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Huawei Propels Itself to Become 3rd Biggest Smartphone Maker

I don’t think anyone really saw this one coming. When we talk about market share in the smartphone world, we are used to seeing names like Samsung, LG, and Motorola, but Huawei has (not so) quietly moved itself into the third spot overall when it comes to worldwide smartphone market share. That’s huge. And we’re not just talking about the size of the Huawei Mate either.

Even though the Huawei products may not exactly be the flagship smartphones offered by your local cell phone carrier, Huawei has made its presence known and let’s not forget about the massive market that it can enjoy in its home China. Indeed, Huawei’s year-over-year change for units shipped in Q4 was a remarkable 89.5%. That being said, it still only has a 4.9% overall market share as of Q4 2012.

The overall smartphone market continues to grow, so even though the market share numbers have only moved a few percentage points, the year-over-year change for units shipped has increased almost across the board. Samsung is sitting in the top spot with 29.0% market share with a 76.0% increase in units shipped. Apple is second with a 21.8% market share and a 29.2% increase in shipments. Sony is fourth with 4.5% market share and interestingly enough, another Chinese company, ZTE, rounds out the top five with its 4.3% market share.

Yes, Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the smartphone world with a combined 50% of the market and Huawei is a distant third with its 4.9%, but it really is amazing how this seemingly “second tier” brand has propelled itself onto the smartphone podium in such a short amount of time. Remember that they’re beating out what we may otherwise consider to be heavy hitters like HTC, LG and Motorola.




About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  1. Considering that Apple products are only a “nameplate” and made by the other big manufacturers like Samsung and FoxCon. We have enabled Asia; taught them how, gave them manufacturing knowhow and capacity, and paid for all of it. Why is anyone surprised that they now shed the nameplates and start marketing themselves – like who need Apple as a middleman.

  2. Dosent anyone realize who these folks are?.. understand them They are what we Americans are trying to keep out of our data systems. Not good!! This is a major conspiracy..

  3. Is that a tiny hand or a huge phone pictured above? At some point the ever increasing phone size becomes absurd. Maybe the absurd has arrived.

  4. What’s amazing is that it’s less Android vs. iOS and more Samsung vs. Apple.

    Although Geeks like to focus on the OS, it is looking like a hardware showdown between two heavy hitters. One has to wonder if Apple had offered a cheapo iPhone model to compete against Samsung’s cheapo Android headsets (in addition to the flagship vs. flagship phone battle), if Apple would have had a far larger share than what it is enjoying now.

    • Apple would never sell a cheapo iPhone. It would tarnish their brand image. If you can’t afford an iPhone than you buy and android. This makes the iPhone exclusively to people who have the money and the desire to own a more expensive phone that can essentially do the same things the cheapo phone can. Its all about image. That is why their are no $300 macbooks but countless PC’s that cost about that much.

      • The iphone already is relatively inexpensive, especially the 4. Even the 5 is cheaper than the superior (and better selling) Galaxy S3. Revenue growth will continue to slow unless they catch up on size, speed and features. It’s not the ipod, where they could do a release once a year because they own the music format and there was no competition. Jobs would never have allowed a watered down, ‘cheap’ iPhone.

        • The Galaxy S3 is only better selling if you count the constant “2 for 1″ deals that a lot of carriers offer. Samsung is sacrificing profits for market share, so don’t tell me that Apple is losing profits to Samsung, as your post implies.

    • Apple products are now a mainstream product – nothing exiting about pushing vitual buttons no more complex than operating a tv remote controller or a microwave oven. It’s for grandparents, parents, and people who don’t know how how to use a smartphone, or what to do with them, but want one never-the-less.

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