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In 2021, Apple's iPhone was the #1 Premium Smartphone around the World delivering a Stellar Performance with 60% Market Share


Report Update 5:21 a.m. PST: New Chart, iOS vs Android in Premium Market


According to a new analytical report posted this morning, the global premium (>$400 wholesale ASP) smartphone market sales grew 24% YoY in 2021 to reach their highest ever level. The growth in the premium segment outpaced the 7% YoY growth in the overall global smartphone sales in 2021. The premium segment alone contributed to 27% of the global smartphone sales, its highest ever share.


Counterpoint Researcher's Director Tarun Pathak: "The premium market growth in 2021 was driven by a mix of factors, including replacement demand, OEM strategies and supply chain dynamics. Upgrades to the affordable-premium segment in emerging economies and replacement demand for 5G devices in advanced economies continued to drive growth. OEMs including Apple, OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi were aggressive in capitalizing on the premium market gap left by Huawei, especially in China and Western Europe, driving growth in the segment. Amid the supply chain woes, the ecosystem players also prioritized the premium segment devices due to increased margins and profitability. The growth rate was also somewhat higher in 2021 due to the sales and launch schedules in 2020 being impacted by the pandemic."


In terms of OEMs, Apple continued to lead the market, reaching the 60% sales share mark for the first time since 2017 driven by strong 5G upgrades for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series.


The delayed launch of Apple devices in 2020 also pushed demand to 2021. Apple, with its strong brand power, is in the best position to gain Huawei’s premium smartphone users. This is also indicated by Apple’s growth in China, where the brand reached its highest ever market share in Q4 2021. Apple was the top OEM in the premium segment in every region in 2021.


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2 F Counterpoint chart apple #1 premium phone maker

iPhone: The #1 Premium Smartphone in the World

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3 F counterpoint chart - Apple #1 premium phone around the world


In terms of cellular access technology, 5G has become a standard offering across the premium segment. But 4G continues to have share driven by the older iPhones – 11 and SE 2020 – and the Samsung S20 FE. However, as these product lines also transition to 5G in 2022 and 5G also starts to make inroads into developing regions, the share of LTE will decrease further. But Huawei will continue to launch its new devices with LTE capability.


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4 F Counter point 5g chart


For information on Apple's competitors, read the full Counterpoint report here.


In a secondary report from Counterpoint they note that in 2021, the market share of Android smartphones in the >$600 price band in China shrunk to 36.5% from 44.6% in 2020, highlighting the difficulties domestic vendors have had capturing the premium space vacated by Huawei.


The counterpoint chart below makes it glaringly clear that iOS is clobbering Android smartphones in the premium space.


(Click on image to Enlarge)  5 x Counterpoint report chart iOS vs Android


10.0F1 - Apple Market Statistics Bar


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