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OnePlus now top-five contender in global premium smartphone market

Apple still has the lion's share of the market globally, but Chinese brands are growing fast.

Published onApril 16, 2019

In a new report from Counterpoint Research, the firm lays out the top five contenders in the global premium smartphone market. While Apple maintained its lead with the number one spot, a relatively new company stepped onto the list for the first time: Chinese manufacturer OnePlus.

The results — which stem from smartphone shipments from the final quarter of 2018 — prove that the premium segment of the global smartphone market is a fast-growing sector of the industry. For the sake of clarity, Counterpoint considers any device with wholesale pricing over $400 to be a premium smartphone.

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In Q2 of 2018, the top five premium smartphone brands were, in order from largest to smallest: Apple, Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, and Xiaomi. In the final quarter of the year, though, OnePlus has knocked down Xiaomi to sixth place, which represents a significant achievement — especially when you consider how much smaller OnePlus is as compared to a company like Xiaomi.

In the chart below, which compares the premium segment in 2017 to 2018, you can see that while Apple and Samsung are losing considerable shares of the market, Chinese players are gobbling it right up:

OnePlus also held its lead in India, where it is the largest premium smartphone manufacturer by market share. And, here in the United States, the company also entered the top five in that same segment, the only Chinese manufacturer to do so. Both achievements are based on the success of the company’s latest flagship, the OnePlus 6T.

Aside from the achievements of OnePlus, there were some other notable shifts in the premium smartphone market in Counterpoint’s report. Google entered the top five in Western Europe for the first time, based on the success of the Google Pixel 3. OPPO also saw some significant progress, with a whopping 863 percent growth in the market. This is based on the successes of the OPPO R15 and R17 in China.

The top five breakdowns of each area of the world are below:

You can read the full report from Counterpoint Research by clicking here.

NEXT: OnePlus in 2019: A force to be reckoned with

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