Strategy Analytics: Apple passes Nokia to become world’s most profitable handset vendor

Apple Online Store Apple became the world’s most profitable handset vendor in Q3 2009, according to Strategy Analytics.

Fueled by strong volumes, high wholesale prices and tight cost controls, the PC vendor has successfully broken into the mobile phone market in just two years.

Sarah Reedy reports for Telephony Online, “The firm estimates that Apple’s iPhone operating profit came in at $1.6 billion in Q3, while Nokia recorded only $1.1 billion in operating profit. ‘With strong volumes, high wholesale prices and tight cost controls, the PC vendor has successfully broken into the mobile phone market in just two years,’” said analyst Alex Spektor in the research note.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bloodbath.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike in Helsinki” for the heads up.]


  1. “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

    Said Ed Colligan (Palm CEO at the time) exactly three years ago (about the iPhone). I never get tired of that quote.

    (Laughing) “FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS? Fully subsidised? with a plan I said that’s the most expensive phone in the world (still laughing) and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard
    [sic] which makes it not a very good email machine”

    Steve Ballmer, January 2007 (less than 3 years ago). Another memorable quote…

  2. “What is Apples share?”

    It’s not about that. It’s all about how much profit Apple makes.

    You can take how much you have to sell. I’ll take the bigger profit any day.

  3. hotinplaya:

    Nokia’s share is for all cellphones (including throw-away, free-with-any-plan dumb phones). In that all-inclusive market, Apple cracked 2.5% not long ago. Among smartphones, the order is:

    Nokia (around 41%)
    RIM (some 20%)
    iPhone (some 16%)
    WinMobile, Android, etc are in single digits (WinMob around 9% and so on).

  4. In other words, Nokia is Dell of the mobile telephony. Sells tons of phones with an average of $1.20 profit on each.

    Meanwhile, Apple sells less than that, but with some $380 profit on each.

    (and the numbers aren’t all that exaggerated)

  5. I expect Ballmer’s furniture is right now trying to figure out where best to hide before he shows up. Personally, I think they would be safest in research development, and would definitely want to stay out of the cafeteria until this blows over (it should be a short 2 or 3 years)

  6. On this news I’m certain Ballmer couldn’t be happier. Let MAC secure the 1 – 2% of the overpriced toy phone market for smug, pretentious technophobes. So a bunch of cultists like to waste money. Whatever.

    Microsoft and their innovative partners are delighted to offer a feature-packed low-cost alternative for both Joe Sixpack and the enterprise. Talk about a bloodbath. Windows Mobile 7 will decimate the Pre, Android, Blackberry and especially I-Phone also-rans. I bet they all wish they had Mobile Internet Explorer now.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  7. How stupid is zune tang lol

    Well you see Micosoft is owned by sharholders who want a return on there investment.

    You will probably see now that other handset manufacturers will follow Apple Handset business model higher prices larger profit happier sharholders.

    Sharholders will demand this soon so be prepared for the handset market to change forever!!!!

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