Samsung Regains Top Spot in India’s Premium Smartphone Market
May 20, 2019
Samsung regained the top spot in India’s premium segment (≥₹30,000 or roughly ≥US$430) in Q119, after losing out to OnePlus three quarters in a row. Initial uptake for the Galaxy S10 series drove Samsung to the leadership position in the premium segment. The India launch of the Galaxy S10 series came soon after the global release. OnePlus dropped to the second position in the premium segment as it underwent its seasonal cycle. The success of Galaxy S10 series and OnePlus 6T highlights the trend of an expanding premium segment in India. The top selling smartphones were:
Users, who are buying their second or third smartphone, are already considering an upgrade into the premium segment. Another reason for the growth in the premium segment is a plethora of offers and installment plans available. Almost every new premium smartphone in India comes with an attractive EMI (Easy Monthly Installment), buy-back or trade-in offers, to lure new buyers. This works in a price-conscious market like India, especially for students, where someone else in the family decides the purchase. The top three premium brands – Samsung, OnePlus and Apple – accounted for 90% of the premium segment shipments in Q1 2019 as compared to 95% in Q1 2018. Other brands like Huawei share the remaining 10% of the segment volumes. Apple is still struggling to arrest its decline because of its pricing. It is likely to start mass production of iPhones in India, which will eventually help it to eliminate 20% import duty on its devices, which would give a bump up in volumes as it remains the most aspirational brand in India.
Figure 1: Q119 India’s Premium Smartphone Market Share (Shipments)