22 Feb 2019

Czech Smartphone Market in 2018 According to IDC: Growth, Bigger Screens, Higher Prices, and a Battle for Market Domination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Prague — According to the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker published by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Czech Republic smartphone market recorded considerable year-on-year growth in 2018, with average sales prices increasing as Huawei and Samsung fought for market leadership.

Highlights from 2018

The Czech economy has been strong in recent quarters, and while the Czech crown is no longer rising in value (as it did in 2017), consumer expenditure on phones has been stable. In 2018, total sales reached 2.36 million units and market value grew to $786.4 million (before sales tax).

The Czech market smartphone mirrors the general transition that is taking place across Central and Eastern Europe, with Huawei increasing its market share and consumers moving towards more expensive 4G phones with bigger screens. In 2017, smartphones with screen sizes above 5.5" generated around 26% of unit sales; in 2018, this proportion rose to around 54% as vendors began to flood the market with models offering better screen-to-body ratios, minimizing the bezels and thus preserving the compact dimensions of the phone body while enlarging the display.

The average price paid for a smartphone rose from $316 in 2017 to $333 in 2018 (retail price before tax), which represents the highest figure since 2010. 

Vendor Highlights

“Huawei had a very strong year and — with its second brand, Honor, included — it is now head to head with Samsung in terms of market share," says Zdenek Krouzel, research manager at IDC European Research in Prague. "Huawei surpassed Samsung in the third quarter and retained this position in the fourth.” The latest P20 models from Huawei, especially the Lite version, have done well in the Czech Republic. For Samsung, the top sellers have been in its J series, rather than its premium Galaxy 9.

Apple remained a marginal contender in 2018, with its smartphone market value share slipping to just above 10%.

One brand that is making waves in the global market, but which has not yet made a big showing in the Czech Republic, is Xiaomi. The brand tends to concentrate on individual countries one at time, in order to make a major market entry. Officially entering the Czech market in mid-2017, Xiaomi already gained notable market share in 2018 and placed fourth in unit terms.

In the Czech smartphone market, mobile operators’ own retail networks account for half of all smartphone sales, which tends to limit the number of brands and models on wide offer.


IDC predicts that the growth in the Czech smartphone market will slow over the coming year, though the consumer trend towards higher-spec devices will continue. “The big talk in the industry is now around 5G,” notes Simon Baker, program director at IDC EMEA. “But, in reality, it will take time for 5G networks to become established and for them to offer phone users a real advantage over 4G. So, although 5G devices will be on the market later this year, they will not represent a significant market share in 2019.”

About IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker fills the demand for detailed and timely information on the total mobile phone and smartphone markets for handset vendors, software developers, service providers, component suppliers, and investors. It provides insightful analysis through quarterly market share data by region. IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker is built on the foundation of IDC's network of country-level mobile phone tracking services, and its bottom-up methodology delivers an accurate view of the mobile phone market from those closest to it. This IDC tracker product delivers a quarterly web database that details the performance of the market's individual players and answers important product-planning and product-positioning questions.

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 subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.