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Huawei passes Microsoft as third-largest mobile phone maker

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When Microsoft bought Nokia, it inherited a pretty large feature phone business. But that business has shrunk a lot since the purchase, according to Strategy Analytics, and Microsoft hasn't set the smartphone world on fire either. As a result, Huawei just displaced it as the world's third largest mobile phone vendor by shipping 30.6 million phones, nearly 50 percent more than last year. It now holds a 7 percent market share behind Apple (10 percent) and Samsung (20.5 percent). Microsoft sits in fourth place after selling 27.8 million phones, nearly half the 50.3 million devices it sold last year over the same period.

As for smartphones, Strategy Analytics said that Apple grew by 35 percent over last year with sales of 47.5 million handsets at the expense of Samsung, which dropped its own share by 7 percent. While the Korean company still sold a lot more smartphones than Apple (71.9 million), a lot of those devices are cheap and basic -- which is why Samsung profits keep falling and Apple's keep rising. Meanwhile, Huawei also moved to third place in smartphone sales, having displaced fourth-place Xiaomi over last year. Microsoft falls in the "also-ran" category, but is hoping that some of its Windows 10 mojo (and strong reviews) will soon rub off on its smartphones, too.

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