The global premium ($400 and higher wholesale average sales price) smartphone market sales grew 24% year-over-year in 2021 to reach their highest ever level, according to Counterpoint Research’s Market Pulse Service.
Apple continued to lead the market, reaching the 60% sales share mark for the first time since 2017 driven by strong 5G upgrades for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series. The delayed launch of Apple devices in 2020 also pushed demand to 2021.
Counterpoint says that Apple, with its strong brand power, is in the best position to gain Huawei’s premium smartphone users. This is also indicated by Apple’s growth in China, where the brand reached its highest ever market share in quarter four of 2021. Apple was the top manufacturer in the premium segment in every region in 2021.
Counterpoint says the growth in the premium smartphone segment outpaced the 7% year-over-year growth in the overall global smartphone sales in 2021. The premium segment alone contributed to 27% of the global smartphone sales, its highest ever share.