According to the latest IDC report, smartphone sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa reached 83.7 million units during the first quarter of this year. This is a 3.3% year-on-year decrease compared to the same period last year. In terms of total value, the decrease is even larger with an estimated $26,8 million in retail value before tax, which is 10% down on Q1 2018.
Huawei saw the largest growth in the region with a 66.1% YoY increase in shipments, followed by Xiaomi with 33.3%. All the other major brands shipped fewer phones - HMD is down 32.6%, Apple lost 22.73%. Samsung remains the leader in terms of market share with 29.5% followed by Huawei (25.4%) and Apple (14.7%). Apples result was its lowest in five years and with no new phones expected until Q3 we'll likely see more of the same in the next quarter.
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. - Marta Pinto (IDC)
The Middle East saw the largest decline with an 18.8% YoY fall in shipments despite a sizeable drop in average handsets prices. On the other side of the spectrum, Africa actually grew by 6%. Europe as a whole saw little to no change. Average prices in Western Europe saw a slight decline while those in Central and Eastern European markets remained static.
Looking ahead IDC predicts more uncertainty for smartphone sales due to geopolitical tensions and consumers holding onto devices for longer periods.