Apple sells an iPhone X every three seconds in Europe (u)

Apple sells an iPhone X every three seconds in Europe, the latest Canalys data suggests. The data claims that smartphone sales in the region hit 46 million in the last three months, with iPhone X accounting for around 2.5 million of these, making it the biggest-selling smartphone model in the region — hotly pursued by other Apple handsets.

That’s not the only iPhone

Apple sells a wide range of iPhones in Europe. The new data shows that it sold at least one iPhone 6-type phone and one iPhone 8 variant for every iPhone X it sold.

Analyst, Ben Stanton, told me, “iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were relatively stable as a proportion of Apple’s mix vs last quarter. iPhone 8 at around 19% and iPhone 8 Plus at around 8%. This was pretty much in line with expectations. We did see a slight uptick in mix of iPhone 7 and 6S vs last quarter as iPhone X started to fall slightly as a proportion. But all in all, no titanic shifts in the Apple product mix between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018.”

The data shows decline in Europe’s smartphone sales, led by a 29 percent collapse in the UK.

Brexit jitter

I suggest that decline has a lot more to do with the steady UK economic decline created by that nation’s deeply incompetent government and its inability to negotiate an agreement at Cabinet level, let alone in Europe. It’s clear that the financial uncertainty of Brexit is dampening consumer spending in the UK.

Ben Stanton, Analyst at Canalys doesn’t think the UK is skewing the entire European data, as it is actually the third biggest smartphone market behind those of Russia and Germany. “We see several markets in decline, including countries in Southern Europe, the Nordics, etc.,” he said.

He does see Brexit impacting the market there. “But yes, Brexit is having an impact the UK specifically,” he said. “I haven’t seen any evidence that it has directly impacted customer purchase decisions, but several large smartphone companies have withheld investment in the UK as a result. And for new entrants to Europe, like Xiaomi, and potentially soon Oppo and Vivo, it is not high up on their list of priority launch countries.”

Despite such headwinds, Apple was the Number Two smartphone vendor in Europe with a 22 percent market share in the quarter.

In the context of this decline, the analysts state:

“Apple outperformed the market and shipped over 10 million units, but this still represented a 5.4% decline. As a percentage of models shipped, the iPhone X declined slightly from Q4, to around 25%, but it remained comfortably the best-shipping smartphone in the region. Apple’s larger portfolio strategy will become more important as the year progresses, with over 25% of its Q1 shipments the iPhone SE, 6 and 6S – models that are over two years old. This wider spread of shipments did, however, offset the value growth driven by the pricier iPhone X.

Unpacking that data tells us Apple sold around 2.5 million iPhone X models in the region. The same analysts earlier this year pegged iPhone X sales at around 29 million in Q4 2017. The data doesn’t tell us anything around iPhone 8 sales, though the same analysts previously said iPhone 8 Plus sales are higher than those of the iPhone 8.

What’s interesting too is that if Apple is suffering the impact of loss of economic confidence at its end of the market, those at the lower end of the market are suffering more.

Smartphone sales in Europe are now a three-horse race, with Samsung Apple and Huawei grabbing 71.4 percent of the market in the quarter. With a few exceptions, smaller brands are toast and the gap between Samsung and Apple is declining.

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

“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.”

That’s why Apple will widen its market and continue to evangelise the advantages of its devices above those from other manufacturers, of course — even as rumours of dual-SIM iPhones and Apple mobiles equipped with triple-lens cameras continue to generate heat.

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Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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