In brief: With Huawei making the news several times in 2018 for reasons other than its handsets, one might have expected the company’s sales to be adversely affected—but you’d be wrong. The Chinese giant has announced that it shipped over 200 million smartphones over the last 12 months, a feat it predicted earlier this year.
Huawei moved 153 million phones in 2017, increasing that number by about one-third a year later. Back in August, the firm moved past Apple to become the second largest smartphone seller in the world—the first time in seven years that the top two didn’t consist of Samsung and Apple. It was thought that its position would be short-lived, but Huawei is still in the number two spot for Q3.
Earlier this month, Huawei said it would reach the 200 million milestone by December 25—a target it hit with time to spare. And while the company’s Honor 10, P20, and excellent Mate 20 phones have helped it achieve so much success, the mid-range Nova series, which has sold 65 million units since they launched in 2016, has been a massive big contributor.
"In the global smartphone market, Huawei has gone from being dismissed as a statistical 'other' to ranking among the Top 3 players in the world," the company said, in a statement.
What’s particularly impressive about Huawei’s performance is that it’s had a year filled with controversy. The US government has been issuing warnings about the perceived security threats posed by Huawei since 2012, and in February, bosses from six US intelligence agencies warned that using one of its devices could put you at risk of having your data accessed or stolen—a result of its alleged close ties with the Chinese government.
In addition to Trump banning US government agencies and contractors from using certain tech from Huawei, his administration has reportedly asked allies to avoid using the firm’s equipment. But things reached their lowest point when Huawei’s CFO—daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei—was recently arrested in Canada at the request of the US.
Huawei says more than 500 million people in over 170 countries are using its smartphones. Carriers in the US, however, pulled out of deals to distribute its handsets at the start of the year. With Apple’s new iPhones not selling as well as expected, we’ll likely see Huawei maintain its ‘second-largest smartphone seller’ title for a while to come.