Samsung's grip on the European smartphone market is appearing to loosen after its market share dropped 2.2 percentage points.
The Korean manufacturing giant saw its accelerated growth decline in Q4 2013 and is 'coming under real pressure' according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, although it still dominates European share on 40.3% compared to Apple's 23.7%. Android continued to be European OS of choice, grabbing 69.6% of the market, while iOS followed on 18.5%. Windows Phone continued on its upward trajectory in terms of year-on-year growth, although it 'remained flat' at 10.3% in Q4.
In the UK, smartphone penetration reached 69% in December, with smartphones representing 85% of phones sold in Q4. The Christmas period saw 34% of smartphones sold as gifts, up 4% from the same time last year. Samsung again came out on top with 30.7% of this market, followed by Apple (28.4%) and Nokia (17.6%).
Strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Dominic Sunnebo, said: ‘Android finished 2013 strongly, showing year-on-year share growth across 12 major global markets including Europe, USA, Latin America, China and Japan. Apple has lost share in most countries compared with this time last year, but importantly it has held strong shares in key markets including 43.9% in USA, 29.9% in Great Britain and 19.0% in China.
‘Windows Phone has now held double digit share across Europe for three consecutive months. Unfortunately for Nokia the European smartphone market is only growing at 3% year on year so success in this market has not been enough to turn around its fortunes – reflected in its recent disappointing results. Its performance also deteriorated toward the end of 2013 in the important growth markets of China, USA and Latin America.
‘It’s no surprise that everyone is concentrating on high growth China, but currently local brands are proving clear winners. In December, Xiaomi overtook both Apple and Samsung to become the top selling smartphone in China – a truly remarkable achievement for a brand which was only started in 2010 and sells its device almost exclusively online. The combination of high spec devices, low prices and an ability to create unprecedented buzz through online and social platforms has proved an irresistible proposition for the Chinese.’