New data shows how effectively Apple is squeezing revenue out of the smartphone market.
Data from Strategy Analytics holds some good news for smartphone manufacturers in that spending on phones hit an all-time high of $120 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. But the bad news -- for Apple's competitors -- is that the iPhone-maker grabbed a 51 percent share of global smartphone revenue.
That means Apple made more money than the rest of the market put together, despite selling a fraction of the total number of units -- around 77 million out of 404 million sold in the quarter according to separate IDC data.
Also: Apple iPhone X review: This is as good as it gets | CNET: All new iPhone apps must embrace the iPhone X notch, Apple decrees | TechRepublic: Apple's iPhone X innovation risks pay off with higher customer satisfaction
According to Strategy Analytics, total global smartphone wholesale revenues grew eight percent annually to reach an all-time high in the final quarter of 2017. Smartphone makers managed this by pushing up their wholesale average selling price by 18 percent annually from $255 in Q4 2016 to $300 in Q4 2017 -- despite a recent decrease in shipment volumes.
The analyst firm calculates that Apple's iPhone generated $61 billion in the quarter, helped by solid demand for its premium iPhone X model.
"Apple now accounts for more revenue than the rest of the entire global smartphone industry combined. Apple generated three times more smartphone revenue than nearest rival Samsung and seven times more than Huawei. Apple iPhone's average selling price is approaching US$800 and almost three times higher than the overall industry average. Apple iPhone is an incredible money-making machine," said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.
Samsung also grew its global smartphone wholesale revenues by 16 percent annually to $19 billion in the quarter and pushed up its average selling price 21 percent to $254 in the quarter, thanks to the popularity of its premium Note 8 and Galaxy S8 models -- as well as fewer low-end sales in core Asia markets such as China.
Huawei grew both its market share and its revenues, but with an average selling price of $205 -- significantly lower that Apple and Samsung. The analysts said that if Huawei wants to grow its revenues it will need to grab additional market share in the high-value US market.
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