Technology, Vendor

Huawei secures No. 2 spot in global smartphone market

Huawei surpassed Apple to secure the No. 2 worldwide smartphone vendor position for the first time ever, according to Gartner.

Apple moved into the No. 3 spot. Overall, sales of smartphones to end users grew 2 percent in the second quarter of 2018 to reach 374 million units.

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

“Its investment into channels, brand building and positioning 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 the No. 1 global smartphone vendor spot, declining 12.7 percent in the second quarter of 2018 (see Table 1). “Samsung faces slowing global smartphone demand and ever-growing competition from Chinese manufacturers,” said Gupta. “The slowing demand for its flagship smartphones left Samsung with lower profitability. It now expects the Note 9 smartphone to revive growth.”

Table 1

Worldwide Top 5 Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2Q18 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor 2Q18Units 2Q18 Market Share (%) 2Q17Units 2Q17 Market Share (%)
Samsung 72,336.4 19.3 82,855.3 22.6
Huawei 49,846.5 13.3 35,964.3 9.8
Apple 44,715.1 11.9 44,314.8 12.1
Xiaomi 32,825.5 8.8 21,178.5 5.8
OPPO 28,511.1 7.6 26,092.5 7.1
Others 146,096.1 39.0 156,190.8 42.6
Total 374,330.6 100.0 366,596.1 100.0

Source: Gartner (August 2018)

Apple’s performance was flat in the second quarter of 2018 (0.9 percent growth). “Minimal incremental value in Apple’s current-generation flagship iPhones led to slower growth in the second quarter of 2018,” said Gupta. “Demand for the iPhone X has started to slow down much earlier than when other new models were introduced.”

“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,” added Gupta.

Xiaomi’s focus on expanding its portfolio and adopting a unified retail model by integrating offline and online retail is driving growth in a slowing global smartphone market. This helped Xiaomi secure the No. 4 spot in the global smartphone market in the second quarter of 2018.

In the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Google’s Android further extended its lead over Apple’s iOS in the second quarter of 2018, securing 88 percent market share to 11.9 percent share for iOS.

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