Smartphone sales in Europe fell to a ten-year low

Just over 280 million smartphones were shipped in Europe in the first quarter
(photo: CC0 Public Domain)

Difficulties in the economy continue to have a strong impact on the European smartphone market. According to research firm Counterpoint Research, smartphone shipments in the region fell 23% year-on-year to 38 million units in the first quarter.

Among the factors that have negatively affected consumer spending and led to the worst performance in the European smartphone market since mid-2012, experts point to relentless inflation, high interest and energy prices, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Samsung, despite a 27% drop in shipments, retains the title of largest smartphone brand in the region. This is mainly due to the quite successful new flagship model Galaxy S23. The South Korean supplier’s contribution to the European smartphone market is estimated by analysts at 34%.

Apple slightly strengthens its position and increases its share to 26%. Analysts attribute this to a less pronounced decline in iPhone shipments compared to other brands.

Xiaomi alone among the five largest smartphone vendors managed to increase shipments. The Chinese company’s market share rose from 14% to 19%, which Counterpoint Research called a “recovery from weak results in the first quarter of 2022.”

Oppo and Realme also enter the top 5: they occupy 4% and 3% of the total volume of smartphone shipments in Europe against 6% and 4% a year earlier. The contraction is due to a significant drop in deliveries – by 47% and 36% respectively compared to January-March 2022.

“We predicted that the situation (in the European smartphone market) would continue to deteriorate before recovery began. The last quarter, which was the worst in terms of smartphone shipments in Europe in more than 10 years, confirmed our fears”, commented Jan Stryjak, associate director of Counterpoint Research.

“Nevertheless, we remain optimistic and believe that economic pressures will begin to ease over the next few quarters, which should boost consumer confidence and lead to improvements at the end of the year,” added the analyst.

Earlier, another analyst report revealed that just over 280 million devices were shipped worldwide in the January-March 2023 period. This is 14% less than last year’s data, and compared to the previous quarter, the decline is 7%.

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