While the broader smartphone market was in a slight decline (-2%), the premium smartphone market grew by 18%.

Data from Counterpoint Research from December 2018 shows that phones in the above-$400 segment saw the fastest growth. And within that segment, the Apple-created and Apple-led above-$800 grew the most.

Apple captured 51% of the premium smartphone market (above-$400), followed by Samsung’s 22% and Huawei’s 10% thanks to strong P20 and Mate 20 demand. Apple also lead the ultra-premium $800+ market with an 80% share.

And while the ultra-premium segment ($800+) was the fastest-growing, the $400-$600 price-band was the largest in volume. Apple still sold the most phones in this segment, but OnePlus saw the biggest increase of sales, spearheaded by strong sales in India.

Counterpoint’s data suggests that consumers were willing to spend more on their phones in 2018 but are expecting to keep them for longer.

The Research firm expects the growth of the premium smartphone segment to continue thanks to the imminent arrival of 5G and foldable phones as well as the rise of the so-called affordable-premium segment.

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