OnePlus, in particular, managed to break into the top five global brands in the premium category for the first time. Strong sales of the OnePlus 6T accounted for the increase in market share, with China, India, and Western Europe driving 90% of its global shipments.
OnePlus recorded its highest ever shipments in a single quarter (Q4 2018) in India to lead the premium smartphone segment for three successive quarters and captured 36% market share. Another feat for the brand came in Q4 2018 when it entered among Top five OEMs in the premium segment in the US for the first time.
Overall, Chinese players have scaled up their presence in the premium segment and have expanded the category. Further, they are now eyeing new geographies for growth.
Apple remained the market leader capturing 51% share of the premium segment, a significant lead over its nearest competitor Samsung which had a 22% share.
However, Chinese brands made their mark as Huawei’s share in the segment reached double digits (10%) for the first time in a calendar year. OPPO (+863%), OnePlus (+209%), and Xiaomi (+149%) were the fastest growing brands in the premium segment.
An indication of the increasing competition in the segment is highlighted by the fact that close to 40 OEMs now compete in the premium segment globally.
Of these, the top five players account for almost 90% of shipments. The premium segment contributed to one-fourth (22%) of the global smartphone shipments in 2018.