Got a tip for us? Share it...

New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Android Tops 50% Share of Smartphone Sales, But Apple Still Dominating Profits

Research firm Gartner today released its results of worldwide mobile phone sales for the third quarter of 2011, once again revealing how delayed purchases ahead of the iPhone 4S resulted in a dip in unit sales and market share for Apple. According to the report, Apple's share of the total mobile phone market came in at 3.9% for the quarter, down from 4.6% in the previous quarter. The performance was strong enough, however, to maintain fourth place in the rankings behind Nokia, Samsung, and LG.
Apple shipped 17 million iPhones, an annual increase of 21 percent, but down nearly 3 million units from the second quarter of 2011 because of Apple's new device announcement in October. Gartner believes Apple will bounce back in the fourth quarter because of its strongest ever preorders for the iPhone 4S in the first weekend after its announcement. Markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Russia and China are becoming more important to Apple, representing 16 percent of overall sales and showing that the iPhone has a place in emerging markets, especially now that the 3GS and 4 have received price cuts.
Looking at the narrower smartphone market, which represented 26% of mobile phone sales during the quarter, iOS slipped from an 18.2% share in the second quarter to 15.0% in the third quarter, trailing market leader Android and Nokia's soon-to-be-defunct Symbian platforms. Notably, Android leapt to grab 52.5% of the smartphone market during the quarter, more than doubling year-over-year and up significantly from 43.4% just last quarter.


But even as Android surges to take more than half of the worldwide smartphone market by units, Apple continues to increase its share of mobile phone industry profits, with several studies showing that Apple currently takes in more than half of the industry's profits.


In another stark example of Apple's rise to dominance in profit share, Fortune yesterday published several charts from a new report from analysts at Oppenheimer & Co. The graphs show that while Apple's share of smartphone unit sales has somewhat stagnated over the past couple of years, its share of smartphone profits has soared to an estimated 65% during 2011. That trend is predicted to continue in 2012, with Apple pushing toward 70% profit share.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

37 months ago

Competition is the only way to ensure both iOS and Android will remain the excellent platforms that they currently are.


Android is an excellent platform? We must have very different definitions of the word "Excellent".
Rating: 35 Votes
37 months ago

Those marketshare reports always fail to include the iPod and the iPad, which are all part of the iOS ecosystem. If they actually included ALL iOS devices in those studies, the TRUTH would be revealed: that Apple completely dominates & decimates their competition.


Yap, because the iPod touch is a very good smartphone, isn't?

Android is an excellent platform? We must have very different definitions of the word "Excellent".

Well, you also have a definition for smartphone or phone that includes iPod Touch and ipad, so yes, perhaps your definition of excellent may be also wrong
Rating: 25 Votes
37 months ago
Well, this only makes sense. I know so many folks that buy a Samsung or HTC, then look at my iPhone and say, "Wow, your phone works!".
Rating: 22 Votes
37 months ago

Those marketshare reports always fail to include the iPod and the iPad, which are all part of the iOS ecosystem. If they actually included ALL iOS devices in those studies, the TRUTH would be revealed: that Apple completely dominates & decimates their competition.

The iPod and the iPad are not a phone. Only the iPhone is. Can you make calls with a iPod or iPad via a celluar network? Thought so.


Android is an excellent platform? We must have very different definitions of the word "Excellent".

Here we go again. Yes, some people prefer Android and some iOS en some others WP7. It's called personal prefference. Bassicly it is letting them pick the tool that they want to use to acomplish the same thing.

Both iOS,Android and WP7 are very good, and they both have their positive and negative sides. Who are you to judge someone just because they use a different platform...
Rating: 20 Votes
37 months ago
In 2007 Steve Jobs said he was after only 1% marketshare. Obviously, marketshare is not what they are chasing.
Rating: 18 Votes
37 months ago

Those marketshare reports always fail to include the iPod and the iPad, which are all part of the iOS ecosystem. If they actually included ALL iOS devices in those studies, the TRUTH would be revealed: that Apple completely dominates & decimates their competition.


Why include them? This is only about phones and based on that, Android marketshare can't be touched.
Rating: 17 Votes
37 months ago
Nice stats.

Hopefully now that Android 4.0 source is out, we'll see some true competition, resulting in Apple being put in a position where they have to go on the defensive and up their game (not that its not already 'upped') to new levels.

Competition is the only way to ensure both iOS and Android will remain the excellent platforms that they currently are.
Rating: 16 Votes
37 months ago

I know so many folks that buy a Samsung or HTC, then look at my iPhone and say, "Wow, your phone works!".


Why people exaggerate so much that make their arguments and claims totally unbelievable?
Rating: 16 Votes
37 months ago

Android is an excellent platform? We must have very different definitions of the word "Excellent".


Really? You want to start that debate up?

Android is obviously an excellent platform if over 50% of smartphones are shipping with it. The hardware providers wouldn't be using it otherwise.

Shockingly just because we're on an Apple orientated fan site it doesn't mean that Apple > All Competitors, despite one or two users narrow minded views.

Debate over, I dont care if you think Android is a piece of , facts are facts and the fact it, its clearly doing pretty damn well.
Rating: 16 Votes
37 months ago
i love iOS 5 but hopefully Apple can revamp the UI in the next iteration.
I think ICS will force their hand a little.
Rating: 13 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]