After posting the most profitable quarter in technology company history to close 2011 — and the second most profitable quarter among all companies, ever — Apple came back again in the first calendar quarter of 2012 and managed another monster quarter. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant earned $11.6 billion on $39.2 billion in sales during the second fiscal quarter of 2012, and its iPhone was responsible for an estimated 80% of all smartphone profits during the quarter. According to Apple watcher Horace Dediu, Apple’s share of all cell phone profits was nearly as overwhelming. More →
Impressive data points from Apple’s record-setting holiday quarter continue to trickle out, and new estimates suggest that the company accounted for a staggering share of mobile profits in the fourth quarter of 2011. Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt wrote in a research note on Tuesday that Apple took in approximately 50% of all mobile industry revenues last quarter. Even more impressive, the analyst says Apple’s high-margin iPhone lineup accounted for more than 80% of all mobile phone profits. Read on for more. More →
With just two smartphone models available for sale, Apple took in two thirds of profits from smartphone sales in the second quarter among the top eight vendors in the world. The news comes following Strategy Analytics’ confirmation that Apple is also the world’s top smartphone vendor by volume. Four of the eight major smartphone vendors were profitable in the June quarter — Samsung, Apple, RIM and HTC — while Nokia, Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson all reported losses. Total profit from sales of smartphones among these eight companies declined overall in the second quarter, but Apple’s profit share jumped from 50% in the second half last year and 57% in the first quarter of 2011 to 66.3% this past quarter. Samsung’s profit share hit 15% in the June quarter, RIM stayed level at 11% and HTC grew from 6% in the first quarter to 7.4%, a new high for the company. Another graphical representation of smartphone profit can be seen below.
When Apple first launched its iPhone in 2007, the odds were against it. Pundits, bloggers and even competitors found countless faults in the iPhone’s design and in Apple’s strategy. A new report from Reuters notes that one such competitor was BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. The report quotes an anonymous RIM employee as saying RIM thought the iPhone was “so badly flawed from day one,” and “users wanted great battery life, great security, great mail handling, minimal network use, and a great keyboard experience.” As it turns out, many users appear to have had different priorities. RIM wasn’t entirely wrong, of course, and the original iPhone was lacking in several key areas. While hindsight is 20-20 and the first-generation iPhone could have been better in countless ways, it was enough to propel Apple to its current position as the leader in smartphone profit share by a staggering margin. More →
The recent resurgence of “iPhone nano” rumors has Wall Street analysts working overtime. They already love Apple, which has basically been printing money lately, and rumors of Cupertino cooking up a smaller, cheaper iPhone could certainly send Apple’s mobile profits even further skyward. In fact, one analyst thinks a cheap version of Apple’s iOS-powered smartphone could expand its addressable market by a whopping 600%, therefore potentially giving iPhone profits a 250% boost. Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi thinks Apple needs either needs a cheaper iPhone or more carrier agreements in order to increase its smartphone market share — a notion that borders on the obvious. The former option, a cheaper iPhone, could be achieved by building a smaller phone with a smaller display panel. But Sacconaghi loses us entirely when he pitches another possibility that Apple might address new customers by offering an iPhone that doesn’t require a data plan. Apple has more muscle than any other cell phone maker right now, no doubt, but carriers would never sell an iPhone that didn’t help them reel in the dough on precious data plans. More →