South Korean giant Samsung continued to be the global leader in the first half of 2018 with 20 per cent market share, and Chinese tech conglomerate Huawei surpassed Apple to become the second largest smartphone brand worldwide, a new report said on Wednesday.
Huawei had 15 per cent market share, followed by Apple at 11 per cent as global smartphone shipments declined 2 per cent to 360 million units annually in Q2 (January-June period), said Counterpoint Research's "Market Monitor" service.
"Huawei had a good second quarter in 2018 as it shipped more smartphones than Apple to capture the second spot in the global smartphone rankings, after 7 years of Apple-Samsung dominance," said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research.
Huawei with its sub-brand, Honor, is offering a broad and refreshed portfolio at affordable price which is driving growth in the overseas market.
"Honor, which is already strong in the e-commerce segment, is now adopting a multi-channel strategy through branded stores in the southeast Asia market. We expect store counts to increase in the future," Pathak noted.
Samsung led the smartphone market by volume even though it registered an annual decline of 11 per cent owing to weak sales of its flagship Galaxy S9 series smartphones.
It shipped 71.6 million units while Huawei did 54.2 million handsets in the second half.
"Even as Samsung smartphone shipment volumes declined globally, the brand posted a record second quarter in India, regaining its top position in Indian smartphone market," said the report.
Samsung will launch its Galaxy Note 9 flagship soon to counter the string of premium segment launches by its competitors and to gain some momentum before the launch of new iPhone in September.
It will also focus on launching newer models with high specs in each price segment, to counter the growing competition.
Huawei managed to be the fastest growing (21 per cent) smartphone brand amid a declining China smartphone market and grew fully 71 per cent overseas, with its shipments growing 41 per cent annually in the second half.
Apple shipped 41.3 million iPhones during Q2 2018, up 1 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.
Top 10 players now capture 79 per cent of the market, thereby leaving over 600 brands to compete for the remaining 21 per cent of the market.
"Major Chinese brands like OPPO, Vivo, Huawei are now focusing on increasing their average selling prices (ASPs) by bringing in features like artificial intelligence, bezel-less displays, dual cameras and innovative industrial designs in the affordable premium segment," explained Research Analyst Shobhit Srivastava.
Xiaomi shipped 33 million smartphones globally, capturing 9 per cent market share of the smartphone sector.
OPPO and Vivo were the fifth and sixth largest brands during the quarter, capturing 8 per cent and 7 per cent market share, respectively.
Lenovo (including Motorola) captured the eighth spot with a market share of 3 per cent.