The global premium (US$400 and above wholesale average selling price) smartphone market sales volume declined 8% year-over-year (YoY) during the quarter, the first quarter of 2022.
However, it still performed better than the overall smartphone market, which declined by 10%, according to Counterpoint Research’s Market Pulse Service. This is the eighth consecutive quarter where the premium market has outperformed overall smartphone market growth, notes the research group.
Apple continued to lead the premium market, exceeding 60% share for the second consecutive quarter. This was driven by the iPhone 13 series. The iPhone 13 has been the best-selling model globally each month since October 2021. This was also the highest first quarter share for Apple in the premium segment since quarter one of 2017.
Counterpoint says Samsung’s share declined in the segment. This was mainly because of a delayed launch of the Galaxy S22 series as compared to the S21 series launch in 2021. However, the S22 series is performing well overall.
Counterpoint notes that, although sales volume in the premium segment declined YoY it grew in importance, with almost three in 10 smartphones sold coming from the premium segment: its highest-ever first quarter share. What’s more, sales value grew slightly (+0.5% YoY) due to an increase in the Average Selling Price.
The premium segment alone accounted for almost two thirds of global smartphone value during the quarter, reaching the highest first-quarter value contribution as well.
This revenue resilience was driven by a 164% YoY sales volume growth in the ultra-premium (US$1,000 and above) price band, which became the largest contributor to the premium market, both in terms of sales volume as well as value. It was the fastest-growing price segment globally as well as in China, Western Europe, and North America, according to Counterpoint.