OnePlus was the top premium smartphone brand in India during the fourth quarter of 2019. According to Counterpoint Research, the Chinese smartphone maker managed to hold onto the top position in the premium segment for all the four quarters. OnePlus saw its shipment grow by 28 percent year-over-year and captured one-third of India’s premium segment. It also became the first ever premium smartphone brand to cross two million shipments in a year in 2019. However, the company is set to face new competition from Apple and Samsung in this space.
Samsung has already launched Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite to compete with the OnePlus 7T Series. Apple is also rumored to launch iPhone 9 or iPhone SE 2 in March. These devices will emerge as a serious threat to the OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro this year. Counterpoint Research further notes that the company is aided by “strong word-of-mouth” for growth in India. The research considers smartphones priced above Rs 30,000 for its premium smartphone category.
OnePlus was the top brand while iPhone XR was top smartphone
During the fourth quarter, OnePlus’ ultra premium segment (priced above or equal to Rs 45,000) contributed 25 percent of overall portfolio. This was mainly driven by the OnePlus 7 Pro with a 90Hz display and pop-up selfie camera. Samsung dropped to second position and saw a decline of 2 percentage points over the same period last year. The Galaxy S10+ was the top-selling smartphone for the company in 2019. The research notes that Galaxy S10+ did well despite availability of cheaper models like the Galaxy S10e.
The Korean company saw its ultra-premium smartphone segment grow by 24 percent year-over-year. “The segment’s contribution to Samsung’s overall premium shipments reached 79 percent in 2019,” Counterpoint said in its research. Samsung, however, was affected by the launch of premium mid-range devices from Oppo, Asus and Xiaomi. With a growth of 41 percent year-over-year, Apple was the fastest growing premium smartphone brand in 2019. This was driven by multiple price cuts on the iPhone XR during the year.
According to Counterpoint Research, the iPhone XR was the number one ultra premium smartphone model in India. It was followed by Samsung Galaxy S10+ and OnePlus 7 Pro. Apple also released its iPhone 11 series earlier than usual with an aggressive starting price of Rs 64,900. The new devices also helped the iPhone maker strengthen its place in the premium segment. Counterpoint expects 2020 to be the strongest year for Apple in India. It is also expecting significant growth in the purchase of premium smartphones in 2020.