Apple, watch your back - Chinese company Huawei is out to steal your crown. Worldwide smartphone sales data is in, and while Samsung and Apple are, unsurprisingly, still in first and second place, Huawei is catching up quickly.
Tech analyst Canalys has released its Quarter 2, 2017 report on global smartphone sales, and the results are promising - at least for Huawei. The manufacturer shipped an estimated 38.4 million devices last quarter, an impressive 20% increase from last year's Q2 figure of 32 million.
While rivals Apple and Samsung also increased shipments in the past twelve months (from 40.4 million up to 41 million units for Apple, and from 77.6 million to 79.5 million for Samsung), Huawei's growth is especially promising. The company's market share has also grown 1.3% since last June, with a global share of 10.7% in Q2 2017.
Third place (and on the rise)
What's interesting about these figures is that Huawei is now within a single percentage point of Apple's own 11.4% market share result. Which means that in another year - or even less - Apple just may be dethroned as the world's second-biggest smartphone maker.
While many Apple buyers are likely holding off on upgrading, preferring to wait for the upcoming iPhone 8, there's several other reasons behind Huawei's comparative rise in shipments. In addition to large sales figures in China - where Apple's revenue has declined in the past year - Huawei has also been kicking butt in European markets.
Fortune has reported that the company is vastly outselling Apple in Finland, and is now number one in sales in Portugal and the Netherlands (and number two in Italy, Poland, Hungary, and Spain). All this has led to Huawei replacing fellow Chinese phone maker Xiaomi as the third biggest manufacturer globally, nudging out big names including LG, Sony, Nokia and BlackBerry.
Where to from here?
The real challenge for Huawei is making inroads in the competitive, but lucrative, North American market (and, of course, continuing sales in Australia and New Zealand). Huawei has yet to hammer out agreements with the major US carriers such as Verizon and AT&T, but Australian customers are in luck: you can pick up several Huawei devices, including the fantastic Huawei P10, on-contract through Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile.
Although Samsung still reigns as the world's number one phone maker - with 79.5 million units shipped last quarter, and a 22.1% global market share - honourable mentions go to OPPO and Xiaomi, ranking in fourth and fifth place respectively. OPPO in particular has experienced a strong twelve months: with sales up to 29.5 million units worldwide (from 18 million in June 2016), and a market share increase of 2.9%.
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