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Rs 1 lakh-plus smartphone market in India grew 23% in 2019, iPhone 11 Pro Max was the most bought

India’s aspirational smartphone buyers are on a high and it looks like they have no problems in shelling out Ra 1 lakh or more for the device they set their eyes on.

India’s aspirational smartphone buyers are on a high and it looks like they have no problems in shelling out Ra 1 lakh or more for the device they set their eyes on.
India’s aspirational smartphone buyers are on a high and it looks like they have no problems in shelling out Ra 1 lakh or more for the device they set their eyes on. (REUTERS)

If you thought the economy was in slump and people were not spending enough, think again. India's aspirational smartphone buyers are on a high and it looks like they have no problems in shelling out Ra 1 lakh or more for the device they set their eyes on.

The uber-premium smartphone market in India (phones above 1 lakh) grew by 23% (year-on-year) in 2019.

One can credit Apple for creating this uber-premium segment in the country starting with the iPhone X in 2017. And leading the segment for 2019, Apple contributed 85% of the uber-premium shipments with the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to data from CMR's Mobile Handset Market Review Report.

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Individually, the iPhone 11 Pro Max accounted for 42% of the shipments in 2019. Apple's shipments n grew by 5% (YoY) in 2019 according to the CMR report. Apple's India shipments grew by a healthy 17% in the calendar year 2019. For the fourth quarter of 2019, Apple had a YoY growth of 84%.

The iPhone 11 Pro (64GB) costs 99,990 and iPhone 11 Pro (256GB) retails for 1,10,900 on Amazon right now. The iPhone 11 Pro Max (512GB) retails for 1,41,900 while the 256GB version is for 1,21,900.

Also Read: Apple's shipments in India grew 17% in 2019, courtesy iPhone XR, iPhone 11

Following Apple in this segment was Samsung with 15% of the shipments in 2019. In particular the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which was launched at 1.65 lakh, made quite a debut by bagging 4% of the total shipments in 2019.

Also Read: Samsung hopes 5G will turn things around in 2020 after a dismal Q4 show

"Given that the smartphone is an extension of one's lifestyle, today's affluent consumers, and mostly early tech adopters, are seeking the latest and the best," said Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.

"For instance, Apple iPhone loyalists have embraced the latest iPhone Pro Max. On the other hand, the initial success of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, despite all the initial technological hiccups, is also a testament to the changing consumer buying behaviour," Ram told IANS.

"What really makes a smartphone uber-premium is not merely its pricing, but rather the promise and potential it encapsulates, in terms of its technological specs, and the CX it delivers to the intended target demographic. The wow factor in terms of innovation and messaging is key for market success," explained Ram.

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