That OnePlus has become a globally renowned brand in the flagship smartphone category is now a well-established fact. The company's philosophy of offering the best specs at affordable price points has carved out a special place in the smartphone segment making the Chinese smartphone maker go toe-to-toe with behemoths such as Apple and Samsung. Now a Counterpoint Research report has all but cemented OnePlus as the king of flagship phones above Rs 30,000 in India.
As per the report, in Q2 2018 OnePlus has held 40 percent share of the premium smartphone segment in India. Samsung came in second with 34 percent while Apple is on third with 14 percent. This is also incidentally Apple's lowest premium market share ever. OnePlus, on the other hand, grew by a mind-boggling 446 percent in the premium category from last year. This information is more impressive when you realize OnePlus has been in the Indian markets for less than 4 years.
OnePlus 6 sales captured 30 percent of the premium flagship sales in India while the OnePlus 5T had a 10 percent share. A very effective social media campaign and a massive fan base of the OnePlus community have been key in such a massive success for the OnePlus 6, according to Counterpoint.
Samsung, OnePlus, and Apple contributed to 88 percent of the premium flagship segment in Q2 as compared to 95 percent in Q1. The fall could be attributed to the launch of flagship grade smartphones from Huawei, LG and Honor such as the P20 Pro, V30 Plus and the X21 UD. The recently announced Oppo Find X and Vivo NEX could feature in next quarterly report.
Counterpoint summarised its report in these points
- The top three brands Samsung, OnePlus and Apple contributed to 88 percent of the overall premium market as compared to 95 percent a quarter ago.
- This is due to the entry of new players in the segment led by Huawei (P20), Vivo (X21), Nokia HMD (Nokia 8 Sirocco) and LG (V30 Plus)
- OnePlus led the premium smartphone segment for the first time ever in India, capturing 40 percent of the market driven by record shipments of its OnePlus 6 as compared to its previous flagships.
- OnePlus was also the fastest growing brand in the premium segment (+446 percent) while shipments for Apple and Samsung declined YoY.
- OnePlus is now increasing its points of sale by launching its offline and exclusive stores across key cities. This will enable the brand to reach out to a larger user base going forward, as the premium segment market is estimated to grow faster than the overall smartphone market in India for CY 2018 and beyond.
- Samsung captured 34 percetn share of the premium segment. Its shipments declined 25 percent YoY due to decline in shipments of S9 as compared to S8 last year. However, the promotions related to S9 series remain strong which helped to push sales in both offline as well as online channels during the end of the quarter to streamline the inventory levels.
- Apple’s share in the premium segment reached its lowest ever 14 percent due to decline in shipments for its iPhone 8 and X series. Additionally, the increase in import duty and absence of local manufacturing impacted its pricing strategy in India. Apple is also looking to streamline its channel structure in India.
- Cashback and EMI offers continue to remain the major promotional activities leveraged by brands in the premium segment, with cashback being used by 8 out of 10 models in the premium segment in the online channel.
- In terms of best selling models, OnePlus 6 was the best-selling model in the premium segment followed by S9 Plus and OnePlus 5T. OnePlus 5T sales were due to the push by the brand during the first half of Q2 2018, clearing off inventory in anticipation of OnePlus 6. However, OnePlus 5T went end of life post OnePlus 6 launch.
- S9 series sales remain skewed in favour of S9 plus as users didn’t mind spending extra for the upgrade to a larger screen.