Don’t believe Huawei’s a serious smartphone player? Here are 10m reasons you’re wrong

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In the second quarter of last year Huawei was number three in the global smartphone shipments race. It’s now beating Sony and and HTC in Europe for marketshare, it posted a whopping 70% growth last year, and Google thought enough of the Chinese manufacturer to let it make a Nexus handset. Now the company’s announced it’s also shipped 10 million units of its P8 lite handset, the flagship P8’s cheaper sibling (which we gave a score of 8.2). Well, fan us with an iPhone and call us impressed.

Huawei-P8-liteThe milestone comes nine months after the device landed in Europe. With its thumbs under its armpits and a bounce in its step, Huawei adds that the P8 range has “reached more than 16 million people globally”. Well, who’s a fancy boy then!? (Huawei, that’s who).

A few more numbers to make Sony, HTC, LG, Xiaomi and anyone else apart from Samsung feel like they’ve just dropped the ball from their ice-cream cone after only one lick: 12 million smartphones shipped globally in January (93% more than the same time last year), the month also marked the fourth consecutive month Huawei broke the 10m-devices-shipped-in-a-month mark, oh, and the company shipped 150,000 units in South Africa alone.

The rest of Huawei’s announcement is filled with the standard hyperbole and nausea-inducing PR speak you’d expect, like how the P8 lite is “beautiful and perfectly designed”, how it “brings youthful energy at a lower cost”, or — our favourite — how it “delivers a sense of peace and calmness”, but we’ll spare you the rest of that. In short, the Chinese manufacturer has gone from scrapping with the swarming mass of mid-range Android players to a serious contender in a few short years, and the numbers prove it.

Last year at Mobile World Congress, Huawei unveiled one of the best-looking smartwatches we’d ever seen. But then, it also unveiled the Bluetooth-headset-on-a-wristband abomination called the TalkBand B2. We’re looking forward to seeing what its got up its sleeve this year, and we’ll bring you the best (and worst) of it when MWC 2016 kicks off later this month. Until then, ignore Huawei at your peril.

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