Apple lead in premium smartphone sales is growing, as overall market shrinks

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in iPhone
New research claims that premium smartphones reached record sales in 2021, and that Apple's iPhone was the top seller in every territory.




Counterpoint Research has previously reported that the iPhone dominated North American smartphone sales, and that Apple sold 7 out of the 10 best-selling smartphones worldwide in 2021. Now further research shows how the iPhone has fared in the rankings of premium phones in each region studied.

According to Counterpoint Research, the premium smartphone market - defined as phones costing over $400 - grew 24% YoY in 2021. It's the highest ever growth for premium smartphones, and came as overall the smartphone market grew by 7% in the same period.

"The premium market growth in 2021 was driven by a mix of factors," said Counterpoint research director Tarun Pathak, " including replacement demand, OEM strategies and supply chain dynamics."

Pathak also said that demand for 5G drove growth, and that firms including Apple, "aggressive in capitalizing on the premium market gap left by Huawei, especially in China and Western Europe."

Apple does not release sales figures, so all data is compiled by Counterpoint from its own sources. Those sources report that in 2021, Apple reached a 60% share of the premium smartphone market for the first time since 2017.

Monthly handset sales )Source: Counterpoint)
Monthly handset sales )Source: Counterpoint)


That was partly because the delay to the launch of the iPhone 12 range because of coronavirus pushed sales into 2021.

Counterpoint believes that Apple is in the best position to gain Huawei's premium smartphone users in the near future. Longer term, it also expects to see growth spearheaded by Apple.

Top resellers (Source: Counterpoint)
Top resellers (Source: Counterpoint)


"[The future] launch of foldables at a lower price than before will also drive growth in the premium market," said senior analyst Varun Mishra. "Samsung has showcased foldables as a viable market. A foldable phone from Apple will be a nod to the robustness of the technology and further drive growth."

Separately, Apple has most recently been predicted to launch an iPhone Fold in 2024.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Keyword: premium. Most people are not at premium. Could we have proper global stats of entire market? If we focus on high-end then even Apple is not there at all 9I suggest study what high-end used by celebrities and high profile traders is, but security in that region is not what Apple is capable of yet).
  • Reply 2 of 7
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,284member
    The overall market didn’t grow once the premium growth is taken out of the total. So the only real area of growth in the smartphone market is in the premium area.

    less expensive phones don’t nake any real profit for the manufacturer, and that a problem. Apple’s average price is around $758-800. The average Android phone sells for around $240-265. That’s why so few manufacturers are making a profit.maciekskontakt said:
    Keyword: premium. Most people are not at premium. Could we have proper global stats of entire market? If we focus on high-end then even Apple is not there at all 9I suggest study what high-end used by celebrities and high profile traders is, but security in that region is not what Apple is capable of yet).
    A $429 phone is really considered to be in the sweet spot. It’s right in the middle of the pricing range. iPhones command a premium. That means that people will pay more for an iPhone than for an Android phone.

    i don’t understand what you’re talking about. What high end phones is Apple not competing against?
    BeatsBart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 7
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Doesn’t make sense to buy a knockoff iPhone for over $300 bucks and trends reflect that.

    If you also notice, companies who rip-off Apple the most will be 2nd/3rd place in premium.

    Apple needs to push the Watch and AirPods even further the next 5 years to kick out the piggybackers off the top end even more. When iKnockoff morons claim Apple doesn’t have much unique features because their knockoff has already copied them all, remind them they don’t have Apple Watch support and full AirPods support. Also android can’t copy security and privacy and those features are HUGE and overlooked by the media and morons. 
    Bart Y
  • Reply 4 of 7
    @maciekskontakt – the stats of the entire market are relatively meaningless. Who cares if company A is selling 20m devices and company B only 15m, if most of them are at break-even prices or in many cases slightly below? Only companies that are making serious profits are able to invest heavily in the new technology that will earn tomorrow's profits. 
    I think we're starting to see Samsung struggle a bit in this regard. Apple is making money that allows heavy investment in new silicon that others can't. And the gap looks to be widening. There's absolutely nothing to be gained from selling 100m phones at zero profit. At the end of the day, what have you gained from all your hard work? You might as well not bother.
    Bart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,284member
    KidGloves said:
    @maciekskontakt – the stats of the entire market are relatively meaningless. Who cares if company A is selling 20m devices and company B only 15m, if most of them are at break-even prices or in many cases slightly below? Only companies that are making serious profits are able to invest heavily in the new technology that will earn tomorrow's profits. 
    I think we're starting to see Samsung struggle a bit in this regard. Apple is making money that allows heavy investment in new silicon that others can't. And the gap looks to be widening. There's absolutely nothing to be gained from selling 100m phones at zero profit. At the end of the day, what have you gained from all your hard work? You might as well not bother.
    And that’s why LG, once one of the biggest, and the second biggest seller in the USA after Apple, left the phone business recently.
    freeassociate2Bart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    Paul_BPaul_B Posts: 51member
    $600 dollars is pennies ($2.00/day) for those that have even a have low income, and when the microprocessor can no longer be shrunk, all computers (which most cellular phones are, performance will become obsolete, in terms of hardware performance.  Have you ever heard any body say my calculator is better than yours - said no body.  As for Software, they will all just copy one another, and more integration between Android and Apple, give it three years.  Prices will go down when they are forced to under cut one another  or make a pact like OPEC.

  • Reply 7 of 7
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,236member
    Paul_B said:
    $600 dollars is pennies ($2.00/day) for those that have even a have low income, and when the microprocessor can no longer be shrunk, all computers (which most cellular phones are, performance will become obsolete, in terms of hardware performance.  Have you ever heard any body say my calculator is better than yours - said no body.  As for Software, they will all just copy one another, and more integration between Android and Apple, give it three years.  Prices will go down when they are forced to under cut one another  or make a pact like OPEC.

    Weird definition of pennies.
    muthuk_vanalingam
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