Smartphones, they charmed the world with their mesmerizing features, it was embraced by many huge markets, but now things are changing as developing markets are embracing these Smartphones and in huge markets like Western Europe Smartphones are losing its sparkle.
According to a research firm IDC, due to a lower than expected slowdown in the Smartphone the Western European mobile phone market shrank in the first quarter of 2013 shipments. The total shipments dropped 4.2 percent YOY to 43.6 million units.
As expected the feature phones segment continued to lose its stand as consumers adopted Smartphones, the features phone shipments fell 31 percent YOY to 12 million units, but that doesn’t mean Smartphone market had an easy time, Smartphone market also witnessed a blow, it witnessed a lowest growth rate since IDC started tracking the mobile phone market in 2004, though it saw an increase of 12 percent YOY to 31.6 million units in the Q1 2013.
Most of the Western European countries are in a delicate economic state which resulted in a reduction of available disposable income to consumers; this fragile economy has troubled the businesses too, as they are cutting handset subsidies to reduce their costs and as a result, customers are waiting longer before replacing devices. The Report also states that in Northern Europe, the Smartphone penetration has kind of reached a stagnant stage, which has affected the shipment rates, and most users already have a Smartphone, given that economy is also fragile, the users won’t purchase a Smartphone unless it breaks down.
“We are now entering the second wave of Smartphone adoption in the region. The first wave was driven by those users looking for devices that would meet their mobility needs. They did look for the best devices in terms of performance and user experience, and more importantly, they were able to afford and pay a premium to get a premium experience. We are now entering the second wave of Smartphone adoption, which will be driven by those users with no need for a Smartphone,” said Francisco Jeronimo, European mobile devices research director at IDC.
According to a study, Apple Inc’s (AAPL) market share climbed to 41.4 percent in Q1 2013 from 39.1 percent in Q1 2012, in U.S Smartphone market, but things are a bit different in the European market, Apple’s market share declined from 25 percent in Q1 2012 to 20 percent in Q1 2013.
Android had a lion’s share of 51.7 percent of the U.S Smartphone market in Q1 2013, and even in the Western European Smartphone market Android is leading. In Q1, there was a shipment of 21.9 million Android devices and market share increased to 69 percent in comparison to 55 percent in Q1 2012; it saw a 14 percent rise.
Windows Phone experienced dramatic changes in the U.S Smartphone market; it grabbed a third position in the U.S market with 5.60 percent. In the Western European market, Windows phone managed to increase 2 percent, rising from 4 percent in Q1 2012 to 6 percent in Q1 2013.
Android is still ruling, iOS is losing its market share, may be Apple’s still-rumored low-cost iPhone may give a boost to Apple in these fragile economic markets.