India’s smartphone shipments in the premium segment (>₹30,000 or roughly >$400) declined 32% YoY in Q2 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. A nationwide lockdown of almost 40 days led to almost zero shipments in April, which contributed to this decline. Still, it was one of the least affected segments and reached its highest ever share in the overall India smartphone market, contributing more than 4% in total smartphone shipments. New launches like the OnePlus 8 series 5G in premium segment and re-entry of Apple in affordable premium segment kept the momentum alive in the market. Interestingly, the quarter also saw more OEMs focusing on the ultra-premium segment (Xiaomi with Mi 10 and OPPO with Find X2) for better profitability and to increase brands’ mind share in the India market.
OnePlus regained its top position in the India premium smartphone market with 29% share in Q2 2020, just nudging out Samsung. The launch of its latest flagship OnePlus 8 series 5G along with a price cut on the OnePlus 7T series helped the brand in recapturing the top position. While the OnePlus 8 witnessed strong demand in the premium segment, OnePlus 8 Pro captured the second spot in the ultra-premium segment (>₹45,000 or roughly >$600). Solid build and design, larger battery capacity and higher refresh rate with impressive Android UI (OxygenOS 10) are some of the features which attracted consumers’ attention. A strong community base with loyal customers is also one of the strengths of OnePlus which it has developed over the years.
Samsung slipped to the second position with a slight margin of less than 1%, capturing almost 29% share. The Galaxy A71 became its best-selling device and secured a spot in the top three models in the premium segment in Q2 2020. Similarly, Galaxy S20 Ultra held the second spot in the ultra-premium segment.
Samsung also started manufacturing its flagship Galaxy S20 series in India during this quarter. The launch of initiatives like Samsung Care+ and discount offers on the Galaxy S20 series, with a focus on channel strategies, helped Samsung to keep the momentum.
Apple fell to the third spot in the premium shipment share during the quarter due to intensifying competition. The iPhone 11, which was the best-selling model in the previous quarter, slipped to the fifth spot but managed to remain number one in the ultra-premium segment. It also started assembling the iPhone 11 locally though the price has not been revised yet. The iPhone SE 2020 received a good response as it captured a spot in the top five models of the segment within the initial quarter of launch. The latest and fastest A13 Bionic chipset, water and dust resistance, and wireless charging are some of the features which contributed to its success.
Through the latest launch of its most affordable iPhone SE 2020, Apple is looking forward to encouraging the transition of more users from Android to IOS to gain share in the overall ecosystem. Apple kept the top spot in the ultra-premium segment with a 42% share, driven by strong demand for the iPhone 11. Samsung and OnePlus grabbed the second and third spots, respectively.
India’s premium smartphone market is shaping up as OEMs are now changing their strategies to target consumers in all price tiers. Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo entered the ultra-premium segment with their 5G flagships Mi 10, Find X2 and X50 pro, respectively. The segment no longer remains an oligopoly of Samsung, Apple and OnePlus. For instance, Vivo V19 gained the second spot in the premium segment within the initial quarter of launch. 5G has become standard in the ultra-premium segment and we can expect Samsung and Apple to launch their 5G devices soon.