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The International Data Corporation or IDC released a record of 2020's shipments of smartphones in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. The records show that 2020's sale was the weakest one in the past six years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For 2020, 345.2 million units were shipped in the region, which is a 4.2% year-over-year decline. Based on value, $110 billion worth of phones were delivered in 2020 in theMiddle East, Europe, and Africa.

In Europe alone, the number of smartphones shipped in 2020 amounted to 195.2 million units for a 4.9% decline. The value of smartphones shipped in the continent in 2020 was $82.4 million, which is down 3%.

Xiaomi comes out strong

In 2020, Xiaomi ended with the strongest annual gain in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa smartphone shipments. Another Chinese-based company, Huawei, had the biggest annual decline, according to PhoneArena.

Zdenek Krouzel, the program manager at IDC said that if people look at the topline numbers, they might think that it was a typical year with a bit of challenge, not one with a pandemic and lockdowns, thus leading to the economic downturn.

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IDC EMEA Research Manager Marta Pinto stated that across Europe, consumers switched quickly to buying online when phone shops closed in 2020.

The phone business did not get the same type of boost from virtual work, unlike the PC market, but consumers were valuing the phones more because that was how they coped with the stress of being forced to stay at home for months.

IDC stated that the average pre-tax price of an Android phone in Europe dropped 8.5% in 2020 to $278. On the other hand, the average sale price of an iPhone in Europe increased to $894. Apple also had a strong 2020 in Europe.

Samsung still on top

Although Xiaomi shows improvement, the top smartphone brand in Europe, Middle East, and Africa in 2020 was Samsung despite a 15.9% year-over-year decline in yearly shipments, according to Business Inquirer.

In 2020, Samsung shipped 99.7 million handsets. Apple, on the other hand, only shipped 53.2 million units with a 10% year-over-year gain. 

The transition delivered 47 million handsets in EMEA in 2020 for a 13.6% market share, up 31.1% year-over-year. Xiaomi and Huawei had the largest year-over-year gain and the decline, respectively.

Xiaomi, which has climbed to third place in the global charts when it comes to smartphone sales, saw its shipments in Europe, Middle East, and Africa increase 66.4% on an annual basis to 41.1 million units.

Huawei's 35.8% year-over-year decline dropped its shipments in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East from 68.5 million to 44 million units during 2020.

Huawei's results were affected by the company's continued placement on the U.S entity list that was done last year, further preventing it from accessing its U.S supply chain for a second year.

Huawei was also affected by the change in export rules that prevents global foundries using U.S technology from shipping cutting-edge chips to Huawei. Meanwhile, Xiaomi has been taking market share from Huawei while Samsung is still the top seller.

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Written by Sieeka Khan

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