Smartphone sales in the global market were outstripped in 2021 by premium handsets

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According to a report by Counterpoint Research, global sales of high-end smartphones increased by 24% last year, reaching their highest level in any year.

In 2021, the growth in the premium smartphone market outpaced the 7% annual growth in global smartphone sales. A record high for the segment was achieved when nearly 27% of all smartphone shipments were accounted for by this market segment.

A premium smartphone, according to the Hong Kong-based research firm, is one that costs more than $400.

Counterpoint’s research director, Tarun Pathak, attributed the growth to a variety of factors.

“Demand for 5G replacement devices in advanced economies and upgrades to the affordable-premium segment in emerging economies continued to drive growth.

“Amidst the supply chain woes, the ecosystem players also prioritised the premium segment devices due to higher margins and profitability. Because of the pandemic’s impact on sales and launch plans in 2020, the growth rate was also higher in 2021, Mr. Pathak said.

The number of premium phones sold by Counterpoint was not made public.

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In 2021, Apple, with a market share of nearly 60%, was the market leader in the high-end smartphone space. In September, the 13 series was updated to include support for 5G. Apple’s holiday quarter, which ended on December 25th, saw record sales of the iPhone thanks to the introduction of several new models.

Cupertino-based Apple’s iPhone sales made up 57% of the company’s quarterly revenues. In the first quarter of 2019, smartphone sales jumped 9.1 percent to more than $71.6 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of $68.3 billion, according to a report from the International Data Corporation.

Apple was followed by Samsung (17 percent), Huawei (6 percent), Xiaomi (5 percent), Oppo (4 percent), and Vivo (4 percent) from China (3 per cent).

According to Counterpoint Research, which analysed sales data from August, the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip 3 were well received by consumers in South Korea, North America, and Western Europe, the research firm said.

Premium smartphones are expected to continue to outpace global smartphone market growth going forward, Counterpoint’s senior analyst Varun Mishra said. This is due to the replacement demand in various markets.

“The premium market will see growth as foldables become more affordable.” In the foldable market, Samsung has shown that it is a viable option. He said a foldable phone from Apple, he said, would be a sign of the technology’s long-term viability and help it grow.

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