Q1: Apple took 83% of smartphone profits with 13.5% unit share

Down from 88% in the December quarter when Samsung was melting down.

From a note to investors by Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley deposited into my inbox late Monday:

Based on analysis detailed in this report, Apple captured strong share of the premium-tier global smartphone market during Q1/C2017 generating 83% of industry profits, down from 88% in Q4 due to Samsung’s improved results and other OEMs, notably LG and Sony, reducing losses…

We remain impressed with strong Q1 iPhone sales of 50.8M despite growing consumer anticipation for the upcoming iPhone 8 launch in September. With supply meeting demand for the iPhone 7 Plus in January, we anticipate seasonally slower iPhone sales and decreasing inventory levels during the June and part of the September quarters as consumers delay purchases ahead of the anticipated iPhone 8 launch in September.

Reiterate Buy, raise price target to $180 from $165.

Below: Walkley’s quarterly spreadsheet.

apple smartphone profits canaccord

Click to enlarge. Not seeing? Try website. 


  1. John Kirk said:

    Ten years ago, we all “knew” that only one OS could survive and that market share was the key to winning over developers and that developers was the key to winning market share. It was a virtuous spiral that, once started, starved the competition and led to their doom.

    Today, we’ve had to unlearn all those lessons. For one thing, while the total market for PCs was maybe 1.5 billing devices, the smartphone market is probably going to top out around 6 billion. So you can have only 15% market share and still have a hell of a lot of customers.

    For another thing, Apple has shocked the world and reversed cause and effect. The old paradigm was to sell you devices cheap, get lots of customers, which drew in developers which drew in more customers. Apple reversed that. They appealed to premium customers and that appealed to the developers.

    Of course, I’m writing this as if one thing followed the other but, in fact, the trick to kicking off a successful ecosystem is that you have to attract both customers and developers simultaneously. It’s one of the hardest things to do in business. And Apple makes it look easy.

    If you had told people in 2006 that Apple would hold 12.5% market share in phones in 2017, probably 99% of tech observers would have assumed that Apple’s mobile experiment was on its way out. The other 1% were probably institutionalized.

    May 16, 2017
    • Gianfranco Pedron said:

      Yup, just when we think we have everything figured out and can live out our lives serenely basking in the light of that knowledge, some arrogant Mr. Smartypants comes along and proves we “ain’t seen nothin’ yet”.

      The guardians of the Truth(TM) and their followers hate him for it, of course, blind to their hypocritical enjoyment of the fruits of his labour … or facsimiles thereof.

      May 16, 2017
  2. Fred Stein said:

    Numbers tell a story.
    More than 100% of the profit goes to Apple, Samsung, and Huawei. They are the only ones investing in IP and in components. All the others assemble components and software adding little value – no “R” for no “I” as in ROI. Check out HTC, who makes Google’s Pixel. Pixel was supposed to be the big challenger to the iPhone 7.

    May 16, 2017

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