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Despite Polish Smartphone Market Reaching Saturation, Huawei Recorded Strong Growth in Q1 2016

(PresseBox) (Warsaw, ) According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 1.88 million smartphones were sold in Poland in the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16), up 7% from the 1.75 million units sold in 1Q15. This minimal growth is primarily attributable to the growing saturation of the smartphone market, after a total of 7.5 million smartphones were sold in Poland in 2015, representing 73% of all mobile phones sold during the year. “Poland lags behind Western Europe in terms of smartphone penetration,” says Marek Kujda, senior research analyst at IDC Poland. “But not by that much — smartphones constituted 88% of all handsets sold in Western Europe in 2015.”

The Polish smartphone market continues to diversify, as more smartphone brands enter a very competitive market. New market entrants benefit from the trend among telecom operators to separate handset cost from voice and data services contracts. When handsets are sold on installment plans, clients are more likely to compare telco prices with other sales channels, which leads to a continuous gain in the share of retailers and etailers. Retailers are looking for low-priced smartphone models, which creates opportunities for new handset brands that would normally have little chance of joining the product portfolios of the multinational telcos.

The share of handsets sold in retail/etail has been growing, while the share of handsets sold by telcos has commensurately dropped; additionally, the average price paid for a smartphone is falling. Operators' share of smartphone sales volume were down to 56% in 1Q16, from 70% in the same quarter of the previous year. Meanwhile, the average price paid for an Android smartphone in Poland has fallen from EUR 225 in the first quarter of 2015, to EUR 159 in the first quarter of this year.

The biggest change in the Polish smartphone market was the strong growth of Huawei, which placed the vendor second after Samsung in sales volume, and third after Samsung and Apple in sales value in 1Q16. Samsung captured 29% of overall smartphone sales volume in the first quarter of the year, while Huawei accounted for 23% and Apple took 11%. Huawei’s success can be attributed to a combination of feature-rich, affordable handsets and competitive pricing.

“Chinese smartphone vendors refined their product portfolios and go-to-market strategies, which allowed them to capture a third of the Polish smartphone market in total,” says Kujda. “Huawei was the most successful Chinese brand, while other Chinese brands shared a combined 10% of the Polish market.”

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IDC Central Europe GmbH

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 46 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting IDC on Twitter at @IDC.