Huawei shipped more smartphones than Apple in the second quarter

Huawei overtook Apple and moved up into second place in market share of worldwide smartphone shipments in Q2 2018, according to data from IDC, Canalys, and Strategy Analytics. The company shipped over 54 million handsets in the second quarter compared to the 41.3 million iPhones that Apple sold and Samsung’s 73 million units. “The arrival of Huawei in the second position marks the first quarter since 2Q10 where Apple has not been the number one or two smartphone company in terms of market share,” IDC said in its press release.

According to IDC’s figures, Q2 market share breaks down as follows: Samsung had 20.9 percent, Huawei had 15.8 (a new record for the company), and Apple had 12.1 percent share. Xiaomi and Oppo rounded out the list. Apple is expected to release as many as three new iPhone models in September, so Huawei’s time in the second-place spot might be short-lived.

But the big jump — an increase of 41 percent in shipments for Huawei year over year — was driven in large part by the company’s Honor brand. IDC says Honor phones are “a key driver of growth for the Chinese tech giant,” and Canalys estimates that they “accounted for two thirds of the near 16 million jump that Huawei made this quarter.” Nearly 4 million Honor devices were shipped outside China.

Even on the more premium side, Huawei fared very well, with the P20 and P20 Pro drawing “strong demand” throughout the quarter. Huawei led market share in China and accounted for 27 percent of shipments there. The US mobile market contributes practically nothing to Huawei’s success; concerns over Chinese government spying have derailed the company’s hopes of growing its business and partnering with major carriers. But it’s clearly making up for that snafu elsewhere.

Samsung maintained a healthy lead with 73 million units shipped. But the next few quarters should prove interesting, as the company this week acknowledged “soft” demand for its flagship Galaxy S9. The Galaxy Note 9 is expected to be unveiled on August 9th, but it might take something a little more flashy — like a foldable phone, perhaps — to revitalize consumer interest once again.

It makes perfect sense, then, that Huawei is the one reportedly trying to beat Samsung to the punch.