Samsung surpasses Apple and tops again in the premium smartphone segment in Q1 FY18 in India: Counterpoint

Samsung, OnePlus, and Apple contributed to 95 percent of the overall premium smartphone segment

Riding on the success of its flagship devices such as Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy A8+, and the newly-launched S9 and S9+, Samsung climbed back to the top in the premium smartphone segment in India with over 50 percent market share in the first quarter of 2018, a new report said on 27 April.

Samsung surpasses Apple and tops again in the premium smartphone segment in Q1 FY18 in India: Counterpoint

The logo of Samsung Electronics. Reuters

Samsung captured half of the premium segment with 16 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) growth driven by flagships S9, S9+, Note 8, and "online exclusive" Galaxy A8+.

OnePlus remained at the second position with 25 percent market share and Apple at the third spot with 20 percent in the premium smartphone category, said market research firm Counterpoint Research.

Samsung, OnePlus, and Apple contributed to 95 percent of the overall premium smartphone segment."Galaxy S9 series promotions were strong both in offline and online channels with offers ranging from cashback, exchange, upgrade, and data bundling plans across all major operators," said the report.

Samsung brought Galaxy S9 and S9+ to the country on 16 March. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple led with a 46.9 percent share of the premium segment, while OnePlus and Samsung trailed with 24.9 percent and 17.6 percent, respectively.

The iPhone-maker had a weak start in India as demand for its iPhone 8 and X series declined sequentially in India, said the report.

"Additionally, the Cupertino-based giant had to battle rising import tariffs due to lack of 'Make In India' domestic manufacturing capabilities for its portfolio," the report added.

The import tariffs have increased thrice in the past five months, leading to an increase in the price of already expensive iPhones in India during the quarter. Apple's share in the premium segment fell as the volumes dipped by a massive 55 percent due to decline in shipments for its iPhone 8 and X series. The increase in import duty on CBUs to 20 percent during the quarter, led to an increase in prices of already expensive iPhones.

OnePlus was the fastest growing brand (over 192 percent) in the segment. "OnePlus has been maintaining its second spot in the premium segment which it is has been holding since Q3 2017. OnePlus 5T was the best-selling model during the quarter, driven by its limited edition variant launch and expansion in the offline segment," Counterpoint said.

The premium smartphone segment remained flat (y-o-y) but declined 13 percent sequentially due to drop in promotions post festive Q4 2017.

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