Apple’s slowing iPhone sales has been a blow to the entire premium smartphone segment. But, OnePlus has managed to carve out a niche for itself. During Q1 2019, Apple‘s shipments are estimated to have declined 20 percent year over year. Counterpoint Research says that it has resulted in an 8 percent decline for the global premium smartphone segment. Apple’s sales were expected to be supplemented by rivals but that has not materialized in the first quarter.
Apple’s loss is Samsung’s gain
The decline in iPhone sales might be a worry for the industry but not for Samsung. The report notes that as Apple lost ground, Samsung saw a gain in its shares. The Korean giant now accounts for one-fourth of the premium smartphone segment. This is the highest market share for the company. The growth is triggered by the launch of three new Galaxy S10 models. The analysis of the premium smartphone market shows Apple iPhone users are holding onto their devices for three years on an average.
Samsung has been successfully able to close the gap with Apple with its Galaxy S10 series. The analysts called the Galaxy S10 as a better value proposition compared to high-end iPhones. The other key reason for the decline in the premium smartphone is the sluggishness in the Chinese market. The availability of 5G support in the premium segment is expected to drive growth during the next two years.
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During the first quarter, Huawei captured double-digit share in the premium smartphone segment. But, it’s growth could be restricted by trade ban imposed by the United States. The premium segment remains difficult for OEMs and Counterpoint notes that OnePlus continues to excel in this space. OnePlus ranked among the top five brands in the premium smartphone segment for the second consecutive quarter.
In terms of markets, North America remains the biggest for premium smartphone sales with a 30 percent share. China and Western Europe follow with 26 percent and 17 percent share respectively. Counterpoint Research also notes that Chinese players are aggressively expanding into European markets, competing in the premium segment.