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Huawei Snare Highest Global Phone Market Share Yet

Despite being embroiled in a global security saga, Chinese tech giant Huawei has snared its highest global phone market share yet –  notching 17% in Q1Y19 as per latest Counterpoint Research data.

The news comes amidst strained US trade tensions, and allegations of national security concerns from several Western governments.

Samsung has remained the global phone market leader (21% share), with iPhone manufacturer, Apple, in third place (12% share).

In February, Huawei announced its goal to dethrone Samsung in 2019, eyeing annual smartphone shipments of 250 million units.

The company has sought to encroach 300 million units by 2020.

Despite strained trade tensions with the United States, the Chinese behemoth generated a record US$107.1 billion revenue for full-year 2018.

The company’s mobile segment emerged its biggest revenue generator, with shipments climbing 34% to 206 million units in 2018.

The news comes amid sluggish global phone demand, with Counterpoint Associate Director, Tarun Pathak, attributing low replacement demand and growing price competition.

“The replacement rate for iPhones is reaching close to 36 months, while the replacement rate for premium Android devices is closing in at 30 months,” Pathak remarks.

“This can be attributed to the higher quality of devices, increasing average selling price, and the lack of innovative technology.”

According to Counterpoint, global smartphone shipments slipped 5% year-on-year in Q1 – the sixth straight quarter of declines.

Counterpoint Reseach Analyst, Shobhit Srivastava, asserts Huawei is now a “match for Samsung in smartphone hardware”, with the company forecast to remain ahead of Apple’s global market share by the end of 2019.

“We believe it is Huawei that Samsung should be worrying about rather than Apple,” he adds.

“Huawei became the second largest smartphone brand by shipment without a significant presence in an important market like the United States.”

“What has helped Huawei is the pace of its innovations”

“It was the first to introduce features like reverse wireless charging, on-board AI, advanced camera, and more”

“A dual-brand (HONOR) strategy has helped Huawei build a youth connect and gain market share in a sluggish Chinese market.”

Mr Pathak warns it may be difficult for Apple to increase the growth potential for its premium products in forthcoming quarters, adding to iPhone XR was the best selling iPhone in Q1.

The news follows the release of Apple’s latest earnings results, highlighting a 17% drop in iPhone sales.

Samsung has continued to rejig its mobile division, with a heightened emphasis on mid-range handsets. According to Counterpoint, the company’s new Galaxy S10 series did better on launch than the Galaxy S9.

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