Apple’s iPhone captured 86% of global handset profits in Q417; iPhone X alone took 35% of global handset profits

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Q4 2017, Global handset profits declined 1% YoY in Q4 2017 (October-December) as the premium smartphone market did not grow as expected. We believe that the Global smartphone market has already reached its peak with longer replacement cycles and key smartphone OEMs are now under pressure to book profits.

Counterpoint Research Analyst, Karn Chauhan, said in a statement, “Global handset profits declined 1% YoY, but Apple grew 1% YoY even with the iPhone X being available for only two months in Q4 2017. The iPhone X alone generated 21% of total industry revenue and 35% of total industry profits during the quarter and its share is likely to grow as it advances further into its life cycle. Additionally, the longer shelf life of all iPhones ensured that Apple still has eight out of top ten smartphones, including its three-year-old models, generating the most profits compared to current competing smartphones from other OEMs.”

Commenting on the performance of Chinese brands, Associate Director, Tarun Pathak, highlighted, “Chinese OEMs cumulative profits crossed 1.3 USD billion during Q4 2017. This was driven by the increased mix of mid to high end smartphones. Infact, the average selling price (ASP) of their flagship devices also increased YoY. Key Chinese players like Huawei, OPPO and Vivo are now looking to scale up the price band, by leveraging their inhouse manufacturing capabilities and bringing innovation to their devices.”

iPhone X Alone Generated 35% of the Total Handset Industry Profits in Q4 2017
Apple iPhone capturing 86% of the total handset market profits in Q417

Market Summary – Q4 2017:

• Apple remained the most profitable brand, capturing 86% of the total handset market profits.

• Further splitting profits by model, the top 10 models captured 90% of the total handset profits.
Apple and Samsung flagship models, lead in terms of profits as compared to other OEMs.

• iPhone X alone generated 35% of the total handset industry profits. This is a significant landmark, as the model was available in the market for only two months during Q4 2017.
iPhone X generated 5X more profit than the combined profit of 600+ Android OEMs during Q4 2017.

• Apple’s older generation iPhones, iPhone 7 and iPhone 6 still generate more profit than some of the more recent Android flagships from key Chinese OEMs.

Source: Counterpoint Technology Market Research

MacDailyNews Take: You know, because iPhone X is a “disappointment.”

Profit from the painfully gullible.MacDailyNews, December 26, 2017

Apple’s iPhone X is the UK’s most popular smartphone – April 9, 2018
Apple’s iPhone X and 8 Plus offer superior battery life vs. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 – April 3, 2018
Apple’s iPhone X sales continue to disappoint, some analysts say – March 22, 2018
Ignore the iPhone X naysayers – March 10, 2018
iPhone X drives smartphone revenue dominance; Apple made more money in Q417 than the rest of the smartphone makers combined – February 16, 2018
Apple iPhone took more than half of worldwide smartphone revenue share in Q417, a new record – February 15, 2018
Will the naysayers admit they were wrong about Apple’s iPhone X? – February 5, 2018
Strategy Analytics: Apple has shipped 1.2 billion iPhones in the past 10 years; $760 billion in global revenue to date – September 8, 2017
Apple took 83% of smartphone market profits in calendar first quarter – May 16, 2017


  1. iPhone X = 35% of industry profits during December quarter of 2017, although only for sale for 2 of the quarter’s 3 months.

    OK, where are the iPhone X is a failure assholes now?

    1. Every new model from apple has a spike in demand the first quarter it is available. Moreover, this is analyst guesstimate on profit. Apple doesn’t tell investors which model captures the money. For all we know, all the profits from the X could be routed right to Samsung in payments for the OLED displays.

      From a value perspective, the X is the worst iPhone. It doesn’t actually do anything other models don’t do.

      Why don’t you hold your snide comments until the end of the fiscal year?

  2. A friend of mine is in the market for a new iPhone. He went to the Verizon store. He asked about the next iPhone X and what it might look like (as if the plebe would have any idea). The Verizon rep told my friend that Apple wasn’t going to make another iPhone X because it “hasn’t done well”. 😡

  3. I wonder how Counterpoint acquired such detailed information?

    As far as I’m aware, Apple doesn’t breakout iPhone sales by model, nor does it reveal how much profit any model makes or even what it costs to make. It’s also worth bearing in mind that for many years, Samsung inflated their own performance by confusing ‘shipped’ with ‘sold’ and didn’t produce precise sales figures, but instead gave “insights” to selected analysts and allowed them to individually extrapolate results from the information which they were privately given. In short, there is very little reliable information about sales and profitability of individual handsets from either Apple or Samsung, however Apple’s financial results reveal exactly what Apple’s overall sales and profits were, but doesn’t offer much detail.

    The graphs look pretty and the figures are impressive, but I find myself wondering where such comprehensive data actually came from and how accurate it is? As far as I’m aware, only Apple has such figures and they regard it as commercially sensitive information which they very much keep to themselves.

    If it’s another example of analysts guessing, then we can file it in the same place as all the other analyst’s guesses.

    1. Well some analysts really do a detailed estimate, like looking at components costs, looking at how it was made (how much is manual or automated, etc.) and arrive at reasonable estimates.

      However most analysts don’t do such a detailed research.

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