Chinese smartphone maker’s models proving wildly popular in India.

Xiaomi could overtake Apple in 2018 to become the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, predicted Strategy Analytics late on Thursday, after the Chinese company put in a strong third-quarter performance.

The company shipped 27.7 million handsets during the three months to 30 September, compared to 14.5 million a year earlier. Its market share jumped to 7% from 3.9%, good enough for fifth place in Strategy Analytics’ ranking of global smartphone vendors.

"Xiaomi’s range of Android models, such as the Redmi Note 4, is proving wildly popular in India, snatching volumes from competitors such as Lenovo and Reliance Jio," said Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics, in a research note. "Xiaomi is outgrowing almost everyone, and, if current momentum continues, Xiaomi could catch or overtake OPPO, Huawei and Apple to become the world’s second largest smartphone vendor in 2018."

Not if OPPO, Huawei, and Apple have anything to say about it.

OPPO also saw healthy volume growth, shipping 31.4 million smartphones in Q3, up from 21.6 million in the same quarter of 2016. That gave it a market share of 8%, up from 5.8% a year ago. Huawei’s smartphone shipments grew to 39.1 million from 33.6 million, giving it a 9.9% share of the market.

"Huawei continues to close in fast on Apple and the battle for second place in the smartphone market will be tight next year," predicted Strategy Analytics director Woody Oh.

Indeed, Apple’s growth was not as spectacular as its Chinese rivals’. The iPhone maker shipped 46.7 million handsets in the third quarter, up slightly from 45.5 million last year, giving it 11.9% of the global smartphone market. A year earlier, its market share was slightly larger, standing at 12.1%.

Apple late on Thursday published fiscal fourth quarter financial results that showed revenue up 12% year-on-year to $52.58 billion. Net income grew to $10.71 billion from $9.01 billion.

"Despite a delayed launch of the flagship iPhone X model, the new iPhone 8 portfolio was relatively well received in major countries such as Germany and China," said Neil Mawston, executive director of Strategy Analytics.

While the battle for second place heated up, first-placed Samsung extended its lead during the quarter, shipping 83.4 million units, compared to 75.3 million in Q3 2016. Its market share edged up to 21.2% from 20.1%.

"This was Samsung’s fastest growth rate for almost four years," Mawston said. "Samsung’s growth is being driven by strong demand for its A, J and S series models across Latin America, India and elsewhere."

Strategy Analytics said total global smartphone shipments came in at 393.1 million during the third quarter, up 4.9% on last year.

"The global smartphone market has settled into a steady rhythm of single-digit growth this year, driven by first-time buyers across emerging markets of Asia and upgrades of flagship Android models in developed regions such as Western Europe," Sui said.