Aug. 1 (UPI) -- For the first time in its history, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei ranks as the second-best selling cellphone vendor in the world, surpassing Apple and gaining on world-leader Samsung.
Huawei sold about 54 million phones in the last quarter, it said in its latest earnings report -- leaping over Apple to second place, research firms International Data Corporation, Counterpoint Research, IHS Markit and Canalys said.
Apple sold around $41 million worth of iPhones for the quarter, which ended in June.
Huawei's share of the market is now at just under 16 percent, compared to Apple's 12.1 percent, the IDC said. The Chinese smartphone maker also grew about 40 percent compared to last year.
"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," IDC analyst Ryan Reith said.
The gains have pushed Huawei closer to market leader Samsung -- which sold more than 70 million phones last quarter, a decrease of 10 percent over last year.
Analysts said Huawei has progressed because it's added new innovative features to smartphones, like three cameras on its P20 Pro device.
Huawei is getting "increasing brand recognition in Europe and Asia" as a result of the features that allow the company to challenge Samsung in price tiers, IHS Markit analyst Gerrit Schneemann told CNBC.
The Chinese smartphone maker has made the gains despite major hurdles in the United States, which barred Huawei devices from military bases in May, citing security concerns. The company denies its devices are a threat.