2018 has certainly been a tumultuous year for Huawei, which began on an extremely inauspicious note as the company’s efforts to crack the US smartphone market were quashed by a US government that then escalated its trade conflict with China.
While tensions continued, reaching new heights when Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer was arrested in Canada recently for alleged fraud in breach of US sanctions, the smartphone vendor somehow managed to maintain a healthy shipment growth rate.
After surpassing Apple in both Q2 and Q3 2018 global smartphone sales, the company expects to hit a historic 200 million unit milestone by December 25. That’s 200 million Huawei and Honor-branded mobile devices shipped around the world this year alone, up from “only” 153 million units or so in 2017.
While not entirely surprising, given the 100 million feat was celebrated back in July after setting this exact 200 mil goal a month earlier, it’s still impressive to see Huawei meet its ambitious self-imposed objective in a time of turmoil and general industry stagnation.
Both Samsung and Apple are struggling to fend off increasingly robust competition from the likes of Huawei and compatriots Xiaomi and Oppo, with an impending change of global market leadership feeling more plausible by the day.
Remember that Samsung’s Q3 shipment volumes declined by around 13 percent compared to last year, while Apple’s numbers were flat in the latest July – September timeframe.
At the same time, it’s unclear if Huawei will be able to beat Apple when total 2018 smartphone sales are tallied, but analysts expect iPhones to slump in 2019, which would make it fairly easy for the designers of the Mate 20 Pro to win next year’s silver medal… at the very least.