Apple Is No Longer the Second Biggest Phone Maker in the World

Huawei has overtaken Apple as the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world behind Samsung in the first quarter of 2019, a new report reveals.

In fact, the Chinese OEM was the only major smartphone maker to actually increase its market share during Q1 2019. Huawei saw shipments rise by around 50 percent year-over-year, according to new data from analysis firm IDC. For comparison’s sake, Samsung’s shipments declined by 8.1 percent and Apple’s sales fell by a “staggering” 30.2 percent in the same period.

The smartphone market as a whole is becoming saturated and overall sales are slumping — marking the sixth consecutive year of decline for global smartphone sales. But despite that broader situation, Huawei is still gaining ground in the industry and has taken a record 34 percent market share.

All in all, about 310.8 million smartphones were shipped across the globe during the first quarter of the year. Huawei shipped 59.1 million of those, while Samsung and Apple sold 71.9 million and 36.4 million, respectively.

IDC indicates that Huawei’s strong performance in the first three months of 2019 puts it within “striking distance” of Samsung, currently the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world by sales volume.

Apple, for its part, has been hit hard by the slumping smartphone market. Analysis firm Canalys indicated that the Cupertino tech giant saw the “largest single-quarter decline in the history of the iPhone” in Q1 2019. However, Apple did report stronger-than-expected financial results for the period, thanks to other products like wearables and services.

Huawei’s success is largely attributable to its performance in China. The Shenzhen-based manufacturer has been opening more brick-and-mortar retail stores across China, expanding into rural areas and bumping its overall product lineup to attract shoppers, CNN reported.

Most other OEMs — including Apple, Samsung, and even China-based Oppo and Xiaomi — have struggled in the critical-yet-declining market.

Despite Huawei’s success, the Chinese smartphone maker has failed to gain any sort of significant foothold in the U.S. or other regions in the West. That’s in part due to government concerns that Huawei devices could be used for espionage.