The iPhone is the best-selling smartphone in the world, but Apple’s market share isn’t the highest — that is usually Samsung. Things change when we narrow things down to the premium smartphone market, though, as new data shows.
The iPhone accounted for almost 75% of ultra-premium smartphone sales
Counterpoint Research reports that the premium smartphone market, which includes devices retailing above $400, experienced impressive 46% year-on-year sales growth during the second quarter of 2021.Premium smartphone sales accounted for 24% of the total smartphone shipments, up from 21% twelve months earlier. Unsurprisingly, most of that growth can be attributed to the iPhone.
Apple retained its position as the world’s largest premium smartphone manufacturer with an outstanding 57% share of shipments during the quarter. A year earlier, the brand accounted for a still-impressive 48% of sales.
Sales of premium iPhone models skyrocketed an incredible 74% in the second quarter thanks to the continued momentum of the iPhone 12 series, which received a discount earlier this week following the iPhone 13 announcement.
Focusing solely on what Counterpoint calls the ultra-premium segment, essentially devices priced above $800, it experienced 182% year-on-year growth and Apple’s iPhone accounted for almost 75% of sales, up around 20 percentage points.
It’s believed that Apple could sustain its current market share levels throughout the rest of 2021 and even in 2022, thanks to a continued supercycle and customer interest in upgrading to 5G devices.
Samsung’s premium smartphone sales grew, but its market share didn’t
Samsung continued as the second premium brand, experiencing a volume boost of 13% year on year. Since that was below the average market growth, however, Galaxy market share decreased to 17% from 22%.
The report notes that Samsung was affected by disruptions to its supply chain in Vietnam following another COVID-19 outbreak. The brand is well-positioned with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 to experience a surge in Q3 and Q4, though.
Xiaomi and Oppo performed well in Europe and China
Speaking of Huawei, it occupied joint third place with Xiaomi and a 6% market share. That’s impressive considering the countless issues it has faced since the most recent US trade restrictions were introduced a year ago.Nevertheless, in the second quarter of 2020 Huawei’s premium market share stood at a much higher 17%. Xiaomi, on the other hand, experienced stronger sales thanks to its continued expansion in Europe and China.
OnePlus became the third-largest premium brand in the US
One noteworthy mention is OnePlus, which beat the likes of Google, LG, and Motorola to become the third-largest premium smartphone brand in the US. That’s certainly no mean feat.
Counterpoint attributes the Oppo-owned brand’s success to its ability to attract LG customers and capitalize on Samsung’s supply chain issues, which were recently called out by T-Mobile’s CFO.