OnePlus has grabbed the top spot in terms of shipments in the Indian premium smartphone market for 2019, in which the shipments in the segment grew 29 per cent year-over-year (YoY) to reach a record high. According to Counterpoint Research, the main reasons for the growth of the segment were the availability of affordable premium smartphones, various price-cut offers, and user upgrades.
The market research firm highlights that OnePlus smartphones’ shipments grew 28 per cent YoY, capturing one-third of India’s premium segment for the year. The Chinese brand also became the first-ever premium smartphone brand to cross two million shipments in a year in 2019. The contribution of OnePlus’s ultra-premium segment (retail price greater than or equal to Rs 45,000) to the overall OnePlus portfolio grew to 25 per cent in 2019, owing to the popularity of the OnePlus 7 Pro.
“The year 2019 has been a remarkable year for us at OnePlus. Every milestone we have achieved strengthened our pursuit of excellence in technology. The latest development is a testament that our approach is resonating well with our community in India. As we step into the new decade, we are excited to explore new tech innovations and re-define user experience for our community. We will continue our focus on building product innovation and community,’ Pete Lau, Founder and CEO, OnePlus, said in a statement.
One of the major factors for this success is that OnePlus is continuously listening to users’ feedback and bringing various industry-first innovations and features. Customer feedback platforms, such as the ‘OnePlus community’, have helped the brand gauge the needs of Indian consumers. For example, innovations like high refresh rate (90Hz) on almost bezel-less displays and becoming the first company to launch smartphones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Series processors in India helped the company capture the top spot.
Samsung dropped to the second position and declined 2 percentage points YoY in the premium segment. The Galaxy S10 Plus was the top-selling flagship for the South Korean giant in 2019. Samsung’s ultra-premium segment shipments grew by 24 per cent YoY, and the segment’s contribution to Samsung’s overall premium shipments reached 79 per cent in 2019, as compared to 62 per cent in 2018.
Apple was the fastest growing premium smartphone brand in 2019, with 41 per cent YoY driven by multiple price cuts on iPhone XR throughout the year. Apple iPhone XR was the number one ultra-premium smartphone model in India followed by Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus and OnePlus 7 Pro. Further, the aggressive pricing of the iPhone 11 helped Apple gain share during the festive season and in its launch quarter in India.