After holding on to second place in global smartphone market share for years, Apple might have a worthy challenger. During a product launch event this week, Huawei consumer division head Richard Yu Chengdong announced that the Chinese smartphone maker is on pace to ship 200 million smartphones by the end of 2018, which would put it within reach of overtaking Apple as the second biggest smartphone brand globally behind Samsung.
To put that number into perspective, South China Morning Post reports that Huawei shipped 153.1 million handsets in 2017. That wasn’t nearly enough to top Apple’s 215.8 million shipments, but if Huawei really can hit 200 million sales just a year later, it stands to reason that Apple could be in third place by the end of 2019.
“Previously [we] reached the 100 million shipments mark on December 22, 2015, October 14, 2016 and September 12, 2017,” said Richard Yu Chengdong. “As it’s only taken just over six months to reach the target this year, we are now aiming for shipments of 200 million units by the end of 2018.”
Although this would be the first time Huawei would top Apple in yearly sales, the Chinese brand did beat Apple in the second quarter of 2017. Of course, that was in the lead up to the reveal of the iPhone X and iPhone 8, which means that many Apple fans were holding off to see what the next generation of iPhones would look like.
Nevertheless, it’s an impressive achievement on Huawei’s part, as will overtaking Apple as the second biggest brand on the planet. Apple will continue to rake in profits like no other phone maker, but perhaps this will light a fire under Apple to bring more to the table than facial recognition and an unsightly notch.