Driven by strong demand for its flagship Huawei P20 series, the Chinese smartphone maker seems poised to ship 200 million mobile devices this year. During 2017, Huawei was poised to overtake Apple as the second largest smartphone maker but fell short by shipping 153 million smartphones. This year, the company has set itself a target of shipping 200 million smartphone units.
The information regarding Huawei’s target shipments for 2018 comes from company’s CEO Yu Chengdong, who revealed the plans at the recent launch of Honor Play smartphone in China. Yu seems optimistic about reaching the target with a strong product portfolio across both Huawei and Honor brands. Between 2010 and 2017, Huawei managed to grow its smartphone business by 51 times and is now aiming for a 25 percent increase in shipments over same period last year.
Yu’s optimism around reaching that target is mainly driven by strong demand for its smartphones during the second quarter of 2018. The company launched Huawei P20 series, which includes the flagship Huawei P20 Pro and P20 and mid-range P20 Lite in March. Huawei recently confirmed that it shipped 6 million units of Huawei P20 series since their launch in March.
In 2017, Apple shipped 215 million units of smartphones and it is not certain that Huawei will be successful in taking the second spot even if it ships 200 million devices this year. Most analysts predict that Apple will not be able to match last year’s shipments due to decline in demand for premium smartphones. Huawei, on the other hand, is seeing strong demand for its premium devices in developed markets and demand for entry-level devices in the emerging markets.
Huawei is the leader in the network equipment business and it started expanding its presence in mobile segment later than Apple and Samsung. The company has made huge strides on the back of technology and premium design. It has grown to become the third major brand mainly due to strong demand for its products in its home market – China. With the US having made it impossible for Huawei to sell its smartphones via carrier partnerships, it is not clear how the company plans to expand its footprint further.
Watch: Huawei P20 Pro Video Review
Huawei’s goal has been to overtake Apple and Samsung as the largest smartphone brand globally. It is now focusing on Europe and Asian markets to realize that dream without conceding its leadership in China. However, it also has strong local rivals like Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi, who have the ability to steal its market share. With second quarter set to close in the next few days, it will be interesting to see how many units it manages to ship during the three month period ending June.
If Huawei manages to grow its position and ship a large number of devices during this quarter then it might succeed in shipping 200 million smartphones this year. The company is expected to launch flagship Huawei Mate 20 smartphones later this year to further strengthen its place in the premium segment.