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10 Apr 2018

Romania's Smartphone Market Inhibited by Lower-Volume, Higher-Value Consumer Purchasing Trends, Says IDC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Prague — The smartphone market in Romania stagnated somewhat in 2017, following several years of rapid growth. Shipment volume was 3.1 million units, down nearly 4% against the previous year, while market value was similar to that in 2016, at $687 million, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). This was a disappointing result for many vendors, considering Romania’s burgeoning economy, which grew by 7% year on year in 2017, and had the fastest growth rate in the European Union in the fourth quarter.

"Romanians are buying more sophisticated phones," says Alexandra Rotaru, IDC’s country analyst for mobile devices in Romania. "They now overwhelmingly choose 4G-ready devices, with bigger screens than before. The economic recovery was reflected in a move to phones in the $200-300 price band, as well as to premium models, which are now the two most important categories in volume terms in the smartphone market."

Samsung retained its market leadership in the Romanian smartphone market. Although the vendor focuses its advertising on premium models, it has a broad portfolio with devices for most pockets. As is the case in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the leader is increasingly being challenged by China’s Huawei, which increased shipments in Romania every quarter in 2017, finally accounting for more than 20% of the smartphone market in the last three months of the year. The relaunch of Nokia smartphones was also very successful in Romania, a country in which its feature phones have traditionally sold well. The vendor's new range of Android smartphones captured 4.8% of the smartphone market, their highest smartphone market share in any CEE country.

Feeling the heat from growing competition is local vendor Allview, which has been the leading local brand in Central Europe and the Balkans, but its unit shipments of smartphones contracted by 40% in 2017 compared to 2016. Its competitively priced portfolio, much of which is limited to 3G devices, was increasingly passed over by consumers, who instead opted for 4G models with bigger screens from international competitors.

Most Romanians purchase dual-SIM phones, which account for nearly three quarters of both the smartphone and feature phone segments of the market. According to IDC's forecast, the Romanian smartphone market will grow moderately from 2018 onwards, with the first 5G models being introduced in 2020.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

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