"This year at the soonest, next year at the latest, we will become No. 1," Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business, told reporters in Beijing, according to CNN.
Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Huawei set a record for itself by shipping more than 200 million phones in 2018, driven by sales of its P20, Honor 10 and Mate 20 models. In December, when it reported the numbers, Huawei said it aimed to become the world's largest phone vendor by the end of 2019. Samsung currently holds that title, but warned earlier this month it expects a due in part to intensifying competition in the smartphone market.
However, Huawei's journey to the top faces obstacles. Last month, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada at the request of US authorities. Also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, Meng faces extradition to the US over alleged Iran sanctions violations.
Earlier this month, a Huawei employee was arrested in Poland for allegedly spying for China. Huawei then dismissed the arrested staffer. Also in January, US federal prosecutors launched an investigation into Huawei over allegations that it stole trade secrets from T-Mobile following a lawsuit in 2014 between the two.