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Huawei claims record-high market share after strong first quarter as Apple sales slump

Paul Lipscombe
May 1, 2019

IDC and Counterpoint Research report strong Huawei growth amid challenging smartphone market as Apple slides

Huawei’s global market share has hit a record high as the Chinese manufacturer claimed 17 per cent during the first quarter of this year despite a declining market. 

According to Counterpoint Research and IDC figures, Huawei remains second behind Samsung (21pc), but ahead of third place Apple (12pc) as the smartphone market declined for the sixth quarter in a row. 

IDC reported that the first quarter of 2019 was down 6.6 per cent YoY.

Counterpoint Research said 345 million smartphones were shipped in the first quarter, which was down 23 pc year-on-year, while IDC claimed 310.8 million were shipped. 

Samsung led the way with 72 million sales worldwide, a slight drop of eight per cent YoY. Huawei shipped 59.1 million smartphones during Q1, up 50pc YoY, as Apple struggled with a 20pc dip and 42 million units, according to Counterpoint Research. 

However IDC says Apple declined even more with 30 per cent YoY, as it estimated it shipped 36.4 million units.

Counterpoint Research analyst Shobhit Srivastava said: “Huawei became the second largest smartphone brand by shipment without a significant presence in an important market like the United States. 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.

“Huawei is now a match for Samsung in smartphone hardware. Like Samsung and Apple, Huawei also is becoming increasingly vertically integrated. We believe it is Huawei that Samsung should be worrying about rather than Apple,” added Srivastava. 

Other standout figures from Counterpoint’s statistics revealed LG shipments were down 40pc YoY as the Korean vendor only accounted for two per cent market share. 

LG shipped just 6.8 million smartphones in the first quarter, down from 11.4 million for the same period last year.

Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi, Oppo (both eight per cent) and vivo (seven per cent) continued to grow shipment figures, as expansion into European markets excelled. 

Growth: Huawei’s Q1 YoY up 50 per cent

Chinese market decline

Huawei also enjoyed success it in its home market, despite the Chinese smartphone market contracting three per cent.

Huawei accounted for 34 per cent market share in Q1, an increase of 10pc YoY, in spite of the worst performance in the Chinese market for six years.

Canalys analyst Mo Jia said: “China’s decline has softened slightly, which offers some relief after a bad year. Major vendors are gearing up to full speed, releasing new products and spending on marketing, to maintain share in the face of competition from Huawei, which is the strongest it’s ever been.”

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