Huawei pips Apple to become world's second biggest smartphone maker

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Preliminary findings by IDC indicated a total of 342 million smartphones were shipped during the second quarter in a 1.8% decline from the same period a year earlier.

What's more - this isn't the first time OnePlus beat Apple or Samsung in this segment. Apple now holds 12.1% of the global market, according to the IDC. Thanks to its secondary smartphone division, Honor has registered a 150 percent in sales growth, showing that premium smartphones with flagship-like hardware specifications and lowered pricing are some ingredients that have displayed significant results for phone manufacturers. To negate the slow demand at home, Chinese phonemakers are putting more focus on markets such as India, South East Asia, eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa where there is still room for expansion.

After 7 years of Apple-Samsung dominance, Huawei has managed to break the link by launching attractive, premium segment smartphones and capturing the mid-tier segment with its fast-growing Honor sub-brand, Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, said in the report.

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"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.

The success of Huawei is attributed to the exceptional performance of its new flagship phones, the P20 and the P20 Pro.

Despite Apple's big rally on Wednesday after a strong third-quarter report, with shares hitting the $200 mark and the company inching closer to becoming the first trillion-dollar company, the tech giant is losing its sales luster to a Chinese smartphone maker. Shipments of Honor-branded smartphones outside of China skyrocketed 150% over past year to 4 million. 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. "If Apple and Samsung want to maintain their market positions, they must make their portfolios more competitive". Despite the iPhone X receiving a lukewarm response, the company saw a 1 percent increase in its iPhone shipments during Q2, 2018. "The importance of Huawei overtaking Apple this quarter can not be overstated", Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton said in a release.

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