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Huawei overtakes Microsoft as third-biggest phone maker

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Until recently, Huawei was a little-known brand, just another of the many Chinese phone makers that people had vaguely heard of. But now it's time to sit up and take notice – it's just overtaken Microsoft as the world's third-largest phone maker.

According to Strategy Analytics, Huawei shipped 30.6 million phones between April and June this year. That's a 50 per cent increase on its shipments during the same period a year ago. It captured 7 per cent of the global market share for phones. This is the first time Huawei has been in the top three phone vendors.

That's for all phones. Huawei is still third when it comes to smartphones too, shipping 30.5 million of the blighters, which goes to show it doesn't sell many dumb phones. Samsung still sits top of the chart, both in terms of phones overall (20.5 per cent market share) and for smartphones (21.2 per cent).

Read more: Huawei Ascend Mate 7 review

Apple is second in the smartphone race, with 14 per cent. But it shipped a whopping 35 per cent more smartphones than the previous year, reaching 47.5 million. That's a lot lower than Samsung's 71.9 million, but that's not comparing like with like. A large majority of Samsung's phones are cheap, low-end models, whereas Apple doesn't do low-end.

Hence Samsung's falling profits and Apple's rising ones.

Windows 10 will come to smartphones in the autumn, so let's hope it helps Microsoft get some of its momentum back after these disappointing results.

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