Apple smartphones squashed as Sony and LG gain ground in weak western European market

Sony and LG have gained ground in the western European smartphone market at the expense of Apple amidst a weak mobile phone market, according to new figures.

The IDC figures show the mobile phone market in western Europe has contracted 4% year on year, with sales in the first quarter of 2013 standing at 43.6 million, down 4% from 45.5 million a year earlier. Against a backdrop of falling overall mobile phone sales, overall smartphone sales strengthened slightly during the quarter to 31.6 million, up from 28.2 million a year earlier.

The clear market leader remains Samsung, which saw a 31% growth in shipments from 10.9 million (39% marketshare) during the first quarter 2012 to 14.3 million (45% marketshare) during the equivalent quarter this year.

Despite a growing market, Apple’s marketshare slumped from 7 million units to 6.2 million, while Nokia also reported a year-on-year drop from 2.3 million to 1.6 million.

The big winners were third-placed Sony, which saw its shipments grow 100% from 1.6 million a year ago to 3.2 million in the first quarter of 2013, while LG grew a remarkable 380% from just 500,000 units in the first quarter of 2013 to 2.4 million for the same quarter this year.

“We are now entering the second wave of smartphone adoption, which will be driven by those users with no need for a smartphone. These new users are looking to replace their current featurephone with another featurephone,” IDC European mobile devices research director Francisco Jeronimo says.

“However, when they go to a phone shop most of the options available are smartphones only; … the cheapest smartphones they note are most likely to be as low in price as the last feature phone they bought.”



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