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Europe smartphone shipments finally resume growth in Q1 2024

­Europe’s smartphone shipments finally returned to growth in Q1 2024, increasing by 10% YoY, according to Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor Service. This marked the region’s first YoY increase in shipments since Q3 2021, suggesting the worst is over. However, shipments were still well below pre-pandemic levels, and given that Q1 2023 witnessed the lowest shipments in Europe for over a decade, market growth should be treated with caution for the year ahead.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Associate Director Jan Stryjak said, “it is heartening to see the European market finally return to growth, although one should not get too excited given how poor 2023 was. Nevertheless, macroeconomic conditions in the region are improving, and some impressive new devices, especially from the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi and HONOR, have brought renewed optimism to the market. In particular, Samsung saw a return to form in Q1 2024, with its popular Galaxy S24 series helping it register YoY growth in shipments for the first time since Q4 2021. Elsewhere, HONOR’s relentless march saw it overtake OPPO to capture the fifth position for the first time, while Transsion’s sub-brand TECNO grew significantly in Eastern Europe.”

On the outlook, Stryjak commented, “The European market is showing signs of a recovery and consumer confidence is improving, helped by some interesting innovations around on-device AI. But we are not out of the woods yet. Although we expect the market to grow by low single digits for the rest of 2024, this is still off the back of an extremely poor 2023, and we do not expect to return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon.”

Market Summary:

  • Samsung’s 7% YoY in Q1 2024, ending a run of declines going back to Q4 2021. Samsung’s AI-powered S24 series was very well received, and the brand’s new A35 and A55 smartphones launched towards the end of the quarter should carry momentum into Q2.
  • Apple’s shipments declined by 1% YoY as iPhone 15 sales continued to tail off due to seasonality. With no iPhone SE expected in 2024, shipments should continue to drop until the launch of the iPhone 16 later in the year.
  • Xiaomi’s shipments grew by 11% YoY, continuing its recovery following a difficult few years. Xiaomi did especially well in Western Europe, particularly in Spain and Italy, largly due to the new
  • Redmi Note 13 series. However, Xiaomi struggled in Central and Eastern Europe, where the growth of Samsung and TECNO led to the brand’s share dropping to its lowest since Q1 2022.
  • Realme’s shipments rose 59% YoY, driven by growth in Western Europe and a sharp rebound in some of its key markets such as Italy and Spain. realme also registered growth in Central and
  • Eastern Europe, especially in Turkey, Ukraine and Hungary. Its C series smartphones continued as bestsellers, although the new realme 12 also had an impact.
  • HONOR registered a 67% YoY growth in shipments, overtaking OPPO to take fifth position in Europe for the first time. This was driven by Western Europe where its shipments more than doubled over the year thanks to some impressive new devices including the Magic V2, Magic 6 and HONOR 90.
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