Huawei Smartphone Shipments Soar 44% in 2015, Surpassing 100 Million

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By Jacob Maslow

China’s Huawei Technologies Co became the first smartphone vendor to ship out more than 100 million handsets in 2015, defying a market slowdown. Shipments were up 44% on the year due to strong sales in Western Europe and domestically.

The company announced on Wednesday that 108 million smartphones were shipped by Huawei in 2015. The Shenzhen-based company attempted to rid itself of its budget-friendly image, and took aim at premium models with a higher margin.

To put Huawei’s growth into perspective, the entire industry was only expected to grow at a single-digit rate last year.

The company’s positive performance is an anomaly, as industry leaders like Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics (KRX: 005930) are preparing to face a tough year in 2016.

Samsung recently announced that it expects 2016 be a difficult year, as the global economy continues to weaken and competition grows. A report from Nikkei stated that Apple expects to cut back on production of its newest iPhone models by 30% in the January to March quarter due to an inventory surplus.

Despite its positive performance, Huawei only holds a small share of the market – 7.5% in the third quarter. Samsung holds 23.8%, while Apple holds 13.5%, according to IDC research.

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