Apple as mobile phone vendor: First in profit, second in sales and fourth in units

Change in top mobile phone vendor market, sales and profit shares rank over time:

  • Hap

    Horace –

    Your graphics are really effective. (I'd say "awesome," but the word's meaning has been diluted with overuse.) I wonder if you've studied Edward Tufte's work on graphical display of visual information? Some of your recent charts remind me of a classic graphic (highlighted by Tufte as exemplary) which depicts the losses to Napoleon's army on the way to and from Moscow. Chances are you've seen it, but here it is:

    Or maybe you were born with the knack, and Tufte might use you as an illustration of effective design!

    • asymco

      I looked through this first book, many years ago. His ideas are very influential. I think the effect is more subconscious because I think about the data first and the tools I have second and last about optimizing the information display.

  • Sandeep

    Horace, a couple of minor nits on the graphs:

    – Would be good if you can reduce the line weights and circle weight in numbers
    – color for apple and nokia are very close, maybe good to switch to a bolder color and thicker line style for apple to illustrate the disruption

  • KenC

    Yep, you need more than 6 colors, as the different shades of blue and green are not dissimilar enough; other than that, great work!

  • Graphs are great, even for these 61 year old eyes on an iPad!

    And Apple? Well, Apple does what Apple does best…

  • Have Apple published how much revenue and profit they make on the iPhone specifically? I was looking for that info a few days ago. Unit numbers is easy but not revenue/profit.

    • Iphoned

      you can back that out by looking at the margins in 2007 just prior to the iPhone. I believe iPhone margins come out to 53% gm and 33% nm if operating expenses are allocated proportionally to revenues.

  • Hap

    Following on Sandeep and KenC's comments above:

    In some of your legends the colored hyphens to the left of the company names could be a point size thicker, and perhaps double-length. This would make it easier to discern the colors, especially with some being so similar, as commented on above. Mine eyes are on Medicare…

  • Mark Newton

    Palm CEO Ed Colligan, Nov 2006:
    “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

  • Ted crankier

    Steve Ballmer (hmm spell check wants to change it to ‘baloney’)

    “We’ll get a chance to go through this [Apple versus Microsoft debate] again in phones and music players. There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.””

    • asymco

      Microsoft's mobile strategy has not changed since late 1990's. They are still waiting for the post-PC market to modularize and then to use IP litigation and synergy to core businesses to push open-source out of the OS layers and capture rents from all mobile phones. In another ten years they may find there is no core business to tie their mobile strategy to.

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  • Halex_Pereira

    Methinks it's the world, given the sheer dominance of Nokia in units.

  • asymco

    World. If it was not, the sub-market would be specified.

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  • ste

    I don't understand the difference between Market & Sales Shares..

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