Huawei had 15 per cent market share, followed by Apple at 11 per cent as global smartphone shipments declined 2 per cent to 360 million units annually in Q2 (January-June period), said Counterpoint Research's "Market Monitor" service.
"The importance of Huawei overtaking Apple this quarter can not be overstated", said Canalys analyst Ben Stanton.
The Chinese market is key for Huawei as it has come under fire from the United States, Australia and other nations over security concerns.
Since 2010 Samsung and Apple have had the top two positions locked down tight, with no rival maker properly challenging their overall supremacy. Huawei replaced Apple as the second largest vendor by shipping 54.2 million units and capturing 15.8% market share. In a time when Samsung and Apple dominate the premium smartphone market and as handset prices continue to rise, what we need is more competition, not less.
"The Asia-Pacific region posted the biggest growth in the second quarter, rising 107 percent year over year, while Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recorded more than 60 percent growth", IHS Markit analyst Gerrit Schneemann said of Huawei in a research note.
"The continued growth of Huawei is impressive, to say the least, as is its ability to move into markets where, until recently, the brand was largely unknown", he said.
Apple CEO calls $1 trillion value a 'milestone' but not a focus
Five of the 10 largest USA companies by market cap on Thursday were tech companies, including Amazon,Alphabet, and Facebook . The iPhone and MacBook maker has seen its stock rise over 50,000% since it was first listed as a public company in 1980.
The latest IDC report also mentions that a total of 342 million smartphones were shipped across the globe in the second quarter of this year. The top three brands, Apple, Samsung, and OnePlus, held 95% of the Indian premium smartphone segment in Q1 2018.
OnePlus India general manager Vikas Agarwal said the brand had become the largest premium brand in India in little over three years. Despite this, the company still managed to grow 5.1% over a year ago as it continued its expansion into other markets such as the Middle East & Africa. Pathak also noted that Honor is driving overseas growth for Huawei.
Huawei has managed to achieve numeric success while being virtually cut off from the vast United States market.
As we are getting closer to the launch of Apple iPhone X series 2018, new rumours about the upcoming devices keep on popping online.
However, the report showed that Samsung remained ahead in the worldwide smartphone with 73 million units shipped.
Huawei were accused of using their phones to spy on Americans back in February, with a raft of USA carriers opting against using them as a result.