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Apple and Samsung stole all Q1 mobile phone profits

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:24PM EST

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Apple and Samsung each reported record first-quarter results last week and according to research conducted by one analyst, the companies combined to account for all mobile industry profits last quarter. Apple last week reported $11.6 billion in profit on $39.2 billion in sales, both second fiscal quarter records for Apple, and Samsung managed a best-ever profit of $4.5 billion in the same quarter, $3.9 billion of which came from its IT & Mobile Communications business. Read on for more.

According to Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt, Apple accounted for a staggering 80% of all mobile industry profits last quarter and Samsung was responsible for the remaining 20%. The two companies also combined to take in about 74% of the handset industry’s revenue, McCourt said.

“It is getting increasingly hard to understand where the rest of the device vendors will get the capital to fund necessary R&D and sales and marketing investments to continue to compete with Apple and Samsung,” the analyst wrote in a recent note to investors.

“With essentially all of the other hardware vendors besides Apple and Samsung struggling to find profits to reinvest into R&D, Microsoft and Google have to be wondering who their hardware partners will ultimately be,” McCourt continued. “Neither wants to be in a position where they have to take on more of the R&D burden, and neither want to have to initiate bidding wars to give Samsung an incentive to focus on its platform. Our assumption is that both Huaweii and ZTE will be courted heavily over the next few quarters by both Microsoft and Google as they look to strengthen their stable of sustainable hardware partners.”

UBS analyst Maynard Um previously estimated that Samsung and Apple would combine to account of 90% of all smartphone profits in 2012.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.


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