Samsung dominated the high-end smartphone category in India in 2015 with a market share of 44 per cent, followed by Apple with 27.3 per cent, even as new entrants such as OnePlus created a wedge in the market with a 6 per cent share.
Premium market made up 7 per cent of the total smartphone market in 2015. About 52 per cent of this segment belonged to phones at Rs 30,000 and above, while the rest were in the Rs 20,000 – Rs 30,000 price bracket. In the Rs 30,000-plus price category, Samsung led the market with 46.1per cent, Apple followed up close with 43.8 per cent share, with Sony, HTC and Lenovo in the next three positions in that order, last year.
This year, the premium phone market is expected to see incremental share gain.
According to the report, of a total of 163 smartphone brands, only 19 brands shipped smartphones in the high-end price band (20,000 or above price point) in 2015, indicating high entry barriers and the brand loyalty enjoyed by incumbent brands in the segment. In the sub-Rs 20,000 level, 46 brands shipped smartphones and 153 brands shipped handsets in the less than Rs 10,000 price band.
CMR added that Chinese player OnePlus will stand out of all these emerging brands and may enter the top three brands in the price segment, primarily pushed by its attractively priced OnePlus 3 and its online-only business model.
CMR also expects approximately 70 per cent of users to upgrade to a higher end smartphone rather than replace in the same price segment. The upgrade is in terms of functionality, feature set and of course the price. From the new features, virtual reality will be high on the agenda of several high-end smartphone brands.