Lucas Riechert - Thursday 30 March 2023

Last year, more expensive smartphones were more popular than cheaper devices for the first time

Last year saw a slight growth in the number of luxury smartphones sold. Previously, mainly cheaper models were sold, but this has now changed.

Smartphone sales down last year
It is known that overall smartphone sales experienced a decline last year, partly due to the global economic situation and also, for example, the strict COVID policy in China. Despite this, sales of premium smartphones, the more luxurious models, did grow worldwide. These are devices priced at least $600 or more, according to market researcher Counterpoint. For the first time since smartphone history, the majority (55%) of smartphones sold were more expensive devices.
Analysts see several explanations for the growth in the more expensive segment. For instance, consumers of more expensive devices tend to be less susceptible to economic downturns.

Smartphone increasingly important in daily life
The trend of growth in the more expensive segment was also underway before the current economic recession. According to analysts, this is partly due to the growing importance of a smartphone. People are using smartphones more and more, and on average they also want to pay more for it because it has become such an important part of our lives. Consequently, the fastest-growing segment last year was the smartphone of $1,000 or more, with a 38% growth compared to 2021.

Apple in particular benefits from this development
The growth taking place in the more expensive segment is mainly good for Apple's wallet. Indeed, the company accounted for around 75% of devices sold in the premium segment last year, compared to 71% the year before. Samsung actually yielded last year and comes second with 61%. The third and fourth spots are held by Huawei and Xiaomi, with 3% and 1% of devices sold above USD 600. As we reported earlier, Counterpoint previously reported the success of the iPhone with the top ten best-selling smartphones last year. Of these, eight out of 10 devices were iPhones, with mainly the more expensive devices topping the list.

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