Apple and Samsung are always battling for the top spot in the smartphone industry all over the world. While the two have been safe with their top two positions, it seems the second position, occupied by Apple, is under threat.
China has been labelled as the largest smartphone market in the world and in a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook was very clear that this market is seen as Apple’s future. However, things aren’t going according to plan, at least for now. This is true because the iPhone maker is facing even stiffer competition in China than it has been facing from its arch rival Samsung.
Initially, Xiaomi was labelled as China’s Apple. While this relationship was only based on the designs of the two companies’ phones, there is a new Apple killer in China and this has nothing to do with designs, rather, the amount of units sold in the region. Ranked third in the world in terms of smartphone shipments, Huawei is now the leading supplier of smartphones in China – a region that Apple sees as important to its iPhone sales. In fact, this triumph over Apple is also evident in other markets such as Western Europe and the globe in general.
For instance, in China, Apple sits in the fifth position well behind the likes of Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and the leader Huawei. While Apple’s shipments to China saw a decline in Q1 2016 by a massive 15%, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo recorded growth rates of between 48% and 70%. Some may be quick to claim that the reason why Huawei is selling more units than Apple is the low prices of its phones. Well, this is true, but it is not the only reason behind Huawei’s success over Apple.
Just like Samsung, the Chinese OEM has been discovered to invest a lot of time and money in research and development than what Apple puts in. This has meant that Huawei gets hands on some amazing technologies that make their devices a must-have for quite a number of users.
Of course, Huawei doesn’t have the same global shipment power as Apple, but the rate at which the company is growing means Apple should have enough reasons to get worried. In 2015, Huawei managed to ship up to 100 million smartphones, which is less than half of the 226 million Apple managed over the same period. In 2014, Huawei shipped about 70 million units, which was actually a fraction of the 192 million shipped by Apple.
Huawei has been steadily increasing its average selling prices for its products and so has been Apple. However, the difference here is that Apple is increasing prices of iPhones that already expensive and Huawei is not. In fact, the Chinese maker is coming in with premium devices in the shape of Huawei P9 and P9 Plus just to mention but a few, at very affordable prices as opposed to what Apple is offering.
It is a high time Apple started taking Huawei seriously or else, it may soon find itself well behind the Chinese OEM in terms of global smartphone sales.