Devices > Handset Country Share Blog

Huawei Leaps to 3rd in UK Smartphone Market

by Neil Mawston | Feb 13, 2019

According to the latest research from our Smartphone Country Share Tracker (CST) service, United Kingdom smartphone shipments tumbled 14 percent annually to reach 7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Huawei was the star performer, while Samsung and Apple iPhone lost ground.

UK smartphone shipments declined 14 percent annually from 8.5 million units in Q4 2017 to 7.3 million in Q4 2018. United Kingdom is the largest smartphone market in Western Europe and it is suffering from weak sales, due to longer replacement rates, a lack of wow designs, and Brexit uncertainty causing consumers to hold off on some new purchases.

APPLE shipped 3.0 million smartphones and captured a dominant 41 percent marketshare in the UK during Q4 2018. Apple has a prestigious brand and extensive retail presence across the UK market. Despite a slight decline from a year ago, Apple’s grip on the UK smartphone market remains fairly tight and the iPhone has two times more marketshare than closest rival Samsung.

SAMSUNG clung on to second place with 19 percent smartphone marketshare in the UK during Q4 2018, down from 21 percent a year ago. Samsung’s UK smartphone marketshare has more than halved during the past six years. Samsung is facing intense competitive pressure from Huawei, who is targeting Samsung’s core segments in the midrange and premium-tier with popular models such as the P20.

HUAWEI'S UK smartphone marketshare has leapt from 8 percent in Q4 2017 to 12 percent in Q4 2018. Huawei is growing fast in the UK, due to heavy co-marketing of its models with major carriers like EE.

Clients can view the full UK smartphone dataset and analysis here.

Exhibit 1: UK Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Marketshare in Q4 2018  [1]

[1]  Numbers are rounded.

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