Apple’s on Track to Become World’s Second Biggest Phone Maker (Again)

Huawei Credit: Reuters
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Back in 2018, Huawei overtook Apple to become the second largest smartphone vendor in the world. Now, Apple may very well take back that position.

At least, that appears to be the forecast for the fourth quarter of this year, according to Taiwan-based supply chain publication DigiTimes. Apple is apparently on track to retake the spot from Huawei to become the biggest smartphone firm after Samsung.

What’s Happening?

That upcoming change is apparently the result of the strong sales performance of the iPhone 11 lineup, as well as the impact on Huawei sales resulting from a trade ban implemented by the U.S. back in May.

Of the more notable repercussions, that blacklisting resulted in Huawei losing access to U.S.-produced technology and components — all of which are critical to its handsets and other products.

Huawei actually did manage to ship 60 million handsets in the second quarter of the year, which is when it was blacklisted by the U.S. government.

But now, because of that ongoing trade ban, Huawei could start to see its overall sales slipping. Research firm Gartner predicts that shipments of Huawei devices could plummet to 50 million units in the third quarter, before jumping back to 60 million units during the holiday quarter.

Apple, for its part, is seeing much better-than-expected sales of its iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. According to reports out of the supply chain, Apple could ship more than 70 million handsets in Q4 2019.

That’s quite a bit better than Apple has been doing this year, at least as far as its iPhone business is concerned.

Apple is estimated to have shipped 36 million iPhones in the first quarter of the year and 34 million during the second quarter. Those sales are expected to slide to just 30 million shipments in the third quarter, likely due to consumers holding out for the iPhone 11 lineup.

But with Apple expected to ship around 70 million units in the holiday quarter, its shipments will likely outpace sales of Huawei devices during the same period. That, of course, would result in the global smartphone rankings shifting once again.

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