Samsung might have a good reason for suggesting that midrange phones might facilitate it to escape its profit slump. Canalys estimated that Samsung was thriving in Europe within the second quarter of 2019 thanks partly to its midrange phones, surging to 40.6 percent share versus 33.9 percent a year ago. That’s 18.3 million phones in total.
It had three of the top five shipping phones, all of which were more affordable A-series models like the Galaxy A50 (which represented about 3.2 million units by itself). Flagships like the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note may need to be the celebs of the show, but it was the lower-cost model that got people into stores.
That was reflected in the other victor from the quarter. Xiaomi’s share nearly grew by half to 9.6 percent on the back of mid-priced phones like the Redmi Note 7.
It wasn’t pretty for other vendors. Huawei appeared to have reeled from the effects of the US blacklisting, sinking to an 18.8 percent share. Nokia phone maker HMD global also suffered in this market.
And Apple’s weak iPhone sales manifested themselves here, with a dip to 14.1 percent share. Not surprisingly, its most popular model was the relatively affordable iPhone XR — cost is still a concern even in the premium phone space.
Samsung’s performance isn’t entirely due to its rejuvenated budget series though, as Canalys cited Huawei’s poor performance due to the U.S. trade ban. The tracking firm explained that Samsung positioned itself as a stable alternative in the eyes of retailers and operators. Huawei’s European market-share dropped from 22.4 percent in Q2 2018 to 18.8 percent in Q2 2019. The firm shipped 8.5 million units in this quarter, compared to 10.1 million smartphones a year ago.
The rankings might not hold for long. Samsung’s renewed concentrate on midrange phones could keep it out in front, but Huawei faces a murky future if it can’t rely on Android. Xiaomi might also enjoy more meteoric growth thanks to team-ups with carriers for early 5G phones. Apple, meanwhile, is likely just weeks away from introducing a new wave of iPhones that could include an iPhone XR equivalent with dual rear cameras.
The pecking order might be significantly different within a matter of months, let alone a year.