The share of premium smartphones for the first time touched double digits in 2022, largely led by the growth in shipment value of smartphones by Samsung and Apple. While the entry-level and the budget segments led the fall in the total shipments, the premium segment showed double-digit growth, according to Counterpoint Research.
Premium segment, which includes smartphones above Rs 30,000, contributed 11% to India’s smartphone shipments and 35% to market revenue in 2022. While Apple continued to lead the overall premium segment as well as the ultra-premium segment of above Rs 45,000 with its iPhone 13 and a growth of 16%, Samsung led the overall smartphone market revenue in the country with 20% share driven by its premium smartphone models, especially the Galaxy S22 series.
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“Despite declining shipments, the premium smartphone market’s share kept rising in 2022 and reached 11%, the highest ever. This paradoxical trend implies that India’s smartphone market is moving from being volume-driven to value-driven,” said Shilpi Jain, research analyst at Counterpoint. “We believe the momentum for the premium segment will continue in 2023 as well owing to OEMs’ focus and faster consumer upgrades,” Jain added.
Various financing schemes like no-cost EMIs, buy now, pay later, and Samsung finance plus, also contributed towards the growth of the premium smartphone market.
Apart from the growth in the premium segment, the overall smartphone shipments in the country declined 9% YoY to over 152 million units in 2022. The fall in shipments that was led by entry-level and budget segment phones was due to supply constraints at the beginning of the year and then lower demand from the consumers, analysts said.
“Consumer demand started declining from the second quarter when the global economy was crippled by multiple macroeconomic issues like all-time high inflation, rising unemployment and geopolitical conflicts, affecting India’s economy as well,” said Prachir Singh, senior research analyst at Counterpoint.
“Inventory build-up across channels after the second quarter led to lower-than-expected shipments throughout the second half of the year. We believe that the inventory and demand situation will continue to affect the market in the first half of 2023 before improving in the latter half driven by the festive season and upgrades to 5G devices,” Singh added.
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While Samsung led the overall shipments in terms of value of smartphones sold, Xiaomi led the market in terms of volumes last year with a 20% share, closely followed by Samsung.
According to analysts, 2022 was a tough year for Xiaomi as the company faced legal complications, component shortages, and intense competition.
China brands saw a decline in value share cumulatively, capturing 60% revenue share in 2022 as compared to 65% in 2021, Counterpoint said.
Brands like realme, and Oppo witnessed a 14% and 7% decline in shipments, respectively, last year. OnePlus grew 50% YoY in 2022 driven by the OnePlus Nord CE 2 series. It captured the second spot in the affordable premium segment with a 22% share In 2022, 5G smartphones captured a 32% share with Samsung as the top-selling 5G brand with a 21% share.