Smartphone Shipments Decline in Western Europe in 3Q20

The smartphone market in Western Europe continued to be impacted by lockdowns in the third quarter of 2020, as shipments declined 6.5% year over year to 28.8 million units, according to IDC. Although lockdown restrictions were lifted across Europe, the smartphone market continued to be impacted by the economic environment. While consumer spending on smartphones improved slightly, sales of smartphones to enterprises dropped 11.5% year on year as enterprises shifted spending from smartphones to notebooks.

"The consumer segment was more resilient in Q3 2020 than the commercial segment, as consumers returned to stores to buy new smartphones," said Francisco Jeronimo, associate vice president at IDC EMEA. "Although sales online exploded in the last two quarters, the reopening of brick and mortar stores proved to be particularly important for the latest devices, as four out of the ten most sold devices in Q3 2020 were devices launched in the previous quarter. The store continues to be the place where consumers learn and test the latest novelties from vendors. Without that physical experience, consumers tend to choose the products they already know when buying online, making it harder for new brands and new products to succeed."

Among the top five vendors, Samsung held the lead, while Huawei dropped to fourth place. Apple, Xiaomi, and OPPO were the stars in the third quarter, delivering the strongest growth in the region. Xiaomi became the third largest brand in Western Europe for the first time, while OPPO grew its market share and consolidated its fifth position. Shipments of 5G devices reached 3 million units, up 123.1% from the previous quarter to represent 10.4% of the total number of smartphones.

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