Does Apple really dominate the premium phone market?
I have always heard people saying that the iPhone is still easily leading the premium smartphone market but I have never seen evidence to support that claim. Apple never tells us the exact sales of a specific iPhone so we are only left with rough estimates. The only real number we have is the total number of iPhone shipped.
Now we know that Samsung ships twice as many smartphones as Apple in a year. So I went digging into the portfolio of phones Samsung is selling right now and 50% of their offering is competing with the iPhone in terms of price.
The S5 and note 3 are competing with the 5S. The S4, Galaxy Mega and Note 2 are competing with the 5C. The Galaxy Grand 2, S4 mini and S3 are competing with the 4S.
Now Samsung doesn't give us specific info either so we are left with a difficult question. Do you not suppose its reasonable to assume that at least 50% of sales are from the top 50% phones? Of course its not reasonable to assume that. But Samsung has always said that the Galaxy S is its best selling brand so we know that the best selling phone is from the top. And anecdotal evidence tells me that fewer people are buying low end Samsung phones now.
If you say that the 5C is out selling the S4 that doesn't really say much since Samsung is offering devices that are also competing with its own S4 unlike Apple where the 5C sits alone in its bracket. Is it out selling the S4, Mega and Note 2 combined? Now that would actually be a meaningful stat. Just because the iPhone leads the chart of best selling phones doesn't mean that its actually the best selling brand.
Now let me come to the US where Apple actually has a significant market share. In the US Apple is serious about competing on price and you can buy an iPhone free on contract. This fact alone means that its competing with quite a number of phones in the US and its not just the "premium" market its operating in contrary to what people like to believe.
Even if we give it that Apple sells slightly more higher end phones than Samsung we are still left with the likes of LG, HTC, Sony and Motorola who are also selling high end phones. None of them is doing particularly good but nevertheless they are selling multi million phones and if we decide to add them up with the Samsung high end phones then surely we can reasonably assume that Android high end sales are at the very least equal to the iPhone sales and they could very well be higher.
I am not a fanboy and would gladly accept any flaws in my argument so feel free to critique.