Market declined for the second consecutive year, with shipments down 5.2 per cent, but smartphone shipments up 6.4 per cent
The Western European mobile phone market failed to grow in 2014 for the second straight year, with total shipments down 5.2 per cent to 174.1 million units.
This is according to the latest European Mobile Phone Tracker for February 2015 from analyst IDC, which said the feature phone segment “continues in free fall”, with shipments down 39 per cent from 2013 to 28.4 million units.
IDC said this is now a niche segment, representing only 16 per cent of total units shipped in the year and 2.2 per cent of the total market value.
However, total smartphone shipments jumped 6.4 per cent annually to 145.8 million units, to represent 84 per cent of the total number of mobile phones shipped in Western Europe last year. This accounted for $62.4 billion in value, up 1.7 per cent.
In addition, phablet shipments jumped 174 per cent from 2013 to more than 14.3 million last year, representing nearly 10 per cent of smartphones shipped in 2014. This was despite the average selling price of $669 being much higher than $428 for smartphones. Samsung, Apple and LG accounted for 80 per cent of the phablets shipped in Europe.
IDC European mobile devices research director Francisco Jeronimo (pictured) said: “Seven out of ten people in Western Europe now have a smartphone. The success of the new iPhones 6 and 6 Plus, the increasing popularity of phablets and the explosion of devices priced under $150, were the biggest contributors to this growth.
“Last year we saw 28 new brands entering the European market. Their main focus is on low-end and affordable smartphones. This has eased the transition from feature phones to smartphones for those consumers who were unconvinced by the real value of a smart device.
“We continue to see a strong momentum around the new brands that entered the market in the past two years, which combined already represent 6.4% of the total smartphone market.”