Europeans have recently started buying less expensive smartphones, according to analyst firm IDC. The number of smartphones delivered on the continent decreased slightly. Apple and Samsung achieved less market share, while Huawei was on the rise.
The average price a European paid for a smartphone in Western Europe fell, while it remained the same in Eastern Europe, IDC says. In addition, a Western European still spends on average double on a smartphone compared to someone from Eastern Europe.
The total deliveries of smartphones on the continent were 2.7 percent lower on 53 million copies, IDC says. Apple in particular lost market share; it delivered nearly 23 percent fewer smartphones in the first months of 2019 compared to the same period in early 2018. The other big loser is HMD, which has a license for the Nokia brand name. The deliveries of those smartphones fell by 32 percent even more.
Huawei was the big winner and grew by 66 percent to a position just behind market leader Samsung. The figures are before the trade ban that the US imposed on US companies, so that they are not allowed to trade with Huawei. That may also have an impact on deliveries in Europe, because smartphones can no longer receive Android upgrades and new models may not come out due to a lack of Google services.
IDC does not expect that 5g will convince many consumers in the coming years that a new smartphone is needed. For now, the range of 4g networks is much better than 5g, which means that many people see no need for an upgrade. That was different with the step from 3g to 4g; 4g not only offered much more capacity, but also better range than the old network due to the use of lower frequencies.