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Samsung Dominates Poland's Smartphone Market but Huawei Is Making Inroads Rapidly

by Juha Winter | Jan 16, 2017

Looking back at 2016 and the last two quarters of the year in particular, Poland clearly stands out as Central and Eastern Europe’s second most important smartphone market, right after Russia. Strategy Analytics estimates that more than eight million smartphones were sold in the country in 2016, some 60 percent of which were through the operator channel. Although operators currently still dominate smartphone distribution in the country, the share of retailers is steadily increasing, by several percentage points over the next four years.

The Polish smartphone market has been heavily dominated by Samsung for the past two years, with Samsung’s market share firmly above the 35 percent level and in Q3 2016, exceeding 45 percent. Therefore, when looking at the list of best-selling smartphones in Poland in Q3 2016, it’s no surprise that the top of the list is heavily dominated by Samsung models, particularly the new J series.  The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) is, of course, doing quite well in other CEE markets, too, and in Western Europe as well. That particular model, however, seems to hit a sweet spot among the frugal and value-conscious smartphone buyers in Poland. Also the new Galaxy J3 (2016) is doing well.

What’s particularly interesting about the Polish smartphone market is that in recent quarters, Huawei has emerged from negligible volumes to second place, displacing Apple and LG. Other Chinese vendors such as Lenovo are even further behind. Huawei has lately enjoyed similar or even more rapid growth in certain markets in Western Europe as well, Italy and Spain being the primary examples. Also in France and Germany, Huawei has been able to get models into the top-20 list, and occasionally some even into the top-10, with the P8 Lite and the P9 Lite being top-sellers in particular. Huawei’s clever marketing campaigns, relying on celebrities in many markets, coupled with attractive pricing, a premium look and feel, and good perceived value for money, are clearly paying off.

Interested in staying on top of the smartphone market in Poland or other countries with superior model-level detail on shipments and market share? Our quarterly Smartphone Model Tracker (SMT) report series covers the top-50..200 best-selling smartphone models in the core set of 20 countries and the top-70 globally best-selling models across the rest of the 88 countries in all six principal regions. Be sure to check out the service here.
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