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Huawei outsells Apple for first time, despite being frozen out in the US

The second quarter could have been a dark time for Huawei. It’s not easy being essentially locked out of the world’s biggest economy, yet the company has outsold Apple for the first time, leapfrogging the iPhone X maker to be the world’s second-largest smartphone seller in Q2.

That’s according to data from IDC, Canalys and Strategy Analytics, which found that the company shifted 41% more smartphones in Q2 2018 than it managed during the same period last year, taking the total to a whopping 54 million handsets.

Related: Huawei P20 Pro

Apple, by contrast, shifted 41.3 million iPhones, while Samsung dropped 10% to 70 million phones sold. It is, according to Canalys, the first time in seven years that Apple and Samsung haven’t occupied the top two slots.

The continued growth of Huawei is impressive, to say the least, as is its ability to move into markets where, until recently, the brand was largely unknown,” said IDC analyst Ryan Reith.

That’s putting it mildly, with Huawei essentially blocked from being sold on contract in the US.

Anecdotally, it found a lot of success in Europe with the very generous Bose headphone pre-order bonus on P20s, but the 27% market share it holds in China undoubtedly helped too.

Not to mention the fact that Huawei’s slice of the pie also includes phones made by Honor – and these handsets accounted for roughly two-thirds of the 16 million jump Huawei made year-on-year. Overall, the percentage of sales that Honor contributed to Huawei’s Q2 performance jumped from 24% to 36% in the space of a year.

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While this certainly isn’t good news for Apple, which drops out of the top two slots for the first time since Q2 of 2010, it is worth remembering that this time of year isn’t exactly prime time for iPhone buying.

With Apple concentrating iPhone releases around autumn, it isn’t hard to imagine Tim Cook’s company regaining top slot in Q4, with the aid of the heavily rumoured iPhone 11. If it doesn’t, it may well be time to panic.

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