Apple’s mobile phone gross profit is double RIM’s and Motorola’s combined

Apple Online Store“We wanted to take a quick look at how the gross margins for Apple’s iPhone compared to Research in Motion’s BlackBerry and Motorola’s mobile phone business to see the marginal impact of each additional device sold by these companies,” Trefis reports via Seeking Alpha. “In other words, for each person that buys an iPhone or Blackberry, what does this contribute to the company? By looking at the individual sale, we can look past the R&D and total investment in each product for this exercise, which we acknowledge is a large component to most tech companies.”

“in just looking at gross margins for 2010, we estimate that Apple’s iPhone’s is around 49%, RIM’s Blackberry 35% and Motorola’s is approximately 28%,” Trefis reports. “We derived these by using our estimates for the gross profit margins for the mobile phone divisions of each company.”

“Our result is that Apple’s iPhone generates just under $15 billion in gross profits, which is more than double our estimates for Motorola and RIM with just over $2 and 5 billion, respectively,” Trefis reports. “Apple’s estimated $15 billion in iPhone gross profit is double that of the mobile phone operations of Motorola and RIM combined despite similar levels of market share — 3.7% for Apple, 2.8% for Motorola and 3.7% for RIM. This is largely due a much higher estimated average price for the iPhone, which is around $606 compared to an average of $214 for Motorola mobile phones and $305 for a Blackberry, according to the three companies.”

Trefis reports, “We believe the factors behind higher iPhone profits are its unique features, strong app store, and the halo effect generated by its other products.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Dow C.” and “GetMeOnTop” for the heads up.]


  1. So to be clear, giving away phones to inflate sales numbers hurts the bottom line. OK, good to know. Maybe next year RIM will do BOGT sales ( buy one get three) and then their numbers will stay even for 2010, and they seem to like ignoring the concept of profit for the company. Which makes sense, they are using Apple as their R&D arm , and they don’t seem to be paying top dollar for management.

  2. @Pirates

    “and they don’t seem to be paying top dollar for management.”

    Hee hee. Gosh does ANYONE these days. I’m struck by how much it seems most CEO tech types come off as babes in the woods. Which all goes to prove most are way overpaid a-holes who have less a clue than most who write here at MDN. Nothing special here or there, only the super special CEO at Apple. He may not be perfect but by comparison others seem to be squalling babies.

  3. Hmm, no popups, generally adequate performance (except for the times when it won’t load at all), and I can choose to skip over political commentary with which I disagree. (After all, we all love to read things that mirror our own views.) See ya.

  4. The really interesting thing, Apple can’t make enough product to meet demand, even at the higher price. If they were to reduce their price, and margin, they may increase demand but couldn’t meet demand. What a great position to be in.

  5. @Wretnuh

    “This is officially an unpleasant website, and I bid you good-bye.”

    I understand. I enjoy this site but DON’T enjoy the notoriously unpredictable iPad app for MDN. There are still plenty of loading problems, functionality and bugs with it that should have been fixed by now. Accessing the site directly too can be problematic. Is this site hosted on a single Mac Mini or something?

    Don’t mean to be ungratefully critical because I do enjoy the comments of MDN and visitors but I would love to have my cake and eat it too.

  6. Those of you who complain about MDN’s app should just go back to the good ol’ web version. I made an “app” out of a book mark on my iPhone. Works great. Loads quickly. Has almost no ads. The only downside is that, for some strange reason, MDN doesn’t accept posts from iPhones via the web. I rarely post, so I don’t mind.

    Regarding flaming posts from political nuts, left or right, I’ve learned to skip over them. You can’t argue with people who are so insecure about their beliefs they have to spout them off every chance they get, whether political, religious, or philosophical, because their minds are too closed to see any other perspective, so just move along.

  7. Its hardly a great thing to clebrate – “apple takes more money off its customers than anyone else”

    Thats you and me folks.

    If you want to run a story, I’d prefer it to conclude that I got more for my dollar than spending it on any other device. Now that would be something to shout about.

  8. @Max
    “Its hardly a great thing to clebrate – “apple takes more money off its customers than anyone else””

    It is when you own a shed load of APPL shares that that profit keeps them going up ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  9. I think the fact that Apple basically has one product (the iPhone 4) and not 6 or more in the market helps them to improve their margins and adds to the profit. Even if you consider a white and a black version, 16 and 32 GB, it’s only 4 items to produce – which are all very similar. RIM, Motorola, HTC, Nokia – are making 3-10 products which are all very different – different screens, keypads, cases, etc. New molds, machining, etc – all that costs money. Motorola did well for a while when everyone was buying basically the same Razr – when they started making 43 versions of it, things started going downhill…

    just speculation….

  10. I am a died in the wool liberal. Not a progressive or a libertarian, a liberal. I love MDN, even if we don’t agree politically, because you are funny and we certainly agree about Apple as a company and as a product monster. Keep it coming. I know you are working on the weird loading delays and I don’t mind waiting. No one comes close to MDN. By the way WTF Gawker (Gizmondo, etc)? There true colors show and they completely screw up my email and passwords by having it stolen through their porous network of interconnected websites. Give ’em hell MDN.

  11. To all died in the wool liberals out there.

    There’s a cure for that. Start earning in the 6 figures and start paying for government largess out of your own pocket. You’ll become conservative overnight.

    Of course, if you already earn in the 6 figures and you’re still a liberal, how did you get that high paying job with all that brain damage you have?

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