Android has the most unit share, but Apple dominates profit share, making more money than all Android smartphone makers combined

“We’ve been hearing for years now about how Android is destroying iOS in market share. Ironically, though, Apple continues to make more money than all of the Android smartphone makers combined,” Tony Bradley reports for Forbes. “The most recent data from IDC shows that for Q3 of 2013 Android made up 81 percent of devices shipped [vs. Apple’s iOS at 12.9 percent].”

“Apple is quite comfortable with the market share data, because the profit numbers are all Apple,” Bradley reports. “Data from Canaccord Genuity shows that during that same period — Q3 of 2013 — Apple made more money than all of its competitors combined, taking in 56 percent of the profit in the mobile device market.”

“The cause of the discrepancy between market share and profit lies in the second half of the IDC market share statement about Android. It turns out that two thirds of the devices that make up Android’s 81 percent market share are cheap ‘junk phones.’ The remainder is primarily Samsung, which makes up 39.9 percent of the total Android devices shipped.,” Bradley reports. “Android dominates in market share. Android dominates in app downloads. At the end of the day, though, somehow Apple’s iOS is making all of the money. The bottom line is simple: You can’t reward investors, compensate employees, or pay the bills with market share. Apple can still ignore the market share data all the way to the bank.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re going to keep harping on this for as long as idiots like this, “Samsung Hits Apple iPhone Sales with Crippling Blow” (Douglas A. McIntyre, 24/7 Wall St.), and this, “Samsung creams Apple in third quarter smartphone sales” (Ansuya Harjani, CNBC Asia), continue publishing their idiocy-laced FUD.

As we explained back in November 2012:

Google made a crucial mistake: They gave away Android to “partners” who pushed and continue to push the product into the hands of the exact opposite type of user that Google needs for Android to truly thrive. Hence, Android is a backwater of second-rate, or worse, app versions that are only downloaded when free or ad-supported – but the Android user is notoriously cheap, so the ads don’t sell for much because they don’t work very well. You’d have guessed that Google would have understood this, but you’d have guessed wrong. Google built a platform that depends heavily on advertising support, but sold it to the very type of customer who’s the least likely to patronize ads.

iOS users are the ones who buy apps, so developers focus on iOS users. iOS users buy products, so accessory makers focus on iOS users. iOS users have money and the proven will to spend it, so vehicle makers focus on iOS users. Etcetera.

Android can have the Hee Haw demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.

Not all consumers are created equal. There are valuable customers, and then there is everybody else. Sticker prices are remarkably adroit at separating the wheat from the chaff. Apple collects the valuable consumers and leaves the leftover chaff for their “rivals.”

Related articles:
Android users poorer, shorter, unhealthier, less educated, far less charitable than Apple iPhone users – November 13, 2013
IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones – November 13, 2013
IDC: Android worldwide smartphone market share passes 80% – November 12, 2013
Apple Maps makes killer comeback as Google Maps loses access to world’s most desirable mobile customers – November 12, 2013
Android phones 3 times more likely than Apple iPhones to have been bought at discount store – August 22, 2013
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013
Apple’s iPhone generates more in carrier fees than rival smartphones – January 30, 2013
Unsurprisingly, survey says Apple’s iOS is highest priority among mobile developers – January 23, 2013
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010
iPhone owners more likely to pay for digital content – November 26, 2009
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009
Apple iPhone users buy many more apps, surf the Web much more than other ‘smartphone’ users – March 27, 2009


  1. Again, those calculations are faulty. They count all the operational profits Samsung has earned on phones, PCs, notebooks and tablets as only phones operational profits.

  2. The problem is, aren’t many of those units on Ice Cream Sandwich and older? Almost all users of iOS products are on iOS 7, but it seems to me that most Android users are still on the 2-year-old Ice Cream Sandwich, or even Gingerbread, which is from 2010. I wonder what the stats would be like if they only considered Jelly Bean and newer.

  3. Just as an example, I’ve spent about 40$ on guitar apps within the past month alone a subscribed to several magazines since I got my iPad Air. I’m sure I’m more typical of most iDevice users. I had a Kindle I got for free when I signed up for cable from Optimum. I didn’t invest too much in apps. The free ones were second rate in comparison to the iDevice versions. Plus I new I was going to replace it as soon as the new iPad’s were released. Not to mention, most of those guitar apps I purchased aren’t available on Android. There are no equivalents to iWork on Android either. Droid is more for consuming content. iPad is for consuming too, but more importantly, it’s for creating content as well.

      1. Bought an iRig from IK Multimedia. Works with an app called AmpliTube. Does everything you’d normally would do with stomp boxes and pedals. Also got a mini amplifier from Roland which works with an app called Cube Jam. Ultimate Tabs is another great app. Free versions are limited, but for the small price well worth paying for the full functionality of the apps. Just do an App Store search for guitar, IK Multimedia and Roland for starters, you’ll find all kind of goodies. Some apps are for iPhone only, which will run on the iPad. Another app I like, is Jam Tracks. Enjoy!

  4. The stock market breeds on future performance. For stocks on the rise, it is the potential for robust growth. Apple apparently will not grow enough to drive the stock price. It is also a darling of the short market since it’s fundamentals are good. They can use FUD to move the stock around and earn money that way.
    The market focus on Apple is now to get its hands on Apple’s cash. They are salivating at the prospect of billions of dollars being put back into the market by Apple borrowing or spending to buy back shares.

  5. Classic quote that is relevant to this day with regard to Android marketshare:

    “There are also more cockroaches than humans on earth; that doesn’t make them the superior life form.”

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