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Apple rakes in 93% of entire mobile industry profits


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New research has revealed that Apple scooped an incredible 93 per cent share of the mobile industry’s profits last quarter.

This means that of all the profit accrued by mobile companies in the three months leading up to December, the lion’s share went to Apple Inc, as revealed by Canaccord (via PhoneArena).

Frankly, it’s no surprise – last quarter saw Apple beat out every other company on the planet in terms of total quarterly revenue, including oil giant Exxon Mobil.

In fact, Apple profits rose to around $18 billion last quarter, also smashing every other company in terms of quarterly profits too.

This is largely thanks to Apple’s newly heightened average selling price per iPhone unit - $687 (£456) for the quarter. That’s compared to the average Android handset, which retailed at a far paltrier $254 (£169).

Samsung came in second for profit share across the quarter, claiming just 7 per cent of the remaining profits.

This means that Microsoft, BlackBerry, Lenovo, Sony, LG, and HTC all saw negligible, or even negative, profits for that quarter.

Related: iPhone 6S release date, rumours, news, specs, and price

What’s more, Canaccord reckons Apple is set to continue its streak right through into 2015.

iPhone 6 replacement sales should continue">We believe the strong iPhone 6 replacement sales should continue during C’15, as we estimate only 15 per cent of the current estimated 404M iPhone installed base has upgraded to the new devices,” wrote the firm.

“We also anticipate continued strong share gains for the larger screen iPhones from high-tier Android smartphones during C’15 driving strong growth in the iPhone installed base.”


February 9, 2015, 5:19 pm

The mark-up on these handsets must be astronomical and luckily for Apple we live in a world full of sheep, blindly accepting the greed of these multi-national companies. Typically, you ask the average user how much an iPhone contract costs and they tell you approx. £40 a month but then don't realise that the majority of the cost is the handset.


February 9, 2015, 5:38 pm

what does "beat out" mean in this context, and how does it differ from a simple "beat"? You can beat out a confession, beat out a rhythm, possibly beat out dust from a carpet, but beat out a company? Out of what? Makes no sense.

Kulti Vator

February 9, 2015, 5:43 pm

Speak for yourself - many own the handset outright and arrange a SIM-only contract that fits their needs. Costs are all there plain to see.

Also noteworthy is that the average Android user seems to get through handsets rather quickly, whilst the majority of iOS users seem to hang on to theirs longer... perhaps an indicator of how well (or not) the respective handsets are supported with platform updates!

Interestingly, the big trend of the past couple of years has been for Android vendors to launch increasingly expensive, high-end flagship phones - which are in exactly the same ball-park price-wise as Apple handsets, so I'd argue that the same £40 a month argument holds true in Android land as well.

Kulti Vator

February 9, 2015, 5:49 pm

TR are trying to get down with the kids and their lingo ;-)


February 9, 2015, 7:34 pm

I know the cost of the average smartphone but I'm a geek and by association of you reading this website I suspect you are too. The people I refer to are the majority of people out there that simply go in to Carphone warehouse etc and simply see the monthly cost. If you asked any of them to outlay over £600 on a phone up front they would run screaming. My point is that you can get a premium phone from any of the OEM for a lot less than you can get an iPhone for by just waiting a month or two, whereas iPhones tend to remain bloody expensive. I jumped from an iPhone recently to a Lumia 930 and haven't missed anything one bit...i of course speak for myself

Tom Scharf

February 9, 2015, 10:03 pm

Here in the US, AT&T and others are no longer subsidizing phones as they used to. It is a separate line item on the bill now. Do the math and you are clearly paying $700 for that iPhone. This will drive some away from the super high end.

I got a Moto X for less than $400, I would have gotten an iPhone 6 under the previous plan. It's a lot harder justifying that $700 phone to your wife when it is no longer buried in an indecipherable phone bill.

Apple still looks like a juggernaut.


February 9, 2015, 11:17 pm

In my opinion it is offensive that a company makes $18bn in just one quarter. Says to me they could easily make their phones and tablets in the USA and still make decent money. But no, they'd rather have pegatron make them with their 60+hr weeks, bare bones wages and zero rights for the workers and still charge sky high prices. Horrible company.


February 9, 2015, 11:55 pm

Another lustful Apple Victory


February 10, 2015, 2:51 am

"I jumped from an iPhone recently to a Lumia 930 and haven't missed anything one bit...i of course speak for myself"

Clearly you have paid no attention whatsoever for anything from the photo taking quality to the available apps differences. People do indeed pay more for iPhones -- just look at the differences in China for instance-- simply because they are clearly superior to their cheaper competitors.

Further more, these difference are only going to get bigger. Now that the difference between Apple and Android customers get even more prominent, third party software developers are going to start caring even less about spending time and money on developing for Android than they already do.


February 10, 2015, 9:23 am

It's creeping Americanisation of the British version of the English language.


February 10, 2015, 9:26 am

And yet, I still notice far more people using iphones with cracked screens than Android phones with cracked screens. Maybe that's because people who have spent all their money on a handset, can't afford to replace or repair them!


