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

In news that is sure to worry Apple, Huawei has surpassed it in smartphone share for the first time

Huawei Apple
(Image credit: GettyImages)

In news that is sure to worry Apple, Huawei has beaten the iPhone maker in global smartphone shipments, coming second only to South Korean manufacturer Samsung.

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, while the incoming Huawei P30 handset looks like it is going to be one of the star devices of 2019.

Huawei Apple

Chinese smartphone makers now account for 3 of the top 5 manufacturers worldwide.

(Image credit: IDC)

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.

Via: Bloomberg

Robert Jones

Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology, toys (specifically Lego and board games), smart home and more for over 15 years. As the editor of PC Gamer, and former Deputy Editor for, you can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket his two favourites.