Q2 2021: Europe Smartphone Market's Bumpy Road to Recovery

Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – August 4, 2021

The Europe Smartphone market continued along its road to recovery in Q2 2021, although the path was beset with challenges. Sales grew by 33% annually in Q2 2021, although Q2 2020 was the worst quarter for smartphone sales in Europe for at least a decade due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Q2 2021 sales were 4% down versus Q1 2021, and the market is yet to return to 2019 levels.

It is not bad news for every one, though. Counterpoint Research’s Associate Director, Jan Stryjak said, “ongoing supply chain issues and lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to take their toll across Europe. Nevertheless, Xiaomi have done very well over the last few months, overtaking Apple – which is midway between launches – in Q2 2021 to become the second largest smartphone vendor in Europe in terms of sales. OPPO continued to grow well, and OnePlus and realme climbed the rankings capitalising on Huawei’s ongoing decline.”

Exhibit 1: Q2 2021 Europe Smartphone Sales Competitive Landscape

Source: Smartphone Monthly Market Pulse, June 2021.

Stryjak added, “Xiaomi’s news gets even better though. Samsung suffered significant supply issues in May and June due to Covid-19 related factory shutdowns in Vietnam, and this has started to impact sales. Samsung’s sales in Europe declined by 20% in June 2021 compared to May 2021, which opened the door for Xiaomi to become Europe’s top-selling smartphone vendor by the end of the quarter. Samsung’s problems should be short-lived, though, so Xiaomi will have its work cut out to hold on to the top spot.”

Exhibit 2: Xiaomi Edged Ahead of Samsung in Europe in June 2021
Source: Smartphone Monthly Market Pulse, June 2021.

Even with the challenges faced by the market, the outlook for upcoming quarters remains positive. In the Premium segment, Apple is expected to build on the success of the iPhone 12, while Samsung’s S series and Foldable devices will be up against flagship offerings from Xiaomi, OPPO, OnePlus and vivo. In the mid-tier, meanwhile, Samsung will be looking to ramp up the 5G offerings in its A series to hold off competition from devices like the OnePlus Nord 2, the successor to the popular Nord smartphone.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

 Jan Stryjak


Ankit Malhotra


Peter Richardson


Jan is an Associate Director with Counterpoint Research, based in London, and leads the company’s research in Europe. He is a seasoned analyst with over 13 years’ experience in the TMT sector, most recently with GSMA Intelligence where he was responsible for key research deliverables and led a team of analysts producing highly impactful regional insights. Before that, Jan held strategy and analyst positions at Vodafone and Qualcomm, and started his career with research firm TNS (now Kantar).

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