According to media reports, 2020 will be a roller coaster year for the European smartphone market. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia has caused a heavy blow to the region, which has led to problems with both suppliers and suppliers. At the same time, worries about the economy and about employment have led consumers to save rather than spend, and the widespread blockade means that many consumers are unable or unwilling to go to retail stores to buy new equipment.
Speaking of the overall market, Jan stryjak, deputy director of counterpoint research, a market research firm, said: “April 2020 is the worst month of the year, with sales down nearly 50% from 2019. In the summer, the reduction of cases and deregulation led to a certain degree of recovery, but then the new coronavirus came back. The novel coronavirus pneumonia case increased in September, causing a new blockade in Europe from November. So, despite Apple’s best efforts, by the end of the year, the market was down again. Overall, the European smartphone market shrank by 14% in 2020 compared with 2019.
In addition to the epidemic, U.S. sanctions on Huawei have damaged its ability to bring new products to market and mass produce existing products, striyak added. This creates opportunities for some smartphone manufacturers, so while 2020 is tough, there are winners and losers.
A memorable year:
Xiaomi is the main winner in the European mobile phone market in 2020, replacing Huawei as the third largest OEM in the region. Its strong performance in Spain and Italy (28% and 17% of smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2020, respectively) led to a substantial increase in market share throughout the year, driving the overall annual growth rate to 90%. The challenge for Xiaomi now is to replicate this growth in other areas, especially in higher end markets such as France, Germany and the UK: the launch of its flagship Xiaomi 11 in February 2021 should help.
Apple may decline slightly in 2020, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The decision to delay the launch of the iPhone 12 seems to have paid off for two reasons. First, it gives the iPhone 11 and iPhone se an opportunity to demonstrate exceptional product life and continue to sell well in many markets throughout the year. Second, it has increased demand for the new device, the iPhone 12, and when it was finally released in October, sales were phenomenal. In fact, the iPhone 12 is Apple’s most successful device launch to date, pushing Apple’s market share to a record 30% in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Oppo entered the European market in 2018, but 2020 is a year for it to gain strong growth momentum. The partnership with Europe’s largest operator groups, namely Vodafone, Telefonica, orange and Deutsche Telekom, means that oppo’s equipment is in stock across Europe’s vital operator channels. While sales in the region remain relatively moderate, market share has doubled in the past year, and strong growth in the fourth quarter has prepared oppo for 2021.
Realme is the fastest growing brand in Europe in 2020, with sales more than ten times higher than in 2019. Its strong value proposition has led to good growth in more price sensitive markets such as Italy, Spain and the whole of Eastern Europe.
Don’t forget this year:
Huawei has almost pulled out of the European smartphone market. In 2020, novel coronavirus pneumonia was briefly overtaken by apple in May 2020, becoming the second largest supplier in the region, behind Samsung. But this is more because the high-end market has been hit by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, and apple has not yet released a new product. Huawei’s share has fallen from 15% in January to 5% in December in the past year, and there is no reason to expect any change in its trajectory in 2021.
Samsung has had a tough year. Although its market share has increased slightly, this is because its sales have not dropped as much as the whole market. After Huawei was faced with major challenges from all aspects, Samsung did not occupy Huawei’s declining market share as it expected. First of all, sales of its flagship Galaxy S20 have never really taken off – in Europe, its sales are often overtaken by Samsung’s own mid-range Galaxy A51 and a71 models, as well as the devices of apple and Android competitors Xiaomi (such as Hongmi 8 / Note 8 and Hongmi 9 / Note 9 Series). Secondly, the competition in Europe has never been as fierce as it is now, with many relatively new suppliers competing fiercely to capture the market share once occupied by Huawei. Third, Apple’s latest iPhone 12 (finally) supports 5g, which means that Samsung’s near monopoly in the high-end 5g field is over. Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S21 should perform better than S20, and may become Europe’s leading Android high-end smartphone in 2021, but Samsung still has a lot of work to do.
The relatively successful sales during Christmas in Europe augur well for 2021. “Supported by the demand for 5g iPhones, the market performed strongly in the fourth quarter,” said research analyst Ankit Malhotra. This strong momentum is expected to continue in the first quarter of 2021, as sales of the iPhone 12 will spill over into the next quarter and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 will also be launched. Samsung and Apple launched flagship products in the first quarter, the final relaxation of the blockade, and the expectation of economic recovery, which will lay the foundation for the rapid recovery of the market in 2021. In addition, we need to pay close attention to the development of 5g and the performance of new products such as Xiaomi, oppo, Yijia, vivo and realme, as they try to fill the gaps left by Huawei. (Tencent technology reviser / Lexue)