One moment I’m bearish on Apple and the next I’m bullish. It’s hard not to be the latter following Apple’s gangbusters fiscal Q1 2017 earnings report, during which the company revealed another record sales quarter for iPhones. If that wasn’t enough to show just how well Apple is performing against its competitors – it said it noticed a record number of Android switchers during the quarter, then perhaps this new stat will.
According independent financial services firm Cannacord Genuity, cited by Barron’s on Tuesday, Apple didn’t just take a lion’s share of the profits in the smartphone industry, but nearly all of them. Cannacord Genuity managing director and senior equity analyst Mike Walkley said on Tuesday that Apple took 92 percent of the smartphone industry’s profits during the fourth quarter of this year. Apple’s able to do that because it has huge profit margins on the iPhone whereas other smartphone makers aren’t able to squeeze as much cash out of each smartphone sold.
It boils down to ASP
Walkley explained exactly how that pans out. It boils down to Apple’s ability to sell more smartphones than Samsung, the failing Galaxy Note 7 certainly helping Apple’s business, and a higher average selling price per smartphone sold ($695 per iPhone versus $182 per Samsung smartphone). Here’s Walkley, per Barron’s:
Apple shipped 78.3M iPhone units during the December quarter and ranked first in terms of global smartphone shipments, slightly ahead of Samsung’s 77.5M units. We believe this is the first quarter Apple has exceeded Samsung smartphone shipments since Q4/14 when both OEMs shipped 74.5M units. Impacting Q4 results, Samsung normally ships 8M+ units of Galaxy Note products during the holiday quarter and around 20M annually. In addition to Apple’s strong unit shipments during the holiday quarter, we highlight Apple’s average iPhone ASP of $695 remains well above Samsung’s average ASP of $182 for its handset portfolio that was comprised of 77.5M smartphones and 12.5M feature phones sold during the December quarter.
We can sit here and talk all day about the features that Apple needs to add to its iPhones – I’m always asking for something new, after all – but Apple’s unit sales figures continue to show that it’s barely a competition when it comes to milking profits out of smartphones.