Shipments of premium smartphones priced at Rs 30,000 and above grew by 33 percent in the June quarter compared to the year-ago period, according to Counterpoint Research. “This growth was mainly driven by new flagship launches from OnePlus in terms of OnePlus 7 series, price cuts from Apple for its iPhone XR and aggressive promotions from Samsung for Galaxy S10 series. Second-quarter was the first-ever quarter when premium smartphone segment had the highest number of models, offering wide variety of choice for consumers,” Counterpoint said.

As a result, the total shipment volumes in the premium segment reached an all-time high, it added. Counterpoint, however, did not specify the number of smartphones shipped during the quarter. “As more brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo and Huawei enter this segment, this segment is going to be hyper-competitive in the second half of 2019, great for consumers,” it said.

The combined share of OnePlus, Samsung and Apple was 85 percent during the said quarter, down from 88 percent a year ago, signaling this trend, it added. OnePlus captured its highest ever shipment share of 43 percent in this segment, followed by Samsung (22 percent) and Apple (20 percent).

“As Indian smartphone consumers become more mature and are looking to buy their second or third smartphone, the premium segment is becoming a key battleground to acquire these premium consumers. The new brands to watch out which could disrupt with premium features with offerings lurking around Rs 30,000 price points are Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo and Asus lowering the barriers for consumers with aggressive flagship-grade offerings,” Counterpoint said.

Vikas Agarwal, General Manager at OnePlus India, said that the company is “excited about growing the premium smartphone segment that is under-penetrated for several years with less than 5 percent share of the total smartphone segment”.

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