Counterpoint Research: Western European smartphone shipments down in Q2

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Counterpoint Research revealed that smartphone shipments in Western Europe declined during the second quarter of 2016, despite a marginal increase in three of the region’s big five markets.

In an update to its regular Market Monitor service, the research company said overall smartphone shipments in Western Europe declined 1 per cent year-on-year and 8 per cent sequentially. Counterpoint research director Peter Richardson said that the trend was mixed in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany, with year-on-year growth of 4 per cent in the second quarter, and an 8 per cent drop sequentially.

“The overall smartphone demand remained soft during the quarter, with upticks in demand in Italy (up 8 per cent year-on-year), France (up 9 per cent year-on-year) and UK (up 4 per cent year-on-year) offset by slowdowns in Spain, Germany and other smaller countries across Western Europe,” Richardson said.

Additional detail provided by Counterpoint Research to FierceWireless:Europe reveals that total shipments in Western Europe declined from 36.2 million units in Q2 2015 to 35.9 million in the recent quarter. Italian shipments grew from 4.3 million to 4.6 million year-on-year; French shipments from 6 million to 6.6 million; and UK shipments from 6.9 million to 7.1 million.

Shipments in Spain and Germany were broadly flat year-on-year at 3.9 million units and 5.8 million respectively, while shipments in the rest of Western Europe fell from 9.4 million in Q2 2015 to 8 million in the recent quarter.

Richardson noted that LTE smartphones bucked the overall trend in Q2 2016. Demand for 4G devices “grew a substantial 76 per cent year-on-year,” he said, explaining that the increase was mostly due to handset vendors transitioning to “an all LTE portfolio” and an ongoing push of LTE bundles by mobile operators.

Demand for LTE smartphones during the second quarter was greatest in the UK, followed by France and Germany. Richardson said LTE subscriptions in the UK hit 40 million by the end of the second quarter, some 41 per cent of which were EE customers.

Counterpoint Research also revealed that smartphones accounted for around nine out of ten mobile phones shipped in Western Europe during the second quarter, and almost a fifth of all smartphones shipped in the region during the period were produced by Chinese manufacturers.

Senior analyst Tarun Pathak said Western Europe is a strategically important market for most smartphone makers “not only from a volume perspective but also value perspective as it is one of the higher ASP markets in the world.”

Saturation in the region means that “the mid-range to premium segment is going to be even more competitive in coming quarters,” Pathak added, tipping the “brands with strong marketing campaigns, better product quality, and strong channel and operator partnerships” to shore up their position in the market during the second half of 2016.

For more:
- see this Counterpoint Research announcement

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