The latest data from market research firm Counterpoint Research shows Huawei overtaking Apple to become the second-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Strong sales in June and July allowed the Chinese manufacturer to inch past Apple, but with a major iPhone launch on the cards next week, Huawei's position in the rankings could turn out to be short-lived. Nevertheless, it is a big deal for Huawei.
From Counterpoint's Research Director Peter Richardson:
This is a significant milestone for Huawei, the largest Chinese smartphone brand with a growing global presence. It speaks volumes for this primarily network infrastructure vendor on how far it has grown in the consumer mobile handset space in the last three to four years.
The global scale Huawei has been able to achieve can be attributed to its consistent investment in R&D and manufacturing, coupled with aggressive marketing and sales channel expansion.
However, an over-reliance on its home market could limit Huawei's growth in the future:
While this streak could be temporary considering the annual iPhone refresh is just around the corner, it nevertheless underscores the rate at which Huawei has been growing. However, a weak presence in the South Asian, Indian and North American markets limits Huawei's potential in the near-to mid-term to take a sustainable second place position behind Samsung.
Huawei is over-dependent on its home market China where it enjoys the leadership position and operator-centric markets in Europe, Latin America and Middle East.
While Huawei has managed to climb past Apple, none of its products feature in the top ten smartphones around the world:
While Huawei climbed to be the world's second largest brand overall, it is surprising to see none of its models breaking into the top ten rankings. This is due to a multiple SKU portfolio that currently lacks a true hero device.
While having a diverse portfolio allows Huawei to fight on multiple fronts, it does little to build overall brand recognition; something Huawei badly needs if it is continue to gain share.
Huawei will be looking to change that with the Mate 10, which will be making its debut on October 16. The Mate 10 will be powered by the Kirin 970, a 10nm chipset with an AI computing platform.