According to the latest research made by Counterpoint, affordable flagships are here to stay. The market has changed with the introduction of the iPhone X as an ultra-premium flagship in 2017. Since them, flagship devices are getting more expensive every year. This forced the companies to rethink their strategies by offering a device that is a little more expensive than overall mid-range phones, with powerful specifications but that doesn’t reach the high price of current flagships. Xiaomi revolutionized the market with the introduction of Pocophone F1, and then many companies started to follow. Although we may not be able to see a device as cheap as the original Poco anymore, the so-called flagship killer segment is growing by the days.
According to the research, the Galaxy S series and Note series have been the top-selling smartphone models in South Korea. However, it has now changed and the effect can be clearly seen in Q1 2020 sales tracker for the country. The top-selling device in this period was the Galaxy A90 5G. It has an average selling price of $453. Back in the first quarter of 2019, the Galaxy Note 9 was priced at $806. Samsung doesn’t call the A90 a flagship killer, but its specifications and prices are still compared to one. Although this trend is certainly popular in South Korea, the premium Galaxy Note 10 5G still got the second place in the list. In the fifth position, we have the Note 10 Plus 5G.
The research states that since 2018, the Galaxy S and Note series have been giving up their shares to entry-level and mid-range devices. We can see that devices in those categories have been getting better over the years. Moreover, the sales tracker state that the average selling price of smartphones sold in South Korean declined this year in comparison to 2019.
Although companies are still able to sell their ultra-premium flagships, not everyone is winning in this trend. LG for example had to rethink its smartphone strategy. The company now has the LG Velvet as an affordable device. However, there is a problem, the Velvet is priced at $730 and doesn’t seem to be as appealing as other flagship killers. Even Apple is seeing the importance of this market right now. The company has released the iPhone SE 2020 with a price tag of $450. It’s the company’s cheapest smartphone in years.
This year we already saw many flagship killers from companies like Realme and Xiaomi. The list will keep growing over the upcoming months.