Surging Huawei Vaults Past Xiaomi To Become China’s Top Smartphone Vendor

For the first time ever, Huawei is China's largest smartphone player, having surged to the top spot to replace Xiaomi in the third quarter of 2015, according to data presented by market research firm Canalys. Huawei's ascension to the top was fueled by a staggering 81 percent year-on-year shipment growth.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi saw its phone shipments slide 8 percent in the third quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal, which read the full report by Canalys (it hasn't yet been published). That caused Xiaomi to slip into second place in China's smartphone market, though Canalys hasn't disclosed specific market share data. If looking back at the second quarter, Xiaomi held a slim lead over Huawei with a 15.9 percent share of the smartphone market in China versus 15.7 percent.


"Huawei’s ascent to China’s smart phone throne is a remarkable feat, especially in the context of an increasingly cutthroat and maturing Chinese smart phone market," said Jessie Ding, a Research Analyst based in Canalys’ Shanghai office. "On the other hand, Xiaomi, with its worldwide target of 80 million smart phone shipments for 2015, is under tremendous pressure to keep growing as an international player as it is slowing down in its key home market."

Part of Huawei's success is due to its focus on building relatively low cost handsets with higher end features. Huawei can also draw on its brand recognition and reputation, as it's one of the biggest suppliers of networking gear for telecommunications carriers in the world. And on a global scale in smartphone sales, it trails only Apple and Samsung.