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