Huawei said it shipped 108 million smartphones during 2015 to become the first Chinese manufacturer to ship more than 100 million smartphones annually.
The company said shipments increased by 44 per cent year on year, which not only bucks the overall market trend but also places Huawei in a strong position to challenge the leadership of Samsung and Apple. The strong growth also helped boost overall revenue in Huawei's consumer business group by 70 per cent to more than $20 billion (€18.6 billion).
According to previous IDC forecasts for 2015, global smartphone shipments were expected to have increased by 9.8 per cent through 2015 to 1.43 billion units. In November, Gartner said Huawei was in third place globally in the smartphone market, after market leader Samsung and second-placed Apple.
Speaking at the International CES trade fair in Las Vegas this week, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, made it clear that the company's ambition is to eventually overtake the two market leaders.
According to International Business Times, Yu said the company could move into second position in two years with a 15 per cent market share. In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Yu said he was targeting the number one spot in around three to four years' time.
Asked how Huawei would achieve this, Yu told the paper it would be a gradual process.
"We have already achieved a great deal," Yu said. "Four years' ago we were a nobody in this market. Today we are the number three. This year, no later than next year we will overtake Apple and become the world number two based on the number of units."
Yu also told Die Welt that many smaller players would disappear over time, and said Huawei is the only manufacturer that is currently showing strong growth. He added that there may ultimately only be three large manufacturers left. "Huawei will be one of them," he said.
Huawei also made a splash at CES with some new launches, including a new smart watch in collaboration with Swarovski, the global launch of the Huawei Mate 8 and the announcement of industry partnerships for premium consumer devices including with Swarovski and Google for Nexus 6P.
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