Samsung Replaces Apple as the Top Premium Smartphone Brand in India


INTRO: Samsung has reportedly replaced Apple as the best-selling premium smartphone brand in India. According to a new study from Counterpoint Research, the South Korean consumer electronics company reclaimed the top spot with a 34 percent share of the premium market in Q1, 2020 ahead of Apple and OnePlus, who came in numbers two and three, respectively.

Samsung Becomes Best-Selling Premium Smartphone Brand In India

The study, which defined ‘premium’ smartphones as devices priced at Rs. 30,000 (around $400) and above, also claimed that new ‘affordable premium’ devices, like the Galaxy S10 Lite and the Galaxy Note 10 Lite, as well as the ‘ultra-premium’ Galaxy S20-series, were the main drivers of growth for Samsung at the higher-end of the market. The Price discounts, are a very favorable exchange rate, and the S20 cashback offers all the contributed to Samsung’s growth in the segment, the report noted.

iPhone Sales Also Grew Online

Though Apple fell to number two during the quarter, the iPhone 11 remained the best-selling model in the segment, accounting for almost 17 percent of total shipments. Not only that, but the company also kept the lead in the ultra-premium segment (upwards of Rs. 45,000 or $600) with a 55 percent share. Overall, iPhone sales grew 78 YoY during the quarter, thanks largely to online platforms like Flipkart and Amazon.

OnePlus, which was at number two behind Apple during Q4 2019 and number one during the two preceding quarters, dropped down to number three, “partly due to seasonal factors with some consumers holding off on purchases while waiting for the upcoming 8-series launch”.

To add to that, traditional OnePlus buyers are unhappy at the spiraling prices of some of its newer handsets and at least some of them are likely switching over to similarly-priced devices from Apple and Samsung. That being the case, it will be interesting to see if the company will be able to address the issue with its upcoming mid-range smartphone rumored to be called the OnePlus Z.


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