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Chinese smartphone vendors seize a third of European market

Manny Pham
February 15, 2019

European smartphone shipments fell four per cent to 197 million units in 2018

Chinese smartphone manufacturers accounted for 32 per cent of the European market in 2018, a record feat according to data from Canalys.

Huawei takes the lion’s share placing third overall and selling 8.6m smartphones. 2018 was the year where many Chinese vendors launched and expanded in European markets such as Oppo and Xiaomi.

Canalys data also says European smartphone shipments fell four per cent to 197 million units in 2018, but Chinese vendors saw gain where other vendors saw decline.

Samsung was the largest vendor in 2018 but its shipments were down over 10pc at 61.6million.

Apple was down 6pc but clung onto second place with 42.8 million units shipped. Huawei was the “stand-out vendor”, growing 54pc with 42.5 million shipments.

Xiaomi and HMD Global grew strongly and were fourth and fifth respectively, but shipments figures were not disclosed.

In 2017, Chinese vendors accounted for 24pc of shipments, 23pc in 2016 and 18pc in 2015. Shipments have saw incremental rises since 2013.

Canalys senior Analyst Ben Stanton said: “The political situation between Chinese
companies and the US government has benefited European consumers.

“The US administration is causing Chinese companies to invest in
Europe over the US. The European market is mature, and replacement rates have lengthened, but there is an opportunity for Chinese brands to displace the market incumbents. The likes of Huawei and Xiaomi bring price competition that has stunned their rivals as they use their size against the smaller brands in Europe.”

“The markets with the highest ASPs, such as the UK, Germany and the Nordics, have suffered the sharpest declines. There hasn’t been innovation in the flagship smartphone space to entice customers to upgrade. But in countries with lower ASPs, such as Italy and Spain, there was growth in 2018.

Chinese vendors will continue growing
“This reflects a transformation in the mid-range segment in 2018, with notch displays and dual cameras coming down to aggressive price points. Unlike at the high end, the caliber of smartphones available for US$300 changed significantly between 2017 and 2018, which helped facilitate upgrades.

“Smartphones priced between US$200 and US$350 grew over 20% in Western Europe in 2018. Canalys expects Chinese vendors will continue growing across all price segments in 2019.”

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