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Huawei Close To Overtaking Apple As Second Best-Selling Smartphone Maker

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Huawei is set to become the world's second best-selling smartphone manufacturer, beating Apple in full-year smartphone sales for the first time, with more than 200 million units already shipped in 2018.

The Chinese telecommunications company saw significant sales increases in China, Europe, and Africa this year, achieving a 30 percent jump in global unit sales from the 153 million it sold last year.

The report comes from the Nikkei Asian Review, which adds that the P20, one of the major flagships it released in April, was "especially popular."

Huawei's Challenges Ahead

Beating Apple is an exemplary achievement for any company, but Huawei faces much bigger hurdles ahead, especially with regard to its success stateside. The arrest of a top executive in Canada has placed the company in the middle of the trade war between the United States and China. Companies from different companies around the world are slowly inching away from its telecommunications equipment, and its smartphones sales are expected to underperform in 2019.

Apart from the United States, Australia, the UK, and New Zealand have all decided to exclude Huawei-made components from their future 5G initiatives. That's not all. Earlier this year, Japan banned both Huawei and another Chinese company, ZTE, from making government contracts to prevent potential data leaks.

Smartphone Shipments

Despite such drawbacks, Huawei continues to perform significantly well in the global smartphone market. In 2017, the had a whopping 10.4 percent market share. Samsung had the biggest hold, with 21.6 percent, followed by Apple, with 14.7 percent. The data comes from International Data Corp. However, Huawei, for the first time, came second in the April-to-June financial quarter, a position it continued to hold in the July-to-September period as well.

Overall, however, worldwide smartphone sales are expected to dip in 2019. If so, it'll be the second straight year for this to happen. Perhaps people aren't rushing to upgrade their devices anymore. To be fair, most flagships customers can buy right now are already pretty powerful. Not only that, a number of companies now seem unable to add anything more of note to these already feature-packed handsets. Take Apple, for example. It would be hard to find significant difference between last year's iPhone X and this year's iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. As a result, people are probably less willing to shell out cash for what are essentially minimal changes, if not the same thing entirely.

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