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Huawei is growing faster than any other smartphone manufacturer − and Apple should be alarmed

Huawei’s market share is growing fast, thanks to its focus on the Chinese smartphone market. New figures from IDC have revealed that Huawei is growing faster than any other smartphone company.

According to IDC’s figures Huawei’s global market share in the third quarter of 2019 was 18.6%. Up from 14.6% in the third quarter of 2018. That’s a huge gain, and leaves the Chinese company with a year-over-year boost of 28.2%.

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One competitor who may be alarmed by these emerging figures is Apple. In the third quarter of 2018 the two companies had an almost identical share of the global smartphone market, Apple had 13.2% to Huawei’s 14.6%. Now Apple’s market share has dipped very slightly and they’ve been left in the dust by Huawei’s rapid sales growth.

Smartphone market share figures - Image credit: IDC

Smartphone market share figures – Image credit: IDC

IDC said: “Huawei shipped higher volumes than expected as it shifted focus to its domestic market, particularly in lower-tier cities, and increased inventories given the unknown future with Google Mobile services.

“While a sentiment of nationalism has helped to bolster Huawei in China, solid relationships with the local channel players has been key, offering favourable distributor terms and a well-rounded product portfolio. Nevertheless, there will be challenges ahead with 4G inventory to clear while consumers wait for affordable 5G products to hit the market.”

Ryan Reith from IDC added to this, noting the impressive ability of the smartphone market to overcome bumps in the road as the difficult transition to 5G is navigated.

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He said: “The market returning to positive growth shows the resilience of this industry as well as the ongoing demand for mobile phones, all in the face of many global macroeconomic challenges. The number of factors in play for competition are incredible.

“It is clear Huawei continues to make big gains in China, which remains the world’s largest market. Apple beat many expectations and is driving strong volumes in mature markets that face equally challenging headwinds. And most importantly, the top 5 OEMs accounted for more than 70% of the world’s smartphone shipments for the first time ever this quarter. The industry and vendor landscape is still changing but the trend of consolidation is ramping along with it.”

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