Apple took 51% of this premium segment globally in 2018, followed by Samsung (22%) and Huawei (0%), according to Counterpoint's Market Pulse report for December 2018.
The company said in a blog post that the global market for premium smartphones was continuing to grow much faster than the overall market, with growth in 2018 being driven by Apple, Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, vivo and OnePlus, with brand diversity in this space increasing.
Within the premium space, Counterpoint said the US$800-plus segment had exhibited the fastest growth. In 2017, devices that commanded this price comprised 8% of the total premium market, but after the iPhone X was launched its share grew. Three devices - the iPhone XSm and XS Max, the Pixel 3 XL and the Samsung Note 9 were all priced well above the US$800 figure.
Other key findings:
- The US$800+ segment was a newly created category by Apple, and it grew the fastest. Apple clearly dominated with more than 80% share in the $800+ ultra-premium price band.
- The affordable premium segment, the US$400-US$600 price-band, was actually the largest volume segment in total premium sales. Although Apple still leads in this segment, the biggest winner was OnePlus.
- OnePlus remains one of the fastest growing brands in the US$400-US$600 segment. The success of OnePlus in India drove the overall premium smartphone shipments in the country to a record number in a single year. The brand is likely to grow as it broadens its reach in the European and US markets.
Graphic: courtesy Cointerpoint