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European smartphone shipments suffer worst slump in a decade

Staff Reporter
February 24, 2023

Samsung slumps 25 per cent and iPhone 14 sales fail to ignite

The Europe smartphone market has suffered the worst drop in 11 years and declined by 24 per cent to 45 million units in Q4 2022; according to Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor.

Annual shipments reached 176 million units in 2022, a 17 per cent drop over the same period in 2012. and the lowest annual total since 2012.

Samsung maintained leadership despite a 25 per cent year on year shipment decrease, Apple regained second position from Xiaomi, but the iPhone 14 was its weakest major European launch since the iPhone 5 in 2012 claims Counterpoint.

Xiaomi’s decline was the lowest of the top OEMs as it largely recovered from a challenging 2021 OPPO and realme swapped places again as realme managed its inventory in Eastern Europe following a big boost in Q3 while OPPO regained ground lost earlier in the year

“There was no let up for European consumers in Q4 as the cost of living remained at record levels. Yes, the traditional Christmas boost meant quarterly shipments increased compared to Q3, but consumer demand remained muted. Apple’s usual strong end to the year was weaker than expected, allowing Samsung to maintain its leadership of the European market. There was relatively good news for some OEMs though. Xiaomi’s year-on-year decline of ‘only’ six per cent indicated a recovery from its troubles in 2021, while OPPO regained ground as realme looked to manage inventory in Eastern Europe” said Counterpoint associate director Jan Stryjak.

Jan Stryjak: cost of living crisis hit smartphine sales

The challenging macro climate and ongoing geopolitical tensions will continue into 2023 and potentially get worse initially as the cost-of-living crisis deepens through Winter. Some countries are likely to fall into recession, so with weakened consumer demand and high inventory levels for some OEMs, the first half of 2023 will be tough. However, inflation has stabilised and wholesale energy prices have dropped, leading to hopes of interest rate and energy bill cuts later in the year. This should boost consumer confidence and spur demand, leading to a better second half of the year.”

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q4 2022 Note: OPPO includes OnePlus

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