Huawei and Xiaomi buck trend of smartphone growth in Europe

Shipments in Europe were down 2.7%, but Huawei and Xiaomi posted impressive growth.

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The latest figures from market research firm IDC show smartphone shipments in Europe in the first quarter of 2019 at 53.5 million, down more than 2.7% year-on-year.

Nearly all major smartphone vendors saw their shares decrease. Samsung, which leads the market, saw year-on-year shipments drop by 6.82%, while Apple’s shipments fell nearly 23% compared with the first three months of 2018. HMD, which produces Nokia phones, saw its shipments drop even more dramatically, at 32.6%.

Yet there were two notable exceptions to declining smartphone shipments in the region—Huawei and Xiaomi, which saw smartphone shipments in Europe climb an impressive 66% and 33%, respectively.

Both companies accordingly grew their market share in the region. Huawei grew its share from nearly 15% in the first quarter of 2018 to over 25%, overtaking Apple as the region’s second largest smartphone brand. Xiaomi, meanwhile, grew its market share more modestly from 4% to 5.5%.

However, Huawei’s runaway growth in Europe could be stymied after its inclusion to the US Commerce Department’s Entity List, banning it from doing business with US companies.

Strategy Analytics, a market research company, predicted last month that Huawei would see its global shipments decrease by 24% in 2019 and another 23% in 2020, forming the steepest drops in shipments in Western Europe.