Huawei Smartphone Shipments Soar 44% in 2015, Surpassing 100 Million

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Huawei UK Home Office
Reading, UK - September 14, 2014: Modern offices of the Chinese technology company Huawei in the Green Park district of Reading, Berkshire.

China’s Huawei Technologies Co became the first smartphone vendor to ship out more than 100 million handsets in 2015, defying a market slowdown. Shipments were up 44% on the year due to strong sales in Western Europe and domestically.

The company announced on Wednesday that 108 million smartphones were shipped by Huawei in 2015. The Shenzhen-based company attempted to rid itself of its budget-friendly image, and took aim at premium models with a higher margin.

To put Huawei’s growth into perspective, the entire industry was only expected to grow at a single-digit rate last year.

The company’s positive performance is an anomaly, as industry leaders like Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics (KRX: 005930) are preparing to face a tough year in 2016.

Samsung recently announced that it expects 2016 be a difficult year, as the global economy continues to weaken and competition grows. A report from Nikkei stated that Apple expects to cut back on production of its newest iPhone models by 30% in the January to March quarter due to an inventory surplus.

Despite its positive performance, Huawei only holds a small share of the market – 7.5% in the third quarter. Samsung holds 23.8%, while Apple holds 13.5%, according to IDC research.

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