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Sales of smart phones in Europe will reach 186 million in 2020 From Counterpoint

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In 2020, the European smartphone market has experienced roller coaster like ups and downs. At the beginning of the year, the region was hit hard by the outbreak of cowid-19, and there were problems in both supply and demand. At the same time, consumers are worried about the economy and employment problems and cut back on spending. The city closure also makes consumers unable or unwilling to go out to buy new mobile phones.

Commenting on the whole market, Jan stryjak, deputy director of counterpoint research, said, “in April, the market bottomed out, with sales plummeting nearly 50% year-on-year. Since then, the number of confirmed cases has decreased due to the warming of the weather, countries have begun to relax control, and the smartphone market has gradually recovered in the summer. However, in September, the second round of the epidemic hit, the number of confirmed cases increased sharply, and countries began to implement a new round of city closures from November, so the market fell again at the end of the year. Although Apple released its new iPhone 12 Series in October, it was unable to reverse the decline. Overall, the European smartphone market will fall by 14% year-on-year in 2020. “

Figure 1: impact of covid-19 epidemic on smartphone sales in Europe

“In addition to the epidemic, the US ban has prevented Huawei from launching new models and mass producing existing ones,” stryjak added. This creates opportunities for other manufacturers, so even though 2020 is extremely difficult, there are still some manufacturers achieving growth. “

Figure 2: sales share and growth of major European manufacturers in 2020

Growth vendors:

Xiaomi has achieved great success in Europe in 2020, ranking third in the market and benefiting from Huawei’s ban. Xiaomi performed well in Spain and Italy, with 28% and 17% of sales in the fourth quarter respectively. In 2020, Xiaomi will achieve a 90% year-on-year growth in Europe. At present, the challenge for Xiaomi is how to replicate this growth in other countries, especially in high-end markets such as France, Germany and the UK. The new flagship Mi 11, launched in February, may help Xiaomi open up the market.

Apple’s sales will fall only slightly in 2020. Apple delayed the release of the iPhone 12 series for two reasons: iPhone 11 and iPhone se continued to sell well in many markets throughout the year; and accumulated market demand for new models. Sure enough, after the launch of the iPhone 12 Series in October, the market response was enthusiastic and the sales volume was gratifying. It has become the most popular model of apple so far. As a result, Apple’s market share reached a record high of 30% in the fourth quarter.

Oppo entered the European market in 2018, but it did not make significant progress until 2020. Oppo has established cooperation with Vodafone, Spain Telecom, orange and Deutsche Telekom, the largest operators in Europe, and established inventory in major operator channels. Despite the slow growth of oppo’s sales in the region, its market share has doubled over the previous year, and its performance in the fourth quarter is excellent, making a good start for 2021.

Realme is the fastest growing brand in Europe, with sales more than tenfold higher than in 2019. Realme’s strong value proposition has enabled it to grow rapidly in price sensitive Italy, Spain and Eastern Europe.

Manufacturers in a difficult situation:

Huawei almost withdrew from the European market because it was unable to produce competitive smartphones due to a US ban. In May, Huawei once surpassed apple to become the second largest manufacturer in the region after Samsung, but this was mainly because the high-end market was hit hard by the epidemic of cowid-19, and apple was in the middle of two new product launches. In 2020, Huawei’s market share dropped from 15% in January to 5% in December, and this trend is expected to continue in 2021.

Samsung has had a tough year. Despite the slight increase in market share, this is because Samsung’s sales decline is not as big as that of the whole market. Samsung not only failed to capture Huawei’s lost share as expected, but also faced challenges in all aspects. First of all, the flagship model Galaxy S20 has poor sales, which is not as good as the mid-range models Galaxy A51 and a71, as well as the redmi 8 / Note 8 and redmi 9 / Note 9 series of apple and Xiaomi. Secondly, the European market is extremely competitive, and many new entrants are scrambling for Huawei’s lost share. Third, Apple’s new iPhone 125g means Samsung has ended its monopoly on the high-end 5g market. Although the new Galaxy S21 may perform better than the S20 and is expected to lead the Android camp in 2021, Samsung will have to work very hard to achieve this goal.

Figure 3: sales share and growth of major European manufacturers in the fourth quarter of 2020

Sales growth during Christmas in Europe means the market outlook for 2021 is optimistic. Research Analyst Ankit Malhotra commented, “in the fourth quarter of 2020, driven by the hot sales of 5g iPhone, the smartphone market performed strongly. It is expected that the iPhone 12 series will continue to sell well in the first quarter of 2021. With Samsung’s launch of the galaxy S21, this growth momentum is expected to continue. Samsung and apple are vying to launch new flagship aircraft in the first quarter. Coupled with the government’s easing of epidemic control and economic recovery, the market is expected to pick up rapidly in 2021. In addition, we will pay close attention to the development of 5g and the performance of Xiaomi, oppo, Yijia, vivo and realme. “

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