Apple dominates the global premium smartphone market

Varun Mishra for Counterpoint:

Data from Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor Service for Q1 2019, shows that Apple’s shipments fell 20% year-on-year in Q1 2019, resulting in an 8% YoY decline for the global premium segment [smartphones priced >$400. Pricing analysis is based on wholesale pricing]… According to our analysis, the trend of users holding onto their iPhones for longer has affected Apple’s shipments. The replacement cycle for iPhones has grown to over three years, on an average, from two years.

Apart from Apple’s falling shipments, the sluggishness of the Chinese market was the other key reason for the decline in the global premium segment. Our estimates suggest that almost half of the decline in the global premium segment in Q1 2019 was due to the sluggish Chinese market. However, we expect that as 5G begins to commercialize in the future, the premium segment will grow. In 2019 and 2020, all the 5G devices are expected to launch in the premium segment.

The premium segment remains the most difficult for OEMs to penetrate as it requires brand power to command such a high price across the world, which only a few OEMs possess. The top three players alone capture 88% of the market share in the premium market.

Counterpoint: Global Premium Smartphone Shipment Market Share Q119
Source: Counterpoint

MacDailyNews Take: There is really only one premium smartphone makers. The others only peddle poor imitations.


  1. Apple is being valued only for high-volume iPhone sales and those sales are declining. There’s nothing much to boast about here. Mostly all the articles I read are about Apple’s severely declining iPhone sales and that sends shivers down big investors’ spines. No matter how large the iPhone’s premium market share is, it is absolutely overwhelmed by Android smartphone sales at every other conceivable price level. In other words, those poor imitations are destroying Apple’s revenue and profits and Apple is unable to do anything about it. Apple had a chance to dominate the entire smartphone market but simply let Android chip away every single year and this is the result. A tiny premium market share ledge with practically everyone complaining about how expensive iPhones are. Apple is getting no praise at all for that premium market share.

    1. @unmagnificent – You have an AMAZING ability to twist anything into your negative world view. You distortion of reality is something to behold.
      – No, Apple is not being overwhelmed.
      – Those other companies are not destroying Apple’s revenue and profits
      – Apple dominates the entire smartphone market in what ACTUALLY MATTERS – profit.
      – Everybody isn’t complaining about “expensive”. Just some whiners and trolls.

      1. @sean: Just ignore magnificientseven48. Because he is forever pessimism about Apple as a company. It’s amazed is that he has nothing positive about Apple as long as I can remember. It doesn’t make sense when he blamed only interests in AAPL for dividend. There are many other stocks that pay better dividends. He must be a day trader, i presume.

      1. M’kay I don’t know what that’s about.

        The point here is that they’re misrepresenting somewhere — either they do have a massive / exploitable share of the market and Cook is downplaying it to discourage scrutiny, or they don’t, and they’re cherry-picking data subsets to show how successful they are and manipulate the market’s perception.

        Talking out of both sides of their mouth.

        1. Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor Service is cherry picking data. In the “cellular telephone” market, Apple has and will ALWAYS have a tiny share. They’re just one company and Android phones are put out a lower prices from many more companies. And that’s not even counting the non-Android non-smart phones.

          But, you can EASILY define a smaller PORTION of the cellular telephone market and then say Apple has a massive share of that. Sure, Apple has 100% of the iPhone market. You can even say that Apple has a massive share in the “smartphones with A series chips” market. Both are true. You can also say that, of phones that cost over $400 wholesale, Apple sells the majority of them, which is what this report says. But, that IGNORES a huge portion of the cellular telephone market, both the non-smartphone portion of the market (of which Apple has ZERO share) and the “lower than $400 market” (of which Apple has ZERO share) as a starting assumption.

          So, yes, it’s absolutely true that, if you exclude the HUGE portion of the cellphone market where Apple has ZERO market share, you find that, hey, they’ve got a pretty large share of a that relatively tiny number of phones.

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