Huawei overtook Apple to claim the number-two spot in smartphones in the first quarter, moving a step closer to its avowed ambition of displacing Samsung at the top of the market.
The networking giant, shrugging off a barrage of accusations that it aids Chinese espionage (which it’s repeatedly denied), grew shipments by 50% from a year earlier, research firm International Data Corp (IDC) estimates. It was the only name in the top four that managed to expand volumes as the overall market slid for the sixth consecutive quarter.
Huawei’s been steadily gaining on Apple and Samsung Electronics with an increasingly high-end line-up of devices, particularly in its home market of China. The iPhone maker this week projected quarterly sales that topped analysts’ estimates, suggesting demand for iPhones has stabilised after a disappointing holiday period. Samsung also enjoyed a spike compared to the fourth quarter thanks to the launch of the marquee S10 range in February. IDC reckons Huawei should cling to the number-two spot over the rest of 2019.
“The overall smartphone market continues to be challenged in almost all areas, yet Huawei was able to grow shipments by 50%,” said Ryan Reith, programme vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “This new ranking of Samsung, Huawei and Apple is very likely what we’ll see when 2019 is all said and done.” — Reported by Edwin Chan, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP