Huawei's eating Samsung and Apple's lunch

Huawei smartphone shipments are going up while Apple and Samsung smartphone shipments are going down. That's what's evidenced in the latest set of shipping numbers from Strategy Analytics. In the most recent report we get an idea of where the smartphone world is in the first quarter of the year 2019. Overall, smartphone shipment numbers have fallen over the last couple years in Q1, and total shipments this Q1 2019 are lower than they've been in 2018, 2017, and 2016's same quarter.

We've plugged in a few numbers from Strategy Analytics in the following graph to give you a basic view of what's going on here. The first quarter of the year – the first three months of the year – give us some clue on how each of these companies are handling the first months after the most busy season of all – the last three months of the year.

This is not a perfect indicator for how each of these companies are doing overall. Apple, Samsung, Huawei – most of these brands make more devices than just smartphones. Instead we're focusing here on how each brand is doing on smartphone shipments (also not a perfect indicator of smartphone sales), in the first three months of the year for the past four years.

"Huawei surged 50 percent annually and outgrew all major rivals to ship 59.1 million smartphones worldwide during Q1 2019, up from 39.3 million in Q1 2018," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.

"Huawei captured a record 18 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q1 2019," said Mawston. "Huawei is closing in on Samsung and streaking ahead of Apple, due to its strong presence across China, Western Europe and Africa."

Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, suggested that global smartphone shipments are "finally showing signs of stabilizing." While the industry overall fell (in shipments) in this first quarter compared to last year in the same span, the fall was "less severe than before," said Sui. "Global smartphone shipments are finally showing signs of stabilizing, due to relatively improved demand in major markets like China. The outlook for later this year is improving."