Huawei managed to do this without the US market as the company withdrew from this market due to a congressional decision that the Chinese company alleged sneak peaking. Getting to 200 million is definitely something that European expansion helped, and the quality of the phone dramatically increased in recent years.
P20 Pro is the phone with one of the best cameras on the market and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is one of the best phones available for end of the year. The Huawei P20 Pro sold 16 million while the Mate 20 Pro sold five million devices in just two months since launch. This is what Huawei got right, a partnership with Leica and incredible camera performance is one of the key factor for reaching 20 million with a phone with a clearly weaker SoC.
A year before, the company sold 153 million phones - again an impressive performance. In Q3 2018 Huawei managed to sell 52 million phones and capture 14.6 percent of the market, lagging behind Samsung's 72.2 million and 20.3 percent market share but beating Apple’s 46.9 million and 13.2 percent of the Q3 2018 market share.
Huawei managed to grow by 32.9 percent compared to Q3 2017 while Samsung dropped 13.4 percent and Apple gained a very frugal 0.5 percent. Xiaomi, as the clear number four, grew 21.2 percent Q3 2017 over 2018 and sold 34.3 million phones capturing 9.7 percent. Oppo is not far behind with 29.9 million phones sold and 8.4 percent of market share. The top five companies took 66.2 percent of the Q3 2018 according to IDC - a massive number - a massive number.
Huawei numbers include its Honor sub brand that is apparently doing really well targeting gamers and the younger population in a more price sensitive market.
In 2019 it is expected that Huawei will continue to grow and one thing that the company needs to fix is the mainstream portfolio poised by mediocre in house SoC and weaker specs. The next generation P30 should do fine but it will again go against the 7nm Snapdragon 855 that is expected to outperform the phone in many areas.
Apple is still more than fine as people are just addicted to the ecosystem and iOS and this won’t change but with Apple’s pricing strategy these phones are slowly getting out of reach of the general population and going towards the very super high-end audience that used to buy Vertu phones. Yes, we do think lawyers, judges, big boss upper management and doctors of all sorts.
Xiaomi and Oppo are the other two to watch as we expect that Xiaomi will perform even better in 2019 but the company needs to polish its weaknesses with its European launch strategy and massive unnecessary segmentation.