Chinese smartphone brands grow steadily in Europe, flagships on the decline
There were two clear trends in Europe last year. One resulted in Chinese manufacturers taking hold of 1/3 of the market, and the second is the decline of flagship models.
The entire European market was down over the course of the year. Winding down at minus 4%, with the Western European segment taking an especially strong hit at the lowest level since 2013. The Western European market is, in fact, the largest sub-region with 128 million units shipped out of the total number of 197 million.
This is mostly due to the growing prices of flagship devices, and the Nordic countries, Germany and the UK, who have the highest Average Selling Price (ASP) saw the sharpest decreases in sales. Other countries, those with lower ASPs and focus on mid-range models, such as Spain and Italy, had an increase in shipments.
There was a 20% growth in the $200-$350 device price range in Western Europe. In fact, $300 went a lot further in buying a higher-quality mid-range device in 2018 than in the prior year.
Brands like Huawei and Xiaomi saw the biggest shift towards affordable devices. The former had actually demonstrated excellent 54% growth YoY, and is now up there with Apple. Chinese manufacturers are in close competition with the US, who are investing increasingly more in Europe.
Samsung and Apple are still the market leaders, although both saw losses.