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Who are Huawei and how did they get to be the second largest smartphone maker?

The Chinese smartphone firm has just overtaken Apple to become the world’s second largest smartphone maker by market share.

Huawei has overtaken Apple to become the second largest smartphone maker in the world by market share, according to the latest figures.

The Chinese firm has sold more than 50 million phones in the last three months to overtake the Cupertino-based giant and now sits behind only Samsung in the table.

Here’s everything you need to know at the world’s latest smartphone giant.

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(Martyn Landi/PA)

– Who is Huawei?

Founded in 1987 and based in Shenzhen in China, the firm is best known today for its smartphones, tablets and smartwatches but is also a global force in telecommunications equipment, creating a range of products including broadband routers, dongles and other devices.

The firm now has more than 170,000 employees and has a presence in more than 170 countries.

– How has it managed to overtake Apple?

The company has been steadily growing its market share in Europe for some time, having been one of the dominant forces in its native China before that.

Its most recent flagship smartphones – the P20 and P20 Pro – have been the company’s best selling in the UK by some distance thanks to impressive specs that rival both the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X.

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(Martyn Landi/PA)

The P20 Pro was also the first smartphone to feature a triple rear camera system in response to both Apple and Samsung adopting dual rear cameras on their flagship phones.

The move worked, with the P20 being widely acclaimed by critics after its release as a genuine alternative to both Samsung and Apple’s devices.

– Can it stay ahead and catch Samsung?

In the long-term, Huawei has said it is “confident” it can challenge Samsung and Apple, but in the short term experts are predicting the US technology giant will strike back relatively soon.

The period these figures cover include a time when Huawei released two premium phones, whereas Apple released none.

The next iPhone is expected to be announced in September, with some reports claiming there could be up to three new versions of the device on the way.

The predicted rise in sales from that is likely to see Apple leapfrog Huawei back into second place, according to analyst firm IDC who compiled the market share figures.

– What else is the company working on?

As well as its P20 and P20 Pro flagship phones, the firm also has a second high-line of phones known as its Mate devices.

Huawei has already confirmed a new Mate device will be launched before the end of the year, followed by a successor to the P20 in spring 2019.

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