It’s practically essential to have a mobile phone in the modern world, especially if you’re living overseas. Your phone is a crucial gateway to a huge range of services and not only allows you to call your friends and family but lets you book tickets, check maps and stay in touch on social media.
After you’ve moved to Italy you will probably need to replace your phone contract. This is because once overseas your contract won’t work or may only offer a very partial service. Therefore, once you move to Italy you’ll quickly need to arrange a new mobile phone to manage your affairs and begin settling into your new life abroad.
What To Look For In A Mobile Phone?
There are a lot of factors that go into making a good all-around phone but there are always a few main things you should be looking for. These include: Storage space, Display size, Camera quality, Flexibility, Operating system and the apps that are available, Security features, Speed and connectivity.
The Most Popular Mobile Phone Brands In Italy.
The following are the most popular phone brands in Italy:
Apple is Italy’s leading phone brand with an incredible 30.71% of the total market share. Apple phones are famously versatile and have a well deserved reputation for excellent products. Apple phones use the iOS operating system and since 2007, when Steve Jobs launched these iconic electronic products, more than 2.2 billion have been sold worldwide!
Each year, Apple releases a new model of iPhone with new iOS updates and improved services. Apple is not only Italy’s favorite phone brand, but it’s also one of the giants on the world stage with a global market share of over 15%. Since Apple released its first iPhone, the technology has progressed in leaps and bounds, adding better video recording, waterproofing and a whole range of other services and Apps.
The latest iPhone models have additional security features including a facial Id recognition system and Apps that can be activated using gestures. However, if you prefer, you can also still use the traditional touchscreen technology on your iPhone. There’s an enormous range of Apps available on the Apple store, with over 2 million individual Apps to help you with any number of tasks in your daily life.
With a market share of 30.15%, Samsung is a close second place runner for Italy’s most popular brand of phone. In fact, Samsung is currently the world’s biggest producer of mobile phones. This Korean company first launched the Samsung Galaxy phone in 2015 and has since gone on to dominate much of the European market. One of the best selling Samsung products in Italy is the Samsung Galaxy S series, a high-end smartphone, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Tab series of handheld tablets.
Samsung smartphones use the Android operating system which is made by Google and incorporates the custom designed One UI interface. Samsung phones are extremely versatile and a great option for anyone living in Italy. Samsung has a fantastic selection of Apps on offer, using the One UI interface. The Apps are regularly updated and can help you to access all the services that you’ll need in your time in Italy.
Xiaomi was banned in the United States until recently. They do not sell phones in the US either. But this Chinese phone brand has a market share of 16.06% in Italy, making it the nation’s third most popular brand. Xiaomi is the world’s second largest smartphone producer, behind Samsung, and produces top quality phones at very reasonable prices. The majority of Xiaomi smartphones use the MIUI operating system which has an easy to use interface and a fairly good selection of Apps on offer.
In 2021, Xiaomi sold over 140 million smartphones globally and overtook Apple as the world’s second largest producer of smartphones, partly because the phones are cheaper than most competitors. Xiaomi manages to keep the costs of its smartphones low, compared to other manufacturers, by keeping each new model on the market for longer than their competition – generally for 18 months at a time instead of just 12 months.
Huawei faces sanctions from the US government and is not a popular brand in the United States. However, Huawei has 8.53% of Italy’s market share. The company is headquartered in Shenzhen in China. Huawei is a major consumer electronics manufacturer that sells a wide range of telecommunications equipment including good quality phones. However, Huawei also produces smart devices, electronics and even solar power products.
Huawei’s market share in the European Union has suffered in recent years due to accusations that the company had close links to the Chinese military and several European governments became concerned that this could present a national security risk. Even so, Huawei phone sales remain strong in Italy and the company is the 4th most popular brand in the nation.
Oppo, owned by Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp, Ltd, is a Chinese manufacturer that is headquartered in Dongguan. The company primarily makes smartphones but it also sells audio equipment and other electronic consumer products.
Oppo markets their smartphones as the ‘Selfie Expert’. They are good phones that have a nice selection of Apps and an intuitive interface. Oppo has 5.53% of the market share in Italy, making it the 5th most popular brand in the country.
Realme is a Chinese consumer electronics company based in Shenzhen. Originally founded by Li Bingzhong in 2018, Realme began as a sub-brand of Oppo but has since branched out as a brand in its own right. Realme quickly became one of the world’s fastest growing brands with a growth rate of over 800% in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
Realme released its first smartphone in 2018, named the Realme 1. The brand’s phones have great functionality, good reception and an excellent range of Apps. Realme is the 6th most popular phone brand in Italy but has a market share of just 2.05%.
Brondi – Italy’s Leading Homegrown Phone Brand.
Originally founded in 1935 by Lorenzo Brondi, this telecommunications company has been manufacturing phones since World War 2, making it one of the oldest phone brands in the world.
For most of its history, Brondi made landline telephones but in 1987 it released its first cordless phone, the ‘Bronditel’ phone, and began producing mobile phones in Italy in the 1990s. Brondi is a household name in Italy and even though it doesn’t have the name value of Apple or Samsung, the company does manufacture some great mobile phones.
Today, Brondi mainly produces Android smartphones, tablets, Dual Sim mobile phones and landline phones; all of which are moderately priced and made to a high standard. Brondi also manufactures basic flip phones which retail at a very low price as well as fully functional smartphones, the most popular of which is known as the ‘Amico Smartphone’.
So if you’re looking for an authentically Italian phone, Brondi can deliver a good quality product at a price that is extremely hard to beat.
What’s The Best Phone Brand For Expats In Italy?
There’s a great selection of phone brands to choose from in Italy. Apple is the top player in the market although Samsung comes in at a very close second place. The next 4 phone brands provide a good service but are considerably less popular than the two market leaders.
Many Expats are cautious about buying a phone that is made by a brand they are not familiar with, such as Huawei, Oppo or Realme. This is partly because of a general distrust of these companies, because of their very close ties to the Chinese state, but also it’s because people may not be familiar with the operating systems and the Apps they use. Even so, these brands do manufacture high quality phones at very affordable prices.
On balance, most Expats will be best served by an Apple phone with its trusted iOS operating system and Apps that you are already likely to be familiar with. Alternatively, the Brondi Amico smartphone is also a great, low cost option if you’re living in Italy.