Europe was the best performer in the global smartphone market during the third quarter of 2019, with an annual rise in shipment units of 8 per cent, data from Canalys showed.
The continent outperformed the Asia Pacific region, which saw a 6 per cent increase in shipped smartphones on an annual basis.
The period was marked as the best performing third quarter for the European handset market in history, driven by significant growth in shipped smartphones by Samsung. The South Korea-based company recorded 18.7 million units during the quarter in the region, representing an increase of 26 per cent year-on-year.
Samsung held the largest share of the European market with a chunk of 35.7 per cent (see chart left, click to enlarge), followed by Huawei with 22.2 per cent of the pile and 11.6 million shipped smartphones over the period. The result represented a bounce-back from the 8.5 million units shipped in Q2, but still fell below the performance in the first three months of the year.
Tech giant Apple lost 2.2 per cent of its market share in Europe year-on-year amid strong expansion from Chinese vendors, but still held the bronze medal on the market in Q3 2019.
China-based Xiaomi strengthened its fourth position in the market, recording an annual rise in smartphone shipments of 73 per cent and 5.5 million units shipped in the period.
“Europe is in a favourable position and attracts the attention of many Chinese vendors given its channel balance. Operators and open channels form 47 per cent and 50 per cent respectively in terms of go-to-market. This has given the potential to scale and healthier margins with mid to high-end products. Another key incentive for Chinese vendors to up their game is the opportunity to take on a weakening Huawei”, noted Canalys analyst Mo Jia.
He added Huawei’s shipments in Western Europe have fallen by 17 per cent year-on-year, but the vendor has performed better in Central and Eastern Europe with a growth of 26 per cent annually.
Jia also highlighted growing competition coming from other Chinese brands, including Oppo, Oneplus, Reaklme and Vivo, which are expected to increase investments in the region.
Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton warned Europe was “rife with opportunity and threat”, noting the negative impact from uncertainty around Brexit and pointing to great opportunities with the rollout of 5G networks.
He explained fragmentation of the operator landscape on the continent will slow down network deployment, but will give smartphone vendors “a far broader range of potential partners and, in some markets, relatively new brands like Xiaomi and Oppo have been ranged by operators at an unprecedented pace”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back