Western European mobile phone shipment decreased 4.2% year on year to 43.6 million units in the first quarter of 2013, according to a report from International Data Corporation (IDC).
According to the report, the decrease was mainly due to the lower than expected slowdown in the smartphone shipments in the quarter.
During the first quarter, the feature phone shipments dropped by 31% year on year to 12 million units, while the smartphone shipments grew 12% year on year to 31.6 million units, which said to be the lowest growth rate in the mobile phone market since 2004.
IDC European mobile devices research director Francisco Jeronimo said that the first wave of smartphone adoption in the region was driven by those users looking for devices that would meet their mobility needs.
"They did look for the best devices in terms of performance and user experience, and more importantly, they were able to afford and pay a premium to get a premium experience," Jeronimo said.
"We are now entering the second wave of smartphone adoption, which will be driven by those users with no need for a smartphone."
Based on the operating system (OS), Android led the market with sales of 21.9 million units, resulting in a market share increase of 69% in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the corresponding quarter of 2012.
Apple’s iOS experienced a drop in the market share to 20% from 25% in the same period prior year, while Windows based phones increased their market share by 6% from 4% in the corresponding quarter last year.