Apple May Briefly Drop to World's Third Largest Smartphone Maker For First Time Since 2011

Chinese company Huawei will likely become the world's second largest smartphone maker in the third quarter, based on shipments from July through September, according to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes.

Huawei P10
The report, citing sources from Taiwan's handset supply chain, said sales of Huawei's high-end smartphones like the P10 and Mate 9, as well as its more affordable Honor-branded models, have continued to gain momentum. Enough momentum, perhaps, to briefly overtake Apple's iPhone.

Huawei shipped 38.4 million smartphones last quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Buoyed by seasonal factors, the supply chain sources believe Huawei will continue to ramp up its shipments to over 40 million units this quarter, which could eclipse iPhone shipments over the same period.

Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones last quarter, but that total could drop slightly this quarter due to frequent rumors about the highly-anticipated iPhone 8, which may lead some customers to delay purchasing a new iPhone.

"We do think that based on the amount of rumors, and the volume of them, that there's some pause in our current numbers," said Apple CEO Tim Cook, referring to iPhone sales. "Where that affects us in the short term, even though we had great results, it probably bodes well later on."

Apple hasn't reported lower iPhone sales in the September-ending quarter versus the June-ending quarter since 2011, however, so if customers truly are holding off, it'll be the first decline over the summer in six years.

It would also be the first time that Apple drops out of the top two spots in smartphone shipments since 2011.

It's quite possible, however, that Apple launches its new iPhone lineup in early September and, in line with the past five years, begins shipping the smartphones to customers by mid month. And given the current quarter doesn't end until September 30, Apple could still outpace Huawei with a few weeks of strong sales.

Even if the launch is delayed, sales of the new iPhone lineup in the following quarter will almost certainly be well above Huawei's.

For what it's worth, Apple probably isn't too concerned about where it ranks in smartphone shipments. First, shipments within distribution channels don't necessarily reflect sales to end customers. Second, Apple cashes in the overwhelming majority of profits in the smartphone industry.

Huawei, on the other hand, will likely feel quite accomplished if it can surpass the iconic iPhone for even one quarter.

The company, based in Shenzhen, China, has set a lofty goal of becoming the world's largest smartphone maker by 2021. It's been making an aggressive push into Europe and Canada, and AT&T has reportedly tentatively agreed to sell at least one flagship Huawei smartphone in the first half of next year.

"Huawei is now closing in fast on Apple and Apple will be looking nervously over its shoulder in the next few quarters," said Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Huawei is outperforming across Asia, Europe and Africa with popular Android models such as the P10 and Mate 9."

Huawei held just 1 percent market share in the United States as of the first quarter, according to research firm IDC.

Tag: Huawei

Top Rated Comments

Ries Avatar
43 months ago

PROFITS!!! I don't want to hear anything else! PROOOOOOOFITS!!!
[fingers in ears]
PROFITS! PROFITS! PROFITS!
[nearly hyperventilates]

-someone in this thread most likely:p:D

It's like celebrating you got scammed, wehaaa, the company I bought products from, overcharged me so much that they have record profits again! Please raise the prices $100 more, so it's even higher next year!
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nt5672 Avatar
43 months ago
Well according to wikipedia, "Ren Zhengfei ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren_Zhengfei'), a former deputy director of the People's Liberation Army ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Liberation_Army') engineering corp, founded Huawei in 1987 in Shenzhen ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenzhen')."

Can't think of a better person to trust my personal information with.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joshwenke Avatar
43 months ago
This can only mean a better smartphone market for consumers! Competition is always great.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michaelgtrusa Avatar
43 months ago
Amazing what you can do when you've had the success and back breaking work of others handed to you.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
43 months ago

Good to see that the Chinese buy locally built phones in such numbers

For the Chinese, every phone is locally built.

Name a major phone brand NOT manufactured in China.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
43 months ago
PROFITS!!! I don't want to hear anything else! PROOOOOOOFITS!!!
[fingers in ears]
PROFITS! PROFITS! PROFITS!
[nearly hyperventilates]

-someone in this thread most likely:p:D
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
14

Apple Releases iOS 14.2.1 With Fix for Text Message Bug and iPhone 12 Mini Lock Screen Issues

Thursday November 19, 2020 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 14.2.1, a bug fix update that comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 14.2 and is available for Apple's new iPhone 12 models. The iOS 14.2.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's release notes, iOS...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...
iOS14AntitrackFacebookSadfeature

Apple Confirms Commitment to App Tracking Transparency in Letter Condemning Facebook's Data Collection [Updated]

Thursday November 19, 2020 11:58 am PST by
Apple in iOS 14 is planning to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and website. Following outcry from developers like Facebook and ad networks unprepared for the change, Apple delayed the implementation of the anti-tracking functionality until early 2021. Eight civil society organizations recently sent a...
maxresdefault

CrossOver Allows x86 Windows Apps to Run on Apple M1 Macs

Wednesday November 18, 2020 6:07 pm PST by
Codeweavers posted a blog post and video tonight showing off CrossOver running on an Apple M1 MacBook Air. This video shows Team Fortress 2 running on a new M1 MacBook Air: CrossOver is software (based on Wine Project) that runs Microsoft Windows apps on the Mac by translating Windows APIs into their Mac equivalents. The Codeweavers team was able to run the current version of CrossOver on...
macbookpro13large

Apple Offers Instructions on What to Do if macOS Big Sur Causes Installation Errors on 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro

Thursday November 19, 2020 6:12 pm PST by
Following the release of macOS Big Sur last week, a number of 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro owners found that the update bricked their machines. Affected users saw their Macs get stuck displaying a black screen after attempting to install the new software. Apple has now addressed this issue in a new support document that provides instructions on what to do if macOS Big Sur can't be installed on...
128gb m1 macbook air education cropped

$799 M1 MacBook Air With 128GB Storage for Education Institutions Spotted Online

Friday November 20, 2020 5:15 am PST by
A new configuration of the M1 MacBook Air with 128GB of storage and a lower $799 price has today been spotted on Apple's U.S. Education Institution Hardware and Software Price List. The M1 MacBook Air is only available with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage. There is currently no 128GB configuration on the Apple Store. However, Reddit user "u/dduci97" noticed that Apple has listed...