Huawei delivered a stellar performance in the Q3 2013 smartphone market, with shipments that vaulted it into third place behind Samsung and Apple, according to a Strategy Analytics study.
The Chinese vendor shipped 12.7 million smartphones globally in the third quarter, a 67 per cent increase on the same period in 2012.
The performance gave Huawei a five per cent market share, and delivered the much sought-after third spot in the smartphone league table.
Overall, the study found that a record 251 million smartphones were sold in Q3 2013, the first time more than a quarter of a billion smartphones have been sold in a single quarter.
The figure was a significant increase from the 172 million sold in Q3, 2012.
The study said Huawei’s P6 and G610 models have both been key to its success, which has been built on sales in its home market.
However Strategy Analytics cautions the vendor’s position is “less robust” in the US and Europe. If Huawei wants to bridge the gap to Samsung and Apple in 2014 it will need to build its presence in both markets, cautions the research firm.
The gap with the top two is a significant one. Samsung’s shipments grew 55 per cent annually to 88.4 million in Q3, 2013, a figure that is more than two times the size of nearest rival Apple’s shipments. It also means that one in three smartphones shipped globally is a Samsung device.
The US company shipped 33.8 million smartphones, a growth rate of 26 per cent which is barely more than half the smartphone industry average of 45 per cent. Apple’s share of the global smartphone market has dropped from16 per cent to 13 per cent over the past year.
However, Strategy Analytics forecast a rebound for Apple in Q4 2013 because of high demand for its iPhone 5s.
Meanwhile Samsung saw shipments of the flagship Galaxy S4 soften but demand for the new Note 3 phablet and mass-market devices such as the Galaxy Y pushed up volumes.