The global premium smartphone market is broken down into three segments (affordable premium at 32%; Premium 32% and Ultra Premium 36%) with pricing ranging from US$400 to >US$800. The overall segment recorded a 46% YoY sales growth in Q2 2021. The growth in the premium segment outpaced the overall market growth of 26% YoY.
For Apple it was a global sweep, winning all major markets and cornering more than half the market in Q2-21 and in fact for the first three quarters of 2021.
A large part of the premium market growth in Q2 2021 was driven by Apple, which reported a sales growth of 74% YoY in the premium segment on the strong momentum of the iPhone 12 series due to the iPhone users continuing to upgrade to 5G.
Within the premium segment, while all the price bands saw growth, the highest growth (182% YoY) was seen in the ultra-premium band (>$800). This was mainly due to the strong momentum of the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro.
The Pro versions were launched later than the usual September date, causing demand to spill over to the subsequent months. Apple captured close to 75% of the ultra-premium segment, compared to 54% a year ago. This shift also indicates that more consumers now prefer high-end devices after realizing the importance of smartphones to them during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
For information regarding Apple's competitors, read the full Counterpoint report.