Premium Segment Bucks Overall Global Smartphone Market’s Trend in Q3 2023, Records Highest Q3 Volumes Share Ever

  • Global premium smartphone sales grew 9% YoY in Q3 2023 even as the overall smartphone market declined 5% YoY.
  • Nearly all OEMs recorded YoY growth in Q3, with Apple maintaining its lead. Huawei gained share driven by its new 5G smartphones.
  • For the full year of 2023, the premium segment is expected to grow 6% YoY, while the overall smartphone market is projected to reach its lowest level in almost a decade.

Seoul, Beijing, Boston, Hong Kong, London, New Delhi, Taipei, Tokyo – November 10, 2023

Global premium smartphone (wholesale price ≥$600) sales grew 9% YoY in Q3 2023 even as the overall market declined 5% YoY. Further, the premium segment recorded its highest ever Q3 sales volume and share, while the overall market reached its lowest Q3 levels in a decade.

The global smartphone market has been maturing gradually, with replacement cycles elongating as consumers look for better devices to hold on to for longer periods. Consequently, we have observed a ‘premiumization’ wave across regions, especially in emerging markets like India, Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Southeast Asia (SEA). Growing consumer aspirations, better device financing options and a greater focus by OEMs on their premium portfolios have enabled this ‘premiumization’ wave. The rise of Huawei in China, led by its new 5G smartphones, has also added to the growth. Besides, foldable smartphones have also contributed to this growth, with their share in the premium segment reaching its highest ever in Q3, at ~9%.

Apple led the premium smartphone segment in Q3, capturing over two-thirds of its sales driven by growth in new focus markets like India, Middle East and Southeast Asia and strong performance of the Pro versions of the iPhone 15 series.

Samsung came in second in the premium segment, with its new foldables outperforming their predecessors, while the S23 series was the major volume driver. Going forward, Samsung is likely to focus more on its premium portfolio, prioritizing revenues over volumes.

Huawei gained share YoY in Q3, capturing the #3 spot in the premium segment. The Mate 60 series has been hugely popular in China, with its sales limited only by supply.

We expect the premiumization wave to continue in the coming time as consumer aspirations and incomes grow and affordability improves driven by better device financing options. For the full year of 2023, the premium segment is expected to outperform the market, growing 6% YoY to gain share. On the other hand, the overall smartphone market is projected to reach its lowest levels in almost a decade.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media, and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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