Smartphone sales stutter across Europe

Smartphone sales slowed across Europe in the third quarter, despite overall global sales reaching their highest ever levels, according to a new report

While smartphone sales reached their highest figure on record during the third financial quarter of 2015, growth in Europe stalled as user demand slowed, a new report has found.

Smartphone unit growth across Western Europe saw a rise of around 3pc year-on-year during the quarter, with the French market slowing to 5pc growth and the UK declining by 1pc, according to a report by GfK, which is based on consumer ‘point-of-sale’ data.

Growth was marginally higher in Eastern Europe at 4pc, where Russia and Ukraine’s declined by 6pc and 19pc respectively.

The report predicts a lift in demand in central Europe, forecasting an upturn of 4pc in the year’s final quarter, before rising to 9pc growth in early 2016.

Elsewhere in the world, growth was particularly strong in emerging Asian Pacific (APAC) countries including India, where sales rose by 40pc year-on-year – driven by strong demand from smartphone priced at $100 and under, which accounts for around 48pc of the market.

Over in China, mid-range and high-end smartphones were the drivers behind increased growth of 6pc overall. Sales of high-end handsets, defined as such by their $500 upwards price tags, which include Samsung Galaxy S6 flagship and Apple’s iPhone series, rocketed 65pc, while sales of more modestly priced mid-range units rose 25pc year-on-year.

Separately conducted research from Gartner found that smartphone sales fell for the first time during the second quarter of the year in the face of the rapidly cooling economy, falling by 4pc.

GfK predicts overall smartphone market growth in China will fall 4pc throughout 2015, before rising to a modest 3pc growth in 2016.

Unit demand in South Korea, home of Samsung and LG, fell 3pc compared to the same time a year ago, while Argentina and Brazil reported respective declines of 16pc and 15pc.

By the end of 2015, GfK estimates 1.3bn smartphones will have been sold, bolstered by a 13pc global sales rise in the fourth quarter.

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