Apple has maintained its lead in the worldwide premium smartphone market even as the iPhone maker lost 7 percent of market share in 2018, a research report has revealed. Samsung, which currently sits at the second spot, also lost one percent of the market, whereas the like of Huawei and Oppo made significant gains. 2018 was also the first year when OnePlus entered the top five in the worldwide premium smartphone market since the company’s entry in the smartphone market five years ago.
According to the latest Market Monitor report by Counterpoint Research, Apple accounted for the 51 percent of all worldwide premium smartphone shipments, down from 58 percent a year earlier. Despite the drop the Cupertino, California-based company still has a significant lead over the second spot holder Samsung. The South Korean consumer electronics giant accounted for 22 percent of the shipments, followed by Huawei with 10 percent, Oppo with 6 percent, and OnePlus with 2 percent.
The overall premium smartphone market grew 14 percent year-over-year, driven by the launch of new iPhone models and premium phones from the Chinese smartphone makers. Oppo with 863 percent growth, OnePlus with 209 percent, and Xiaomi with 149 percent were the fastest growing brands in the premium segment.
In terms of the regions, Asia Pacific saw the fastest growth in premium smartphone shipments at 27 percent. Indian premium smartphone market grew 14 percent, whereas China’s shipments grew 37 percent. In India, Samsung took the top spot, followed by OnePlus, Apple, Huawei, and Vivo.
Among other titbits from the report, OnePlus recorded its highest ever shipments in a single quarter (Q4 2018) in India. Google entered the top five premium smartphone vendors in Western Europe last year, and most of Oppo’s growth came from the Chinese market.