How Huawei took the number 2 spot from Apple in global smartphone sales

Huawei has surpassed Apple to become the second-biggest smartphone vendor in the world, according to research from Gartner.

The Chinese smartphone manufacturer overtook Apple in the second quarter of 2018, placing below Samsung in global smartphone company rankings.

Overall, sales of smartphones to end users grew 2% in the second quarter of 2018 to reach 374 million units.

According to Gartner, Huawei’s expansion of its product portfolio and innovation allowed it to surpass Apple in smartphone sales.

“Huawei’s smartphone sales grew 38.6% 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,” it said.

Huawei’s quarterly growth is even more impressive considering that leading smartphone manufacturer Samsung declined 12.7% in the same period.

“Samsung faces slowing global smartphone demand and ever-growing competition from Chinese manufacturers.”


The smartphone vendor rankings for Q2 2017 and Q2 2018 from Gartner, with units sold rounded to the nearest 100,000, are below.

Vendor Q2 2018 Units Q2 2018 Market Share Q2 2017 Units Q2 2017 Market Share
Samsung 72.3 million 19.3% 82.9 million 22.6%
Huawei 49.8 million 13.3% 36.0 million 9.8%
Apple 44.7 million 11.9% 44.3 million 12.1%
Xiaomi 32.8 million 8.8% 21.2 million 5.8%
OPPO 28.5 million 7.6% 26.1 million 7.1%
Others 146.1 million 39.0% 156.2 million 42.6%
Total 374.3 million 100% 366.6 million 100%

Apple delivered very little growth in the second quarter of 2018 and is feeling increased pressure after losing its ranking to Huawei.

“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 Gartner.

Huawei has released a number of new devices this year, including its popular P20 flagship smartphones and an array of mid-range devices across its Huawei and Honor brands.

South Africa is a key market for the company’s expansion into Africa, and the smartphone manufacturer is continually improving its local presence, said Huawei.

Now read: Huawei asks FTC for help to fight US market restrictions

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How Huawei took the number 2 spot from Apple in global smartphone sales