Even before the onset of the pandemic, retail current value sales of mobile phones had begun to decline, primarily due to saturation and a trend towards longer replacement cycles. During 2020, these challenges were compounded by the economic shock of the pandemic, which weighed on consumer confidence and made some local consumers less inclined to buy a new phone unless it was absolutely necessary.
Samsung Electronics France will continue to lead in smartphones during 2021, ahead of Apple France SARL. During the early part of the review period, Samsung lost significant retail volume share to Chinese player Huawei Device France, which at one point had seemed poised to overtake the South Korean company, due in large part to the former’s very competitive pricing.
New product launches will also provide a boost to retail volume sales of smartphones during 2021. The anticipated launch of Apple’s iPhone 13 in the autumn is set to be particularly important in this regard.
The rate of growth in retail value sales of mobile phones will slow during 2022 and remain moderate for the remainder of the forecast period. With little growth in retail volume sales anticipated due to market saturation, the main driver of growth in retail current value sales will be consumers buying more expensive models with 5G connectivity, better cameras and higher-resolution screens.
Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Oppo with very competitively priced models are set to pose a growing competitive threat to Samsung in Android smartphones during the forecast period, but it remains questionable whether Huawei can recover from the loss of Android and win back French consumers with its HarmonyOS. Apple is more insulated from these Chinese players than Samsung due to the very high degree of brand loyalty exhibited by iPhone users and the fact that it has a well-established proprietary operating system (iOS) that matches Android in terms of the range of apps on offer.
Increased sales of used smartphones could weigh on demand for new models during the forecast period. With environmental concerns on the rise, particularly among younger consumers, sustainability is becoming a more influential factor in mobile phone purchasing decisions in France.
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This report originates from Passport, our Mobile Phones research and analysis database.
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