Huawei overtakes Apple as world’s second biggest smartphone maker

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Chinese firm Huawei has overtaken Apple to become the world’s second largest smartphone maker by market share, new figures reveal.

The latest numbers from market analysts IDC show Huawei has moved on to a record market share of 15.8%, taking it above Apple and behind only Korean giant Samsung globally.

It is the first time in seven years that anyone other than Samsung and Apple has occupied the top two spots on the list.

Samsung remains in first place on 20.9% market share, with Apple now in third on 12.1%.

IDC’s Ryan Reith said the rise of Huawei, which was founded in 1987, is impressive, but the chart is likely to change further in 2018 as Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone in September.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

According to the figures, around 342 million smartphones were shipped in the second quarter of the year, down slightly on the 348.2 million this time last year.

A big push from Huawei after it launched its latest flagship devices – the P20 and P20 Pro – in March saw the Chinese firm ship 54.2 million phones in the quarter.

Earlier this year, the firm’s president for western Europe Walter Ji said the company was “confident” it could challenge Samsung and Apple because they “focus on consumer needs much more than any other brands”.

However, the company has not been without its controversies – it is still yet to launch in the US after it was deemed a security threat, and the UK Government investigation published a report last month which said there were “shortcomings” in the Chinese firm’s engineering processes, meaning it could only provide “limited assurance” over the risk to UK national security.

The Chinese firm has not commented on the market share figures, but a tweet from the company’s official Twitter account said: “Thanks to everyone’s support and love, we will keep continuing innovation and bringing better products in the future.”

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