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Chinese smartphone makers shine in Europe; Apple, Samsung lose ground

A recent report has found that Chinese smartphone makers are outshining industry giants Samsung and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) in the European (western, central and eastern) market. According to the IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Huawei and Xiaomi showed year-over-year unit sales improvement in Q1 2019, while all the other major companies witnessed declines.

For the first quarter of 2019, Huawei’s unit shipment in Europe grew a staggering 66% compared to the same period last year, while that of its Chinese rival Xiaomi increased a little above 33%. During the same period, Samsung’s unit shipments fell about 7%, while Apple’s declined by about 23% in one of its worst Q1 performances.    

smartphone market sshare in europe

It may also be noted that Huawei and Xiaomi are the only two companies to have gained market share in Europe between the first quarters of 2018 and 2019 (see image). Apple’s market share, meanwhile, slid from 18.55% to 14.74%.  

Marta Pinto, research manager at IDC EMEA said, “”Shipments have slowed as consumers hold on to devices for longer, Apple has been challenged with its latest devices, and Chinese manufacturers have been making strides each quarter.”

According to the report, the average sales price has declined across Western Europe, while it has been somewhat sustained in the Central and Eastern regions.

READ: 10 biggest US mergers & acquisitions announced so far in 2019

Program director at IDC EMEA Simon Baker feels making predictions about the market has become difficult due to huge changes in its dynamics.

 “The blacklisting of Huawei in the US on May 16 is creating so many unknowns, and uncertainty is the new keyword in the industry as global geopolitics — unconnected directly with Europe or EMEA — becomes the single most important factor in how the market will develop over the rest of the year,” he said.

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