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OnePlus surpassed Samsung to lead India’s premium smartphone segment, says Counterpoint Research

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Last updated: July 31st, 2018 at 15:13 UTC+02:00

The Q2 2018 shipment numbers published so far have brought good news for Samsung in India. The company regained some of the lost ground and is showing signs of market dominance again. In the premium smartphone segment (>INR 30,000 or $437), however, it seems Samsung is having a tough time in India, at least according to a report from Counterpoint Research.

As per the latest data from Counterpoint Research, OnePlus reportedly surpassed Samsung to emerge as India's leading premium smartphone brand in Q2 2018. Strong demand for the OnePlus 6 has helped the Chinese company register a staggering 446% YoY growth and capture 40% of the market share in the premium smartphone segment.

OnePlus 6 was the best-selling premium smartphone

Samsung settled for the second spot with 34% market share, a drop of 25% when compared to last year. As confirmed by Samsung in its Q2 2018 earnings, Galaxy S9/S9+ sales have been slow globally, and the same applies to India as well. Even Samsung’s arch rival, Apple, had a weak quarter with market share dropping to 14% – its lowest ever in the country.

In terms of individual models, the OnePlus 6 accounted for 30% of all shipments and topped the charts, while the Galaxy S9+ came in second at 12%. Even the older OnePlus 5T fared well to help OnePlus secure two of the top-three spots.

The report says the premium smartphone segment in India grew by 19% YoY and 10% sequentially during the second quarter. The growth is primarily in the sub-INR 40,000 (~$583) category where OnePlus and other smaller brands have positioned their products. It shows that consumers are unwilling to pay substantially more for Samsung and Apple unless there is strong product differentiation.

While Xiaomi is going after Samsung’s volume, OnePlus is going after its profits. It is clear Chinese brands are the biggest threat to Samsung’s dominance in India. The company has done reasonably well to counter Xiaomi in the last quarter by launching new models, but that’s not a strategy Samsung can easily adopt for the premium segment.

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