The smartphone industry has been divided between two players (at least that is how many saw it), Samsung and Apple, for many years now. What am I talking about? If you’ve lived in the Middle East, you would have realized that to most people, smartphones mean either a Galaxy or an iPhone. That has been the case for many years now, although the market was filled with phones by LG, HTC, Sony, and others. It was between 2011 and 2013 that Chinese manufacturers started to appear as serious players on the global board (via Statista). Since then companies such as Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi have been slowly gaining global market share, with Huawei announcing last year its plans to overtake Samsung and Apple by 2021 (via WSJ).
According to the table above by IDC, we can see that Huawei might be able to surpass Apple in its shipment volume by the end of Q3 of 2017. Comparing the company’s gained market share between 2016 and 2017, it is quite clear that it isn’t really far from becoming the worlds second largest phone manufacturer. Surpassing Samsung by 2021 won’t really be a mission impossible if the company continues with the same gain levels it has witnessed.
iPhone sales have slowed down and are expected to slow down further until the end of Q3, especially before the expected announcement of Apple’s upcoming 3 smartphones. Outselling Apple during Q3 might be easy for the Chinese tech company, but maintaining that level of sales during Q4 might be difficult to do. Competition during Q4 is expected to be fierce with the upcoming launch of the Note 8, iPhone 7s & 7s Plus, iPhone 8 (or pro as some reports suggested), and the Huawei Mate 10.