Why Apple is best positioned in smartphones

“Back in my systems engineering days, I spent a lot of time evaluating competing vendors for subcontracts on systems or components. I would present my findings in a summary table that listed the key metrics and values for each competing vendor. Usually, I would color code the table entries according to a simple red/yellow/green grouping to reflect low/medium/high performance,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “This was the ‘rack and stack’ chart.”

“Generally, if a company doesn’t build the total smartphone, that’s viewed as a negative, and this is reflected in the ratings for Intel and Qualcomm,” Hibben writes. “Building the total smartphone doesn’t guarantee success (witness Microsoft), but it’s a prevailing characteristic of the successful smartphone companies. Being vertically integrated usually means higher profitability.”

“The predominantly green ratings for Apple certainly reflects my view of Apple’s competitive position. It’s a judgment call, and I’m sure there are plenty who would disagree with my assessments or the criteria I’ve chosen. But taking issue with the assessment has to be reconciled with Apple’s current smartphone profitability,” Hibben writes. “In other words, if you believe that Apple is not the strongest competitor in the smartphone industry, then why is it taking 94% of the industry profit? I’d like to see anyone try to make that reconciliation.”

Much more, including the chart, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple needs to continue pushing the envelope — not an easy task, especially when one is so dominant — but we believe Steve Jobs has instilled the necessary drive for Apple to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.


  1. I keep my fingers crossed!

    Im a bit concerned as i have witenessed Apple slip on so many details and fronts in the last one year or so….
    Im concerned becouse i feel Apples Attention to detail is fading!

    I hope Tim and Team are paying attention and not growing complacent in the light of their deservingly huge success with the Iphone .
    I hope these are growing pains and soon Apple and Team will stabilize and things will go back to normal.

    But in the meanwhile what about :
    Apple watch launch,
    Ipad pro launch..
    The keyboard…( does it deserve the apple logo?)
    Where is the pencil?
    Apple Music..app and clutter
    Apple TV.. Great but Half baked product with so many critical holes !
    Online store inconsitansis.. Constantly
    Siri.. ( why is google getting better at it, you started it first Apple)
    Apple database, analytics and contextual understanding… Including spellcheck etc….Incomprehensibly poor relative to almost any other similar service !
    ICloud abstraction..
    File management in ios and its extentions.
    ….To name a few….

    The issue here is not why Apple is not perfect..
    Nothing is.
    The issue is which direction is Apple trending !
    That concerns me .

    1. Well that was a good old moan…
      “Online store inconsitansis.. Constantly” >> CONSISTENCY!
      “ICloud abstraction..” Because that’s not Apple’s main business and there is nothing stopping you going elsewhere.
      The rest is either made up or coming from a juvenile Android user.

      1. Made up? Android?
        Lol…Under what rock have you been living ?
        Are U one of those wise Apple fans Who can not accept Apple goofing up here and there? ….and if one critises Apple then they must be Android trolls? Pathetic at best son!

        At least some try to address issues and not accept mediocracy through shortsighted excuses and reasoning .

        Shallow indoctrinated Worshipers like you do way more harm to Apple than you u are aware of.

  2. The reason why 30 percent of iPhone sales last quarter came from Android is because of the iPhone’s quality, ease of use and ecosystem. I’ve detailed my high-end Android phone nightmares over the last few years, and have also mentioned my friends’ Samsung Galaxy issues. Well, now I have a new story.

    My cousin is a single mother of three younger kids. She is an iPhone user, but a few months ago she got a great deal on some Samsung phones for her family. Fast-forward to today and at least one of these Samsung phones has had numerous issues. It’s been an aggravating hassle to get something that works. All the money she “saved” is now gone because of the time and effort it took to replace these phones. She still has another 21 months or so left on her contract and is very unhappy with these crap Android products.

    The crack in the Android wall was a trickle, but recently it’s been a steady stream. Over the next few years there will be a flood of people that have had horrible Android experiences coming over to the safe, secure and reliable land of the iPhone, iPad, etc.

    1. For those who are budget conscious, one sound approach is: find a good but older model iPhone (and replace the battery if necessary: $5 to $10). Might even be able to get one from family or friends, or try ebay. Then buy an inexpensive phone and data cellular service from a reputable Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). Basic service is available for as little as $10 per month. A “Pay-As-You-Go” option may also be suitable for some people (eg, pay $20 on account, to be drawn down as used, typically expiring in, say, 90 days. But can be topped-up as needed.)

      For the budget conscious and people with better things to do with their money, there are less expensive options than carrier contracts, even using an iPhone, though older models. (Or buy a new phone outright, plan on keeping it for years, and still buy inexpensive service from a MVNO!) A lot of people would be better off saving their money than spending it on carrier contract and new phones. Over 12 months, and year after year, the savings really start to add up.

  3. MDN take … ” Apple needs to continue pushing the envelope — not an easy task, especially when one is so dominant”

    Apple’s DNA is to push the envelope and it’s easier for Apple than for it’s competitors because Apple has both the profits to invest in R&D and also the expectation of selling iPhones by the hundreds of millions.

    Samsung is struggling to retain it’s presence at the top table of smartphone manufacturers and it’s profits are falling. When they’re already laying off thousands of jobs in production, with executive jobs going too, continued spending on R&D becomes much more difficult to justify.

    Many people claim that Apple needs a string competitor to spur it on to greater things, but I disagree. Apple pursues excellence and it doesn’t do that by looking backwards to those who copy it. Apple no longer has serious competition against it’s Mac desktops and laptops, while the smartphone business is characterised by Apple setting the pace, with others trying to catch up and cling on to Apple’s apron strings.

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