2020 was a rollercoaster year for the European smartphone market. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the region hard, resulting in both supply and demand side issues. The end of the year, therefore, saw the market decline again, despite the best efforts of Apple. Overall, 2020 saw the European smartphone market shrink by 14% versus 2019," and yet Apple was able to end Q4 as the European leader of Smartphones due to the strength of the iPhone 12.
The Counterpoint report further noted that "Apple may have declined slightly in 2020, but this doesn’t tell the full story. The decision to delay the launch of the iPhone 12 appears to have paid off, for two reasons. First, it gave the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE the opportunity to demonstrate remarkable longevity, selling continuously well in many markets throughout the year. And second, it built up demand for the new device which, when finally launched in October, sold spectacularly. In fact, the iPhone 12 was Apple’s most successful device launch to date, and drove Apple to a record share high of 30% in Q4 2020," as noted in the chart below.
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Huawei’s inability to produce competitive smartphones thanks to US sanctions means the vendor has all but exited the European smartphone market. It should be noted that Counterpoint's chart notes that Huawei's numbers include phones from Honor. Huawei sold Honor back in November. However, there was no date announced as to when the deal will be finalized. The sale of Honor, when completed, will likely send Huawei shipment statistics down to the bottom of the top smartphone vendor list.
For more on this, review the full Counterpoint report.