Apple Continues to Lead Global Handset Industry Profit Share

Overall global handset profits declined 11% YoY to USD 12 billion in Q3 2019 due to an increased mix of entry to mid-tier products and a fall in revenues for key smartphone OEMs. Within the top ten brands, only Samsung and Huawei managed to increase their revenue on an annual basis. Additionally, the replacement cycle for premium smartphones has lengthened as recent hardware features have been unable to offer an attractive reason to upgrade.

Apple dominates the global handset market by capturing 66% of industry profits and 32% of the overall handset revenue. The loyal premium user base in the major markets like the USA, EU and Japan is one of the reasons that Apple can still operate at a profit level that its competitors can only wish for. Now with a strong service strategy, Apple’s overall ecosystem is strong enough to guarantee it a steady inflow of revenue in the coming years. In the immediate future, we believe that Apple’s profit for the holiday season will increase with the new line up of iPhones gaining good traction.


Samsung is a distant second, taking 17% of the overall handset Industry profits. The increased mix of Galaxy A Series along with the positive start of Galaxy Note 10 Series was the key reason for the growth.

Chinese smartphone brands operate at low-profit margins, but better than in previous years, even though they are expanding outside China and also penetrating high-tier price bands. Chinese brands offer attractive propositions to mature smartphone users with new feature-packed flagships at affordable prices. Some of these Chinese brands are also now looking at monetizing their userbase by launching services like financial services, IoT products and others. However, it is becoming a challenge for Chinese brands to increase their smartphone ASPs and margins due to a combination of longer consumer holding periods and Apple lowering pricing on some key SKUs, which has limited the headroom that Chinese vendors had used to increase their ASPs.

In coming quarters, the adoption of 5G will drive some upgrades. This will likely lead to revenue growth for OEMs which are already preparing themselves ahead of full 5G commercialization. For example in China- Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi will gain from aggressive 5G push and use this opportunity to increase their ASP. While revenue growth is probable, bill of materials (BoM) costs will also tend to rise, so profit margins may not benefit to the same extent,

*This analysis includes normalized (only positive) operating profit.

Top Five Smartphone Brands in Indonesia Captured a Record 84% Share During Q3 2019

The Indonesia smartphone market grew 7% annually in Q3 2019.

realme grew a healthy 38% sequentially in only its fourth quarter since launching.

The share of Chinese brands reached a record 65% in the quarter

 New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires – Nov 7th, 2019

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, Indonesia’s smartphone shipments grew 7% annually during in Q3 2019, driven by a push in both online channels by retail platforms like Blibli , JD and Lazada etc. and various promotions in offline stores by Chinese players that are expanding their reach in the country.

Commenting on the results, Research Analyst, Parv Sharma said, “Chinese brands hold four out of the top five positions with 65% market share by volume. This is the highest ever share by Chinese brands in Indonesia, pushing local brands to mere single digit share. In terms of brands, Xiaomi is maintaining the second position in the market and is reducing the gap to Samsung’s first position.  Xiaomi has locally produced 10 million smartphones with a focus on both the online and offline channels. It has invested in creating 40 authorized Mi stores. Indonesia is one of the key markets responsible for Xiaomi’s global growth.”

Adding further Sharma said, “realme has also shown impressive growth since its launch. Aggressive online channel marketing with competitive product pricing and features is the key reason for its success.”

Associate Director, Tarun Pathak commenting on the local smartphone manufacturing ecosystem said, “The Indonesian government has introduced a law to curb the black market in smartphones, since one in five smartphones in the country are illegal. Regulations requiring registration of IMEI numbers for locally made smartphones will block the use of phones illegally imported into the country. This will boost the local manufacturing ecosystem and economy since illegal or imported devices will no longer work, potentially leading to more domestic manufacturing.”

Exhibit 1: Indonesia Smartphone Shipment Market Share – Q3 2019

Market Summary:

  • Samsung continues to lead the market with a 22% share thanks to strong sales from the refreshed Galaxy A series. It grew 2% annually.
  • Xiaomi has maintained its second position with 20% share. The Redmi Note 7 series is the bestselling device followed by Redmi 7A.
  • Oppo’s A5s and A1k were its best-selling models. Oppo grew 6% annually. Oppo has a leaner portfolio, but is diversifying its portfolio with the Reno series, aimed at the high-mid tier market.
  • Vivo doubled its shipments annually and was the fastest-growing brand with key models being Y91C, Y12, and Y15.   
  • realme grew a healthy 38% sequentially. It is doing flash sales by partnering with various online channels, realme C2 and realme 3 series are the key models driving sales. It is also expanding in the offline channel.
  • The contribution from e-commerce retail platforms reached 12%.
  • Around 94% of the smartphones sold were locally manufactured in the country during Q3 2019.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q3 2019 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Please feel free to contact us at press(at) for further questions regarding our latest research or insights. The Counterpoint Market Monitor is based on sell-through estimates based on retail surveys, vendor polling triangulated supply chain checks and secondary research.

Analyst Contacts:

Tarun Pathak

Parv Sharma

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