April 13, 2021
Samsung kept the lead in Europe in 2020 but the S20 series held it back

Samsung kept the lead in Europe in 2020 but the S20 series held it back


2020 was a tough year for the European smartphone market, and although sales figures have recovered almost entirely by the end of the year, the smartphone market also experienced a massive sales decline of nearly 50% YoY in April 2020, three months after the number of COVID-19 cases started to rise, and one month after the first lockdowns were set in place. Of course, Samsung isn’t invulnerable and its market performance was affected by these events.

According to figures revealed by Counterpoint Research, Samsung’s market performance in Europe throughout 2020 is sort of a mixed bag. The company managed to increase its market share from 31% in 2019 to 32% a year later, but because the entire smartphone market declined, the company ended up selling fewer smartphones last year than it did in 2019. The company was only able to maintain the lead in terms of market share because other OEMs, except for Xiaomi, Oppo, and Realme, have also experienced lower YoY sales.

The Galaxy S20 series was sort of a letdown

Samsung sold an estimated 59.8 million smartphones in Europe last year, down from 67.9 million units in 2019, and the market watcher highlights three main factors that led to Samsung losing ground.

The Galaxy S20 series is one of those factors. The flagship series never really took off, claims the report, and it was also regularly outsold in Europe by Samsung’s own mid-range Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71 models. Flagship sales were down in general, as more European customers were more conscious about their spending last year, but either way, the flagship series wasn’t a favorite among European smartphone customers.

Another reason leading to Samsung’s lower performance has to do with Huawei’s misfortune and the fact that the smartphone segment in Europe became very competitive. Many smaller OEMs have attempted to capture the market share that was once held by Huawei, and they succeeded in giving Samsung a difficult time.

The last but not least reason behind Samsung’s market performance in 2020 was Apple. With the release of the 5G-enabled iPhone 12, Samsung no longer had a strong grasp over the 5G market and Apple became a real alternative for customers who wanted to jump on the 5G bandwagon early on.

The good news is that Counterpoint Research believes the Galaxy S21 flagship should perform better than the S20 did last year. And although Samsung will face strong opposition, the new flagship will likely be leading the Android premium smartphone segment in Europe throughout 20201.





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