Huawei overtakes Apple, is #2 global smartphone maker

08 September 2017

Huawei beats Apple for #2 sales spot

Another goal kicked for Huawei: according to a new report, the Chinese manufacturer is now number two in global smartphone sales, surpassing American rival Apple for the very first time. 

Counterpoint Research has released the findings this week, showing that Huawei's impressive sales figures over June and July have bumped the company into the second place spot sooner than anticipated. Although Huawei is still only slightly ahead of Apple - and still behind global number one, Samsung - it's an exciting achievement for the brand, and builds upon the third-place sales results reported for 2017's second quarter. 

Although last month's global sales figures have yet to be calculated, Counterpoint speculates that Huawei's consistent performance will mean the company has maintained its number two ranking throughout August. However, with the announcement and launch of the newest iPhone slated for early September, it's probable that Huawei will dip back to third place in the next four weeks. 

As we discussed in August, Huawei's growing market share can be attributed not only to its popularity throughout China, but also to outstanding results in various European countries (including Finland, Portugal and the Netherlands). A serious investment in research and development - as outlined in our recent Beijing R&D tour report - has also helped grow the brand, giving it a reputation for innovation and out-of-the-box thinking.

This commitment to research could pay off with the upcoming release of the Huawei Mate 10, which is generating huge interest thanks to its new, ultra-powerful Kirin 970 processor and on-device artificial intelligence/digital assistant. 

Second in sales, but needing a hero

Despite being unquestionably on the rise, Huawei still has a way to go to permanently unseat Apple (and, eventually, catch up to Samsung). Even with a new second-place sales position, none of Huawei's phones are featured in Counterpoint's analysis of the top-selling devices in July 2017.

The best selling phones globally are still Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. However, the flagship Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus rank in fifth and seventh place, respectively, with spots three and four occupied by OPPO's R11 and A57. The results mean OPPO is now the proud producer of the world's best-selling Android smartphones in July, edging out not only Samsung, but fellow Chinese competitor Xiaomi (in sixth place, with the Redmi Note 4X).

While Huawei's diverse product range has helped to boost the company's total sales, it also explains why the brand is conspicuously absent on Counterpoint's top 10 devices list. According to Counterpoint, Huawei needs to follow OPPO and Xiaomi's example by "putting more muscle behind fewer products" in order to stay competitive, and build increased brand awareness. 

A true 'hero' or flagship release, such as the forthcoming Mate 10, could help boost Huawei's standing in markets outside of Asia, Europe and Latin America, and offer in-roads to carrier deals within North America. As excited as we are for next week's Apple announcement, we'd love to see a real iPhone killer shake up the industry: our fingers are crossed that Huawei's growth continues.

Photo credit: J. Lekavicius /

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