Huawei leapfrogs Apple in smartphone sales

Woman selfie HuaweiHuawei has overtaken Apple to become the second largest selling smartphone brand globally, increasing shipments by almost 50 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in the first quarter of 2019, as the iPhone maker’s struggles continue.

According to Counterpoint Research, only Chinese brands Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo were able to achieve growth in Q1 2019, with the global smartphone market declining for the sixth consecutive quarter. Within this, Apple’s iPhone shipments fell YoY for the second consecutive quarter, dropping 20 per cent as its market share dipped from 14 per cent to 12 per cent.

“The global smartphone market showed no sign of recovery in Q1 2019. The rate of decline came down, particularly in February, due to inventory correction by some brands and the production halt during Chinese New Year,” said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint. “Another reason for the decline is lengthening replacement cycles, especially in the premium segment. The replacement rate for iPhones is reaching close to 36 months, while the replacement rate for premium Android devices is closing in at 30 months. This can be attributed to the higher quality of devices, increasing average selling price (ASP), and the lack of innovative technology.”

Samsung maintained its number one position, but saw shipments fall by eight per cent and its market share take a slight hit in falling from 22 per cent to 21 per cent. Huawei’s growth saw its market share leap from 11 per cent to 17 per cent.

“Huawei became the second largest smartphone brand by shipment without a significant presence in an important market like the US,” said Shobhit Srivastava, research analyst at Counterpoint. “It was also the fastest growing brand among the top 10. At this pace, we expect Huawei to remain ahead of Apple at the end of 2019.”