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Huawei passes Apple in smartphone market share for the first time

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A Huawei mobile phone display at Beijing International Consumer Electronics Expo in Beijing on July 9, 2018. / AFP

Huawei Technologies Co. pulled ahead of Apple Inc. to claim the No. 2 position in global smartphone shipments in the second quarter just behind Samsung Electronics Co., solidifying the rise of Chinese competitors.

Huawei shipped 54.2 million phones in the quarter, 41% more than a year earlier, to jump ahead of the iPhone maker for the first time, according to market research firm IDC. The telecoms giant accounted for 16% of the market, compared with 21% for South Korea’s Samsung and 12% for Apple. Xiaomi Corp. and Oppo, both based in China, rounded out the top five.

Chinese smartphone makers have been gaining influence as their domestic market grows and they expand abroad. Huawei has pushed into Europe and Africa, though it’s failed to crack the massive U.S. market. Apple tends to sell iPhones at higher prices than its rivals and profits from services like iTunes, which helped it top earnings estimates for the quarter.

Globally, the smartphone market continued its slowdown with shipments slipping 1.8 percent for the quarter to 342 million units. The number of smartphones shipped in 2017 fell 0.3%, according to IDC, the first decline after years of strong growth. — Bloomberg

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