Huawei has now beaten Apple in smartphone shipments for four out of the last five quarters.
In Q2 2018, Huawei overtook Apple, marking the first time in seven years that Samsung and Apple were not the top two smartphone makers. Huawei maintained second place in Q3 2018, Apple regained its silver spot in Q4 2018, and Huawei won again in Q1 2019. Today we learned that the Chinese company beat its U.S. counterpart again, in Q2 2019. (Samsung has held the top spot throughout.)
Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 333.2 million smartphones worldwide in Q2 2019, down 2.3% from the 341.2 million units in Q2 2018. Of the top five, Samsung, Huawei, and Oppo shipped more units than the year before. The Q2 2019 figures come from IDC (though Strategy Analytics agrees that Huawei passed Apple again), which summarized its findings in the following chart:
Samsung, Huawei, and Apple
As you can see above, Samsung gained 1.7 points (from 21.0% to 22.7%) as it shipped 4.0 million more smartphones (75.5 million). Samsung typically owns about a fifth of the market, and that remains unchanged. The Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ did well, but because consumers are holding onto devices longer and opting for less expensive options, not well enough. Samsung’s A-series devices were able to pick up the slack.
Huawei gained 1.7 points, hitting 17.6% market share. The Chinese company once again increased the gap above Apple and closed in on Samsung — for the second quarter in a row it is closer to its Korean competitor than its American counterpart. Huawei is successfully dismantling the smartphone duopoly. Despite trade tensions, shipments were up by 4.5 million (though down 0.6% when compared to Q1 2019). The Huawei P30 and P30 Pro did well. Huawei’s high-end devices continue to find strong demand, as do its Honor models sold via online channels. In China especially, Huawei has a well-rounded portfolio targeting all segments.
Apple’s share, meanwhile, fell 2.0 points (from 12.1% to 10.1%), the lowest it has been since the year the iPhone debuted. Shipments were down by 7.5 million units (to 33.8 million) as wearables and services made up for the iPhone. Competitors continue to eat away at Apple’s market share, and the company is moving too slowly on 5G, which is unlikely to change this year.
Xiaomi gained 0.2 points (to 9.7%), Oppo grew 0.3 points (to 8.9%), and Vivo was sixth, though IDC didn’t provide figures for the company. Xiaomi is incredibly close to passing Apple, but only in this quarter. Companies outside of the top five together lost 1.9 points.
Consumers are no longer as obsessed with upgrading to the latest and greatest smartphone. But when they do, or when first-time buyers join, they’re increasingly considering a Chinese company over Samsung or Apple.
“Despite a lot of uncertainty surrounding Huawei the company managed to hold its position at number two in terms of market share,” IDC program vice president Ryan Reith said in a statement. “When you look at the top of the market — Samsung, Huawei, and Apple — each vendor lost a bit of share from last quarter, and when you look down the list the next three — Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo — all gained. Part of this is related to the timing of product launches, but it is hard not to assume this trend could continue.”