There is no stopping for Huawei. The Chinese smartphone maker, which drew comparisons to Apple's iPhone X as it unveiled the Huawei Mate 10 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro, could soon surpass Apple to become the third largest smartphone shipper in the world, an analyst at IDC estimated.
In an interview with CNBC, Francisco Jeronimo, research director for European mobile devices at IDC, said Huawei was already the biggest challenger to Apple and Samsung. "They will probably overtake Apple in the smartphone business, either this year or next year," he said.
In the quarter that ended in June, Huawei assumed 11.3 percent of the market share, shipping 38.5 million handsets, according to IDC. In comparison, Apple shipped 41 million iPhone units and had a 12 percent of the market during the same period, the research marketing firm said.
What is working out for Huawei, Jeronimo said, is that the Chinese giant is managing to sell a ton of handsets as well as innovate on features to add more value to their smartphones. Indeed, the Huawei Mate 10 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro offer better screen-to-body ratio than Apple's iPhone X, and also have the AI-powered HiSilicon Kirin 970, the "world's most advanced chipset in a mobile phone," the company's chief executive officer Richard Yu said this week.
"And this is a huge challenge for Samsung because Huawei aims to become number one. And they are doing extremely well in terms of not just growing the number of units sold, but also in terms of value because for Samsung or for any smartphone maker, it's not about shipping boxes anymore, it's about making money. And we are seeing the prices going up and up."
The Kirin 970 could give Huawei an "edge" over competitions because most smartphone makers are yet to launch their own AI chipsets, Jeronimo said. And it is this very innovation and research and development investments that Huawei has made that sets it apart from other Android smartphone makers.