Apple captured 103.6% of smartphone industry profits in the third quarter of 2016, making it by far the most profitable company in the business, according to BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long. This represents a notable increase from the year-ago quarter where Apple had grabbed 90% of smartphones profits.

This share of the profits is even more amazing considering iOS share of global smartphone shipments clocked at 12.1% for Q3, compared to 13.6% in the year-ago quarter.

How can Apple get over 100% of the profits, you may ask? It’s simply that many smartphone makers actually lose money in the business. Any net loss from other vendors results in Apple being able to grab more profits than the global industry netted overall.

Samsung comes at number 2 with a 0.9% share of smartphone profits despite having a market share almost twice that of Apple’s. Of course, Samsung profits took a hit following the Note 7 debacle, and this is expected to have more negative impact going forward.

Apple historically never fought for market shares, instead focusing on profits. This was true for its personal computer business 15 years ago, and it is still true today with its smartphone business. Apple shows once again that market shares don’t mean much and the real bottom line is how much money you bring home at the end of the day.


  • Jamessmooth

    “Apple shows once again that market shares don’t mean much and the real bottom line is how much money you bring home at the end of the day.”
    I think this is a great point and always seems to get lost on folks. This “Apple is doomed” because they aren’t selling smartphones rhetoric is garbage. This article is really all you need to know. They’re bringing home the bacon. Over 100% of it!!!

  • callicles

    How did they take more than all the profit? Also,
    “Apple historically never thought for market shares instead focusing on profits.”

    “Thought for market shares” is odd phrasing. Perhaps you meant “fought for market shares?”

    • HaabHimself

      Maybe reading the article properly will give you your answer, the article says fought….

      • callicles

        The article was edited after my post to change from thought to fought as noted above by the author.

      • callicles

        Also, once the changes were made, I attempted to edit my original comment to reflect that, but edits don’t seem to be saved.

    • Not sure what your original question was, but the only edit that was made after the post was initially published was to change “thought” to “fought” in the last paragraph.

  • Rowan09

    But Apple is doomed. Can the “experts” stop the nonsense now?

  • 919263

    Yup today, Apple is at what…??? 104% of the profits… Fail to understand how you could have more than the entire thing…BUT this is about something else… IT is the Ecosystem… 9 out of 10 Smartphones are running some form of Android. DO you understand what is going on here… Let me give you a History Lesson… Once upon a time.. 9 out of 10 computers were IBM based…Remember what happened to the 10th computer which was apple…?
    Same is going to eventually happen again… Windows (IBM Based) PC’s More than DOMINATE the world of PC today. The Mac could not win was due to the CLOSE Environment of APPLE… Well, same is going to happen soon… I love the iPhone… BUT hate the company… and that will eventually make me move from Apple to Anything else… all it would take is a device that meets my requirements… (And does NOT Explode)… So all this Trump’ish Hoopla about Apple is all just that.. Hoopla… It’s all about Market capture… and other than US… Android is winning BIG time… By the Billions…

    • They got a positive percentage because others this quarter lost money. When you average negative numbers into the mix it sort of messes with the totals.

      As far as the main point you have here I don’t think it’s accurate. If Apple is taking home literally all the profit in the whole industry they can sit at one percent a lot longer than the rest of the world can afford to sit at 99%. Apple isn’t in danger at this point of going anywhere. If all things were equal then yes Apple would be in serious trouble but that’s just not the case. But what’s the point in winning by billions if the small guy on the corner is walking away at the end of the day with all the money and you have nothing to show for your numbers?

      The second issue is that iOS is actually open source as well as several other technologies such as their programming language (Swift), their browser (webkit) and health kit. When it comes to the closed parts Apple has expensive APIs for their developers and has opened up more and more of their OS and apps for extensions and integration with every passing year. Contrast that to what Google is doing and it’s an interesting story… Google is shutting down Open source projects every single year and replacing them with closed offerings, penalizing people who want to use their own tools and literally attempting to force people out of the industry who want to modify android source like the folks at Amazon. Google is open in lip service only and they are very aggressive when it comes to controlling their systems.

      I’m not saying Apple and Google are trading places or anything but I’m just pointing out the stereotype is actually completely wrong.