The iPhone captured 51pc of all smartphone revenues worldwide in Q4

16 Feb 2018

iPhone X billboard in Milan, Italy. Image: Alexandre Rotenberg/Shutterstock

Apple’s iPhone cash cow is the gift that keeps giving.

As global smartphone revenues hit an all-time high of $120bn in the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple captured 51pc of the market’s revenues, according to Strategy Analytics.

This accounts for more than the rest of the smartphone industry combined.

‘The Apple iPhone is an incredible money-making machine’

Future Human

For perspective, Samsung captured 15.7pc of smartphone revenue in Q4, followed by Huawei, which secured 7pc, while the rest of the industry shared 26.2pc of revenue.

Average smartphone selling prices continue to surge

The iPhone captured 51pc of all smartphone revenue worldwide in Q4

Strategy Analytics’ Linda Sui said that the smartphone industry has managed to massively increase its pricing and revenues, despite a recent decrease in shipment volumes.

“We estimate total global smartphone wholesale revenues grew 8pc annually to reach an all-time high of $120bn during Q4 2017. The smartphone industry’s wholesale average selling price surged 18pc annually from $255 in Q4 2016 to $300 in Q4 2017.”

According to the numbers, Apple claimed $61.4bn in revenue during the fourth quarter, up from $54.2bn last year.

South Korea’s Samsung captured $18.9bn in revenue, up from $16.2bn last year.

China’s Huawei secured $8.4bn in revenue in Q4, up from $7.2bn a year ago.

“The Apple iPhone generated a huge $61bn in the quarter, helped by solid demand for its premium X model, and Apple now accounts for more revenue than the rest of the entire global smartphone industry combined,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.

“Apple generated three times more smartphone revenue than nearest rival Samsung and seven times more than Huawei. The Apple iPhone’s average selling price is approaching $800 and almost three times higher than the overall industry average. The Apple iPhone is an incredible money-making machine.”

But, with shipment numbers decreasing and smartphone saturation likely, it is clear that higher-end models are where the money is likely to be for the foreseeable future.

“Samsung grew its global smartphone wholesale revenues by 16pc annually to $19bn in Q4 2017,” Sui said.

“Like Apple, Samsung’s smartphone wholesale average selling price grew strongly, rising 21pc annually to $254 in the quarter. The popularity of premium Note 8 and Galaxy S8 models, as well as fewer low-end sales in its core Asia markets such as China, drove the growth.”

Both Apple and Samsung have to keep an eye on feisty Huawei, which is learning and catching up fast from almost nowhere five years ago, bringing out high-end devices that cost comparatively less.

“Huawei generated $8bn of global smartphone wholesale revenues to maintain its position as the world’s third-largest vendor by turnover in Q4 2017,” said Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics.

“Huawei’s smartphone wholesale average selling price sits at $205 today and it has by far the lowest pricing among the top-three smartphone players.

“If Huawei wants to grow its worldwide pricing and revenues even higher in the future, the company will need to grab additional market share in the high-value US market.”

iPhone X billboard in Milan, Italy. Image: Alexandre Rotenberg/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years