Apple's iPhone X remains the most popular smartphone in Europe

Apple’s iPhone X remained the most popular smartphone in Europe in the first quarter of 2018, even as overall shipments fell 6.3% year-on-year, according to new data from Canalys.

Western Europe bore the brunt, down 13.9% with 30.1 million units shipped. Central and Eastern Europe, though a smaller market, remained a growth region, up 12.3% at 15.9 million units, driven by a buoyant Russia, adds the research group.

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Apple outperformed the market and shipped over 10 million units, but this still represented a 5.4% decline. As a percentage of models shipped, the iPhone X declined slightly from quarter four, to around 25%, but it remained comfortably the best-shipping smartphone in the region, according to Canalys.

Apple’s larger portfolio strategy will become more important as the year progresses, with over 25% of its quarter one shipments the iPhone SE, 6 and 6s – models that are over two years old, adds the research group. This wider spread of shipments did, however, offset the value growth driven by the pricier iPhone X.

Samsung remained on top, shipping over 15 million smartphones, but slipped 15% compared with last year as Huawei and Xiaomi put pressure on its low-end and mid-range models. Huawei bucked the trend, growing 38.6% and shipping 7.4 million units. 

Samsung, Apple and Huawei have grown their collective share of Europe from 61.0% in quarter one of 2014 to 71.4% in quarter one of 2018. Smaller brands, such as Alcatel, Sony and LG, suffered substantial declines this quarter, notes Canalys.