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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Huawei and Xiaomi buck trend of smartphone growth in Europe

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.