Falling smartphone sales drag down home electronics sector in Romania

Falling smartphone sales drag down home electronics sector in Romania
Window shopping ahead of Black Friday at one of Romania's major electronics retailers.
By Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 9, 2019

Sales of home electronics in Romania declined by 1.7% in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period of 2018, to around €700mn, shows an analysis by GfK.

Notably, the smartphone sales plunged to a quarter of those recorded in Q1 last year, in value terms. This sub-segment prompted the negative evolution of the whole telecom equipment segment, losing more than 74% of its value compared to the same quarter of 2018, with sales of only €53mn.

On the other hand, the phablets category — devices with a display size of more than 5.6 inches that straddle the smartphone and tablet categories — still enjoys “crazy growing rates” of 146.5%, to reach €231mn sales in Q1, GfK commented, which shows that Romanian consumers have moved to wider-screen mobile devices.

The overall market decline was mainly prompted by the weaker sales of telecom equipment (43% of the total market) and IT equipment (14% of the market). The telecom equipment segment shrank by 4.5% year-on-year, to €301mn. It includes mobile and smartphones, phablets, headphones and core wearables, such as smart clocks and Fitbits.

Against the overall decline, sales of major domestic appliances (18.3% of the total market in the period) increased by 11.2% year-on-year. Sales of small household appliances (7.4% of total) also increased, by 3.9% year-on-year. All the other segments contracted.