In a report that’s no surprise to anyone who’s followed the smartphone market this past year, DigiTimes‘ industry sources are expecting Huawei to be this year’s biggest growers. The Chinese smartphone maker is predicted to sell 120 million smartphones in 2016, 20% more than it did during 2015.

We think if it follows on from its success this year, there’s no reason why it can’t achieve those figures…

Last year was a break-through year for Huawei. It shipped more than 108 million smartphones in 2015, which represented a huge jump from the 75 million shipped during the year previous. It may not have shipped as many as Samsung or Apple, but neither of those two matched the company’s impressive 44% growth.

Samsung’s 320 million smartphones shipped in 2015 was less than it shipped in 2014, and it will almost certainly ship less over the course of this year. Meanwhile, Apple is also predicted to see its smartphone sales drop this year compared to 2015.

It’s clear to anyone paying attention that the smartphone market is stagnating. Or more specifically: Traditional flagship smartphones aren’t selling as well as they used to. Even Apple has shown it’s not immune to the current market climate. Having ‘only’ managed to sell 74.8 million smartphones last quarter, it showed no growth over the same year-ago quarter.

While a number of well-known manufacturers like HTC and Samsung have downsized their mobile divisions over the past 12-18 months, Huawei has been expanding its operations. The Chinese manufacturer has managed to use the current market climate to its advantage, offering high-end phones at competitive prices other ‘big names’ can’t match.

Huawei’s plans for 2016 allegedly include offering up to four variants of its next non-Nexus flagship, the P9. With the Honor 5X having launched in the US, and with Huawei having partnered with Google on the current Nexus smartphone, the company’s brand name will become far more reconizable over the coming months.  This will undoubtedly lead to more smartphone sales, as the company takes advantage of the competitive landscape.

Barring a catastrophic string of terrible phone launches, it’s hard to see anything but success for Huawei this year. The bigger question is what will the more well-known manufacturers do to respond? Have Sony, LG, HTC and Motorola still got it in them to compete? Can Samsung’s 2016 smartphone lineup inspire a new generation of smartphone buyers, or is this the beginning of the end for the big-name companies?

 

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