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November 25, 2015

European smartphone sales flat with 3% growth in Q3

News: 1.3bn units expected to be sold globally in 2015 representing $400bn in sales value.

By Joao Lima

Smartphone sales have hit an all time high worldwide in Q3 2015, but sales in Western Europe have gone flat.

A report has found that in Q3 2015, 324.9 million smartphone units were sold globally, 24.6 million (7.4%) more when compared to the 301.3 million of Q3 2014.

The last quarter was also the second highest ever in this sector, with sales value across the world increasing 5.9% in Q3 ($95.3 billion) when compared to Q3 last year ($90 billion).

According to GfK, in Europe, overall sales in Q3 2015 hit 51.9 million units, with Western Europe representing 33 million devices (3% more over Q3 2014) and Central and Eastern Europe 18.9 million (4% more). Units sold in the UK were down by 1%.

The sales value in Western Europe was $12.4 billion in Q3 2015, down 8.8% compared to the same period last year. The decline in Central and Eastern Europe was even higher (14%), with sales dropping from $4.3 billion in Q3 2014 to $3.7 billion in the same period this year.

In terms of sales value, the market that most grew was China, which registered an increase of 30.6% (Q3 2014: $21.6 billion/Q3 2015: $28.2).

However, the biggest increase of sold units by percentage was in the emerging APAC region, which jumped 24% between last year and this year. 46.5 million units were sold in this region in Q3 2015.

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Kevin Walsh, director of trends and forecasting at GfK, said: "A mix-shift towards low-end smartphones, especially in the struggling economies of Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe, has combined with a depreciating US dollar to offset an ASP increase in China – resulting in ASP remaining flat year-on-year in the third quarter."

The company has also forecasted smartphone sales to grow 6.6% during 2015 reaching 1,305.8 million units compared to 1,225.2 million that have been sold in 2014.

Last year, this represented a sales value of $380.2 billion with 2015 forecasted to increase 5.2% in sales value to $400 billion.

Walsh said: "Next year we forecast growth to improve marginally to eight percent YOY, buoyed by China and Central Europe, but emerging APAC and MEA will remain the main powerhouses of smartphone unit demand.

"These markets will continue to benefit from the double-whammy of low smartphone penetration rates and more lower-priced devices entering the market."

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