The effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused European smartphone shipments to drop 10% year-over-year in the first three months of 2022.
European smartphone shipments affected by Russian invasion
According 9to5MacGlobal chip shortages also played a role in the decline, but the latest market intelligence data indicated that the war between Russia and Ukraine was a bigger factor in the magnitude of the decline.
Canalys reports that quarterly smartphone shipments in Europe fell to 41.7 million units.
Runar Bjørhovde, an analyst at Canalys Research, said most of the decline in Europe was due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
These smartphone shipments in Russia and Ukraine fell 31% and 51% respectively compared to Q1 2021. Shipments in the rest of Europe fell only 3.5% year-on-year, showing that the request remains intact.
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However, the ongoing war has pushed inflation to an all-time high and consumer confidence is also falling.
The real test for the smartphone market will come in the next six months of 2022, when the economic impact of the war will really start to be felt.
Apple continues to thrive
Apple was second to South Korean tech company Samsung, but it is ahead of Chinese maker Xiaomi, according to Telecoms.
Very strong demand for the iPhone 13 saw the Cupertino company increase its shipments slightly, from 8.8 million in the first quarter of 2021 to 8.9 million in the same quarter of 2022.
Apple’s European market share fell from 19% to 21%, mainly at the expense of one of its rivals, Xiaomi.
Impact of Inflation and the Great Resignation
Looking ahead, the impact of inflation on the demand for expensive consumer electronics such as smartphones, laptops and tablets is of great concern.
Sanctions against Russia impact everything from energy prices to product distribution. Ukraine is also a major food exporter, so food prices increase as supply decreases.
This has seen inflation soar, while the Great Resignation creates more inflationary pressure as companies are forced to raise salaries for their employees in order to retain them and recruit staff permanently.
The term was coined by Anthony Klotz, a renowned psychologist who successfully predicted the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the workforce around the world.
Klotz said there are three main factors behind the record rates at which people are quitting their jobs.
The first was the unleashing of pent-up demand for change after the initial fear-driven stagnation.
Second, the desire for continued flexibility from remote work, which many companies are now ending, and third, people are reassessing their priorities in life and with work seen as less important by many.
This sees some people cutting back on their careers to take time off or accepting lower pay for less stressful and demanding work, which will reduce discretionary purchasing power for things like computers, tablets and smartphones.
As Klotz said The Financial Times in an interview, what he kept hearing was before the COVID-19 pandemic, people organized their whole lives around work, but coming out of the pandemic, people realized they had need work to work around their life.
Social media companies have also been affected by the war between Russia and Ukraine. Twitter stopped advertising on the platform in the aftermath of the war.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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