STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The European smartphone market declined by 12% in the first quarter of the year, registering the lowest shipments in the period for nearly a decade, according to a report from Counterpoint Research.
The fall was a result of ongoing component shortages, COVID-19 related lockdowns in China, deteriorating economic conditions and the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war, the research firm said.
While market leader Samsung saw shipments fall by 16% and Apple's declined 6%, Realme was the only top-five vendor to register an annual growth in shipments.
"Rising inflation levels across the region are impacting consumer spending, while Samsung and Apple, Russia's first and third ranked smartphone vendors, halted all shipments into Europe's largest market in early March 2022," said Jan Stryjak, Counterpoint Research's associate director.
The research firm expects annual growth in smartphone shipments in Europe to continue to decline for the next few quarters, especially in the second quarter.
(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)