iPhone X global profits alone beat all Apple's rivals and it's not even close

Even Apple's iPhone SE takes a larger share of worldwide handset profits than any model from Chinese makers.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Video: For the iPhone X, the price is a whole lot more than the sum of the parts.

The iPhone X accounted for 35 percent of worldwide smartphone profits in the last quarter of 2017, despite reports of slower than usual sales and even though it was only available for two months.

The estimate comes from a new report by Counterpoint Research, which says the iPhone X generated five times more profit than the combined profits of over 6,000 Android OEMs during the quarter.

Apple overall fared well compared with the handheld industry, which saw worldwide profits shrink one percent year over year. Apple's profits grew one percent year over year.

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Taking into consideration all iPhone models, Apple raked in 86 percent of global handset profits, with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus accounting for 19.1 percent and 15.2 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, last year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus together accounted for 11.2 percent of profits.

This continues the pattern of Apple dominating handset industry profits while Android OEMs fight over as little as 10 percent of the remaining profits.

Of the top 10 phones by profitability in the quarter, the only non-iPhone devices in the list are Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, which had a share of 3.9 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Apple hasn't revealed how many of the $1,000 iPhone X units it sold in Q4 2017, but said in its Q1 report that it has been the top-selling iPhone since it began shipping in November. Apple reported $61.5bn in iPhone revenues for the quarter, up 13 percent year over year. Analyst firm Canalys estimated it shipped 29 million iPhone X units in the quarter.

Despite several financial analysts cutting back Q1 2018 iPhone X sales forecasts, in some cases to as few as 14 million units, Counterpoint Research Analyst, Karn Chauhan, reckons there's still room for the iPhone X's share of profits to grow.

"The iPhone X alone generated 21 percent of total industry revenue and 35 percent of total industry profits during the quarter and its share is likely to grow as it advances further into its life cycle," said Chauhan.

"Additionally, the longer shelf life of all iPhones ensured that Apple still has eight out of the top ten smartphones, including its three-year-old models, generating the most profits compared with current competing smartphones from other OEMs."

Apple's success means even iPhones that are two generations behind the current models are still more profitable than new handsets from Chinese OEMs, which collectively generated revenues of $1.3bn in the quarter. Huawei was the top performer in China, according to Counterpoint Research.


Top 10 smartphones by share of worldwide handset profits in Q4 2017.

Image: Counterpoint Research

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