Wednesday February 5, 2020 1:34 am PST by Tim Hardwick
Apple was the fastest growing premium smartphone brand in India last year with 41 percent annual growth, according to new data gathered by Counterpoint Research. Premium smartphone shipments in the country reached a record high in 2019, increasing by 29 percent year over year. The growth is said to have been driven by affordable premium smartphones, aggressive offers like significant price cuts, and user upgrades. In Apple's case, growth in the fourth quarter was driven by multiple price cuts on iPhone XR throughout the year. The iPhone XR was the number one ultra-premium smartphone model in India followed by Samsung's Galaxy S10 Plus and China's OnePlus 7 Pro, according to the report. Apple also oversaw the fastest rollout of its flagship devices in India, with the iPhone 11 series introduced at a lower price point than the previous year's iPhone XR launch. This reportedly helped to gain share during the festive season and in its launch quarter in India. "We expect the strongest 2020 for Apple in India as it has expanded its production capacity in India and is now manufacturing iPhones on a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) basis. These activities will help the brand to offer competitive pricing in a price-sensitive market like India," Counterpoint said.OnePlus remained the number one premium brand for the full calendar year, with shipments growing 28 percent year over year and the brand capturing one third of India's premium mobile market. The Chinese brand also became the first ever premium smartphone brand to cross two million shipments in a year in 2019.