Samsung overtook Apple in India’s premium smartphone segment in 2015: report
New Delhi: South Korean major Samsung has overtaken Apple to bag the number one spot in the premium smartphone segment (over Rs 30,000) in India, a research report has found.
According to a report of Cybermedia Research, Samsung held 46 per cent of the premium smartphone market, while Apple lagged behind at about 44 per cent in the segment, constituting 3.4 per cent of volumes of the entire smartphone market at the end of 2015. The third position is bagged by Sony, with a 3 per cent share.
Analysts believe that the premium segment requires greater focus from handset makers given its significance for the industry. “As the Indian market moves from a volume game to value market, premium segment becomes significant for the industry where you sell lesser units for higher value,” lead analyst - telecoms, at Cybermedia Research (CMR), Faisal Kawoosa told ET.
Mobile handset brands that operate in India need to come up with more phones in the premium segment, the agency added, highlighting the importance of this small segment that brings approximately a quarter of industry revenue.
While Cupertino giant Apple may have marginally lagged behind as the biggest brand in terms of volume, CMR analysts also said that the premium smartphone segment saw 53 per cent growth in 2015 due to Apple's rise in volume numbers. iPhone sales growth of 93 per cent in India exceeded that of Greater China where it witnessed 87 per cent growth in the three months ending June.
Apple sold about 2 million phones in India in 2015, of which about 800,000 were in the October to December, a period when it crossed Samsung in the premium segment, as per the report.
Almost about 3.3 million premium smartphones were sold in India last year, which will rise to 5 million units this year. CMR in its report also said that the latest launch of the iPhone SE which goes on sale from April 8, will contribute to growth but 'will not be the centre-piece for Apple's growth in India.'
Google might also join the league of premium Android (say Android X) version that would essentially focus on increasing the user experience and to compete with Apple iOS.