Huawei smartphone shipments up 26 percent; on track for annual targets

The Chinese electronics giant said the most growth was in the Middle East and Africa, followed by the Asia-Pacific region — all but avoiding Western markets altogether.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
Image: CNET/CBS Interactive

Who says you need to bust into the North American or European to make waves in the smartphone market?

Huawei, announcing its fiscal third-quarter smartphone results on Thursday, saw its smartphone shipments rise by more than a quarter, to 16.8 million.

The Chinese electronics giant also shipped about 15.2 million other devices, including low-end phones and tablets.

After the company got in hot water with the U.S. Congress and government more than two years ago, which led to it being de facto barred from selling networking equipment in the country, Huawei refused to leave the U.S. smartphone market.

Although its growth in the U.S. is slow, it remains an important one. But clearly not as important as other markets it currently has its hands in.

Huawei's figures show a 322 percent rise in shipments to the Middle East and Africa, a 98 percent rise in the Asia Pacific region, and a 51 percent rise in Latin America.

The company said it has "continued to intensify its efforts across emerging markets."

Huawei's marketing chief Shao Yang said in prepared remarks:

"Our performance in this quarter demonstrates the ongoing success of our strategy to deliver the best premium handset devices to more people around the world. Our production capacity for Ascend Mate7 and P7 is growing steadily and we expect shipments of our mid- to high-end devices to continue to increase in [the fourth-quarter]."

According to Reuters' figures, Huawei has shipped about 51 million smartphones globally in 2014 to date — or roughly 64 percent of its annual target.

With the lucrative December holiday season just around the corner, the bets are on to see if the company can reach its annual shipment targets.

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