Indian Premium Smartphone Segment Grew 20% Annually in CY 2017

The growth of the Indian premium segment (above INR 30,000) is a positive development for brands like Apple, OnePlus and Google looking to expand their presence in the world’s second largest smartphone market.

According to Counterpoint Research’s latest analysis on the Indian handset market, the premium smartphone segment was the second fastest growing segment (+20% YoY) in CY 2017 driven by the strong performance of OnePlus and Apple. Below is a quick overview of the market:

Market Summary:

  • The Indian premium smartphone segment grew 20% annually by volume and 28% by value in CY 2017.
  • Although the segment is more crowded than a year ago, the top three brands, Apple, OnePlus and Samsung, still contribute to 94% of the overall premium market segment.
  • Apple is still the leader in the premium segment, capturing 47% share during Q4 2017 and 38% during CY 2017, driven by strong shipments of iPhone X and iPhone 7.
  • However, demand for iPhone 8 remains soft and, as a result, the overall Apple shipments in the premium segment declined 31% YoY. The decline is also partly due to last year’s strong quarter, when sales of the iPhones spiked owing to demonetization and the high volume of cash transactions.
  • The quarter also saw strong promotions for iPhone through e-commerce channels (Amazon iPhone fest) and operators (iPhone X with Airtel).
  • OnePlus was the fastest growing brand (+ 343%) in the segment — capturing 25% during Q4 2017 and 19% for CY 2017.
  • It was the second successive quarter for OnePlus to capture the second position in the premium smartphone segment, surpassing Samsung.
  • The OnePlus 5T drove the sales for OnePlus, as it became the second best-selling model in the segment within two months of its launch in India.
  • OnePlus enjoys a strong brand loyalty in India while positioning itself as a flagship-killer in the segment. As a result, the overall upgrade rate within OnePlus users remain high.

Source: Counterpoint Research Monthly India Market Analysis Dec 17

  • Samsung was behind OnePlus, capturing the third spot, as promotions for its Galaxy S8 and Note 8 remained strong. But it had tough competition from the iPhone 7 and the iPhone X.
  • Cashbacks and EMI offers were the major promotional activities leveraged by brands in the premium segment with cashback being offered by 9/10 models in the premium segment.
  • Other notable brands which expanded their presence in the premium segment included: Google; Xiaomi; LG; and Nokia HMD.
  • In terms of best selling models, iPhone X was the leading model in the premium segment, capturing one fifth of shipments, followed by the OnePlus 5T and Samsung Note 8.

Going forward, we expect the premium segment to continue to grow by more than 20%, both in terms of volume and value in 2018, as more brands are likely to enter the segment. These include OPPO, Vivo and Huawei, which have some of their best selling models in China already in this segment. Additionally, the promotional activities in the premium segment are likely to increase, as e-commerce players leverage their scale and promotions to focus on premium smartphones.

Tarun is a Research Director with Counterpoint Technology Market Research, based out of Gurgaon (near New Delhi). Tarun has 10 years of work experience with a key focus on the evolving mobile device ecosystem with specialties in Emerging Markets. He understands specific mobile industry nuances, helping clients to navigate through the rapidly changing technological trends. As a Telecom Analyst he has been quoted extensively by the leading media platforms. Tarun holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, specializing in International Business from the Amity International Business School and is a graduate in Physical Sciences from Jammu University, Jammu in the northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.