Samsung overtook OnePlus to take the top spot in the premium smartphone in India in Q1 2019, according to new data published by research firm Counterpoint. In the report, Counterpoint said the demand for the Galaxy S10 is better than expected due to product diffraction from other flagship phones like a triple-camera setup, Infinity-O display, Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner and wireless power share, among others. The South Korean company launched the Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e in India in March.
OnePlus, on the other hand, slipped to number two position in the premium smartphone segment in the first quarter of 2019. This shouldn’t surprise many. Even though the OnePlus 6T continues to be the top-selling premium smartphone in India since it first debuted in October last year, it may have reached its peak in terms of unit sales. That said, the company could bounce back in the next quarter with the release of the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. Both smartphones will challenge Galaxy S10’s dominance in the high-end smartphone in India.
Meanwhile, Apple occupied the third position in the high-end smartphone segment in India. Counterpoint notes that Apple is still struggling to sell its pricey iPhones in India. The research firm is partially blaming excessive pricing of iPhones in the country. Apple has been rumoured to locally assemble its premium iPhone XS and iPhone XR in India that will help it save 20 per cent import duty on its devices. But, this can’t be done overnight.
The top three premium brands – Samsung, OnePlus and Apple – dominate over 90 per cent of the high-end smartphone segment in India. Even brands like Huawei, which has recently started selling its Mate and P series, are seeing a good response in India. According to Counterpoint, Huawei shares the remaining 10 per cent of the segment volumes.
Google, too, is trying to make its presence felt in the premium smartphone market in India. The search giant is pinning all its hopes on the newly released Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. Both devices are pitched as “affordable flagship” phones.