Apple's Share of Smartphone Industry Profit Rises to 92%, Despite iPhone Representing Less Than 20% of Sales

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A new report out over the weekend by Canaccord Genuity estimates that Apple has recorded a 92 percent share of the world's entire smartphone market in the first quarter of 2015, which is up from 65 percent a year earlier. The company managed to do so on less than 20 percent of actual smartphone sales, which the Wall Street Journal accounts to the company's "ability to command much higher prices for its phones."

Behind Apple was Samsung with a total of 15 percent of the smartphone market, with the two combining to tally up for more than 100 percent of the industry's profits, "because other makers broke even or lost money, in Canaccord’s calculations." In the early days of the iPhone, Canaccord estimates that Nokia was holding two-thirds of the smartphone industry's profits, but by 2012, Apple and Samsung shared the industry's profits at a nearly exact 50/50 split.

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“The dominance of Apple is something that is very hard to overcome,” said Denny Strigl, former chief operating officer of Verizon Communications Inc. “Apple has to stumble somehow or another, and I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Canaccord contributes Apple's bigger-than-ever market dominance to a combination of increased iPhone sales and higher prices for the bigger-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus released last year. A year before, an iPhone sold at an average of $624 -- compared to $185 for Android-running smartphones -- according to data collected by Strategy Analytics. By the end of 2015's first quarter, Apple had sold 43 percent more iPhones than the year before and at a higher price of about $659 thanks to the bigger screened models.

Apple's dominance doesn't seem to be slowing down as we move closer to the launch of the next generation of iPhone, with the company reportedly ordering a record-breaking amount of units for the so-called "iPhone 6s" launch later this year. Its rivals won't be threatening to take any of its market share at the moment, either, with companies like HTC and Samsung reporting quarterly losses and "disappointing profits" and Microsoft just last week laying off 7,800 employees, primarily in its smartphone business.

Top Rated Comments

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68 months ago

LOL

Hmm I'm not sure. Everybody seems to be happy but this is just a solid reminder of the remarkable profit margins Apple are making from these devices. And with 16GB still as the base I can't help but feel a little bitter that they don't do a bit more to increase storage. We do pay an awful lot for these devices.

Sometimes it's important to remember how hard we work for our money and how much we pay to a company. There's just something a little cult-like about throwing cash at a company and then cheering when we find out how much profit they've made. It seems really strange.

This isn't likely to be a popular opinion — I just feel a little jaded and I fully appreciate how petulant I must be sounding.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago
That's great for apple shareholders, would be nice if they could pass some of that back to their customers through cheaper prices though.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago

Hmm I'm not sure. Everybody seems to be happy but this is just a solid reminder of the remarkable profit margins Apple are making from these devices. And with 16GB still as the base I can't help but feel a little bitter that they don't do a bit more to increase storage. We do pay an awful lot for these devices.

Sometimes it's important to remember how hard we work for our money and how much we pay to a company. There's just something a little cult-like about throwing cash at a company and then cheering when we find out how much profit they've made. It seems really strange.

This isn't likely to be a popular opinion — I just feel a little jaded and I fully appreciate how petulant I must be sounding.

With all due respect, it's not Apple's concern how hard you do or don't work, and it's not on them to provide you with what you think you deserve. They will do whatever the market allows, and you don't pay more for their devices than you do for competing handsets from Samsung.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
68 months ago
100s of billions in profit, yet they continually remind us how they need to "save money on flash storage" in order to put "high quality components" on their phones... Maybe we'll get 32gb in 2018
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago
The one thing Samsung wished it could copy
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago
I dare Tim to mention this at the next keynote when he's talking about how great the iPhone is, or Phil to tweet about this as one of the real justifications for keeping a 16GB base model (in addition to getting people to subscribe to iCloud), or Jony to mention this in his next video about what a marvel the next iPhone design is (this will be our most amazingly profitable design ever).
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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