Three years after losing the numero uno crown to Apple in the premium smartphone segment, Samsung India raced past the iPhone maker in March to reclaim the market leader position on the back of sales of its Galaxy S22 series.
According to Counterpoint Research, Samsung’s most premium flagship smartphone – Galaxy S22 Ultra – raced to the pole position in the Rs 100,000+ segment with a 74% volume market share in March. Samsung’s overall market share in the Rs 100,000+ category in March stood at 81% on the S22 Ultra sales.
The success of Galaxy S22 series also helped Samsung reclaim the leadership position in the over Rs 30,000 segment with a 38% volume market share in March, Counterpoint Research said. Apple’s market share stood at 30%.
The company also emerged on top in the overall smartphone market in March with a 22% volume market share and a 27% value market share, Counterpoint Research added.
Till 2019, Samsung used to be the market leader in the premium smartphone segment, with Apple occasionally scoring during the last three months of a year.
However, Apple changed the smartphone game from 2020 when it came out with models like iPhone 11, 12 and 13, and toppled Samsung from the leadership position. In 2021, for instance, Apple sold about 5.4 million devices in the domestic market in the premium segment against Samsung’s 1.1 million.
One reason for Samsung’s losing the top position in the premium segment was the phasing out of its hugely successful Note series, without coming out with any equivalent alternative. This void seems to have been filled with the Galaxy S22 series, which was launched in March.
However, it remains to be seen whether Samsung is able to consolidate its position going ahead. During the January-March quarter, Apple continued to be the leader in the premium segment with a 38% market share followed by Samsung at 25%. The April-June data would show how the two leading smartphone players fare in this race.
While Samsung’s portfolio in the above Rs 100,000 bracket includes Galaxy S22 and Galaxy Fold, Apple offers iPhone Pro Max as well as certain iPhone 13 models.
According to Aditya Babbar, senior director and head of product marketing, mobile business, Samsung India, the company has received an unprecedented response for its latest flagship. “The growth in non-metros has been 3 times higher compared to metro cities, which shows the device has been loved by people across the country,” he said.
“Samsung has a momentum now in the premium segment as our channel checks are indicating a robust demand going into the second quarter as well,” said Tarun Pathak, research director, Counterpoint Research.