February 10, 2015, 9:32 am

You're conflating two issues here. Which is it that offends you, the profit that Apple makes or the working practices of Pegatron? If Apple moved production to the US and only made $17bn in one quarter, would that be alright, then? What about the fact that if Apple stopped using Pegatron, that company may not be able to replace the business and would have to make a bunch of low paid workers redundant and jobless?

If Pegatron is as bad as you describe, I think the real target of your ire should be the lax labour laws of Taiwan, which allows this situation to proliferate.

Apple may be a horrible company, but not for the reasons you describe!

Kulti Vator

February 10, 2015, 9:33 am

Idiots will be idiots - less than a tenner to invest in a decent case that'll save the screen in the event of a drop.

And it's not as though most house-hold insurance policies charge extra to cover mobile phones / tablets / etc.


February 10, 2015, 10:18 am

"Whoa. Looks like I went fishing and caught myself a big one ma"

Think you are missing the point good sir. My original comment was regarding the "mark up" that Apple adds to each product, hence one explanation for the excessive profits. I obviously am a dunce as I have been blinded by my Android running Lumia 930 (the one made by Microsoft) so much so that I have forgotten the excellent user experience of my previous iphone. I evidently don't use the camera on my phone as they pale in comparison to the mighty iphone and the 200+ apps installed just remind me of the 1,000,000 that I will never get chance to experience. If you think that the developers are flocking away from android to iphone (which has no relevance to me either way....look up Lumia Phones for the reason why), then you appear to be one of the sheep that I refer to and pity you.

Tom Scharf

February 10, 2015, 3:39 pm

That is why Android now owns 80% of the market. It is the low end markets in India and China that really, really, pay attention to price. Apple owns the high end, good for them, they make a decent product.

Apple's long term may be different. As big screens become ubiquitous and there is vanishingly little difference between Android and iOS the cost pressure will eventually take its toll, and it already has, but not in profits, only market share.

The real danger to Apple isn't necessarily its manufacturing prowess or ability to make a good product, it is what got them there in the first place, the cool factor. If Apple loses this their days of gargantuan profits are numbered. Most of you probably aren't old enough to remember this, but Microsoft was cool once.

Tom Scharf

February 10, 2015, 3:46 pm

This comment is not based in reality. Examine the trends in market share, app store numbers, etc. There are very few iOS exclusive apps anymore and every major app is available in Android. Apple is expanding because the phone market is expanding, Android is expanding even faster. Eventually Earth runs out of new mobile phone users, but not for awhile.

I've been bouncing back between iOS and Android over the past year (I destroyed my GS4 and used my old iPhone 4s for several months) and find the differences are small, except I want a large screen phone. The apps in Android and iOS that I use are functionally identical. Each OS has some strengths and weaknesses.


February 10, 2015, 11:21 pm

Point missed. Read carefully, I said they could make the phones in the USA and make decent money, I did not state they could, or even should, make $18bn in one single quarter. When profit margins are this big you know people are being royally fleeced.

Please describe to me the real reasons they are a horrible company...apart from their pathological obsession with trying to litigate everybody else out of business. To me any company that thinks it's fair game to make $18bn in just 3 months, especially when they could still make profit in their own country, it would just be a smaller one but most importantly contribute to that country's economy, is just plain evil and one of the main reasons western economies are in such a mess. These super rich corporates are not paying anything like their fair share in taxes and we are all suffering as a result.

Pegatron, along with all the other OEM's in ROC and elsewhere, exist because of our obsession with ever cheaper kit (apple the exception here) with no regard for the long term consequences to our local economies. In house design is being ditched worldwide as more and more companies go to OEMs for cheaper (inferior?) products with lower quality and shorter life cycles in order to try and turn out some kind of profit - essentially it has become a shifting numbers game with paper thin profit margins. For example in 2004 a 32" LCD TV would have cost £3,500. You can now get one for just £140 if you really want to scrape the barrel or around the £200 mark from a recognised brand. That is 95% cost erosion. It is true to say the first 32" LCD's were hopelessly over engineered and some of the cost erosion will come from large scale integration, economies of scale and improved design. But a good chunk of that loss is due to using cheaper and cheaper parts, sourcing them from China, then finally total erosion of the profit margin, forcing companies to move the entire production to China and other low labour cost territories, putting thousands of EU workers out of jobs. I experienced that first hand so I know exactly what I'm talking about and the UK lost every TV manufacturer to this - Philips, Sony, Toshiba, JVC, Sanyo and others besides...all gone along with the local companies that fed them the parts. Tens of thousands of jobs, scores, maybe hundreds of local businesses. Repeat that for clothing, footwear, household goods...you get the picture. And the worst part was Governments stood by and did nothing - in fact they made the problem worse.

The comment about Pegatron is a symptom of the wider problem within consumer goods and not exclusive to Apple as many companies put their product lines through OEMs. But the vast majority of these companies do not make the ridiculous profits Apple do, and that is the main point you missed.

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