Smartphone sales in Europe halved – rival Xiaomi pulls past


11/26/2020, 9:03 p.m.

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The European smartphone market has contracted slightly in the past three months. It hit Huawei hard, whose sales plummeted. Two Chinese rivals benefited.

In the global smartphone market, the Chinese tech company Huawei, which is suffering from ongoing US sanctions, had to relinquish leadership to Samsung in the third quarter. The also ailing business in China could no longer compensate for the international decline. The bottom line was a decrease of 22 percent. In Europe, Huawei recorded a 58.7 percent drop between July and September. The market share dropped from 20 to only 8.8 percent, as shown by IDC figures.

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Q3: European smartphone market is shrinking

Overall, the smartphone market in Western Europe shrank by 6.5 percent to 28.8 million compared to the third quarter of 2019, according to market researchers. Samsung is still at the top with 10.3 million units sold (minus 6.9 percent) and a market share of 35.6 percent. Apple in second place can grow slightly (plus 1.1 percent) and has sold 8.2 million iPhones. The market share is 28.5 percent. This does not include the new iPhone generation, which only came onto the market in November. Instead, the bestsellers were the iPhone 11 and the iPhone SE (2020).

Ranking: The 5 largest smartphone manufacturers in Europe. (Graphic: IDC)

Chinese competitors Xiaomi and Oppo in particular benefit from Huawei’s weakness. In the IDC ranking of smartphone sales in Western Europe in the third quarter, Xiaomi overtook Huawei and took third place. Xiaomi was able to increase its sales by 151.6 percent to 3.7 million smartphones. The market share climbed from 4.8 percent in the same quarter of the previous year to 12.8 percent. Oppos sales figures literally exploded (plus 566.2 percent) – albeit from a low level. The 0.9 million units sold mean 3.1 percent market share and fifth place in the ranking.

Every 10th new smartphone is 5G-capable

According to IDC, the general decline in the smartphone market is due to the corona lockdowns. Although these were relaxed over the summer, sales of smartphones to companies in particular collapsed. Meanwhile, private consumers flocked to the stores again in the third quarter and bought smartphones, according to IDC Vice President Francisco Jeronimo. Incidentally, the number of 5G devices was three million, more than twice as many as in the previous year. Every tenth smartphone sold in Europe is already 5G-capable.

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