Although Samsung is still a major player in the European smartphone market, it had to surrender its crown to Chinese upstart Xiaomi. Samsung’s road to recovery will be long and arduous, as Xiaomi seems to have figured out a winning formula and has stuck to it religiously. However, one European country isn’t too happy with Xiaomi’s foray into the region, and this could inadvertently end up helping Samsung.
Lithuania’s Defense Ministry has asked citizens to throw away Chinese-origin smartphones because they apparently ‘censor’ terms at will. The National Cyber Security Center further claims that the censorship ‘features’ have been switched off for European models, but can be ‘re-enabled’ at any time. Deputy Defense Minister Margiris Abukevicius had the following to add:
“Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible.”
Although Lithuania hasn’t outright banned Xiaomi and other Chinese OEMs yet, it is well within the realm of possibilities, given the rising tensions between the two nations. Then again, Xiaomi doesn’t really have much of a presence in Lithuania, to begin with. Market research shows that Xiaomi has about an 8% market share in the country.
On the other hand, Samsung seems to be the most popular OEM in Lithuania with about 35% market share. Even if Samsung was to absorb all of Xiaomi’s former sales in the region, it wouldn’t account for much of an increase. However, the scales could tip in Samsung’s favor should other countries in the region follow Lithuania’s footsteps.
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