Chinese manufacturer Huawei has overtaken Apple to become the world's second-largest smartphone maker in terms of units shipped, marking the first time since 2010 that the iPhone maker has not been ranked first or second in this table.
This is according to the latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker from IDC, which found Huawei shipped 54.2 million handsets between April and June this year, giving it a global market share of 15.8 per cent, up from 11 per cent for the same period in 2017. By contrast, Apple shipped 41.3 million in the second quarter of 2018, enough for a 12.1 per cent share of the global market.
Samsung maintained its position as the world's biggest handset maker, shipping 71.9 million units in Q2 2018. However, this was down from 79.8 million for the same period in 2017, contributing to an overall drop of 1.8 percent in the worldwide smartphone market.
The study found a significant gap between the fortunes of established smartphone makers and emerging Chinese players. While Samsung saw its shipments fall by 10.4 per cent and Apple registered minor growth of just 0.7 per cent, Huawei enjoyed an 40.9 per cent rise in shipments, while its competitor Xiaomi saw shipments increase by 48.8 per cent, making it the world's fourth-largest smartphone maker.
Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said: “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.”
However, he noted that in the last two years, Apple has moved into the number one spot during the holiday season as it releases its latest batch of devices, so the company expects there to be more movement among the main manufacturers later in the year.
“For most markets, the ultra-high end [AU$950+] 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,” he continued. “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.”