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Smartphone sales fall across Europe

(Image credit: Image Credit: Totojang1977 / Shutterstock)

Smartphones (opens in new tab) are no longer the novel item they once were and consumers across Europe are experiencing smartphone fatigue according to new research from Canalys. 

During the first quarter of 2018, smartphone shipments fell by 6.3 per cent year on year representing the biggest ever drop in a single quarter.

Western Europe was affected most by this trend with a 13.9 per cent decrease in sales and a total of 30.1m units shipped. Central and Eastern Europe on the other hand, remained a growth region where sales were up 12.3 per cent with 15.9m units sold as a result of a buoyant Russia.

Analyst at Canalys, Ben Stanton provided further insight on the declining smartphone sales seen in Europe during Q1 2018 in a statement (opens in new tab), saying: 

“This is a new era for smartphones in Europe. The few remaining growth markets are not enough to offset the saturated ones. We are moving from a growth era to a cyclical era. This presents a brand-new challenge to the incumbents, and we expect several smaller brands to leave the market in the coming years.” 

Samsung, Apple and Huawei were the top three vendors in the region and they all experienced quite different results:

Samsung stayed at the top with over 15m smartphones sold but the Korean manufacturer slipped by 15 per cent when compared to last year as Huawei (opens in new tab) and Xiaomi were able to put pressure on its low-end and mid-range models. 

Apple was able to outperform the market and shipped more than 10 million units though this still represented a 5.4 per cent decline. 

Huawei was able to beat the trend and grow by 38.6 per cent with 7.4m units sold.

Device manufacturers will have to do more to lure consumers to their brands with lower price points as Xiaomi has done or with new features such as dual-SIM which has grown in popularity throughout Europe. Consumers may be experiencing smartphone fatigue but manufacturers can use this to help them re-examine their products and their features. 

Image Credit: Totojang1977 / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.