Huawei, Other Chinese Smartphone Vendors See Sales Gains
The global smartphone wars are taking on an interesting new look, as Chinese upstarts like Huawei, Alcatel, ZTE and Xiaomi continue to chalk up sales around the world, and even begin appearing consistently on top sales lists in countries in Europe and Asia.
It's a trend that's surfacing more broadly, according to analysts with Gartner, Strategy Analytics and Kantar Worldpanel, and the patterns are continuing as the companies are bringing out products that compete evenly with flagship models from global market leaders Samsung and Apple.
New Gartner global smartphone sales figures for the first quarter of 2016 show Samsung continuing to lead the world with 81.2 million phones sold for a 23.2 percent market share, followed by Apple with 51.6 million iPhones sold for a 14.8 percent share, according to a May 19 announcement. But Samsung's sales were essentially flat compared to the first quarter of 2015 when it sold 81.1 million smartphones for a 24.1 percent market share, and sales were down substantially for Apple from last year's first quarter, when it sold 60.2 million iPhones and had a 17.9 percent market share.
Meanwhile, Huawei had a banner first quarter in 2016, with sales of 28.8 million smartphones, compared to 18.1 million handsets in the same quarter one year prior. Huawei's market share rose to 8.3 percent in the latest quarter from 5.4 percent a year earlier.
Chinese smartphone makers like Huawei, ZTE and Xiaomi don't come close to leading sales in the U.S., but they are gaining around the world.
"In Q3 2015, they really saw their sales jumping," Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta told eWEEK. What's happening, he said, is that while the U.S. smartphone market continues to be saturated, the slack is being made up in other parts of the world where smartphones are still being purchased in growing numbers, and that is allowing several Chinese vendors that make quality products at competitive prices see their global sales take flight.