The already rather surprising report from analytics firm Flurry that implied mobile device market leadership for Apple at end 2014 received fresh contradiction with a year-end news item from Reuters, based on a leaked internal memo, which indicated that Chinese telecoms major Huawei shipped 75 million smartphones in 2014, an over 40 percent y-o-y increase. This compares with an analyst estimate, also quoted by Reuters, which indicates that Apple may have enjoyed 20 percent sales growth after launching the iPhone 6.
Xiaomi, meanwhile, has a sales target of 60 million for the full year of 2014, three times its 2013 sales of 18.7 million. Top-end sales predictions for all iPhone models by year end 2014, meanwhile, are at almost 71 million units, with a broader Wall Street consensus estimate of 64 million.
So yes, you read that right: Xiaomi, which has still to fully make its presence felt in the global marketplace, has already targeted to ship almost as many smartphone units as Apple. Huawei has already surpassed the highest estimates for iPhone shipments, even if that full-year figure is below its own target for the year of 80 million units.
To put it mildly, then, smartphone sales figures suggest that any prediction that Apple has somehow recaptured the mobile device space via the iPhone 6 is somewhat overblown. Just one major Chinese vendor is already shipping more units than it does, and that’s in a fiercely competitive market with other peers battling for the crown – and all of this in just one country. I could even contend that Android’s dominance of the smartphone ecosystem looks unassailable, and Apple seems destined to be pushed ever deeper into its niche worldwide. It’s certainly hard to argue with those figures.