If there was any lingering doubt about the fact that Huawei doesn’t need support from the West to realize its ambition of being a leader in the global smartphone race, the position the company finds itself in as 2018 draws to a close should banish those last vestiges of uncertainty.
Not only has the company’s critically well-regarded handsets suffered bans around the world led in part by concern from US security officials, but Huawei’s CFO was also arrested in China in recent weeks ahead of an expected extradition to the US — a major complication in what were already fraught relations between the US and China. And still, the China-based mobile powerhouse has disclosed that it’s shipped more than 200 million smartphones — a record-setting improvement over the 153 million phones it shipped the previous year.
To anyone who’s been following Huawei closely, this growth shouldn’t come as a surprise. We told you just last month, for example, about how the company is aiming to get almost even with Samsung in 2019 in terms of total smartphone shipments — Samsung being, of course, the global leader. After that, according to the CEO of Huawei’s consumer division Richard Yu, the plan is to surge past Samsung in 2020.
Huawei’s new disclosure also confirms the estimate it revealed back in August, when the company even then was already saying it expected to ship more than 200 million smartphones globally this year. In a piece today, Engadget notes how the company has been able to do that across a variety of price points and form factors:
“The P20 and Mate 20 series have done well, racking up respective shipments of 16 million and 5 million devices. However, the bread-and-butter phones under Huawei’s own brand were the Nova series, including the just-launched Nova 4. The firm has sold more than 65 million of the mid-range devices since the series began. And then there’s the more budget-oriented Honor badge. Huawei didn’t provide specific figures, but it touted the ‘outstanding performance’ of the Honor 10 and Honor View 10 (the View 20 is too recent) as major factors in its Chinese success.”
Looking ahead, concerns of course include the lingering opposition from Western circles, with nations like the US rounding up allies to implement bans of the company’s handsets over fears that it’s too in bed with Chinese authorities and that its devices could be used for spying. Additionally, the smartphone market at large has seen something of a slowdown in recent months, so Huawei’s growth will need to buck that trend, as well.