The revelation comes courtesy of an official report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), which relays that Huawei shipped 54.2 million phones in the second quarter of 2018, a massive increase of 41 per cent compared to the year before, while Apple only shipped 41.3 million in comparison.
And, remarkably, this overtaking manoeuvre has taken place despite the global smartphone market falling 1.8 per cent in shipments overall.
The importance of this shift in the world's top smartphone makers is big, too.
Since 2010 Samsung and Apple have had the top two positions locked down tight, with no rival maker properly challenging their overall supremacy.
However, this lock down has now being smashed by Huawei, which continues a meteoric rise seemingly fueled by rapid innovation and a strong smartphone portfolio.
Indeed, this year's flagship Huawei phone, the Huawei P20 Pro, tucked a big fat 5 stars under its belt on review here at T3.com, while the incoming Huawei P30 handset looks like it is going to be one of the star devices of 2019.
Speaking on Huawei's rise, senior analyst at Canalys, Ben Stanton, said that:
“The importance of Huawei overtaking Apple this quarter cannot be overstated. Huawei’s exclusion from the U.S. has forced it to work harder in Asia and Europe to achieve its goals."
Whether or not Huawei can maintain its current astounding growth to approach Samsung, which remains well out in first position with 71.5 million phones shipped in the same period, remains to be seen.
However, if the South Korean maker does't arrest its year-on-year decline of -10.4%, something it no doubts hopes it can do with its incoming Galaxy Note 9 and next year's Galaxy S10 flagships, then sooner or later Huawei could add another notch to its belt.
Regardless of who takes gold, silver and bronze in global smartphone shipments, one thing is clear. This level of industry shakeup can only be great for us, the phone enthusiasts, as it will lead to greater innovation - such as we are seeing in foldable smartphones - and more competitively specced and priced handsets.