Huawei Becomes World's Third Largest Smartphone Manufacturer, Aims To Surpass Apple In Five Years

Huawei Technologies Co. has become the world's third largest smartphone manufacturer, according to a report by Juro Osawa published by The Wall Street Journal Sunday.

The report focuses on how a "hard-charging workplace culture drives growth" for the multinational telecommunications company based out of Shenzhen, China.

"Huawei has surprised rivals in the past five years, doubling revenue to nearly $60 billion and becoming the world's No. 3 smartphone maker by shipments," Osawa writes. "That explosive growth, company insiders say, is partly the result of employees' willingness to sacrifice vacations, forgo overtime pay and, sometimes, risk their lives to further the corporate cause."

Data provided by International Data Corporation (IDC) for the second quarter of 2016 (2016Q2) shows South Korean tech giant Samsung maintaining its lead in the worldwide smartphone market in terms of unit shipments. Samsung controlled 22.8 percent of the market share in 2016Q2, with a year-over-year growth of 7.7 percent.

Apple came in second, controlling 11.7 percent of the market, with 40.4 million units shipped. That marked a 15 percent decline in Apple's smartphone market share from 2015Q2.

Huawei took 9.3 percent of the market in 2016Q2, increasing it's share by 0.9 percent over the previous quarter (the company also enjoyed the third largest market share then as well) and by 1.7 percent year over year.

The list of top five smartphone vendors is rounded out by the Chinese firms OPPO (6.6 percent of the market in 2016Q2) and vivo (5.9 percent of the market in 2016Q2), according to IDC.

As the Inquisitr previously reported, Huwaei surpassed Samsung in profitability in the third quarter of this year (2016Q3) to become the most profitable Android brand. This was do in part to a massive recall of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 phones, which is expected to cost the company at least $5.3 billion.

Ren Zhengfei, who served as an engineer in China's People's Liberation Army, founded Huawei in 1987 and still acts as the company's chief executive at the age of 72.

Ren is credited with fostering the ethos of hard work and discipline that permeates the company and that has contributed to its success.

The stories of Huawei employees' dedication is almost legendary.

"The intensity of Huawei's work culture stands out even among Chinese companies. During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West African countries, Huawei's Chinese workers stayed in affected regions as other international companies evacuated their staff. Those employees later were rewarded with special bonuses."
Ren aims to apply that commitment and dedication to some bold new goals the company has set for itself. Osawa says that Huawei plans to overtake Apple and Samsung to become the world's largest smartphone manufacturer in the next five years.

That's a tall order. If current market trajectories continue, based on IDC's data, then Huawei could conceivably surpass Apple in the next couple of years. Beating out Samsung will be a much bigger challenge, especially once the company regains its footing after the Galaxy Note 7 debacle.

Samsung is expected to launch a new color option, "Glossy Black," for its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge any day now, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Launching the new color will by no means make up for the losses of the Galaxy Note 7 recall, but Samsung has enjoyed modest success by offering new colors of existing phones in the past.

Huawei recently launched its Mate 9 phone, which it dubbed the "most powerful smartphone in the world." The phone could help Huawei in its quest to become the largest smartphone manufacturer.

[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]