FILE PHOTO: The Huawei logo is seen during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (Reuters)

CAPE TOWN – Huawei’s smartphone sales surged to an all-time high, surpassing Apple in market share for worldwide smartphone shipments in this year’s second quarter, according to data from International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

The IDC said in a report published on its website that Huawei shipped more than 54 million handsets in the second quarter compared with 41.3 million iPhones that Apple sold and Samsung’s 73 million units.

Huawei achieved this despite a 1.8 percent decline in the total shipped units during the second quarter of 2018, compared with units shipped in the second quarter of 2017. IDC said the drop marked the third consecutive quarter of year-on-year declines for the global smartphone market and only the fourth quarter of decline in history.

“Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 342 million units during the second quarter of 2018, resulting in a 1.8 percent decline when compared to the 348.2 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2017,” said the IDC.

According to IDC’s figures, second-quarter market share breaks down as follows: 
  • 1. Samsung had 20.9 percent, 
  • 2. Huawei had 15.8, 
  • 3. Apple had a 12.1 percent share
  • 4. Xiaomi had 9.3 percent and 
  • 5. Oppo had 8.6 percent. 

Programme vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, Ryan Reith, said the continued growth of Huawei was impressive as it was able to move into markets where, until recently, the brand was largely unknown.

“It’s worth noting that Apple moved into the top position each of the last two holiday quarters following its product refresh, so it’s likely we’ll see continued movement among the top-ranked companies in 2018 and beyond,” said Reith. 

IDC said the reason for Huawei’s latest success was due to the company’s Honor brand. Honor phones are “a key driver of growth for the Chinese tech giant”.  
The data corporation said Huawei’s P20/P20 Pro series had a big demand due to its price segment and helped Huawei build a high profile in the market.

However, the report showed that Samsung remained ahead in the worldwide smartphone with 73 million units shipped. Despite their market share declining 10.4 percent in shipments from last year. 

The report also showed that Huawei’s time in second place might be short-lived as Samsung and Apple were set to release new devices, respectively, in August and September 2018.

(Image by the IDC)