Huawei grabs second spot in global tablet shipments

Last year, Huawei knocked Apple off second spot to become the second largest phone vendor in the world. Now it has repeated the trick with tablet sales, according to Digitimes Research.

With phone sales, Huawei leapfrogged Apple to come second to Samsung in Q2 2018, and for Q1 2019 tablet sales the companies are the same but in a different order. It’s Samsung that are knocked into third place, with Huawei still some distance behind Apple’s all-conquering iPad range.

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It was a mixed bag for tablet sales overall, with 37.15 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2019. That’s down 12.9% on the previous quarter, but up 13.8% year-on-year. In particular, smaller tablets – thoses in the 7- and 8-inch category fell 6.7% compared to this time last year.

That might pick up in quarter two, thanks to Apple’s new iPad mini – the first new dinky iPad in four years. We certainly liked it in our four-and-a-half-star review, praising everything about it, save the slightly overfamiliar design.  

Indeed, the numbers might be up considerably with the next set of figures, as the period of January to March only just managed to include the release of  the new iPad Air and iPad mini. A whole three months of sales might be significant, even if it does miss the initial bump of early adopter purchases.

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Whether Huawei can maintain the “robust shipments” of MediaPad devices is less certain, and with Samsung releasing the Galaxy Tab S5e, the Chinese manufacturer will face a fight to keep hold of second place for a second consecutive quarter.

Elsewhere, Qualcomm leapfrogged MediaTek to become the number-two supplier of processors for tablets. That’s chiefly thanks to the latter mainly supplying for smaller 7- and 8-inch tablets which Digitimes reports are in decline.

Have you bought a Huawei MediaPad? Does the company deserve second spot? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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