Chinese handsets continue making inroads in Europe as mid to low end get squeezed

Samsung and Apple are doing well, as Sony, LG, and Wiko feel the pain.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor on

The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for smartphone OS usage to the end of December has shown that Chinese vendors are continuing to do well in Europe, and boosting Android market share along the way.

Across the cumulative measurement of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, Android is up 1.6 percentage points to 75.8 percent market share compared to last year, while Apple is down from 24.8 percent to 23.5 percent.

According to Kantar, Samsung and Apple are relatively unscathed as pressure is put on the lower end of the market.

"The impact these Chinese giants are having on the market is causing headaches for the smaller operators," Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global director Dominic Sunnebo said.

See: Apple gets obliterated by OnePlus in India as sales drop by 50 percent

"Sony, LG, and Wiko are being disproportionally impacted because of their historic stakes in the ultra-competitive low- and mid-price tiers."

In China itself, Kantar is placing Android market share at 80 percent for the three months to the end of December, up 8.8 percentage points on last year, while iOS has dropped a similar amount to sit just under 20 percent.

For the United States, the players are holding station, with Apple's 43.7 percent and Android's 56 percent roughly at the same percentages as last year. Apple holds the top three selling handset positions, with the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and iPhone X having 6.7 percent, 6.1 percent, and 5.6 percent of the market, respectively.

Meanwhile in Australia, Apple has seen its market share fall by 3 percentage points to 43 percent, with Android jumping to 56.5 percent. Cupertino was able to claim seven devices in the Australian top ten sellers, but it had lower sales than last year.

Also: Snapdragon 636 battle: Motorola Z3 Play and Nokia 7.1

Samsung's Galaxy S9 claimed the top spot in Australia, as the Korean giant grew from 25.6 percent share last year to 28.5 percent this year. Huawei climbed from 3.9 percent last year to 5.6 percent this year, while Nokia also doubled its share to 2.3 percent.

"Although Samsung and Apple remain by far the most recommended brands in-store, recommendation for Nokia rose from just 6.5 percent a year ago to 18.3 percent this period," Kantar said.

The coming months will reveal whether buyers are swayed by Huawei being indicted in the United States.

On Tuesday, Apple reported a drop in iPhone sales of 15 percent for its first quarter. The company lowered its earning guidance earlier this month, saying it was due to fewer iPhone upgrades and rough market conditions in China.

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