Apple has a tiny market share of the smartphone industry — but it is making some truly massive profits.
According to research firm IDC, the Cupertino company was responsible for just 18.3% of smartphones shipped globally in Q1 of 2015. Despite this, it is taking the vast, vast majority of profits in the industry — a staggering 92%.
As reported first by the Wall Street Journal, Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Wakley estimates that Apple took well over 90% of all profits in the smartphone business in 2015 Q1, with Samsung coming in a distant second, at 15%. Yes, that adds up to 107%, because other handsets makers have either failed to make a profit or actively lost money.
It’s a stark illustration of just how wildly popular the iPhone 6 has been — in Q1 of 2015, Apple was responsible for 65% of smartphone industry profits. Since then, the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus propelled the company to the most profitable quarter of any company ever.
That said, the 92% is actually a decline for Apple: In Q4 of 2014, Canaccord Genuity estimated Apple was responsible for 93% of industry profits. But this (tiny) drop-off is to be expected: iPhone sales are cyclical, and 2014 Q4 benefited from Apple’s record-breaking iPhone 6 launch.
In fact, that Apple has been able to sustain these profit levels is a testament to just how well the iPhone 6 is selling. A research note from Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster in April 2015 said that Apple’s latest device is “fundamentally different” from previous iPhones, and we should expect to see higher-than-expected sales throughout 2015. These new profit figures seem to bear him out.
Looking forward, it seems that Apple expects the good times to just keep on coming. The company is reportedly planning to build a record-breaking number of its next-generation iPhones — between 85 and 90 million units — before the end of 2015.
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