OnePlus is dominating Apple in key emerging markets

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Smartphone
sales are exploding in emerging markets like China and India.
Apple has been trying to take advantage of that for years, and
it insists it is succeeding. But in reality, other
manufacturers are dominating the premium smartphone segment.


According to the latest data,
OnePlus handsets accounted for 57 percent of all premium
handsets sold in India during the second quarter of
2017.

Smartphone sales in India grew a whopping 15 percent during the
first quarter of this year, reaching 29 million units. It is
estimated that by 2021, annual sales will reach 231.5 million
units, up from just 102.4 million in 2016. Sales in the U.S.,
on the other hand, are expected to shrink.


It’s no
surprise, then, that Apple wants a piece of this pie. It has
been aggressively pushing the iPhone in India, and has even
begun
locally manufacturing
certain handsets. But for the vast
majority of smartphone consumers, the iconic device is just too
expensive.


That’s true
even in the premium smartphone segment, which comprises devices
priced at $400+.


OnePlus
dominates Apple and Samsung


The latest figures from IDC reveal that
handsets from OnePlus have been much more successful. The OnePlus
3T and OnePlus 5 accounted for 57 percent of all premium
smartphones sold online last quarter. That’s significantly more
than Apple or Samsung could achieve.


Amazon.in
saw sales of OnePlus devices treble during Diwali, India’s
biggest national festival. The OnePlus 5 was also its
best-selling smartphone during the most recent Amazon Prime
Day.


“Due to the
triumph of the OnePlus 5, 2017 will ensure OnePlus end
the year in a healthy position,” the Chinese startup
says.

Apple must alter its approach

This proves, once again, that Apple must alter its approach in
emerging markets. The iPhone might be just as appealing in
these countries as it is anywhere else, but its hefty price tag
makes it an impossible purchase for the vast majority.

Manufacturing handsets locally could lower prices in the end,
but consumers in India are yet to see any significant
reductions. Apple won’t make a really significant dent until
that changes.