Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

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

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

The arrival of Huawei in the second position marks the first quarter since 2Q10 where Apple has not been the number one or two smartphone company in terms of market share.

Huawei's impressive sales come at a time when a lot of premium phone makers are struggling, including Samsung, which reported a 22 per cent drop in sales for its mobile division in its most recent earnings report, revealing lacklustre interest in the Galaxy S9. Huawei accounted for 16 per cent of the market, compared with 21 per cent for South Korea's Samsung and 12 per cent for Apple.

Huawei achieved this despite a 1.8 percent decline in the total shipped units during the second quarter of 2018, compared with units shipped in the second quarter of 2017. Huawei shipped 38.5 million units during the same quarter a year ago, which shows that the tech giant has been penetrating the global market with ferocity. The credit for the stellar rise of the company largely goes to its latest flagship smartphone OnePlus 6, which has enjoyed raging success in Indian smartphone market ever since its release. IDC figures said that there was a 1.8 percent annual decline of the smartphone market for the June quarter. Still, OnePlus, Samsung and Apple have a controlling 88% share of the premium segment. Despite shipping fewer units than analysts had expected, Apple reported that iPhone revenue was up 20 percent from the same period a year ago.

OnePlus India general manager Vikas Agarwal said the brand had become the largest premium brand in India in little over three years. Interestingly enough, Huawei managed to surpass Apple in the last quarter despite a declining overall market. LG, however, while not on the level of Samsung when it comes to small OLED displays features and production capacity, is still way ahead of the game from the distant third, so it will easily find a market from every phone maker that isn't Samsung.

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Whether or not Huawei can maintain its current astounding growth to approach Samsung, which remains well out in first position with 71.5 million phones shipped in the same period, remains to be seen.

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that the iPhone X has been the top-selling iPhone since its launch.

"The Asia-Pacific region posted the biggest growth in the second quarter, rising 107 per cent year over year, while Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recorded more than 60 percent growth", Schneemann says.

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