Canalys, a market research firm, has released its latest report on the European smartphone market for Q3 2023, revealing a 6 percent year-on-year decline in shipments, totaling 32 million units (excluding Russia). This quarter marks the tenth consecutive period of annual decline, although indications of increasing demand are emerging as 2024 approaches.
Samsung (with 11.5 million), Apple (7.1 million), Xiaomi (6.2 million), Motorola (1.7 million) and TCL (0.8 million) are the leading vendors in the European smartphone market in Q3 2023.
Top Players and Market Dynamics:
Samsung retained its top position with a commanding 35 percent market share, despite experiencing a 6 percent decline in shipments.
Apple secured second place with a 22 percent share, facing a 13 percent decline primarily attributed to a rapid drop in older model shipments. However, the iPhone 15 showcased a promising start, marking a 59 percent increase in launch quarter shipments compared to its predecessor.
Both Apple and Samsung encountered challenges in meeting demands despite their recent product launches.
Insights from Canalys Analysts:
Runar Bjorhovde, Analyst at Canalys, highlighted the reasons behind Apple’s decline, attributing it to a deliberate reduction in shipments of older models to align with the European Commission’s USB-C directive by the end of 2024.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s decline was linked to deprioritizing its low-end A series, aiming to meet revenue and profitability targets. However, the company witnessed its highest-ever quarterly ASP (Average Selling Price) driven by significant growth in foldable shipments and robust mid-range S series performance.
Market Shift and Opportunities:
While the top players faced challenges, other vendors saw improvements. Xiaomi, securing third place, saw flat annual growth, breaking a six-quarter decline streak. Motorola recorded a 30 percent year-on-year growth, reaching its best quarterly performance under Lenovo, while TCL rounded up the top five with a 5 percent annual growth.
Brandon Gurney, Research Analyst at Canalys, noted a positive shift in the market landscape, indicating growth for most vendors sequentially in Q3. Samsung’s shift away from the low-end segment created opportunities for other players, especially in the low-to-mid-range category.
Outlook for 2024:
Despite the current downturn, Canalys forecasts a 4 percent growth in the smartphone market for 2024. Anticipating a refresh cycle for mid-range devices purchased in 2020 and 2021, vendors are expected to seize opportunities in the first half of 2024.
The remainder of 2023 holds significance for vendors aiming to improve their performance, build positive momentum, and clear channel inventory ahead of new product launches in the first half of 2024.
The market, although currently experiencing a decline, shows promising signs of revival as it gears up for a potential growth phase in the coming year.