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Apple makes nearly eight times as much money as all Android vendors combined

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:57PM EST
iPhone vs. Android Profits Q4 2014
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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A new report from Strategy Analytics sheds further light on the state of the smartphone business in the fourth quarter last year, confirming once again the profound effect the iPhone 6 had on the industry. The analytics company revealed that during Q4 2014, Android only managed to capture 11% of the global smartphone profit share, a record-low for Google’s ecosystem, while Apple took home a record-high 89% of all smartphone profits.

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“Global smartphone operating profit grew 31% annually from US$16.2 billion in Q4 2013 to US$21.2 billion in Q4 2014,”Strategy Analytics Director Linda Sui said. “Android hardware vendors combined took a record-low 11% global smartphone profit share, down from 29% one year ago. In contrast, Apple iOS captured a record-high 89% profit share, up from 71% in Q4 2013.”

A previous report from Strategy Analytics revealed that 380 million smartphones were sold during the Christmas quarter last year, 74.5 million of which were iPhones, including a large number of iPhone 6 models.

Virtually the same numbers for the period were stated in an IDC report, which said 377.5 million handsets were sold in Q4 2014, with the company also revealing market share for the various operating systems currently available to mobile device buyers. According to IDC, Android makers sold a combined 289.1 million handsets during the period, accounting for 76.6% of the market — iOS, at 74.5 million iPhone units sold, made up 19.7% of the market.

Taking all these numbers into account, one would quickly realize that even though vendors sell four times as many Android phones as iPhones, Apple still made almost eight times more money ($18.8 billion) than all Android device makers combined ($2.4 billion).

In total, 1.3 billion smartphones were sold last year. Meanwhile, both Google and Facebook are trying to bring billions more potential customers online, for different reasons.

Strategy Analytics’ press release on smartphone profits, and a graphic showing the huge discrepancy between iOS and Android, are available below.

Strategy Analytics: Android Captures Tiny 11 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Profit in Q4 2014

Boston, MA – February 26, 2015 – According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone operating profit reached US$21 billion in Q4 2014. The Android operating system captured a record-low 11 percent global smartphone profit share during the quarter. In contrast, Apple iOS took a record-high 89 percent profit share.

Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartphone operating profit grew 31 percent annually from US$16.2 billion in Q4 2013 to US$21.2 billion in Q4 2014. Android hardware vendors combined took a record-low 11 percent global smartphone profit share, down from 29 percent one year ago. In contrast, Apple iOS captured a record-high 89 percent profit share, up from 71 percent in Q4 2013.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple iOS continues to tighten its grip on the smartphone industry. Apple’s strategy of premium products and lean logistics is proving hugely profitable. Android’s weak profitability for its hardware partners will worry Google. If major smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung or Huawei, cannot make decent profits from the Android ecosystem, they may be tempted in the future to look at alternative platforms such as Microsoft, Tizen or Firefox.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.


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