London, Hong Kong, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – May 26, 2021
The European smartphone market is on the road to recovery, growing 6% annually in Q1 2021 after a year hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Counterpoint Research’s latest analysis shows encouraging signs for the smartphone markets in Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands, all of which registered a good start to 2021, aided by a decrease in COVID-19 cases, easing of restrictions, and increasing consumer confidence.
The smartphone markets in Finland and the Netherlands grew 28% and 14% YoY respectively in Q1 2021, while the market in Denmark declined 17% during the same period. Samsung led in all three markets, with its strategy to launch the Galaxy S21 series earlier than usual this year proving to be fruitful. Samsung held more than 35% volume share in Finland and Denmark, and over 50% in the Netherlands.
All three markets saw increased ASPs (average selling prices) compared to Q1 2020. The iPhone 12’s strong consumer demand, Samsung S21 series’ early launch, and the arrival of new 5G phones from the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus helped drive the increase in ASPs. Volume and ASP growth are a big indicator of rising consumer confidence.
Jan Stryjak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, said, “Despite the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the European smartphone market, OnePlus has firmly established itself as a top-five vendor in Europe, doing particularly well across the Nordics. With the latest OnePlus, 9 flagship looking to build on the success of the Nord, OnePlus’ diverse portfolio puts it in a good position to continue its strong growth across the region.”
The Finnish market grew 28% YoY in Q1 2021, faster than both Denmark and the Netherlands. Samsung bounced back to lead the market in this quarter after falling behind Apple in Q4 2020. This was also the South Korean brand’s highest market share in the country since Q1 2020. Apple also continued its good performance, even though it slipped to the second position in the market. Xiaomi and OnePlus were the fastest-growing brands.
In terms of the highest-selling models, the iPhone 12 retained the top position overall while the OnePlus Nord took the top spot for Android phones. In the affordable premium category ($400-$599 wholesale), the OnePlus 8 series’s great performance has cemented OnePlus as the leader for the last 3 quarters.
OnePlus has diversified its product portfolio in the last year. Due to its more diversified products, OnePlus was able to grow 100% overall in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2020 and become the 2nd biggest brand in the mid-range price category ($200-$299 wholesale).
The Dutch market grew 14% YoY. The most important point to note in the market was the increase in ASP over the last five quarters – the ASP has grown by 19% from Q4 2020 thanks to the strong performance of flagship models of Apple and Samsung. Nine out of the top ten shipped models were Apple and Samsung flagships.
Samsung continued to lead the market, having done so for five consecutive quarters, and surpassing 50% market share twice in that period. Apple continued to be the second biggest behind OEM followed by Xiaomi, OPPO, and OnePlus in the top 5.
Samsung’s performance could suggest a market dominance, but Xiaomi and OnePlus’s growth of more than 300% in the last year is a sign that competition is intensifying, especially in the premium market. OnePlus stood third behind Apple and Samsung in affordable premium and premium price categories with yearly growth of 17% and 261% respectively.
Another highlight from the Netherlands’ market analysis is the democratization of 5G smartphones in the country, with 5G smartphone penetration surpassing 60% for the first time in Q1 2021.
The Danish smartphone market declined 10% QoQ. Denmark being a market traditionally dominated by Apple, this decline was largely expected given Apple’s seasonality and Q4 launch schedule. In the same time frame last year, the market had declined 19% QoQ.
However, in a reversal of Apple’s traditional dominance, Samsung led the market in Q1 2021. Its Galaxy S21 series bettered the S20 series’ performance by 50%. Huawei’s decline also helped Samsung increase its share. OnePlus, Xiaomi and Nokia also increased their shipments compared to Q1 2020. OnePlus’ performance was especially noteworthy – shipments grew by more than 200% YoY, resulting in OnePlus becoming the third biggest brand in mid-price, affordable premium, and premium categories.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.
Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter