Samsung hits five-year high in Europe as Apple and Huawei tumble

Samsung hits five-year high in Europe as Apple and Huawei tumble
Entering the US smartphone market is far from easy because brand loyalty is high and most devices are purchased via carriers. Europe, however, has always been a different story due to the popularity of unlocked smartphones and a lack of brand loyalty, and it seems the most recent quarter was no different.

Samsung's market share is at its highest level since 2014

Leading the European smartphone segment was Samsung who hit a five-year high during the second quarter of 2019. The company’s shipments grew a solid 20% year-on-year from 15.3 million to 18.3 million units and its market share skyrocketed to an incredible 40.6% from 33.9% just twelve months earlier. The improvement means that Samsung now controls more market than Huawei and Apple combined.

As noted by Canalys, “Samsung has obviously had enough of losing share in Europe,” hence its new strategy. The company has finally shifted focus away from profit margins in favor of maintaining a strong presence across the continent and it seems the new Galaxy A series is a prime example of this.

The brand’s low-end and mid-range smartphones were undeniably the true driving force last quarter. Combined, the lineup sold a total of 12 million units and accounted for three of the five best selling devices. These were the Galaxy A50 and Galaxy A40 in first and second place with shipments of 3.2 million and 2.2 million respectively, and the Galaxy A20e which followed in fourth place with 1.9 million sales. Rather impressively, this trio combined with the Galaxy A10 outsold the entire lineups of every other brand.

Huawei and Apple sales both dropped sharply

Following Samsung in a very distant second place was Huawei who accounted for 18.8% of the smartphone market and shipped 8.5 million units. The numbers are still impressive but represent a decline of 16%. Just twelve months earlier, the company shipped 10.1 million devices and accounted for 22.4% of European sales.

Huawei’s weak performance can be attributed to the ongoing trade way between the US and China. The situation should improve slightly this quarter but things could soon escalate again as President Trump recently told reporters outside the White House that the US isn’t “going to do business with Huawei.” 

Moving on to Apple, the Silicon Valley-based company sold 6.4 million iPhones throughout the quarter and held a market share of 14.1%. The iPhone XR was also the fifth best-selling smartphone with shipments of 1.8 million units. Not everything’s positive, though, as the results actually represent an annual drop of 17% from the 7.7 million devices and 17.0% market share it posted a year earlier. 

Apple’s sales are expected to drop further this quarter as it prepares to launch the iPhone 11 series, or whatever it’s called, in late September which will restart the company’s annual sales cycle. 

Xiaomi posted strong growth but Nokia shrunk slightly

Xiaomi’s focus on price-sensitive markets continued to pay off as it posted year-on-year growth of 48%. The brand’s sales increased from 2.9 million units in 2018 to 4.3 million this year, something that has also pushed its market share up to 9.6%. According to Canalys, retailers and partners are relying more than ever on Xiaomi to substitute Huawei in light of its issues with the US government. Xiaomi’s early bet on 5G connectivity also appears to be paying off.

Completing the top five was HMD Global’s Nokia which shipped 1.2 million devices during the quarter. The Finland-based brand accounted for 2.7% of the market, down from the 3.2% it controlled a year earlier, but things should improve in the second half of the year once it launches the Nokia 5.2, Nokia 6.2, and Nokia 7.2 at IFA 2019 next month.



1. Cicero

Posts: 1149; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

When I first saw the A50 my taughts was that this will be a sales hit by look/specs/price.

2. Cat97

Posts: 1979; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

You can find Samsung flagships at very reasonable prices in Europe. S10e can be had for around 490 EUR, S9 and S8 even lower at around 420 EUR unlocked, while the iPhone XR can be found for at least 670 EUR. Samsung got out of Apple's the high price craze fast enough to avoid disaster. They advertise high prices but after 3-4 weeks since launch they prices change back to pre iPhone-X levels.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7594; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

First of all Samsung always had high end, mid range, and inexpensive priced smartphones to compete with the other OEMs. Apple never did. Apple pretended with the SE. But realized that they were cannibalizing their own high end iPhones. Surprise no more iPhone SE's. Now you can get the Galaxy A50 with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for 350€ euros, which is half the price of an iPhone XR, and that only comes with 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage at that price. The XR only has one rear camera, and the A50 has 3 cameras, regular, wide, and a depth sensor camera. The XR has a low resolution HD+ LCD display that doesn't support HDR. This A50 has a higher resolution Full HD+ AMOLED display that even supports HDR10. People have clued in, and they realize how much of a rip off Apple truly is. On top of that Apple charges you a lot more for repairs. Today Apple is pricing themselves out of the high end market as well.

10. oldskool50 unregistered

I can wait until iPhone sales equal Macbook sales. Lol ;-)

13. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Where are the iFive and their unhinged defense of Apple? I need some amusement. I don't see why Apple can't lower prices outside the US and increase sales overall. The simple solution is to just make regional versions with LTE bands for each specific market. Buy your iPhone in China or India and data won't work properly in the US or Europe and vice-versa.

3. mackan84

Posts: 633; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Funny thing is Samsung isn’t in it for the services like Apple is. Let’s hope Apple can assure investors that if they lower the profit margins they can gain more customers for services.

4. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1474; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Except Apple will only lower profit margins in the US to not have to raise iPhone prices from trade war fallout and risk losing further sales in their most important market. If Apple's sales start dropping in the US too, their services will be compromised and uncertainty strikes with investors. That's why Apple is willing to eat that import tax if need be.

6. mackan84

Posts: 633; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

I wasn’t talking about that “small portion” in the trade war. Hoping more of a starting price that’s a bit lower, -$50-100 in their lineup. Not going to happen anytime soon but one can dream. But as you said, that won’t even be a thought before US stop buying.

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7594; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I don't see Apple ever lowering their prices, especially when Apple has to follow all the Android OEMs. This year the Android flagships have not only increased their amount of RAM, but they also increased their base storage to a minimum of 128 GB of storage. Apple's base storage is only 64 GB of storage, and the XR RAM is 3 GB, both the XS, and XS Max have 4 GB of RAM. The Note 10 has a minimum of 256 GB of storage. So Apple has step up at least their minimum amount of storage. That alone will increase the price of the new iPhones.

5. Vancetastic

Posts: 1771; Member since: May 17, 2017

Hmm. Perhaps flagships really ARE too expensive!

7. mackan84

Posts: 633; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

It’s still lower then last years sales overall and we have better and cheaper smartphones this year, so no. The only way to make that number grow is to sell cheap phones in India. But once they’re fed that number will keep lowering until it reaches a point where it’s a steady flow of upgrades from older phones. Apples little secret was that they introduced two new countries each year and they managed to keep that number going up, when they reached everyone in the world willing to fork up +$650 dollar for a smartphone, it suddenly stopped. Now everyone with that kind of wallet has a smartphone that works for at least two to three years. I don’t see a change in price would make that number go up. If Galaxy A-80 is a hit then I will believe it, but I bet you it won’t be. It’s the cheaper ones in the series that make up the body count.

15. sgodsell

Posts: 7594; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Duh, the Galaxy A50 is the top selling smartphone in this chart, and the iPhone XR is 5th, with half the sales of the A50.

9. oldskool50 unregistered

Hey iloveapps, Samsung gained sales and Apple is falling even more. I wanna know what you think about that, since sales is always your counter.

12. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

He is in hiding, lol

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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