Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – August 18, 2021
Erratum: this is an update to a previous PR that was based on preliminary data. Our updated analysis shows that Samsung actually remained the number one in Eastern Europe ahead of Xiaomi.
There is no denying Xiaomi’s meteoric rise in Europe. In Q2 2021, Xiaomi overtook Samsung to became the largest smartphone vendor in terms of shipments in Europe, including Russia and CIS countries. This is, of course, a fantastic achievement for Xiaomi, made even more impressive by the fact that Xiaomi only entered the European market in November 2017. However, the story is a little more complex than the headline numbers suggest.
Initially it appeared that Xiaomi had taken the lead in both Eastern Europe and the CIS countries, but closer inspection revealed that Samsung still held on to Eastern Europe. This paints an even more interesting picture. The top three vendors in Europe each took the top spot in the three sub-regions: Apple in Western Europe, Samsung in Eastern Europe, and Xiaomi in Russia and CIS.
Given the size of Russia (it is by far the largest smartphone market in Europe, with almost double the shipments of the second largest, Germany), it skews the data somewhat. With Russia and CIS included, Xiaomi is the new top vendor in Europe; taking Russia out of the equation, Samsung remains number one.
Exhibit: Top smartphone vendors by European sub-region, Q2 2021
Europe is not a one-size-fits-all region
According to Counterpoint Research’s Associate Director, Jan Stryjak, “Europe is an incredibly diverse region, with a mixture of both highly advanced and developing markets. It is therefore important to consider the different sub-regions when assessing market trends, and look at how different vendors have found varying levels of success in different markets.”
- Samsung, which probably has the widest reach and broadest portfolio of all the vendors, is the previous market leader when looking at the region as a whole, and only lost its top spot after Covid-19 related factory shutdowns impacted supply in May and June 2021. Nevertheless, Samsung is still the number one in many European markets, for example Poland, where it accounted for 42% of smartphone shipments in Q2 2021. Samsung was also the number one smartphone vendor in Q2 2021 in countries as diverse as Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Romania.
- Apple, being a high-end brand, tends to do better in Western Europe, and particularly in more premium markets like the UK, where it held 44% share in Q2 2021. Apple was also the top vendor in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden and Switzerland.
- Xiaomi has gained the most from Huawei’s decline over the last 12-18 months, and has done well in more price-conscious markets like Spain, where it accounted for 40% of smartphone shipments in Q2 2021. Xiaomi was also number one in Belgium, Denmark, Russia and the Ukraine.
Stryjak added, “Looking forward to Q3, we expect Samsung to recover the top spot in Europe, having resolved its supply issues in Vietnam. Its low- to mid-range A series continues to sell very well across the region, and the launch of its foldable range should give the premium tier a boost too. Having said that, Xiaomi will likely continue to lead in markets like Spain and Russia, while Apple is unlikely to be unseated as market leader in Western Europe. So it is still all to play for, and will make for a very interesting second half to the year.”
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.
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