Peak smartphone? Phone fatigue hits Western Europe hard

♫ We're so bored with your USP ♫


Smartmobe shipments were down almost 7 per cent year-on-year in Europe during calendar Q1, according to Canalys, as phone fatigue hit mature markets hard.

Some 46 million units in total were shipped in the three months, this included a 13 per cent drop in Western Europe to 30.1 million phones and a 12.9 per cent rise in Central and Eastern Europe to 15.9 million.

Punters in the West continued to cling onto their devices for longer and chose more SIM-only deals, plus more shoppers opted for refurbished models.

Canalys said the two biggest losers year-on-year were Samsung and Apple. Sammy's shipments fell 15.4 per cent across Europe to 15.2 million units, and Apple's sales fell 5.1 per cent to 10.2 million units, despite having a broader range than ever that includes the iPhone SE.

The big winners? Huawei, with shipments 38.6 per cent up to 7.4 million, thanks to its Honor line, and … <drumroll, stamping of elks hooves> Nokia. Nokia moved 1.6 million phones in Q1, reckons Canalys, placing it in the top five. This confirmed positive estimates from Counterpoint in January, which pegged Nokia at number three in the UK in Q4.

Recent Apple earnings indicate that higher prices have compensated for fewer iPhone Xs sold. Samsung too is seeing the financial benefits of higher prices – Canalys estimated the value of its shipments has risen 20 per cent.

UK sales fell 29.6 per cent on the prior year period, France was down 23.2 per cent and Germany by 16.7 per cent. In the UK SIM-only (SIMO) deals are now more popular than contracts that bundle a handset with “airtime”, as it’s still called, quaintly.

But if the problem is a slower purchase cycle, then the top-tier vendors risk making things worse by making their flagships ever more expensive. It simply prompts many to defer a purchase. Call it a “runaway contagion”, if you like.

Ben Stanton, Canalys researcher, told us the UK market reached a "saturation" point and a lack of innovation from phone makers meant consumers weren't tempted to buy the latest generation models. ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • North Korea pulled in $400m in cryptocurrency heists last year – report

    Plus: FIFA 22 players lose their identity and Texas gets phony QR codes

    In brief Thieves operating for the North Korean government made off with almost $400m in digicash last year in a concerted attack to steal and launder as much currency as they could.

    A report from blockchain biz Chainalysis found that attackers were going after investment houses and currency exchanges in a bid to purloin funds and send them back to the Glorious Leader's coffers. They then use mixing software to make masses of micropayments to new wallets, before consolidating them all again into a new account and moving the funds.

    Bitcoin used to be a top target but Ether is now the most stolen currency, say the researchers, accounting for 58 per cent of the funds filched. Bitcoin accounted for just 20 per cent, a fall of more than 50 per cent since 2019 - although part of the reason might be that they are now so valuable people are taking more care with them.

    Continue reading
  • Tesla Full Self-Driving videos prompt California's DMV to rethink policy on accidents

    Plus: AI systems can identify different chess players by their moves and more

    In brief California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous.

    “Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the opinions of other experts in this space,” have made the DMV think twice about Tesla, according to a letter sent to California’s Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), chair of the Senate’s transportation committee, and first reported by the LA Times.

    Tesla isn’t required to report the number of crashes to California’s DMV unlike other self-driving car companies like Waymo or Cruise because it operates at lower levels of autonomy and requires human supervision. But that may change after videos like drivers having to take over to avoid accidentally swerving into pedestrians crossing the road or failing to detect a truck in the middle of the road continue circulating.

    Continue reading
  • Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays

    Laser experiments show their magnetic fields shielding their surfaces from radiation last longer

    Life on Super-Earths may have more time to develop and evolve, thanks to their long-lasting magnetic fields protecting them against harmful cosmic rays, according to new research published in Science.

    Space is a hazardous environment. Streams of charged particles traveling at very close to the speed of light, ejected from stars and distant galaxies, bombard planets. The intense radiation can strip atmospheres and cause oceans on planetary surfaces to dry up over time, leaving them arid and incapable of supporting habitable life. Cosmic rays, however, are deflected away from Earth, however, since it’s shielded by its magnetic field.

    Now, a team of researchers led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) believe that Super-Earths - planets that are more massive than Earth but less than Neptune - may have magnetic fields too. Their defensive bubbles, in fact, are estimated to stay intact for longer than the one around Earth, meaning life on their surfaces will have more time to develop and survive.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022