Europe is now the king of smartphone sales with a record 8% increase in shipments in the third quarter, year on year, which was higher than the 6% increase occurring in the Asia/Pacific region.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on November 26, 2019

Smartphone sales are soaring in Europe with a record third quarter, but Apple iPhones are not being bought.

With the Asia-Pacific region seeing a 6% growth in smartphone sales, Europe has achieved an 8% growth and is now the fastest-growing region for smartphone sales with Samsung the undisputed king. The Korean manufacturer witnessed a 26%, year over year growth, which represents a record 18.7 million Samsung smartphones shipped to Europe with its mid-tier prices A series smartphones occupying the top four positions.

Huawei held steady in second place, as the company refocused on Europe amid its US/China trade tensions. Huawei accounted for 22.2% of units shipped, versus Samsung’s 35.7%. Fellow Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi saw an extremely healthy boost for the quarter, jumping 73% for the year to take fourth place behind Apple, Canalys reported.Apple‘s iPhone shipments fell 5% in Europe in the third quarter.

“Europe is in a favourable position and attracts the attention of many Chinese vendors given its channel balance. Operators and open channels form 47% and 50% respectively in terms of go-to market. This has given the attention to scale and healthier margins with mid to high-range products. Another key incentive for Chinese vendors to up their game is the opportunity to take on a weakening Huawei,” said Canalys analyst Mo Jia.

“Despite shipments recovering in Q3 from a catastrophic Q2, Huawei is not yet walking away from its worst period. Western Europe shipments still fell 17% year on year, but Central and Eastern Europe proved more solid for Huawei as shipments grew 26% annually. However, Huawei’s Chinese peers are rapidly building capabilities and game-plan for Europe. Xiaomi, for example, is accelerating its market entry and channel developments with operators and open channels. Following in their footsteps, other Chinese brands like Oppo, Oneplus, Realme and Vivo are also expected to invest more in brand awareness and local sales force. European markets are expected to become very buoyant in 2020 given all these new entrants.”

The last truly successful Apple iPhone was the iPhone 6S, which launched in 2015, as consumers have decided to go for better value-for-money options with Androids. Apple’s global smartphone market has diminished to 13% in the third quarter of 2019, compared to 16% at the end of 2015.

Apple actually lowered the price of its latest iPhone 11 to make it more competitive price-wise with Android devices.