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Turmoil in European Smartphone Industry as Shipments Continue to Fall

  • The European smartphone industry is expected to contract in the first quarter of 2022, with shipments falling to their lowest level in over a decade.
  • Component shortages, COVID-19-related lockdowns in China, deteriorating economic conditions, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict contributed to the drop in shipments.
  • Samsung, the world’s leading manufacturer of smartphones, registered a drop in shipments in Europe.

Smartphone shipments in Europe are decreasing, with average minutes of usage expected to drop 3% to 29,725 minutes in 2022. The decrease in shipments in Europe is mostly due to a drop in demand in Russia and Ukraine, which registered a steep fall. The continued supply chain limitations caused by sanctions on Russia and a global scarcity of semiconductors worsened the situation. However, smartphone shipment data shows that demand continues to be strong in other countries in Europe.

Market Movers: Who is winning?

Among the top five vendors, Realme was the only one that registered annual growth in shipments, while market leader Samsung saw a decline in shipments. Despite a fall in shipments, Samsung had a strong first quarter in 2022, owing to a greater share of the market aided by huge demand for its low- and mid-range phones, and improving supply chain. Due to a small increase in shipments, the market share of Apple increased marginally. On the contrary, Realme was able to increase the supply of its smartphones substantially as demand for its mid-range and high-end phones grew.


Consumer confidence is eroding in Europe as a result of recent events led to a considerable increase in inflation. The global supply chain bottleneck, combined with the shortage of semiconductors, is exacerbating the problem. The smartphone industry will be put to test in the first two quarters of 2022 when the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict becomes clear.

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