In 2023, the state of the global smartphone market was very different. Sales in the sector have generally decreased. The premium smartphone market, represented by devices like the iPhone 15 Pro, has defied this trend, growing by an astounding estimated 6% year over year. According to Counterpoint Research, this growth will likely set a new market high, taking into account its estimates for the fourth quarter of 2023.
According to Counterpoint Research’s analysis, the premium sector—which includes wholesale prices of $600 and above—is experiencing a notable upturn. By 2023, it is projected that this segment will account for 60% of revenues and nearly a quarter of sales in the global smartphone market. There is variation in this growth among the regions. The world’s fastest-growing premium smartphone market is India. The surge in sales of premium smartphones is especially noticeable in a few markets, such as China, India, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
Over the past year, Apple has seen a minor decline in market share despite maintaining its leadership position in the premium sector. Rivals like Huawei, which is seeing a comeback in China, and Samsung, with its S23 and foldable phone models, have made significant progress.
Senior analyst Varun Mishra of Counterpoint has noticed a change in the way that customers make purchases. According to him, consumers are prepared to pay extra for a high-quality smartphone that they can use for an extended amount of time, given the significance of smartphones. Owning a high-end smartphone is becoming more and more of a status symbol in emerging markets, where this trend is especially noticeable. This trend is also being fueled by the devices’ increasing accessibility, which is made possible by financing options and promotional periods.
One major growth driver in the smartphone market has been the ultra-premium segment, which includes smartphones priced over $1,000.
In 2023, the price range of $1,000 and above accounted for more than one-third of the sales in the premium market. In contrast to 2022, when sales of premium smartphones increased by just 1%, this year’s 6% growth in sales is noteworthy.