The European smartphone market just experienced its worst Q1 in nearly a decade

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,237   +158
Staff member
In brief: The European smartphone market in the first three months of this year registered the lowest Q1 shipment total since 2013 according to a new report from Counterpoint Research. Shipments of phones in the region slid 12 percent year over year to just 49 million in Q1.

Samsung maintained its position as Europe's top smartphone vendor with a 35 percent share of the market despite seeing shipments decline 16 percent YoY. Apple finished in second place with a 25 percent piece of the pie but experienced six percent negative growth.

Both companies launched new devices during the period - Samsung with its Galaxy S22 series and Apple with its third-gen iPhone SE.

Xiaomi took the bronze thanks to its 14 percent shipment share but was the biggest loser year over year as its shipments declined 36 percent compared to the first quarter of 2021.

The only top-five vendor with positive growth in Europe in Q1 was realme, a Chinese-based Android smartphone maker. The firm grew 67 percent year over year, from a two percent share to a four percent share.

Counterpoint cited a number of factors that led to the quarterly dip including continued component shortages, additional pandemic lockdowns in China, regressing economic conditions and the war between Russia and Ukraine.

The situation is only expected to get worse before it improves, especially in Q2 as the cost of living reaches record highs.

Image credit: Daniel Romero

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Faelan

Posts: 168   +192
I was expecting this to happen. It’s hard to live without a smartphone these days, but we reached peak smartphone years ago. You no longer need to constantly upgrade. The flagship model from 4 years ago will still be fine today.

When prices on food, gas, electricity and a ton of other important things explode, people start asking themselves “do I really need a new phone this year, or will getting the battery replaced on my current phone do?”
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,215   +2,749
Unless you destroy your phone, it is stolen, or just quits working, I've never understood people spending that much money EVERY year for an "upgrade". Other than keeping up with the Jones's, or wanting to be with the "in" crowd.
I guess if it is on the "pay per month" and refresh, they would rather just pay that amount forever.
My refresh rate is typically 3 years.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,123   +822
Unless you destroy your phone, it is stolen, or just quits working, I've never understood people spending that much money EVERY year for an "upgrade". Other than keeping up with the Jones's, or wanting to be with the "in" crowd.
I guess if it is on the "pay per month" and refresh, they would rather just pay that amount forever.
My refresh rate is typically 3 years.

Not only that some people like their phone - have personalised it etc - I think Trump was rocking an old sammy when he became president

Plus you have hassle of informing bank and like for their extra security - ie device has to be approved . I think that is why Apple has sim less phones . Apple Pay - they want their users upgrade as painless as possible - a 10 minute exercise and a bit longer in background unseen - ha can even imagine them with selectable phone for the day ( like people with multiple watches )
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 535   +672
Most European countries offered payments and employment supports thoughout the pandemic. It fueled a huge demand for electronics, which I'd imagine most analysts wouldn't have seen as sustained growth. That money is gone now, and that's contributing to a withdrawal of demand for new electronics and crypto etc.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,525   +5,386
I have an s21+, I love it. I have no desire to replace it. If I break the screen I'll just have it fixed.

I don't even use "all" of my phone. I keep it in battery saver mode at all times because I just don't need a high performance phone. I just want a big screen with great battery life. On low power mode I can get over 3 days on a single charge
 

winjer

Posts: 443   +2,038
I still have an OnePlus 6. I have thought about replacing it, but then I struggle to find a valid reason to change. It still does everything I need of it. And it's in near pristine condition.
 
After 3 years with a flagship Galaxy S4 I was using a 6 year old flagship Galaxy S7 witch finally died last month. Replaced it with a 200€ chinese brand model witch performance wise its absolutely stellar for my needs and hoping that lasts at least 3 years. Very unlikelly that I would ever buy a more expensive phone!
 

dangh

Posts: 623   +977
It is actually quite difficult to get a certain models in Europe due to chip shortage, and this results in reduced shopping. I was planning to get S22plus, but it is nearly not available here and you'd need really to monitor website all the time to be able to hunt one. That is too much hassle, and I will most probably wait for s23 at this point hoping availability gets better. And as well I hope they get rid of this stupid equinox ;/
 

Mouseface

Posts: 71   +75
I used to upgrade every 2 years because the changes were big, I've kept my current phone for 4 years for first time but need to upgrade this year as its a lagging more often now even though im still at 90% battery health