I can confirm this, and that's considering Barcelona is a hotter spot for Apple than other cities, where Apple only has a small corner in a number of shops. Their presence is growing slowly but steadily, but the market here usually prefers those local kiosks for availability and price, and they predominantly offer Android devices of most brands.
Towns and cities with Apple Stores usually have only one of it, whereas there are dozens of sellers for Android devices scattered all over, predominantly in malls as you said.
Offers are usually pretty cheap subsidized phones, and even for free with binding contracts, and they even renew your phone once every year in several cases, for minimal or no cost. However, as you probably realized, this stops being nice and shiny the moment there's any issue or nonstandard need whatsoever. Every side service, from tech support to repairs, is sub-par. Most people will go around with busted phones waiting for a renewal instead of bothering to repair it, which is notoriously complicated, requires a lot of time (and trips) and it usually ends just in replacing the thing entirely.
The prices, the complicated repairs, and the large availability kind of created a culture of changing phones very regularly, even in people with limited income. Good repair shops exist, but they tend to be little electronics workshops in some little corner that you only learn about by word of mouth, and are only used when you are attached to your device for some reason (sentimental value, niche features, etc), or when someone wants to unlock a phone to use with other provider's SIM card.