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Analysis

Will Huawei Be Able To Surpass Apple in Q2 2018?

Jul 30, 2018 by A. Alfaro
Will Huawei Be Able To Surpass Apple in Q2 2018?

The second quarter of 2018 that ended in June will be a defining time for Huawei Consumer Business Group.

The Chinese smartphone maker is on a quiet race to beat Apple in its game and improve upon its 2017 ranking.

Huawei has been a slow but steady player. Except the last quarter of 2017, its sales have swelled by over 10% each quarter. On the contrary Apple has shown only single digit growth figures across the last six quarters. A report on the quarter is expected early next week.

According to market intelligence provider IDC, Samsung led the international mobile phone market in 2017 with 317 million units sold. The South Korean company is followed by Apple with 215 million iPhones sold. Huawei sold 153 million of its devices to finish third.

On July 18, Yu Chengdong, the CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group while presenting nova 3 phone, announced that the company’s devices had sold past 100 million that day. The Chinese phone maker hopes to reach double that figure by the end of the year.

A look at the trends from the last six quarters reveals why Huawei would be eagerly waiting to see the second quarter results.

Although the American smartphone maker tops the charts in the last quarter of each year, it is the second quarter when the giant falters. In fact it was Q2 2017 when Huawei managed to inch the closest to Apple, trailing merely by 2.5 million phones.

Samsung has experienced negative growth in three of the six quarters analyzed.

Considering the trend in the last quarters, Apple’s sales will likely improve in the second half of this year. According to the IDC report, iPhone sales are expected to grow 4%, 6% and 7% in the second, third and fourth quarters respectively. Although Huawei’s sales have grown significantly in the last quarters, the IDC report expects sales to plummet in the remaining quarters of this year. The report estimates Huawei’s sales growth in the remaining quarters of this year at 11.8% (Q2), 9% (Q3) and 7% (Q4).

If these trends predict a thing correctly, Huawei has a chance to surpass Apple globally in the second quarter, a lean time for Apple.

If Huawei fails in the second quarter, chances of it catching up with Apple in the next two quarters are extremely slim. Powered by the new products Apple usually launches in autumn, the American phone maker performs its best in the last two quarters.

As the market reports for the decisive second quarter are not yet in, it is too premature to predict the outcome. What is sure though is that the “total surpass”, which would have to happen taking the annual sales figure into account, still looks a far cry for Huawei.

A. Alfaro

A. Alfaro is a Beijing-based freelance reporter. He focuses on China's politics, culture and society. He can be reached at varofaro@gmail.com. 

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