China-based Huawei is now in a position to wrestle Apple for the number two spot for smartphone sales in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) next year, according to the Canalys research group. In the third quarter, it grew its smart phone shipments by 70% annually.
This marks the first time Huawei has shipped over 10 millionunits in EMEA in a single quarter, according to Canalys. It accounted for 14% of smartphone shipments in the region, behind Apple’s 15% and Samsung at 37%. Huawei has already shipped just over 26 million smart phones in EMEA this year, exceeding its total from full-year 2015, with the lucrative holiday season still to come.
Huawei remains a key player in developing markets in the Middle East and Africa, where its low-end devices are helping to increase smart phone penetration, according to Canalys. But its recent momentum is driven by Europe, where it grew 33% sequentially from Q2 2016 to ship nearly 7 million units. Its focus on improving industrial design has been an important factor behind its success, and helped it to displace the likes of Sony, LG and HTC. Its mid-range and premium devices, such as the P9, have allowed it consolidate this position.
Ireland is set to defend its tax system, which has remained attractive to other major U.S. technology companies, causing related European and U.S. issues for Google, Facebook and others. While Apple’s potential tax liability for the case has been pegged as high as $19 billion (by JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Rod Hall), estimates have ranged dramatically from $8 billion by Bloomberg Intelligence to €100M by The Irish Times).
The European Commission, Europe’s anti-trust and consumer investigation agency, has claimed that Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have attracted investment and jobs by helping big companies avoid tax in other countries, including EU members. The commission suspects Ireland was too lenient in rulings it gave to Apple and which helped the company shield tens of billions of dollars in profit from taxation. At 12.5%, Ireland’s corporate tax rate beats the U.S. rate of 35%. However, participating companies don’t pay that 12.5% under the double Irish structure.