EMEA(Europe, Middle East and Africa) smartphone sales reached a record value of $29.9bn in Q1 2018 despite overall slump in smartphone market, according to IDC
The market showed some stability in the first quarter of 2018 in unit terms, while its value grew to exceed its previous first quarter peak result in 1Q15.
"Overall mobile phone shipments in EMEA declined year on year in unit terms, and it may well be that the market is beyond the peak levels registered in 2017," said Simon Baker, program director, Mobile Devices, IDC CEMA. "This is because the resurgence in feature phones in emerging markets, mainly in Africa, seen from the second half of 2016, is now beginning to ebb. The 1Q18 feature phone market was the smallest in six quarters."
The Western European smartphone market continues to contract, and so, perhaps surprisingly, does that in Africa. The Western European smartphone total dropped to 29.213 million in the quarter, 8.2% down on the year before, according to Marta Pinto, senior analyst at IDC Western Europe, while that in Africa was 4.4% down. In comparison the Middle East market was 1.5% up and the market in Central Europe was up 5.6%.
Samsung is maintaining its smartphone market leadership across all of EMEA, though it has a smaller share in Africa than elsewhere. Meanwhile second-placed Huawei is gaining in Europe, and rising strongly in the Middle East.
Both vendors are looking over their shoulders on how quickly Xiaomi will become a serious new rival.
IDC predicts that the smartphone market will approach 370 million smartphones in EMEA in 2018, a forecast volume which has been trimmed modestly against the previous forecast a quarter ago. However, the smartphone value forecast has increased, to $120 billion — a recovery to the highest level in the region, back in 2015.