Europe’s standing in the global electronics market: David vs Goliath

Author : Andreas Falke | Managing Director | FBDi trade association

01 July 2021

FBDi logo
FBDi logo

Europe’s global market share of electronics is falling, sitting around 8%. To put this in context, Apple & Samsung each claim the annual electronics demand of the whole of the region – a single company using as much as all of Europe!

The full version of this article was originally featured in EPDT's H2 2021 Electronics Distribution supplement, included the July 2021 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. And sign up to receive your own copy each month.

As Andreas Falke, Managing Director of Germany’s FBDi trade association for electronic component distributors tells us, improvement is not necessarily to be expected, rather a worsening of the trend – since smartphones and other similar electronic devices are manufactured in Asia. And not only production of electronic devices takes place largely in Asia, but also production of the semiconductors/silicon itself, which in its finest structures (currently 3nm & 5nm) is only currently  possible worldwide in two locations in Asia.

E-mobility, IoT or smart home – all of which play a role in Europe – will not shift the picture in our favour. We Europeans have negligently jeopardised our position by clinging too long to ‘traditional or fossil’ technologies. Nevertheless, we still play a role as a provider of ideas and innovation – and when it comes to design, development and patents, people still look to Europe. But aren’t we currently squandering our silverware?...

Our innovative strength is based on education. The pandemic has shown us how well (or poorly) we are positioned here: digital infrastructure criminally neglected because of focus on tolls – shameful. Our competitors don’t need a storm – we score goals in our own net!

Supply chains for global players?
If we plan cleanly and for the long term, we will retain the slot reserved for us with the manufacturers. In particular, we will serve our long-term business partners in distribution. Because the chip manufacturers need the perspective via distribution on the broad electronics market, the many innovative customer projects or even start-ups for the products of the future. But those who think they will receive special treatment because of their ‘large’ sales volumes will have to reckon with shortages, despite all the Asian stoicism. The Asians may be polite people – but priority? With Europe’s total share of the world market at 8%?  Even the automotive industry in Europe does not play in the Premier League!

About FBDI (
FBDi e.V. – Fachverband der Bauelemente Distribution e.V. (Professional Association of Component Distribution), founded in 2003, is well-established in the German association community and represents a large portion of distributors of electronic components with operations in Germany. In addition to the preparation & advancement of numerical data & statistics concerning the German distribution market for electronic components, work group engagement & reporting on important industry themes (among others, education, liability & rights, traceability and environmental themes) form essential pillars of the association’s work. The FBDi is a member of the International Distribution of Electronics Association (IDEA). Members include Arrow, Avnet, Bürklin, Conrad, Future, Hy-Line, Mouser, RS, Recom, Rutronik, TDK & TTI...

Read the full article in EPDT's July 2021 digital issue...

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