Huawei claims shocking victory over Apple in December 2016 global smartphone sales

Huawei’s crazy ambitious plan of surpassing Apple in worldwide smartphone shipments by the end of 2018 might be well ahead of schedule, although one swallow doesn’t make a spring and a month in second position is just a small step towards a silver medal that counts.

The manufacturers of increasingly popular Mate and P-series devices, as well as the parents of the Honor sub-brand, wrapped up last year as the third most successful smartphone vendor, a place they secured during Q4 by comfortably beating OPPO while substantially trailing Samsung and Apple.

But according to Allen Wang, the Chinese company’s Director for its Product Center in India, “Huawei overtook Apple in global sales volume share in December.” It’s unclear how something like that was possible, and why specialized market research firms didn’t notice the rare occurrence and landmark event.

We also wouldn’t 100 percent trust the claim without independent data backing it, but even if Huawei only came close to Apple’s December numbers, that’s still quite a feat. The holiday season is when iPhones sell like hotcakes (more so than usual), and despite their relative lack of upgrades and “boring” designs, the 7 and 7 Plus were widely considered hits late in 2016.

Maybe in October and November, because Huawei says its 13.2 percent slice of the pie over the year’s final 30 days eclipsed Cupertino’s 12 or so percentage points. For the whole 365 days though, various number crunchers estimate Apple’s advantage at more than 5 percent, which sounds like a tricky gap to close in 2017. 2018 could be a different story, of course.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).