In the last six years, since 2011, the first two spots in the smartphone rankings have been, without a doubt, dominated by Apple and Samsung. While they are the undisputed leaders of the market, the third spot has been up for grabs.
It changed hands between Nokia, BlackBerry, Xiaomi, and Huawei. No brand has been able to hold their ground firmly. At least until now.
Huawei has worked hard to grab that third spot and it cemented itself there in the last two years. They don’t intend to stop there, as they have their sights on the top spot. In the third quarter of 2016, they sold 33.6 million smartphones, whereas Apple did 45.5 million.
They have never been closer to the top spot and all the odds are stacked in their favor. Through shrewd market scanning and brilliant tactics for people of all walks of life, Huawei is right at the gates of their goal.
But how did they get here? Why did they get here? How soon will they be on top? Let’s go a little bit more into detail.
A long time coming
In 2014, things were looking bright for Xiaomi. The low-priced Chinese manufacturer managed to grab the 3rd spot in the smartphone sales rankings. It was a great success, but it wasn’t meant to last. This was for a few reasons.
Firstly, even though rarely anyone admits it, exclusivity sells. People who buy smartphones because of their features grow less in numbers.
The majority of young buyers purchase smartphone devices mainly because they wish to be included into a group. Buying Apple and Samsung products says a lot about a person’s status, especially given the fact that they cost a lot.
Xiaomi wasn’t meant to compete – $400 phones, no matter how impressive, just won’t cut it with the upcoming generations. Also, they were too centered around the Asian market.
No matter how lucrative it is, the Asian market just doesn’t hold the prestige the European and American ones have. That is one of the top rules in the corporate world.
Huawei managed to succeed where Xiaomi didn’t. They’ve studied the moves of their competitor and just did what they didn’t do and didn’t do what they did. It’s a simple mimicking game that can make or break a company. It just might have made Huawei.
A battle on two fronts
While Samsung and Apple have their focus on premium devices, they have left a big chunk of the market empty for competitors to conquer. Selling premium devices make a company respected and garners good review, but it has one major flaw. Good devices won’t make people buy them because they cost a lot.
This has been a problem that has been slowly bringing down the sales of both Apple and Samsung. The lack of budget devices has left many people isolated from the companies’ policies.
This is precisely the reason why the third spot was up for grabs – people searched for cheaper alternatives all over the globe. That is, until Huawei started dominating.
Manufacturing smartphones is really a battle on two fronts – the first front is the quality of devices. It’s important for a company to invest in premium software and hardware.
The second one is availability. All the features in the world mean nothing if the majority of your customers can’t afford. This is where Huawei managed to strike gold.
The secret to success and an imminent rise to the throne
Huawei manages is to release equal amounts of flagship devices and budget phones on a yearly basis. Their flagships might not (yet) have the reputation of Samsung and Apple, but they aren’t worse. In fact, the price-to-performance ratio ratings have Huawei as the undisputed leader.
The budget phones are getting better and better, all while staying in the same reasonable price range. In order to overtake Apple and Samsung, Huawei managed to raise the prices of the flagships, just a little bit. This way, they managed to enter exclusive company just by using proven strategies.
A good $800 phone sounds better than an excellent $400. It’s a rotten culture, but Huawei managed to balance two different fronts and please both the exclusive part of their customer body, as well as the average Joe. Because of this, the prediction that they will be on top in 2021 is more of an imminent fact than a prediction.