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Cherry-picked data claims Apple is beating Samsung in Europe

Figures suggest that the iPhone 15 is particularly popular in Europe

New research states that Apple's iPhone has had a remarkable rise to overtake Samsung in the EU, but that headline claim doesn't stand up to the gentlest scrutiny.

In February 2024, research firm Canalys did say that Apple returned to pole position in European smartphone sales during the 2023 holiday quarter. It also said that this meant Apple had overtaken its main rival for the first time in seven quarters.

Now separate research from Stocklytics, based on data from Statista, agrees that Apple has beaten Samsung, and that this has shaken up the market. But it says this is the first time since 2014.

That's based on a chart showing sales from 2010 to 2022, although it's labelled as being to 2023. This chart shows Samsung rising sharply to overtake Apple in 2014, then remaining ahead until 2021, when both firms almost tied.

For some reason, Stocklytics is ignoring the 2010 start, the 2014 time Samsung overtook Apple, and the 2021 quarter where the two both had around 32% of the market.

Instead, it's chosen to focus on the years 2019 to 2023, for no clear reason. Nonetheless, over that period, it says Apple's market share rose by "a remarkable 32%," where Samsung's dropped "from an astounding 34.44%" to 31%.

Line chart illustrating the market share trends of Apple and Samsung in Europe from 2010 to 2023; Apple rising to 2023, Samsung declining then stabilizing.
The X-axis confusingly seems to stop at 2022, but the figures behind it go up to the end of 2023 (Source: Stocklytics)

That 31% for the end of 2023 matches what the firm's chart says for 2022. So assuming that its latest figures for Apple are also for 2022, Apple's rise took it to 33.35% of the market.

Stocklytics does also say, though, that Q1 2024 saw Samsung rise to 32%, while Apple dipped back to 25%. This quarter is when Samsung launches its latest Galaxy smartphones, and is traditionally also when the initial sales of new iPhones taper off.

The research concludes with the latest data from the month of June 2024. That sees Apple on 30% and Samsung on 33%, which can't really be said to shake up the EU market.

Separately, if you're keeping score, figures from IDC say that globally, Apple is beating Samsung. Those worldwide figures for the whole of 2023, see Apple on 20.1% market share, compared to Samsung on 19.4%.