Apple iPhone 11 Ruled The Premium Smartphone Segment in Q1 2020

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A recent Counterpoint report has shed light on the global premium smartphone segment in Q1 2020. This report, while notable in and of itself, is also significant due to the global economic stand-still we witnessed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report estimates the global market share of the top 5 premium smartphone brands in Q1 2020, while also ranking the top 5 regional premium brands based on market share sell-through. Additionally, it reveals the top 5 best selling premium smartphone models worldwide and highlights the YoY growth of each brand individually.

A premium smartphone, the report states, is one that costs US$400 or more.

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Apple Claims The Dominant Position

Throughout Q1 2020, Apple has dominated premium smartphone sales, making up for 57% of the total market share in the premium segment.

This salience is believed to be propelled by the sales of the iPhone 11 series, which first became available in September last year, and has since been in high demand.

Taking up the second and third spots were Samsung and Huawei, respectively, both Asian native brands. Samsung’s popularity has revived globally in recent times, owing to its S and A series, and its premium market share now stands at 19%.

The Chinese brand, Huawei, on the other hand, made most of its sales locally, with Chinese sales making up for 90% of its sell-through, with a market share of 12%.

Coming in at 4th place, OPPO occupied 3% share of the global premium smartphone market, with most sales being traced back to its Reno series. Despite the small share, the brand witnessed an impressive YoY growth of 67%.

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Taking the 5th spot was Xiaomi, the leading smartphone manufacturer in the worldwide smartphone shipments. While well known for its budget smartphones, Xiaomi has also managed to make a place for itself in the premium smartphone segment, however small.

Regional Premium Smartphone Brands’ Rankings

Apart from the global rankings, Counterpoint Research looked at the regional premium segment demand.

Apple once again ranked first in all regions. Similarly, Samsung took the second spot everywhere.

However, past these positions, the demand varied from region to region. OnePlus made it into the top 5 of 5 regional markets out of 7 regions.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi made it into the top 5 of 4 regions. North America, APAC, and the Middle East and Africa showed a lower demand for the brand.

Huawei and LG were popular in 2 regions each, apart for the former taking the number one spot in China.

China, however, was evaluated as a separate region, excluding its smartphone statistics from the rest of the APAC. This decision was probably due to its strong regional customer base and a significant number of good local brands. Over here, with Huawei being on top, Apple took second place. OPPO, Xiaomi, and Vivo followed, respectively.

Additionally, 4 out of 5 best selling premium smartphones globally were from Apple. The 5th spot was taken by Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G.

While the global smartphone shipments have declined significantly in the first quarter of this year, a revival is expected to come about with the reopening of economies. Growth is expected to be sluggish or non-existent, but the following quarters will probably see better sales than the first. It’s expected that the overall smartphone shipments worldwide, will see a historic double-digit YoY decline in 2020. Needless to mention, the impact would clearly be noticed on the premium smartphone segment as well.

As reported earlier smartphone companies have tweaked their strategy to keep their market share, in terms of revenue, intact. Leading companies like Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo and Vivo are expected to focus more on the launch of premium smartphones this year as compared to their traditional market strategy to focus on budget and mid-segment smartphone market.

It would be interesting to see if any of Android OEM could eat into Apple’s market by launch head turning premium smartphones in the months to come.

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