There's no denying that Apple's iPhone sales have been slowing down as the smartphone market reaches the saturation point; yearly upgrades becoming increasingly less exciting; and prices creep higher and higher. New data from analytics firm Canalys shows that Apple faced especially tough pressure in Europe during the second quarter of 2019.
According to Canalys, iPhone sales in the European market tumbled from 7.7 million in Q2 2018 to just 6.4 million during Q4 2019, which represented a 17 percent drop. Apple wasn't alone, however, in seeing its sales falter year-over-year. HMD Global and Huawei saw sales drops of 18 percent and 16 percent respectively, although the latter was able to hold on to second place in the European smartphone market (putting it roughly 2 million units ahead of third-place Apple in sales).
The big winner, however, was Samsung, which saw an annual growth rate of 20 percent, taking its Q2 2019 market share to nearly 41 percent in the European smartphone market. Samsung was able to achieve this feat on thanks to strong numbers put up but its budget smartphones including the Galaxy A50, A40, A20e and A10.
Canalys Senior Analyst Ben Stanton also attributes at least some of Samsung's gains to Huawei's troubles in the United States, which interrupted the Chinese firm's supply chain. But there was also another reason according to Stanton; "A lack of brand loyalty among users of low-end and mid-range Android smartphones, which has blighted Samsung for so long, has become the catalyst for its best performance in years. Europe keeps its reputation as one of the most brand-volatile smartphone markets in the world, rife with danger, but also opportunity.”
Samsung's European winning streak could extend through 2020 with the release of a rumored new mid-range smartphone. The Galaxy A90 is expected to pack in a Snapdragon 855 SoC, a large 6.7-inch display and optional 5G connectivity.