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The Smartphones in Western Europe: trends and forecasts 2015–2020

The Smartphones in Western Europe: trends and forecasts 2015–2020

Total smartphone sales in Western Europe will remain relatively stable between 2015 and 2020, as the positive impact of 4G migration and dynamics that favour SIM-only contracts cancel each other out. This report provides forecasts and an explanation of key trends that affect smartphone sales in the region.


Executive summary
Executive summary: Smartphone sales will benefit from 4G service take-up, but SIM-only plans will limit growth
Worldwide trends
Worldwide: Smartphone markets are saturating – operators and vendors must reassess their priorities
Worldwide: Growth in unit sales will depend on emerging markets and will come mostly from emerging Asia–Pacific
Worldwide: Operators are key sources of smartphones in most regions, but they lost some ground to other channels in 2015
Worldwide: Vendor financing is the end-point of gradual shifts in operator device strategies rather than an abrupt change
Worldwide: Vendor financing plans are most likely to succeed in countries where users are ready for SIM-only contracts
Worldwide: Operator bundles are in demand and play a role in
prepaid-to-postpaid migration
Worldwide: Apple leads the high-end market and Chinese vendors are capturing demand at the low end
Worldwide: iOS’s market share of unit sales will remain stable at around 15% until 2020
Regional trends
Western Europe: Migration to 4G boosts smartphone sales, but replacement cycles are slow and SIM-only contracts grow
Western Europe: Key regional trends
Western Europe: Operators have lost ground to retailers in 2015, but they are still central to the smartphone supply chain
Western Europe: Apple users score higher NPS for mobile services, except in Spain where Android dominates
Country-level trends
France: Operators focus on minimising upfront payments for smartphones; Windows Phones do reasonably well
Germany: Smartphone sales will peak at 31 million units in 2018 as accumulated demand catches up
Spain: Android continues to dominate although iOS mildly improves market share during flagship launches
United Kingdom: Operators place iOS at the core of their portfolios and marketing efforts
Forecast methodology and assumptions
Forecast methodology and assumptions
About the authors and Analysys Mason
About the authors
About Analysys Mason
List of figures
Figure 1: Smartphone unit sales and smartphones’ share of mobile handset unit sales, Western Europe, 2012–2020
Figure 2: Mobile handset unit sales by type, and smartphones’ share of unit sales, worldwide, 2012–2020
Figure 3: Smartphone unit sales by region, 2014 and 2020
Figure 4: Percentage of respondents who bought their most recent handset from an operator, 16 countries, and averages for 2014 and 2015
Figure 5: Device bundling and financing plans by type
Figure 6: Seven areas of consideration for operators when assessing the potential impact of SIM-only and vendor financing take-up
Figure 7: Choice of next mobile tariff  type among those that plan to change their tariffs, by current tariff type, 6 European countries, US and South Korea
Figure 8: Choice of next mobile tariff  type among those that plan to change their tariffs, by current tariff base, 8 countries in MEA and emerging APAC
Figure 9: Smartphone unit sales by manufacturer, worldwide, 2012–2020
Figure 10: Smartphone unit sales by operating system, worldwide, 2012–2020
Figure 11: Mobile handset connections by type, and smartphones’ share of connections, Western Europe, 2012–2020
Figure 12: Smartphone unit sales and smartphones’ share of mobile handset unit sales, Western Europe, 2012–2020
Figure 13: Key regional trends in handset markets, Western Europe
Figure 14: Most recent handset purchase by channel and country, 2015, and 2014 comparison for operators
Figure 15: Operators as a channel for smartphones and iPhones, and NPS differential of Apple users for mobile services, 2015
Figure 16: Smartphone unit sales and smartphones’ share of mobile handset unit sales, France, 2012–2020
Figure 17: Smartphone unit sales and smartphones’ share of mobile handset unit sales, Germany, 2012–2020
Figure 18: Smartphone unit sales and smartphones’ share of mobile handset unit sales, Spain, 2012–2020
Figure 19: Smartphone unit sales and smartphones’ share in total handset sales, United Kingdom, 2012–2020
Figure 20: Main enablers and constraints for our smartphone forecasts

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