International media reports say that according to new market research, Chinese tech giant Huawei has surpassed Apple to become the world’s second largest smartphone maker.

Huawei reportedly sold 54 million smartphones during the second quarter, up more than 40 percent compared to the same period last year, research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) said on August 1.

This helped the Chinese firm capture a record 15.8 percent share of the global market and overtake Apple, which sold 41 million iPhones and held a 12.1 percent market share.

Huawei reportedly also closed in on Samsung, which remained the market leader with a 20.9 percent share despite its sales dropping over 10 percent year-on-year to 73 million units.

IDC said Huawei’s growth was driven by strong sales of its more affordable Honor sub brand, but the company also built a stronger profile in the high-end market.

IDC says this is the first time iPhone sales have put Apple in third spot in seven years. However, Counterpoint Research did publish a report that Huwaei had bumped Apple at about the same time last year. Other industry trackers did not agree, and by the next quarter, Apple was firmly back in second place — by everyone’s measurements.

Silicon Valley-based Apple shipped 41.3 million iPhones, claiming 12.1 per cent of the global market compared to 20.9 per cent for Samsung and 15.8 per cent for Huawei.

Huawei’s strong growth comes after the company earlier this year failed to secure its first carrier partnership in the United States with AT&T, mainly due to concerns that its devices pose security risks. Huawei has repeatedly denied these allegations.

Chinese telecom equipment firms ZTE and Huawei have responded to the United States’ spying accusations, with both firms saying they are trusted business partners and pose no cybersecurity risks.

“As a publicly traded company, we are committed to adhering to all applicable laws and regulations of the United States, work with carriers to pass strict testing protocols, and adhere to the highest business standards," the ZTE spokesperson said according to China’s state news agency Xinhua