Apple made 92 per cent of global smartphone industry profits in Q1

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 July, 2015, 12:12pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 October, 2016, 1:04pm

Apple may not sell the most smartphones, or have the most users, but it makes by far the most money, according to researchers.

The California-based tech giant recorded 92 per cent of the total operating income from the world's eight top smartphone makers in the first quarter of 2015, up from 65 per cent a year earlier, financial services company Canaccord Genuity told the Wall Street Journal.

Cannacord's data does not include privately held companies, such as China's largest smartphone brand Xiaomi, which sold 34.7 million devices in the first half of this year.

Samsung, which dominates the industry in terms of shipments, took around 15 per cent of profits, Canaccord said. (Figures include companies that broke even or lost money.) Apple sells less than 20 per cent of all smartphones shipped worldwide.

Last week, Microsoft, Samsung and Taiwan-based HTC all forecast falls in smartphone revenue, while Apple asked suppliers to prepare to make a record number of new iPhone models.

Samsung said that it expects profits to decline for a seventh straight quarter in the three months leading up to June, after lacklustre demand for its new Galaxy S6 range.

Apple's profits are mainly due to its high prices. In 2014, the iPhone sold for a global average of US$624, while smartphones running Google's Android operating system retailed for around US$185 on average, according to Strategy Analytics.

Research firm IHS estimates that Apple's profit margin on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is could be as high as 69 per cent. Average profit margins for previous models have been between 40 and 50 per cent.

Apple makes the majority of its smartphone revenue directly from device sales, unlike some of its rivals, such as Microsoft and Xiaomi, which focus on after-sales profit through accessories and apps.