According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Huawei and Xiaomi grew their shipments by over 30 percent year on year, while the European volumes went down by about 3 percent.
The EMEA, i.e. Europe, the Middle East and Africa, smartphone markets also dropped by 3.3 percent in Q1 2019, confirming recent trends of a slowing market, as IDC said.
“In brands, Huawei continued to make incremental advances, and so did Xiaomi, while Apple had a tough quarter, with its 23 percent market share across Europe the lowest Q1 result in five years,” said Marta Pinto, research manager at IDC EMEA.
The top three Chinese brands, including Transsion, took up 36.8 percent of the total market, a 4 percent raise compared with last year. That confirms the trend toward consolidation, IDC said.
“The market has been changing in the last few quarters in relatively predictable ways,” said Pinto. “Shipments have slowed as consumers hold on to devices for longer, Apple has been challenged with its latest devices, and Chinese manufacturers have been making strides each quarter.”
However, the future trends remain unclear, as the global situation hasn’t been quite stable since the U.S. put Huawei on its entity list.
“The blacklisting of Huawei in the U.S. on May 16 is creating so many unknowns, and uncertainty is the new keyword in the industry as global geopolitics — unconnected directly with Europe or EMEA — becomes the single most important factor in how the market will develop over the rest of the year,” said Simon Baker, program director at IDC EMEA.
5G might be the key element to shape the smartphone segment in Europe. In April, Europe saw the launch of its first 5G network in Switzerland in partnership with Chinese smartphone manufacturer OPPO. U.K.’s EE also joined the march with cooperator OnePlus, another Chinese player.
But IDC expects 5G adoption in Europe to be slower than with 4G.
“Despite some considerable fanfare over the launches, with the U.K. being the next country to see the new networks go live, it will take some time before 5G devices are an important part of the European smartphone market,” said Pinto.
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