This is according to new data released by Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS), which found that Huawei grew its global smartphone marketshare from 9,4% in the second quarter of 2016 to 10,7% this year.

In comparison, Apple’s global marketshare declined slightly from 11,8% last year to 11,4% this year – bringing Huawei to within 0,7% of Apple’s marketshare.

“Huawei is now closing in fast on Apple and Apple will be looking nervously over its shoulder in the next few quarters. Huawei is outperforming across Asia, Europe and Africa,” WSS said in its report.

Huawei’s growth has largely been driven by sales of the popular P9 and P10 smartphones, with accelerated sales figures coming out of its South African and Chinese markets.

READ MORE: Samsung controls over half of SA’s smartphone market share

Apple has experienced a marked slowdown in sales in China over the past two years where it appears the iPhone has lost a degree of shine among consumers who are turning to other smartphone brands and “this is placing a cap on its worldwide performance”.

“Attention will now turn to Apple’s rumoured iPhone 8 introduction later this year and whether its 10th-anniversary flagship model will be different or exciting enough to ignite a rebound in iPhone volumes for the important 2017 fourth quarter Western holiday season,” the report reads.

Samsung still enjoys the lionshare of the global smartphone market at 22,1%, followed by Apple and Huawei ranked third.

“Samsung continued its recovery from last year’s Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco, lifted by robust demand for the new Galaxy S8 portfolio with an innovative bezel-less design. We expect the rumoured Galaxy Note 8  upgrade with a bigger screen to further strengthen Samsung in the coming weeks,” says the report.

READ MORE: Samsung the second most loved handset in SA – index

Chinese phone giants Oppo and Xiaomi recorded astronomical growth of 64% and 58% respectively from the second quarter last year to now command 8,2% and 6,4% of the smartphone marketshare respectively.

““Xiaomi’s range of Android models, such as the Redmi 4A, is proving wildly popular in India, snatching volumes from competitors such as Lenovo and Micromax,” reads the report.

From an industry perspective, smartphone shipments rose 6% to 360 million units over the past year.