Chinese vendors now account for a third of European market

(Image credit: Image Credit: Geralt / Pixabay)

Chinese smartphone manufacturers now control a third of the European market, according to new figures from Canalys.

Its latest report shows smartphone sales fell by four per cent to 197 million during 2018, with Chinese vendors now account for 32 per cent of all sales on the continent.

Analysts say the development is a result of Huawei, Xiaomi, and others focusing on European countries because of hostility in the US towards Chinese technology firms.

Chinese smartphone sales

“The political situation between Chinese companies and the US government has benefited European consumers,” said Ben Stanton, senior analyst at Canalys. “The European market is mature, and replacement rates have lengthened, but there is an opportunity for Chinese brands to displace the market incumbents. The likes of Huawei and Xiaomi bring price competition that has stunned their rivals as they use their size against the smaller brands in Europe.”

Samsung is still the leader on the continent with 61.6 million units shipped, down 10 per cent, ahead of Apple which clung on to second place despite a six per cent fall in sales to 42.8 million. Huawei is close behind after seeing a huge 54 per cent jump in sales to 42. 5 million, while Xiaomi and HMD Global make up the top five.

In Western Europe, shipments in declined by eight per cent to 128 million. This is the lowest level since 2013, although higher average selling prices (ASPs) helped to offset this fall.

“The markets with the highest ASPs, such as the UK, Germany and the Nordics, have suffered the sharpest declines. There hasn’t been innovation in the flagship smartphone space to entice customers to upgrade. But in countries with lower ASPs, such as Italy and Spain, there was growth in 2018,” added Stanton.

“This reflects a transformation in the mid-range segment in 2018, with notch displays and dual cameras coming down to aggressive price points.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.