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Apple bites back: regains the lead in European smartphone market during Q4 2023

European phone shipments

The analyst company Canalys has revealed that Apple took the lead on smartphone shipments in Europe during the final quarter of 2023. It overtook Samsung, which had held the lead over Apple even in the final quarter of 2022, when their shipments were very close.

In third, fourth, and fifth place were Xiaomi, Motorola, and HONOR, with them not swapping places at all over the last several years. In the sixth position was Google, which had been tussling with HONOR but had been beaten for the last three quarters of 2023.

Year-over-year, in the fourth quarter, Apple increased its market share from 31% to 33%, Samsung went from 32% to 28%, Xiaomi fell from 17% to 16%, Motorola grew to 5% from 3%, and HONOR grew to 3% from 1%.

Commenting more on the situation in Europe, Runar Bjørhovde, Analyst at Canalys, said:

“High-end smartphones took a record share of the European market in Q4 2023. Almost 40% of smartphone shipments were priced at US$800 or higher.

The dominance of the high-end was mainly fuelled by strong iPhone 15 Pro demand alongside consistent Galaxy S-series volumes and a growing Google Pixel. Looking ahead, Apple will aim to capitalize on the impending refresh cycle.

This includes exploring new routes to market to enable consumers to buy iPhones, such as the bank-as-a-channel approach co-piloted with Santander in Spain. In Samsung's case, the premium S-series and foldable devices remain a priority, seeking to test a service-based subscription model.”

Something interesting to observe in the data is that Apple shipments also rose in the fourth quarter in preceding years, as they have done again in the fourth quarter, while Samsung’s shipments fell. However, Samsung tends to recover in the other quarters so the same could happen in 2024, we will have to wait and see.

Source: Canalys

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