Riding the wave of the launch of its first 5G iPhone, Apple has started the year on a high with a market leading 34% share in the European smartphone market, according to new data from Counterpoint Research. The iPhone saw 6% year-over-year growth in the region, notes the research group.
Regarding other smartphone makers, in February, Samsung launched its Galaxy S21 series which, at least initially, sold well, helping Samsung’s sales grow by 24% compared to January and pushing it to the top spot in February 2021. Counterpoint notes that Samsung then suffered significant supply issues starting in May due to COVID-19 related factory shutdowns in Vietnam, which opened the door for Xiaomi to become number one in Europe for the first time, in June 2021 (helped by good growth in Russia, Spain and Italy).
Xiaomi’s leadership didn’t last long. Samsung retook the lead in July 2021 off the back of strong A series sales. Samsung then extended its lead with the launch of its Galaxy Z foldable smartphones, while Xiaomi was hit badly by component shortages, according to Counterpoint. Samsung continued to lead the market for the next few months, despite the best efforts of Apple, whose iPhone 13 launch stumbled in October 2021. However, a traditionally strong end of the year finally gave Apple the lead in November 2021, a lead which Apple extended to reach its highest ever share in Europe in December 2021.