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Apple remained the most profitable smartphone brand through the fourth quarter of 2017, according to a new market research report.
The Cupertino tech giant managed to capture 86 percent of the total smartphone market profits Q4 2017, even though the premium handset segment didn’t grow as expected, according to a new report by Counterpoint Research (via CNBC).
Additionally, the iPhone X accounted for 21 percent of total revenue and 35 percent total of the profits made by the entire industry in the fourth quarter — allowing Apple to grow about 1 percent, year-over-year. That’s despite the fact that the premium flagship was only available for two months of the quarter, Counterpoint noted.
For context, the iPhone X generated about five times as much profit as more than 600 Android manufacturers in the same time period combined. And the device isn’t done doing well for Apple.
“The share of the iPhone X is likely to grow as it advances further into its life-cycle,” Counterpoint Analyst Karn Chauhan said. “Additionally, the longer shelf life of all iPhones ensured that Apple still has eight out of top 10 smartphones, including its three-year-old-models.”
The analyst added that these devices generate much more profits than those made by competing OEMs. Some of those competitors include Chinese manufacturers like Huawei, ZTE and Oppo, who are all stepping up their brand by including more devices aimed at the premium sector (which, as a result, are selling for a higher average price). Still, Apple and Samsung lead the industry in terms of total profits.
Apple CEO Tim Cook previously stated in an earnings call that the iPhone X was the company’s biggest seller through every week of the critical holiday shopping season. He added that the popularity of the device continued into February and wasn’t restricted to the holiday period.
Of course, Apple does not break down iPhone sales on a per-device basis. But in February, the company announced that it sold 77.3 million iPhones, about a 1 percent decline from the previous year. On the other hand, the higher price of this year’s lineup did manage to drive higher profits and revenue.
Counterpoint’s research seems to run contrary to the handful of reports that suggest Apple has seen mediocre sales and low demand for its flagship iPhone X.
While not all of those reports are of verifiable accuracy, they still line up with an overall industry-wide trend of declining smartphone sales. As CNBC points out, the global market has likely already peaked due to longer replacement cycles. Due to that, Apple’s Services business is slated to dethrone the iPhone and become the firm’s largest driver of revenue growth.
While Apple’s smartphone sales may be slowly declining overall, it seems that its flagship product isn’t quite done making money for the firm.