Despite Windows 10 Promise, Huawei Overtakes Microsoft As 3rd Largest Mobile Phone Vendor, Q2 2015

There hasn't been a ton of growth in the mobile phone market over the last year -- just a 2 percent year-over-year bump to reach 435 million units in the second quarter of 2015, according to data provided by Strategy Analytics. But what's more interesting than the number of phones is the fierce battle for market share among vendors.

It essentially boils down to a somewhat lopsided battle between Samsung and Apple for the top spot, with every other vendor jockeying for third place. As it stands, Samsung is still on top, though its phone shipments declined from 95.3 million units in the second quarter of 2014 to 89 million units in the second quarter of 2015. Meanwhile, Apple increased its iPhone shipments in the same time period from 35.2 million to 47.5 million.

Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6

That's allowed Apple to shrink the market share gap. This time last year, Samsung's share of the mobile phone market was 22.3 percent compared to Apple's 8.2 percent. But with Samsung shipping less phones this quarter and Apple enjoying a surge in sales, Samsung's share has fallen to 20.5 percent while Apple has climbed to 10.9 percent.


As for third place, that now belongs to Huawei. The Chinese handset maker increased its mobile phone shipments by 10 million units to 30.6 million, while Microsoft's shipments were cut nearly in half from 50.3 million to 27.8 million. That allowed Huawei to leapfrog Microsoft for third place with a 7 percent share of the mobile phone market, up from 4.8 percent a year ago, compared to Microsoft's 6.4 percent, down from 11.8 percent.

"Huawei is rising fast in all regions of the world, particularly China where its 4G models, such as the Mate7, are proving wildly popular. Huawei has finally overtaken Microsoft to become the world’s third largest mobile phone vendor for the first time ever.," said Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics.

Windows 10 Mobile

The good news for Microsoft is that it's entering a new era with Windows 10 and Windows 10 for Mobile. Microsoft will play the interoperability angle when Windows 10 for Mobile launches this November, and if consumers buy into the promise of Windows 10 in general, it could see a surge in smartphone share.