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According to a survey by Counterpoint Research, the European smartphone market shrank by 12 percent in Q1 of this year, posting the fewest shipments in over ten years.

According to the research organization, the drop was caused by continued component shortages, COVID-19-related lockdowns in China, worsening economic conditions, and the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Counterpoint researcher Jan Stryjak noted that rising inflation trends across the continent are affecting consumer spending.

Decline expected

According to the research organization, yearly growth in smartphone sales will continue to fall in the coming quarters, particularly Q2. Vendor Realme was the only top-five vendor to see annual growth in shipments.

Despite the introduction of the Galaxy S22 and iPhone SE, both Samsung and Apple saw a yearly decline. Samsung’s shipments plummeted by 16 percent. Apple lost 6 percent. Meanwhile, component shortages plagued Xiaomi and OPPO, but both companies are trending up.

Russian withdrawal will continue to be felt

Realme stands out as an outlier, given that it reported an increase in annual shipments, bucking the European trend. Realme is one of the region’s fastest-growing phone brands. Only Nokia HMD and Google experienced more growth, but their customer base is significantly smaller.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine appears set to drag on for quite some time. Experts believe the impact of Apple and Samsung withdrawing from Russia is yet to be fully felt.