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Apple share of phone revenues increased to 28%

As previously pointed out, Apple reached two thirds profit share in mobile phone vendors among the eight vendors I track. The following charts shows the historic growth in that share and the share of revenues (including 4 quarter trend line). Revenue share increased to 28% in the last quarter.

The share doubled from Q4 2009. I should also point out that it was the highest of all the competitors. The following chart shows the split over time:

The dedicated smartphone vendors (highlighted with segment bars) are now at 47% of total sales, a significant increase from the 6% share they held four years ago. Another remarkable show of entrant power and incumbent weakness.

  • Tom Ross

    Thumbs up. What was the biggest share Nokia ever had?

    I wouldn't be surprised if this will be misreported like the profit stat you innovated, with bloggers and journalists conflating "among the 8 vendors I track" with the phone market as a whole. I know "others" are probably just 20 % or 25 % of total market revenues, but still.

    • asymco

      In the time period I tracked above, 39.7%

    • Niilolainen

      The smartphone market is pretty consolidated right? Others less than 10% I think

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  • lrd

    Do you notice that when people talk iOS they talk cold hard cash. When they talk Android they talk market share? And these are the same devices with like 50% return rate. Like scary.

    • r00tabega

      This is completely natural. Apple is going for profitability (they maintain high profit margins and do not license their OS). Google is going for the network-effects monopolizing win for which you measure by marketshare.

      No one knows which is the more effective in the long term, so they don't try to directly compare them (if it's even possible to compare them).

      • markus

        You make a good point. Nevertheless, I don't see what Google gets out of providing free R&D for carriers who have shown that they are quite capable of locking Google out of search if the price is right. This seems especially true considering that Google has offended many people in order to ensure a service that would likely been on every non-Windows smart phone anyway.

      • http://twitter.com/WaltFrench @WaltFrench

        @Markus, Apple was expert in adapting their business strategy to the changing marketplace (especially in moving quickly from cash-on-the-barrelhead to subsidized), and we should expect no less of Google and its relations with the carriers.

        I think of the carriers allowing unlimited data access, tethering and other “grand opening!!!” plans to counter AT&T/Apple, and of Google's remarkable timing on buying Android, plus its rapid changes from the keyboard-centric Android to a touchscreen product.

        And especially the December 2010-timeframe comments about exercising more control over the brand. Amazon, B&N and RIM are doing their best to pick at what look like chinks in Google's armor; together with Rubin's comments you can expect a clearer effort at monetization. Seems a pretty consistent picture.

    • http://twitter.com/davidchu @davidchu

      Can you provide a link to the 50% return rate claim?

      I am pretty suspicious of a stat like that.

      • markus

        Due to the incestuous nature of the internet it is hard to pin down the actual sources of this story. If you want to read more about it, enjoy the perfect irony of googling "Android return rate"

      • http://www.noisetech-software.com/Perspectives.html Steven Noyes

        It was a TechCrunch report that had some dubious aspects to it. I do suspect the return rates are a bit higher for Android but I seriously question the TechCrunch report. http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/26/androids-dirty-s

        BGR called it looney: http://www.bgr.com/2011/07/28/40-of-android-phone

        That said, I did get an interesting story from Google engineer at WWDC on what "Activations" mean.

      • unhinged

        Which is???

        Come on, man, don't leave us hanging like that!

  • pk de cville

    Reports of Apple shipping iP 5 in October. This makes sense to me. I believe Apple will begin introducing new iPhones and iPads in October every year.

    Why? When Apple ships at the beginning of the holiday season, they've eliminated copycat competition (Samsung, HTC, et al) during the biggest qtr of the year. Instead of using June through Sept to prep holiday demand and smooth production ramp, Apple's taking the challenge of shipping a torrent of tens of millions of devices at the end of the year.

    This will limit the copy quick strategy, allow for mano a mano competition for consumer dollars, and blow the doors off their retail stores.

    Horace, Your thoughts?

    PS – I wonder how many years it will take for the mano a mano to get interesting. (2014?)

    • name99

      "I believe Apple will begin introducing new iPhones and iPads in October every year. "

      Do we really believe that? I think a more likely scenario is that Apple has never liked to be tied to an artificial schedule, no matter what the circumstances. Sometimes they've been forced to it — and for iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, they probably figured the buzz from a known upcoming date was worth the hassle — but as a general principle they NEVER tie themselves to dates. Software, the OS, new mac models, all come when they are ready — and Apple does everything it can to prevent leaks that might force the date.

      All of which suggests to me that they have no interest in making October the new July. Maybe next year's iOS device will be in October. Or maybe they will be in July. Or maybe we'll once again get a split launch — new phones as soon as decent 4G HW is ready (maybe as early as June), new iPads when their killer feature (quad core CPU?) is ready, in November.
      Certainly I think it would be foolish to bet on any sort of future predictability in dates.

  • Hap

    Suggestion re graphics:

    I pasted a screenshot of the second chart above (without labels) into a Pages layout page; then flipped the chart vertically and re-positioned axis label screenshots appropriately. This places the HTC/Apple/RIM 'sandwich' at the bottom right. For me, the 'read' on this is quicker, more natural. A rising Apple share looks better actually 'rising' than the (in a sense) descending blue Apple segment in the existing graphic. I would imagine this is just a matter of how the spreadsheet is organized.

    • KenC

      Funny, I was visualizing the first graphic flipped upside down, so that instead of HTC, Apple and RIM tumbling ever larger, I could see them growing, just as you stated, for exactly the reasons you cited.

      • Hap

        It seems to me that a further refinement might be to set up the data so that the Apple 'wedge' appears at the bottom of the graphic. Might this give a sense of emergence or groundswell from an 'under'-dog?

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  • Joe_Winfield_IL

    That makes sense. One other suggestion – what if you put the legend on the left and the scale on the right? It might mitigate the issue a bit if we could look at current share directly adjacent to the corresponding percentages, rather than scanning across the chart. To me, the current share is much more important to see clearly than the share from your 2007 starting point.

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  • http://www.ringcentral.com/send-internet-fax/index.html Send An Internet Fax

    Let me get this straight – companies entering new markets that seek to optimize around user growth are of no competition to companies who seek to optimize around profit. In one post, you've disproved the thesis of all the top early stage venture firms. In fact, with this breakthrough in logic, I don't even know why anyone would raise early stage capital to begin with. Congrats MG, you've done it again!

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  • http://www.smartlevers.com Rukesh Patel

    Horace, what was Apple’s unit (volume) share for Q2? You’d reported 5% for Q1.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      5.57% in Q2 vs. 5.02% in Q1

      • http://www.smartlevers.com Rukesh Patel

        Thank you!

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