Huawei has announced today that shipments of its smartphones in 2018 have exceeded 200 million units. In recent months the company became the No. 2 supplier of smartphones, ahead of Apple and behind Samsung, marking a remarkable progress Huawei has made since it entered this market eight years ago.
Huawei launched its first mobile phone in 2003, primarily targeting developing economies as companies like Nokia and Motorola dominated established markets back then. According to Huawei, it was successful enough to sell its consumer business unit for some $10 billion to Motorola, yet never did. The company did not see many opportunities on the smartphone market till 2009, when it introduced its first smartphone (the U8220) which also targeted the low-end of the market. The company changed its approach to smartphone design and consumer business in general with the subsequent generations, introducing rather successful devices and then its EMUI for Android in 2012. Somewhere along the line the company partnered with Leica for smartphone cameras to become known known for its smartphones imaging capabilities.
To tell the long story short, sales of Huawei smartphones increased 66 times from 2010, a compound annual growth rate of 69% (or 39% if you exclude the low base of 2010). Back in Q3 alone, according to IDC, Huawei sold 52 million smartphones, that is below 72 million sold by Samsung and above 47 million sold by Apple.