Apple dominates with 60% share of mobile phone profits

“The smartphone market continues to grow,” Horace Dediu reports for Asymco.

“2013 saw total shipment of around one billion units (up from 683 million in 2012),” Dediu reports. “In contrast, non-smartphone shipments continue to decline, with shipments around 800 million (down from 987 million in 2012).”

“Since the launch of the iPhone the net profits earned by the collection of protagonists shown was $215 billion,” Dediu reports. “60% has been earned by Apple, a newcomer to the market. That figure is also consistent on an ongoing basis, having reached 60% as early as 2011 and remained in a band around that figure since.”

Asymco: global phone market share (units shipped)

Asymco: operating profit from mobile phones, global, select vendors

“The fact that this happened without corresponding dominance in units shipped shows evidence of something startling: Consistent value creation,” Dediu reports. “Apple’s lack of market monopoly coupled with a (near-) monopoly in profits can only be explained by disproportionate value creation.”

More info and many more excellent graphs in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 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.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Judge Bork” and “Bill” for the heads up.]

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IDC: Android worldwide smartphone market share passes 80% – November 12, 2013
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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
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Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010
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Apple iPhone users buy many more apps, surf the Web much more than other ‘smartphone’ users – March 27, 2009


  1. How in the world does Horace come up with units “sold” for Samsung? Samsung never reports anything but units shipped! Or am I missing the big picture here? 🙂

    1. Explain to me the difference between shipped and sold within the context of fast moving stock in the electronics sector like smartphones and tablets. These are not stocks that will sit for months on store shelves.

      1. Units sold are sold to end users. Units shipped are units produced and shipped to stores or warehouses. The difference is that for these electronics, particularly android tablets but also phones, the stocks that will absolutely sit for months on store shelves and in warehouses. And are also completely unvarifiable and do not necessarily increase the number of users, for which the data implicitly derives its importance. Also, free giveaways count as units shipped, not sold, as in the case with a plurality of Samsung tablets.

      2. Shipped is not sold to the end user. If I was Walmart or any other company with lots of unsold stock common sense will say that within xx number of days or weeks unsold stock can be returned to the manufacturer for a refund, either whole or partial. How does anyone know that’s not the case. Sold means everyone has money in hand. The small amount of phones returned to Apple for a refund are small in comparison.

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