iPhone Generated Record-Breaking Share of Profits Last Quarter Despite Continued Sales Decline

iPhone sales may have declined for three consecutive quarters, but the latest data from research firm Strategy Analytics suggests Apple is unsurprisingly still doing exceptionally well in the smartphone market.

iphone-7-box
Apple captured a record 91% of profits in the worldwide smartphone market in the third quarter, or $8.5 billion of the overall $9 billion in profits recorded by all vendors combined, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple's biggest competitor Samsung was nowhere to be found on the list, as Chinese smartphone makers Huawei, Vivo, and OPPO took the second, third, and fourth spots respectively with between 2.2% and 2.4% of profits.

"Apple’s ability to maximize pricing and minimize production cost is hugely impressive and the iPhone continues to generate monster profits," said Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Huawei, Vivo and OPPO are the next three most profitable smartphone vendors globally this quarter, but they are still a long way behind Apple."

Apple's profit margin is impressive given no other smartphone maker generated more than $200 million in profits during the quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple's share of profits was some 40× larger than its closest competitor.

strategy-analytics-smartphone-profits-q3-2016
iPhone sales declined on a year-over-year basis in the second, third, and fourth quarters of the 2016 fiscal year, after rising only marginally during the first quarter, which makes Apple's record-breaking smartphone profits even more impressive.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long previously estimated Apple captured 103.6% of smartphone industry profits in the third quarter. Long's estimate factors in companies that lost money during the quarter, placing Apple above 100%.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
51 months ago
Apple's 10-year plan: in 2026, they will sell just ten phones for $2 billion each and still have the highest margins.

And they will all be unapologetically thin.
Score: 67 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago
Sounds to me like their profit margins increased more than their sales decreased. Pretty typical for a fashion accessory brand.
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago
Apple really is rudderless these days. Blowing billions of dollars on hair brained driverless car projects, acquiring headphone companies, selling ridiculous gaudy $20K watches....

I love Apple, I have owned every iPhone ever made, but it's sad to watch them try to turn in to a fashion/accessory brand and completely losing focus on what they do best. It's absolutely disgusting that they only JUST this year increased the base model iPhone from 16GB to 32GB. They should have done that years ago. It just goes to show that Apple cares more about profits than anything else, even at the expense of their long term brand.

The future of tech is AI. Apple should be starting gigantic research initiatives in the field of AI instead of wasting time with gimmicky watches and car projects. Apple has done an excellent job on making a truly impressive CPU/GPU for the iPhone (the A10 is amazing), and I wish they would focus more on the raw tech rather than trying to make their phones & laptops even more thinner and prettier.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago
Somebody make Apple Macs great again .....Please
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago


7) This profit-first mentality has worked for Apple for decades, as it has for every other company ever...

Completely wrong, when Apple focused on profits-first and vision/innovation second, they got obscenely greedy and nearly killed Apple in the 90s. Blackberry focused on profits, rested on laurels and forgot to innovate, move forward, and died. Vision/innovation has to be first, then profits will follow. Steve Jobs described the demise of Apple in the 90s:

“they cared about making a lot of money… they got very greedy and instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision which was to make this thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible, they went for profits, and they made outlandish profits for about 4 years, one of the most profitable companies in america for 4 years, and what that cost them was their future, because what they should have been doing was making rational profits…”

See minute 39



Steve then came back at the end of the 90s and saved Apple by innovating with iMac, digital hub, changing the world with iPod, then profits followed.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago

Somebody make Apple Macs great again .....Please

Start by firing Phil Schiller and Tim Cook.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...