Despite lockdown and shortage of components due to COVID-19 pandemic, the smartphone shipments of the premium segment (above Rs 25,000) grew 18 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2020. The top three players in the premium smartphone segment continued to be Samsung, Apple and OnePlus. While Samsung led the premium smartphone segment with 37 per cent market share, Apple took the second spot with a 26 per cent share, and OnePlus at a distant third with 15 per cent share.
"Owing to the pandemic, H1 2020 was a tough period for the overall smartphone industry in general, with multiple challenges. However, the premium smartphone segment was one of the least affected segments. The segment grew owing to strong consumer demand and good supply-side dynamics," said Anand Priya Singh, Analyst - Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.
Samsung led the premium smartphone market with 37 per cent market share on the success of Galaxy A71 and A51, which contributed 38 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively. The Korean technology giant registered 56 per cent year-on-year growth in the premium smartphone segment. Samsung managed the lead on the back of good supply-side dynamics, attractive discounts and smart channel strategies. The smartphone maker also started manufacturing of its flagship Galaxy S20 series in India during this quarter.
Apple too continued an impressive run in the premium smartphone market, growing by 14 per cent year-on-year and with a 26 per cent market share. The iPhone 11 continued to garner some good market response in the initial part of the year. On the other hand, the all-new iPhone SE 2020 is on track to repeat the exceptional performance of the iPhone 11. It captured 8 per cent market share of the total premium smartphones shipped during the April-June period.
OnePlus was placed third with 15 per cent market share, with the newly launched OnePlus 8 contributing to a majority of its shipments.
In H1 2020, the first wave of 5G smartphones debuted in the premium smartphone segment. Many new OEMs made some strategic moves into the premium segment, including the likes of Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO and Motorola, accounting for 22 per cent market share with 43 per cent year-on-year growth.
"In H1 2020, consumer demand in the premium smartphone segment continued to remain high, and, in fact, fuelled the market growth. This bodes well for H2 2020, and, especially, in the run-up to the all-important festive season. Beyond the incumbents - including Samsung and Apple, aspirational premium brands will seek to make in-roads into the premium segment," said Amit Sharma.
According to CMR, the premium smartphone segment - Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 - is a niche, but at the same time hyper-competitive segment. While Apple and Samsung have offered devices in this category, OEMs such as OPPO and Xiaomi too are currently competing for greater mind share and brand share. This segment accounted for 5 per cent of the total smartphone shipments in H1 2020. Samsung Galaxy A71 was the most popular, contributing to 19 per cent in this segment.
Apple dominated the super-premium smartphone segment amounted between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh, with 56 per cent market share. Samsung stood at the second spot with 34 per cent share whereas OnePlus was at the third spot with just 4 per cent share. Launched in September 2019, the Apple iPhone 11 was the best seller in this category, alone accounting for 39 per cent of the shipments. This segment accounted for about 2 per cent of the total smartphone shipments in H1 2020.
Smartphones priced above Rs 1 lakh, the uber premium segment, saw Apple with 67 per cent market share, while Samsung was placed a distant second with 30 per cent market share. Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max alone contributed to around 40 per cent of the shipments in this segment.