Huawei Smartphone Shipments In 2018: Record 200 Million Figure Making Apple Anxious?

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Huawei has been slowly but steadily strengthening its presence in the global smartphone industry for quite some time now. From budget to premium smartphones, Huawei sells them all, albeit under a different brand name. The increasing market share of Honor – Huawei’s sub-brand to penetrate entry to mid-range smartphone segment – has been a cause of concerns for other manufacturers likes of Vivo, Oppo and Samsung. And now, they are breathing down Apple’s neck with regards to their smartphone-shipment volume. The Chinese company recently announced that about 200 million smartphones are shipped in 2018.

Are they posing a threat to Apple? Let us analyse in more detail.

Huawei Enjoying A Successful Year

Huawei smartphones reaching the number of shipments as it has is no mean feat. The Chinese company is the world’s second largest smartphone seller at this point in time. The company captured 14.6% share of the global smartphone shipments in Q3 2018, registering an impressive 39.2% YoY growth. In the first three quarters, the company has shipped a total of 145.5 million units of smartphones, globally. In the wake of the recent report, it’s safe to say that in the ongoing fourth quarter alone the company will be witnessing the record number of smartphone shipments – over 55 million units.


With Apple’s decision to hide its iPhone sales figure, Huawei’s shipment announcement couldn’t have come at any better time. Just to put things in perspective, Apple has sold 140.4 million units of iPhones during the first three quarters of the year.

Apple iPhone shipments Q1 - Q3 2018


The Battle Between Apple and Huawei

Huawei’s rise to prominence has many people asking the question as to whether it is going to challenge Apple’s position in the market. The answer is a simple No.

Regardless of the fact that their both are companies are going neck to neck in terms of smartphone shipments, Huawei is still miles behind Apple when it comes to revenue. But this shouldn’t throw light away from the fact that Huawei has had an amazing year in its own regard. Its revenue in 2018 is expected to be a whopping $108.5 billion. However, the smartphone department generates only a portion of the above-mentioned revenue.

Apple is outperforming Huawei in terms of revenue because of its Average Selling Price. Huawei sells smartphones over a broader price range, while Apple does business only in the premium segment of smartphones. Thus, despite selling practically the same number of smartphones in 2018, Apple’s revenue is WAY higher than that of Huawei’s smartphone branch. 

Apple’s Future Sales Looking Bleak

Apple’s iPhone sales figure in the year 2018 are predicted to be in between 205 and 210 million. However, the coming years will be leading to a decline in shipments apparently. According to the expected analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo with TF International Securities, the iPhone sales are expected to decline over 10% in 2019. Hence, the predicted shipments should be around 188 million to 194 million. 


Considering this, Apple has made a pretty smart move by declining to reveal its iPhone sales data like it used to. Apple has been generating more revenue with pretty much the same sales figures as last year. Moreover, if the predictions turn out to be right, Apple might have just saved themselves from a lot of negative PR.

Huawei’s Trump Problem

Regardless of how bleak Apple’s future looks right now, Huawei might be coming up against problems of their own. According to a report by Reuters, the White House is considering an executive order to ban the wireless carriers of its country from buying equipment from Chinese manufacturers. This is going to heavily impact a company like Huawei, along with ZTE. Is it going to actually happen? Only time will tell.


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