall market shrinking by 1.8 percent, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for alarm. All of the biggest smartphone manufacturers are still securing large amounts of shipments.

Here’s the chart from IDC, which captures the top five brands and their performance:

The industry-leading trophy goes to Samsung. In Q2 2018, the South Korean juggernaut claimed 20.9 percent of the market. IDC estimates that Samsung shipped 71.5 million smartphones. Huawei followed with 54.2 million smartphones, and Apple slipped to 41.3 million.

However, Samsung should be worried to a degree. Its shipments declined 10.4 percent year-over-year while Huawei (40.9%) and Apple (0.7%) experienced growth. Based on that, it looks like Samsung’s customers are starting to explore life with other brands.

The report from Canalys tells a similar story. Samsung is a slowing leader, and Apple fell behind Huawei as the two companies have opposite trajectories at the moment.

By the way, Apple isn’t struggling despite losing its position for one quarter. The Cupertino-based company just shared its Q3 FY 2018 earnings report, and the numbers are stellar. Apple continues to sell the iPhone in droves. During that window, there were more than 41 million units sold around the world.

As we head into the final few months of the year, new iPhone models will launch and Apple should experience another surge in sales.

Following all this data, it’ll be interesting to see what direction all three brands go in. It’s also worth keeping an eye on Xiaomi and Oppo. Both companies, which have strong roots in Asia, are seeking to expand globally. While there’s fierce competition with little room for newbies in North America, either company could soon enter and try rattling the establishment.

IDC Canalys TechCrunch

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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