Strategy Analytics: Chinese smartphone makers seize the European market, with shipments quadrupling in two years

Against the backdrop of Huawei’s strategic retreat, a new group of Chinese smartphone makers is conquering Europe. From Q1 2019 to Q1 2021, shipments of Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo, Realme and OnePlus in Europe almost quadrupled in two years.

Chinese smartphone makers typically enter the European market through eastern European borders, then move to the West about a year later. The five Chinese smartphone “new entrants” have a combined market share of around 10%-15% higher in Central and Eastern Europe than in Western Europe, but over time as companies build better brand recognition in Western Europe , the gap may narrow.

In 2020, the average wholesale price of smartphones in Central and Eastern Europe is around $200, which is the best price point for Chinese OEMs. About half of the smartphones sold by four of the five Chinese manufacturers mentioned above were in the mid-priced range ($100-$190).

One exception, however, is OnePlus, which sells high-end smartphones (>$300) that account for nearly three-quarters of its total sales. This also explains why OnePlus is the only one of the five suppliers with a larger market share in Western Europe than in Central and Eastern Europe.

Despite their great success, China’s “new entrants” still need to be aware of some challenges, including weak brand awareness, growth bottlenecks from Huawei’s withdrawal from the European market, and the absence of highly attractive flagship devices or breakthrough innovations Wait. What’s more important is the political tension between China and the US, which can even affect their business in Europe.

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