In the first quarter of 2018, Europe recorded the biggest drop in shipment of smartphones in a single quarter. This is according to a report released by Canalys. Shipment dropped by 6.3% year over year with Western Europe recording the biggest drop on 13.9%. On the other hand, the trend in Eastern Europe was opposite with shipment growing by 12.3%. This growth was mainly driven by high demand in Russia.

The market is at growth limit

According to Ben Stanton, an analyst at Canalys smartphones in Europe are undergoing a new era. He warned that much of the market is filled and the few remaining untapped markets cannot offset the saturated ones. He noted that the market is shifting from a growth to a cyclical era. According to Stanton, the situation will be very challenging to incumbent market players and the small one may be wiped out in the coming years. He says large players are rushing to increase their share in the market at the expense of smaller ones.

Apple is still maintaining its market lead

Despite having a drop in its shipment, Apple was the second smartphone vendor in Europe. The company commanded a 22% market share in the first quarter. The iPhone X recorded a 25% drop in shipment during the first quarter. According to the Canalys report, 25% of the iPhones that were shipped were over two years old.

Samsung dominated the market with a 33.1% market size and sales amounting to 15.2 million. Like Apple, Samsung also recorded a slump in shipment by 15.4%. Huawei, Xiaomi and Nokia were third, fourth and fifth respectively.


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Over the last four years, the leading three iPhones, all Huawei’s phones and all Samsung devices have rose from 61% to 71.4% in terms of market share. LG, Sony and other brands are trailing behind.

According to Stanton, Xiaomi has been working with distributors like ABC Data and Ingram Micro to boost its shipment. On the other hand, Nokia has been updating its smartphones with new features in a bit to attract customers. Stanton added that Xiaomi recorded some growth in the course of last year but said it should change its strategy so as to align with the new market trends.