Apple’s smartphone shipments in the global market fell sharply by 20 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 which dragged global premium smartphone market by 8 per cent on-year, according to the latest report by Counterpoint Research.
As per Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor Service, even as Apple lost its share, Samsung gained on the other end. The South Korean technology giant ended the first quarter capturing one-fourth share of the premium smartphone segment globally, which also happens to be highest ever share over the past year. It was also the first time that Samsung launched three new smartphones in its flagship Galaxy S series covering wider price points. Usually, it launches two models at a time.
The fall in Apple’s shipment was attributed to the consumers holding onto their iPhones for a longer period of time. The replacement cycle for Apple iPhones has risen to over three years on an average, from two years earlier, according to Counterpoint Research’s analysis.
Samsung, on the other hand, made substantial design changes in the Galaxy S10 series and the better value for money proposition of the device in comparison to iPhones helped it narrow the gap to Apple in the premium segment.
Huawei too captured a double-digit market share in the highly concentrated premium segment. Impeccable camera quality, artificial intelligence (AI) technology and superior build quality of its flagship Mate and P series drove Huawei’s growth during the period. the Chinese smartphone maker even surpassed Apple to become the top player in the premium smartphone market in China, where the iPhone manufacturer has been struggling.
The sluggishness of China’s market was another key reason apart from Apple’s falling shipments, that weighed down the global premium smartphone market.
Counterpoint’s estimates suggest that around half of the decline in the global premium smartphone segment in in the first quarter was due to a sluggish market in China.
“However, we expect that as 5G begins to commercialize in the future, the premium segment will grow. In 2019 and 2020, all the 5G devices are expected to launch in the premium segment.” Varun Mishra, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said in a statement.