The drop was most keenly felt in the mature markets of Western Europe

Smartphone sales in Europe plunged by 6.3 per cent, according to a new report published by Canalys.   

The decline was especially pronounced in Western Europe which saw a 13.9 per cent slump, with a total of 30.1 million smartphones despatched to the region between 1st January and 31st March 2018, as western markets appeared increasingly saturated. 

In contrast, Central and Eastern Europe saw rapid growth in  Smartphone uptake, with 15.9 million units sold in Q1 2018, a 12.3 per cent increase.   

“This is a new era for smartphones in Europe,” said Ben Stanton, analyst at Canalys. 

“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,” he added. 

Samsung remained Europe’s biggest manufacturer of smartphone handsets, shifting 15 million units in Q1 2018, a 15 per cent drop from Q1 2017. 

In second place came Apple, who shipped just over 10 million handsets in Europe. However, not even the launch of its Iphone X could stop Apple’s European sales falling by 5 per cent on a year on year basis. 

Huawei was the only one of Europe’s big 3 suppliers to see an increase in their market share. Huawei shifted 7.4 million handsets in Q1 2018, an increase of 38.6 per cent on last year’s figures. Huawei will be confident of improving this figure still further as sales of their P20 Pro begin to show in their Q2 2018 sales figures.