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iPhone market share falls as smartphone competition increases

The European iOS market share has fallen this year as it faces increasing competition from rival smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Sony.

Apple’s smartphone market share in Europe fell 5 per cent from last year’s figures, according to the latest report from research analyst firm IDC.

For Q1 2012, Apple held 25 per cent of the smartphone market, but that figure fell to 20 per cent for Q1 2013, which equates to around 6.2 million unit shipments.

Rival Samsung saw its market share rise year-on-year from 39 per cent in Q1 2012 to 45 per cent for the first quarter of this year, which is the equivalent of 14.3 million unit shipments for the three month period in Europe alone.

Samsung has been focusing on diversifying its Samsung Galaxy range, and has even introduced several variants on its flagship Samsung Galaxy S4, which launched in April. Apple is still relying on its flagship iPhone 5 to boost sales figures.

Sony also saw its market share rise over last year’s figures. The Xperia Z and Xperia Tablet Z manufacturer’s European smartphone market share rose from 6 per cent to 10 per cent for the first quarter of 2013 from the same period last year.

Looking at OS rankings alone, 21.9 million Android devices were shipped during the quarter, accounting for 69 per cent of the market share. This is up from 55 per cent the same time last year.

IDC did observe that the smartphone sales in Western Europe are slowing down as a whole. Total smartphone shipments dropped 4.2 per cent for Q1 2013 from the same period last year to 43.6 million units.

The drop in smartphone sales is due to the economic impact on the demand for the high-end handsets. Consumers aren’t replacing their mobile phones as often as the manufacturers expect, probably due to being tied into two year network provider contracts.

Thus, smartphone penetration is reaching saturation point as the majority of consumers already own a smartphone.

Next, read our pick of the best mobile phones of 2013.