Apple took 89% of Q4 smartphone profits, leaving Android mired at record-low 11%

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone operating profit reached US$21 billion in Q4 2014.

The Android operating system captured a record-low 11% global smartphone profit share during the quarter. In a markedcontrast, Apple iOS took a record-high 89% profit share.

Global smartphone operating profit grew 31% annually from US$16.2 billion in Q4 2013 to US$21.2 billion in Q4 2014. Android hardware vendors combined took a record-low 11%t global smartphone profit share, down from 29% one year ago. In contrast, Apple iOS captured a record-high 89% profit share, up from 71% in Q4 2013.

Apple’s revolutionary iOS continues to tighten its grip on the smartphone industry. Apple’s strategy of premium products and lean logistics is proving hugely profitable. According to Strategy Analytics, Android’s weak profitability for its hardware partners should worry Google. If major smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung or Huawei, cannot make decent profits from the Android ecosystem, they may be tempted in the future to look at alternative platforms.

Global Smartphone Operating Profit Share in Q4 2014

Strategy Analytics: Global Smartphone Operating Profit Share in Q4 2014
Source: Strategy Analytics


MacDailyNews Take:



    1. That’s a MONSTER flare at 3 o’clock. Our Mr. Sun brings life to our planet, but will one day reduce it to a cinder. I hope we’ll have made it to Titan by then…

    1. It makes it harder and harder for Wall Street to find faults with Apple’s mobile platform. Once Android starts losing market share, it’s all over for Google. Wall Street was always saying about the possibility of Apple losing profit share but never said anything about the possibility of Android losing market share. I had thought it would be the lower cost Windows Phone that would hurt Android’s market share in the long run, but it seems Apple is managing to do it with costly smartphones. Amazing. Wall Street must be confounded but they’re still not going to give Apple a higher multiple.

  1. Lost in the statement of profit share, is a core fact made by a mega-size tech company that was just mindlessly wrong!

    Google thought it could gain ground and control smart phone revenue from adds for it by giving away Android.

    Google did not see the need for a cohesive safe computing ecosystem and the rise of sales and adds from inside apps in what they thought would be nearly all smartphones.

    It is one of the worst decisions Google ever did. Google had the opportunity to establish its own safe computing ecosystem and blew it by not making hardware. At this point, I believe Google has lost the market profit window.

    1. For Google, it wasn’t such a bad decision. Google is cashing in on every single Android phone out there (selling customer data, search patterns, selling advertising inside the apps and in search, etc). It is the hardware makers that are on the losing end of the deal; even with the free OS, they still can’t turn profit, when there is literally nothing to differentiate themselves from each other.

  2. “If major smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung or Huawei, cannot make decent profits from the Android ecosystem, they may be tempted in the future to look at alternative platforms”

    I fail to see how an alternative platform is likely to be any more profitable. The only profitable alternative to Android is IOS and Apple won’t be letting anybody else use it. Every time that somebody tries to develop an alternative to Android, it ends in failure.

    The problem for all smartphone developers is how to differentiate their product when there are a zillion phones out there. Apple does it by having their own operating system tightly integrated with top-notch hardware. Android manufacturers either differentiate by selling at a lower price, or by adding gimmicks. Neither approach is going to work out well in the longer term.

  3. The best outcome of these figures is that Guvament can NOT claim Apple a Monopoly smartphone OEM. Man ALIVE I wish Steve was here on earth to witness this for himself. Imagine how he would lecture the OBlah BLAH administration. With his middle finger up his nostril. Read between the lines you inept den of thieves .!..

  4. revenge is best served cold…

    because apple us a strategic thinking company they sued samsung. nothing much came of that. so did apple see this profit bias back in 2010, and sued as a charade, or is apple surprised by this outcome. symbolically a tortoise and the hare story. if the race is long enough, the tortoise will win. steve must be smiling.

    the story of apple is not about just this operational prowess and making huge profits, it is about not standing pat on a single success and re-inventing success over and over. microsoft is making a weak attempt to move off standing pat on windows and emulating apple now, but it is too late and the culture to sustain the serial re-invention is not in their culture, like it is in apple’s. that is the ultimate legacy steve left with the company.

    microsoft copies macOS & apple stores, samsung, copies iphone, google copies iOS, apple just executes it’s game plan and the copiers eventually fail because they could not copy apple’s creativity. copying as a strategy means you just get good at copying. apple gets better every day at creating. no happy ending for the bad guys.

  5. What is truly remarkable is, the total number of Android devices out there continues to grow, as does their market share, yet the profit in the last quarter of 2014 is HALF of where it was in 2013 (before iPhone 6)! This is must hurt really badly, and I wonder how much longer these manufacturers will be able to continue providing Google with massive profit vehicles with such meagre share of profit for themselves. While they get as low as $10 from every Android device sold, Google ends up collecting (over the life of the device) considerably more (percentage of Google Play and in-app purchases, revenue from advertisers and from selling consumer search, maps and other private data, etc). Manufacturers are saving some $30 or so per handset on OS licensing fees (assuming that’s how much the average Windows mobile license costs). Google is likely profiting much more than just those $30 they would earn if they had charged for the OS.

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