Incomplete numbers

India’s premium smartphone segment grew 29% YoY in 2019; Apple was the fastest growing brand, up 41% YoY, and OnePlus maintained its No. 1 position

—The Economic Times (via Techmeme)

This headline is bothering me. It appears to present the idea that the Indian market is (finally) turning towards premium smartphones. But these numbers only present half the story.

It’s great the the premium smartphone segment grew 29%, and Apple’s sales (I presume) grew 41%. But from what base did they grow?

Also, how fast did the overall smartphone market grow? If the overall smartphone market grew by more than 29%, then the market share of premium segment actually shrank.

Half the numbers, half the story. Still makes it to the front page of Techmeme :/

Screenshot 2020-02-06 at 16.34.23This tweet didn’t do justice to the story either. If the premium market is growing by discounting itself to the mid-priced segment, then it’s not really the premium market growing. This is the mid-priced segment expanding slightly upwards to eat more of premium market share.

Update: I finally got to read the actual article. It is just a press release masquerading as a news article. Counterpoint published a report and got Economic Times to publish a teaser as a news article. The full report may have more data to answer the questions, but the reporter in the story either didn’t have the full report, or didn’t know which other numbers were needed for a full picture.

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