Phones are just a tiny portion of what Huawei makes
They make network equipment that compete with Cisco all the way up to their highest end, they make storage arrays that compete with EMC, Netapp and IBM, they make servers, and on and on. They don't have the broad range of Samsung making everything from chips to ships, but they have more in common with Samsung than they do with Apple.
Obviously only a small portion of Apple's $8 billion in R&D goes towards phones, because unless there's some major new revolution coming that changes 2016 -> 2020 expectations of phones as much as the iPhone changed 2006 -> 2010 expectations, there just isn't that much to do. A lot of it may be going towards making a car.
Comparing companies by their R&D spending only works if they are in the same markets and of the same approximate size. You might reasonably compare Oracle and IBM's R&D, or Microsoft and Google's. Comparing Apple with Huawei or Samsung is silly, you might as well compare Facebook's R&D with Exxon's...
Apple also considers acquisitions part of their R&D. They make eight or nine digit acquisitions here and there a dozen times a year, many of which don't make the press because they can't write an article about it referencing an iPhone rumor. If you see promising technology you can use someone has already started the R&D effort on, you can buy that company and continue their work.