Apple expands lead over Samsung and Huawei in premium phone segment

Robert Triggs / Android Authority


  • According to a new report, Apple saw tremendous growth in the over $ 400 smartphone segment between the second quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021.
  • The company is also said to have claimed nearly 75% of sales in the flagship price range of $ 800 and above.
  • Its biggest rivals Android, Samsung and Huawei, have struggled to keep pace. Xiaomi and Oppo, however, saw notable gains.

Apple has just launched the iPhone 13 series, but the company has to thank its outgoing model line for its booming success in the premium smartphone market. According to new data, the firm has claimed an even larger share in the premium smartphone segment this year at the expense of its Android rivals.

According to a new report from Counterpoint, Apple’s global premium market share has grown from 48% in Q2 2020 to 57% in Q2 2021, largely thanks to the success of the iPhone 12 series. Notably, Counterpoint defines the high-end market segment like devices selling over $ 400, including the lion’s share of Apple devices. That said, its performance in the ultra-premium segment ($ 800 or more) is also particularly notable.

Across the high-end smartphone market as a whole, this specific price bracket accounted for 36% of premium smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2021, up 182% year-over-year. Apple accounted for nearly three quarters of this group’s sales in the second quarter of 2021, up from 54% a year earlier. Again, this figure was supported by the sales performance of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, in contrast.

counterpoint premium price brackets Q1 2020 2021 1

How have Apple’s Android competitors performed?

Android OEMs have struggled to keep up with Apple in the premium segment.

Samsung grabbed 22% of the premium market in Q2 2020, but that share fell to 17% in Q2 2021. Counterpoint attributes the drop to supply constraints. Nevertheless, in terms of volume, Samsung still recorded a 13% increase in sales in the premium category over this period.

Despite its persistent difficulties in Western markets, Huawei remains the world’s third largest supplier of smartphones in the premium category. However, it saw a sharp drop in its share, falling to 6% in the second quarter of 2021 from 17% in the second quarter of 2020. Its position is largely due to its residual strength in the Chinese market, where it still ranks. as the second largest OEM in the premium segment.

market share of counterpoint premiums in Q1 2020 2021 1

Only two Android OEMs posted notable market share gains over the period, namely Oppo and Xiaomi. The latter increased its premium stake from 4% to 6% between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021, adding to its success in all price brackets in Q2 2021. Meanwhile, Oppo has grown to two figures for its share in the premium segment, from 2% to 5% over the same period.

More reading: Now that Xiaomi is number one, can it stay ahead of Samsung?

Other Android smartphone makers are slowly joining the big four in the premium segment. OnePlus ranked third among OEMs in this industry in North America, largely thanks to the OnePlus 9 series. Vivo also holds this rank in the APAC region, behind Apple and Samsung. Motorola maintains its strength in the Latin American market as the third-largest OEM of high-end devices behind Apple and Samsung in this region.

Looking ahead to the second half of 2021, Counterpoint suggests that Samsung will reclaim market share with the cheaper flagships of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. Xiaomi, now ranked as the world’s largest smartphone maker in June. 2021, also continues to market more high-end products.

As the pandemic slowly abates, it’s unclear how this will affect consumers’ buying habits, or whether they will hold on to the high-end devices they currently own. That said, the iPhone 13 series doesn’t appear to be as big an upgrade as the iPhone 12 line. Whether this affects Apple’s dominance remains to be seen.

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About Laura J. Bell

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