This is a first for Huawei, which has previously been in the top ten but never in the top five, and according to a report from the IDC, the company accomplished this feat with a one-two punch of inexpensive mass market phones and high-end Ascend-branded devices. The report notes that Huawei claims the world’s thinnest smartphone (the 6.68mm Ascend P1), an upcoming 6.1-inch phone called the Ascend Mate, and homegrown software including Magic Touch and Floating Windows. The company is also testing a speedy 2Tbps network with Vodafone.
It’s also worth noting that Huawei’s ascension into the top five bumped LG out of it, leaving Sony and ZTE to round out the group.
Huawei has a ways to go to catch Samsung and Apple, though. For Q4 2012, Samsung holds 29% of the smartphone market with 63.7 million shipments, followed by Apple (21.8%, 47.8 million); Huawei shipped 10.8 million units and has 4.9% of the market (although that represents an astounding 89.5% growth year-over-year).
Sony and ZTE aren’t far behind with 4.5% and 4.3% of the market, respectively.