Is the smartphone market across Europe becoming more competitive?

28/05/2014

Is The Smartphone Market Across Europe Becoming More Competitive?

In the past few years, although we have had a number of top firms vying for customers in the smartphone market, there can be little doubt that two companies have consistently outperformed the others when it comes to sales figures.

Samsung, with its flagship Samsung Galaxy S5 heading its range, and Apple, armed with the Apple iPhone 5S and Apple iPhone 5C, have time and again been selling more phones than any other firms. 

But is there a shift in the market taking place across Europe? According to a new report, it could well be the case, with Kantar's latest statistics showing that smaller firms are actually starting to make ground on the big two, even though both managed to see impressive sales growth in the first quarter of 2014.

The company's latest study showed that the market is diversifying as more customers turn to both established companies like Sony and Motorola, and other firms such as Huawei and Wiko, which are much smaller but starting to pick up pace. 

"Huawei saw the number of smartphones it sold jump 123 per cent in the big five European markets over the past year. It now holds a three per cent share," said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar.

And while the company added that the fragmentation seen across Europe has not yet made its way to the UK, it did say that it is something that will be seen in the future.

For example, sales of Windows phones in the first three months of this year were up by some 9.5 per cent. And with the company making a push soon with its new acquisition of the Nokia brand, this could be a reality that becomes even more prevalent moving forward. 

So why is it that the market is becoming so much more diverse? Is it because people are now becoming much more comfortable with the smartphone market in general and know what they are looking for? It is a possibility, but we believe it's largely down to the smaller firms really raising their game and challenging much more consistently. 

For example, Samsung and Apple have often been seen to be providing some of the best phones around, but in the last few months, the release of the Sony Xperia Z2, the HTC One M8 and even the LG G3 have shown that others can provide the same sort of specs, and with what some consider to be a much better build quality than the big two. 

So serious is the challenge now that many are even expecting Samsung to release a new phone in the next month that will be a better version of its own flagship to better compete at the top end of the smartphone market. 

And with Motorola's launch of the low-end Motorola Moto E and Moto G phones in the past week, evidence is there to show that firms are trying to carve out their own niche to make sure they are getting a really impressive slice of the market. 

While the diversity across Europe may not be seen in the UK just yet, one thing's for sure - the fact that we now have a much more competitive marketplace can only be good for the future and the new devices we start to see in the next few years.