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UK Insights

Huawei and Xiaomi near 34m customers in western Europe

Dominic Sunnebo

Global Insight Director

Mobile 30.01.2019 / 08:00


Kantar Worldpanel ComTech data sees Android market share edging up.

The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech for the three months ending December 2018 shows Android accounted for more than three-quarters of all smartphone sales across the five major European markets, thanks to increased penetration for Chinese operators Huawei and Xiaomi.  iOS still registered the vast majority of the remaining quarter of sales, despite an OS share fall of 1.3 percentage points.  

The European smartphone market remains highly competitive. Despite recent negative headlines for the Chinese manufacturers, there’s no evidence that these issues have affected sales as Huawei, Honor and Xiaomi continue their concerted push into western Europe. Samsung and Apple still performed admirably, with disruption limited to only a marginal loss of market share. 

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Xiaomi is now the fourth best-selling smartphone brand in Europe, with nearly six million active owners.  The manufacturer is continuing to expand rapidly in Spain and, more recently, in Italy and France as well. Having only launched in the UK in November last year, Xiaomi’s presence in Great Britain is still small, but with new products already going on sale in January we expect further growth in 2019.  The Chinese manufacturer has found success so far with a competitive pricing strategy which places its most expensive flagship model at around £500. This appeals to users who are looking for premium quality but are not willing or able to splash out the best part of a four-figure sum.

While Samsung and Apple are still doing well in Europe, the impact these Chinese giants are having on the market is causing headaches for the smaller operators.  Sony, LG and Wiko are being disproportionally impacted because of their historic stakes in the ultra-competitive low and mid-price tiers.  To keep up in this landscape, these brands should take heed from their competitors when it comes to marketing.  Xiaomi has a legacy of shunning traditional media in favour of community-driven social campaigns – which goes to show that greater marketing spend doesn’t always generate a bigger buzz.

In the US, Apple’s share of the OS market edged up half a percentage point to 43.7%, with Android flat at 56.0%. In urban China, Huawei put in a stellar performance in the latest period as its market share hit a record 26.9%, up from 16.5% a year ago.

Source : Kantar Worldpanel

Editor's Notes

About Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s Smartphone OS Market Share Data

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s smartphone OS market share data provides the media and businesses with access to the most up-to-date sales and market share figures for the major smartphone operating systems. 

This information is based on research extracted from the Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer panel.  ComTech is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone tracking panel of its kind in the world, conducting over one million interviews per year in Europe alone.  ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior – including phone purchases, bills/airtime, source of purchase, and usage.  It also delivers additional data to promote an understanding of the drivers of share changes, and consumer insight market dynamics.  All consumer data in this release excludes enterprise sales.

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