Free fall! Premium smartphone market collapses, Apple blames Apple


The smartphone market is on the decline worldwide – and also in Brazil – as the leading surveys and market studies show. Some reasons explain this, such as slowing the pace of innovation and rising prices, which force consumers to spend more time with their devices, but a particular detail that worries the industry is the premium market, which has even more falling numbers in the first quarter of 2019.

Some analysts estimate that this segment collapsed in the period. Global shipments of smartphones with values ‚Äč‚Äčabove US $ 400 (R $ 1528.60 in direct conversion) decreased by 8% over the same period last year, according to the latest report by Counterpoint Research.

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Compared to the global smartphone market, the number is particularly worrisome: IDC and Strategy Analytics, which also released reports, estimated that global smartphone sales fell 6.6 percent and 4 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the first quarter of 2018. In practice, the premium segment performs worse than the incoming and intermediaries, and it is Apple's fault.

Together, Apple, Samsung and Huawei accounted for 88% of worldwide shipments of premium smartphones between January and March. Apple dominates this market with 47 percent of embedded devices, but iPhone sales fell 20 percent, allowing Samsung to capture a quarter of the pie, ahead of Huawei's 16 percent share. The two Asian companies owned 22% and 10% of the total respectively last year and Apple's numbers continue to fall, with the Cupertino giant holding 58% in 2017 and 51% in 2018.

One of the factors pointed by analysts to justify Apple's downfall is the longer cycles of replacing the iPhone. However, Counterpoint experts also point out that Samsung's high-end handsets simply offer better value at similar prices. The Galaxy S10 line, for example, has its popularity anchored in its diversity of designs and attractive design. Huawei's flagships stand out for camera performance, artificial intelligence technology and build quality. However, political issues surrounding the US hinder optimistic analysis for the coming quarters.

The main highlight of this analysis is the presence of OnePlus, dominating the category "others". Flagship killers are quite popular in India thanks to their reasonable prices. Recently landed in the US, the brand reached the fourth place in the North American market, behind Google and ahead of Motorola and LG. On a global scale, the company holds a 2% stake, which may not sound like much, but leaves the company run by Pete Lau virtually close to Google.

This figure is particularly impressive since the OnePlus 6T was virtually the only smartphone of the brand available in the first quarter of the year that paved the way for the arrival of the recently launched OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. It should be noted that OnePlus ranked fourth in the first quarter of 2019, not only in North America, but also in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Western Europe (WE) and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) regions.

On the other hand, Google – third place in the North American market – was only in the top five in Western Europe, while Motorola did its best performance in Latin America, a market that also saw a good performance of Sony, who shone in the region Asia Pacific (excluding China).


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