Apple could be facing some tougher times, based on the newest information from research firm Canalys. According to the company, the tech-maker saw a decline of 17% in smartphone shipments in Europe, year-on-year. In more practical terms, Apple’s European phone shipments fell to 6.4 million units for Q2 2019, down from 7.7 million units for Q2 2019.
First World Problems
Of course, for Apple ‘tougher times’ seems to mean ‘fewer gold-plated Ferraris in the driveway’. The company’s not going to be in any danger any time soon, unless its cash supply somehow begins to spontaneously combust. Though its share of the European smartphone market has fallen from 17% overall to just 14.1%, it doesn’t represent much of a cash-flow issue to Cook and friends. The competition, though, is heating up.
Canalys’ report also details Samsung’s improvement in the region. The South Korean company picked up some of Apple’s slack and then some, increasing shipments from 15.3 million to 18.3 million over the same period. That’s being laid at the door of Samsung’s mid-range A-series smartphones, which have offered the company a boost while also mucking with other brands who don’t usually have the Korean powerhouse muscling in on their turf. Well played, Samsung.
Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton said “A lack of brand loyalty among users of low-end and mid-range Android smartphones, which has blighted Samsung for so long, has become the catalyst for its best performance in years,” while also pointing out that Samsung’s made the most of Huawei’s Entity List woes.
Apple is seeing similar movement around the world. That is, the company is losing market share globally but not so much that it has lost its position in the market. Major competitor Huawei, which dislodged Apple from the number 2 spot, also saw its shipments decline — by 16% — year-on-year in Europe. Huawei’s ongoing tussle with the American government seems to be the main catalyst for that, with Chinese company Xiaomi picking up much of Huawei’s slack. Xiaomi’s shipments in the region grew to 4.3 million smartphones, according to Canalys’ data.
Not that any of this will trouble Apple, at least until it has a quarter that can properly be described as dismal. Since Apple’s only just come off a 21-year high, we can’t see that happening any time soon. Still, the company now faces an uphill battle that its incremental hardware updates are going to struggle to cope with.