Giving numbers for the smartphone market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the period, IDC said 83.7 million units were shipped in toto, a drop of 3.,3% year-on-year which confirmed recent trends of a slowing market.
The total value was down by a little more than 10% year-on-year, coming to US$26.78 billion in retail value before sales tax. Feature phone sales were at 45.9 million units, two-thirds of them to Africa.
IDC said its figures showed the Mideast market contracting the most at 18.8% below 1Q2018. Africa grew by 6% while Europe showed little change.
"In brands, Huawei continued to make incremental advances, and so did Xiaomi, while Apple had a tough quarter, with its 23% market share across Europe the lowest 1Q result in five years," said Marta Pinto, research manager at IDC EMEA.
IDC said the top three Chinese brands — Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi — including the Transsion stable in Africa, took 36.8% of the total market, against 32.8% a year ago, confirming the trend toward consolidation. Samsung gained nearly four percentage points since 4Q2018.
"The market has been changing in the last few quarters in relatively predictable ways," said Pinto. "Shipments have slowed as consumers hold on to devices for longer, Apple has been challenged with its latest devices, and Chinese manufacturers have been making strides each quarter."
Simon Baker, program director at IDC EMEA, said Europe had been the global focus of vendor concentration in recent quarters, with some of the smaller players under a lot of pressure.
"Looking ahead, it is no longer possible to see clear trends as before. The blacklisting of Huawei in the US on 16 May is creating so many unknowns, and uncertainty is the new key word in the industry as global geopolitics — unconnected directly with Europe or EMEA — becomes the single most important factor in how the market will develop over the rest of the year," he added.