Q1 round goes to OnePlus in battle for India’s premium smartphone market

OnePlus 6 sales helped OnePlus beat Samsung in India’s premium market

Riding on the success of its OnePlus 6 device, Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus controlled 40 per cent of the premium segment in India in the second quarter of 2018, a new report has said. This was due to strong sales of its flagship OnePlus 6 which was launched during the quarter.

Cashback and EMI offers continue to remain the major promotional activities leveraged by brands in the premium segment, with cashback being used by 8 out of 10 models in the premium segment in the online channel.

The Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research further explained that the premium smartphone segment exponentially grew in India and saw a rise of 19% in 2017 and a 10% rise in the second quarter of 2018 alone. Even the older OnePlus 5T fared well to help OnePlus secure two of the top-three spots.

In terms of best selling models, OnePlus 6 was the best-selling model in the premium segment followed by S9 Plus and OnePlus 5T.

Samsung captured over a third of the total premium smartphone market during the quarter with promotions around its flagship S9 series remain strong. This is unheard of in basically the entirety of the rest of the world. It shows that consumers are unwilling to pay substantially more for Samsung and Apple unless there is strong product differentiation.

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BBK Electronics-owned OnePlus is going to expand its offline presence in India this year. It is clear Chinese brands are the biggest threat to Samsung's dominance in India.

Information here comes from the analysts at Counterpoint. This makes the company the leader of the Indian premium smartphone segment, and what's remarkable here is the amount of time it took for OnePlus to achieve this. Still, shipments of the S9 duo fell 25% compared to the S8 duo from the same period previous year (you can see the Q2 2017 peak).

Other brands are edging in, too. Samsung, which has been a reigning smartphone company in India, slipped to the second place with 34% market share while Apple was placed at the third spot with 14% share of the premium segment in the country.

These three brands contributed to 88 per cent of the premium handset market as compared to 95 per cent a quarter ago. The segment got crowed with competition from Huaweis P20 phones, the vivo X21, the Nokia 8 Sirocco and LGs V30 phones.

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