Singapore: Even as smartphone shipments fell 6.3 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY), the biggest ever drop in a single quarter, Samsung shipped over 15 million smartphones to lead the European market in the first quarter of 2018.
According to Singapore-based market research firm Canalys, high price of Samsung Galaxy S9 as well as its earlier launch than Galaxy S8 prompted a drastic rise in its Average Selling Price (ASP) over the previous year and helped Samsung boost its shipment value by over 20 per cent.
"The few remaining growth markets are not enough to offset the saturated ones. We are moving from a growth era to a cyclical era. This presents a brand new challenge to the incumbents and we expect several smaller brands to leave the market in the coming years," Ben Stanton, Analyst at Canalys, said in a statement.
Samsung slipped 15 per cent as Chinese players Huawei and Xiaomi put pressure on its low-end and mid-range models.
Cupertino-based Apple shipped over 10 million units and stood second but this still represented a 5.4 per cent decline in the first quarter.
"As a percentage of models shipped, the iPhone X declined slightly from fourth quarter of 2017 to around 25 per cent but it remained comfortably the best-shipping smartphone in the region," the market research firm said.
Bucking the trend, Huawei grew 38.6 per cent and shipped 7.4 million units in the first quarter of 2018.
It shipped over one million units of its new "P Smart" in its first full quarter. But the delay to its flagship "P20" versus last year's "P10" meant that very few of its Q1 shipments were premium models.
Brands such as Samsung, Huawei and Apple increased collective share of Europe from 61 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 to 71.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2018.
Brands like Alcatel, Sony and LG, however, suffered substantial declines this quarter.