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Huawei’s Shocking Third Place Finish in Q4 2012

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Huawei made a surprise ascend to the top of the smartphone list with its Ascend range of smartphones in the last quarter of 2012 propelling the Chinese smartphone-maker into a third-place finish in smartphone volume, beating out familiar names like LG, Motorola, Nokia, and others. Apple, with its iPhone, and Samsung with its Galaxy lineup of Android smartphones, dominate the pack for the year.

Though Huawei had a third-place finish in Q4, its market share still trails its two larger rivals significantly. The latest IDC numbers for the fourth quarter show that Samsung had a 29 percent market share followed by Apple with 21.8 percent. Huawei had a 4.9 percent market share followed closely by Sony and ZTE with 4.5 and 4.3 percent each. Everyone else, including HTC, was lumped into the ‘others’ category, which comprised a total of 35.5 percent of the market.

The Chinese smartphone-maker has been aggressively launching strong products to compete in the space, offering a lot of variety and options for consumers. Still, many of Huawei’s products have thus far not made it into the U.S. market. At one point, Huawei was rumored to be buying Google’s Motorola Mobility hardware business to gain an easy entry into the competitive U.S. market.

huawei_logoOverall, though, larger powerhouses still dominate the annual 2012 smartphone figures. As expected, Samsung and Apple reigned supreme, but trailing them are Nokia, HTC, and Research in Motion for the 2012 year. Though the three have been struggling in recent years despite enjoying a comfortable margin of the smartphone market, these three players enjoyed a combined 15 percent market share between them according to SlashGear.

Nokia is in the midst of a difficult transition from Symbian to Microsoft’s struggling Windows Phone platform, which was built from the ground up after the software giant had scrapped its Windows Mobile ecosystem. HTC, once the darling of the smartphone empire, had seen sales slip in recent quarters as Apple continues its ascend and Samsung gaining momentum with its diverse Galaxy hardware lineup. And Research in Motion is about to embark on the transition that Nokia had devoted itself to by scrapping its old BlackBerry platform for the new BlackBerry 10 operating system that will be unveiled this week.

 

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

2 Comments

  1. KC

    01/28/2013 at 7:38 pm

    Not surprising, as China’s HuaWei is really bringing out real powerful smartphones. I predicted that for 2013, the top 5 Android brands will be Samsung, Sony, Motorola, HuaWei and ZTE.

    Samsung for its coming S4 and Galaxy Note 3, Sony for its coming Xperia Z, Motorola for its new and hottest Motorola-X, and China’s HuaWei and ZTE will be bringing out more NFC super smartphones.

    When I heard the HTC ButterFly, an expensive beauty will be released to us in S’pore and M’sia, I was ready to get it. Thinking that it’ll be the same as USA’s HTC J ButterFly or HTC Droid DNA, I was eager. But when it arrived, it came with NO NFC, what crap!

    HTC ButterFly is sold a at very high premium, Rm2299/= (US$750/=)and of all the brands to follow, they chose the iPhone 5, no removable battery and NO NFC.

    I knew that HTC would suffer another bad year like in 2011-2012, and this year 2013 as well, if it goes on ignoring the buyers. HTC don’t think highly of us Asians – that we dun need NFCs.

    Thus it is no surprise that Chinas HuaWei is 3rd last year.

  2. Steve

    01/29/2013 at 2:10 pm

    Cheap Chinese junk? No thanks.
    Chinese terrorist junk? Doubly no thanks.

    The Chinese say a lot of things, but they usually end up embarrassing themselves. Saying you have a powerful phone is different from actually delivering a good quality product.

    And we all know Chinese products are cheap junk.

    That’s not even the worst thing. Huawei says they’re privately operated, but nothing in China goes forward without the Communist state having its hands on it.

    Chinese companies like Huawei have ties to terrorist groups and the Chinese communist military.

    Why buy from such a nasty country?

    Given China has a population of almost 1.5 BILLION people, it’s hardly impressive this company came in 3rd by flooding their own domestic market with cheap junk.

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