Huawei has moved into the second position in global smartphone shipments in the second quarter, according to market research firm IDC.
The Chinese smartphone maker is now behind rival Samsung Electronics, pushing US-based Apple to number three.
The arrival of Huawei in the second position marks the first quarter since 2Q10 where Apple has not been the number one or two smartphone company in terms of market share, said IDC.
Huawei delivered shipments of 54.2 million units to move into the second position with a record high market share of 15.8%.
“The continued growth of Huawei is impressive, to say the least, as is its ability to move into markets where, until recently, the brand was largely unknown,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.
“It is 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. For most markets, the ultra-high end ($700+) competition is largely some combination of Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, depending on the geography, and this is unlikely to change much in the short term.
“At the same time, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo are all slowly pushing their customer base upstream at a price tier slightly lower than the top three. This is an area they should all watch closely as the builds in this segment are getting increasingly more advanced.”
Samsung maintained a comfortable lead, although indications from its recent second quarter 2018 earnings call suggest its mobile division revenues will face challenges moving forward.
Apple dropped to the third spot for the first time despite its second-quarter growth.
Apple shipped 41.3 million iPhones, representing modest growth of 0.7% over the 41.0 million units shipped last year.
That said, the iPhone continued to perform well at the high end as the iPhone X remains a top seller in many markets.
IDC said Apple will look to regain control of the market this fall with the expected launch of three next generations of iPhone models. The new models are rumoured to bring different screens sizes, price points, increased performance, and new features to the table when they arrive next quarter.
Samsung once again remained the leader in the worldwide smartphone market despite a 10.4% decline in shipments from last year.
The flagship S9/S9+, which launched late in the first quarter, witnessed slower than normal sales according to Samsung.
Samsung claims the slowdown is due to both intensified competition at the high end and an overall sluggish smartphone market.
IDC said the Korean giant will look to bolster sales in the coming weeks as we await the arrival of the new Galaxy Note 9.
The new Note will be unveiled on August 9th and is expected to launch earlier than the Note 8 to gain a foothold ahead of pending fall launches from Apple and others. The device is expected to feature a bigger battery, new S-Pen capabilities, and increased performance.