iPhone X Alone Generated 35% of the Total Handset Industry Profits in Q4 2017

New Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Buenos Aires – April 17, 2018

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Q4 2017, Global handset profits declined 1% YoY in Q4 2017 (October-December) as the premium smartphone market did not grow as expected. We believe that the Global smartphone market has already reached its peak with longer replacement cycles and key smartphone OEMs are now under pressure to book profits.

Counterpoint Research Analyst, Karn Chauhan, highlighted, “Global handset profits declined 1% YoY, but Apple grew 1% YoY even with the iPhone X being available for only two months in Q4 2017. The iPhone X alone generated 21% of total industry revenue and 35% of total industry profits during the quarter and its share is likely to grow as it advances further into its life cycle. Additionally, the longer shelf life of all iPhones ensured that Apple still has eight out of top ten smartphones, including its three-year-old models, generating the most profits compared to current competing smartphones from other OEMs.”

Commenting on the performance of Chinese brands, Associate Director, Tarun Pathak, highlighted, “Chinese OEMs cumulative profits crossed 1.3 USD billion during Q4 2017. This was driven by the increased mix of mid to high end smartphones.In fact, the average selling price (ASP) of their flagship devices also increased YoY. Key Chinese players like Huawei, OPPO and Vivo are now looking to scale up the price band, by leveraging their in-house manufacturing capabilities and bringing innovation to their devices.”

Market Summary – Q4 2017:

  • Apple remained the most profitable brand, capturing 86% of the total handset market profits
  • Further splitting profits by model, the top 10 models captured 90% of the total handset profits.
  • Apple and Samsung flagship models, lead in terms of profits as compared to other OEMs.
  • iPhone X alone generated 35% of the total handset industry profits. This is a significant landmark, as the model was available in the market for only two months during Q4 2017.

    iPhone X generated 5X more profit than the combined profit of 600+ Android OEMs during Q4 2017.

  • Apple’s older generation iPhones, iPhone 7 and iPhone 6 still generate more profit than some of the more recent Android flagships from key Chinese OEMs.
  • Huawei was the leading brand among all the Chinese brands, with profit increasing 59% YoY.
  • With an increased mix of flagship sales for key Chinese brands, we expect profit share of Chinese players to grow in the coming quarters.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q4 2017 handset profit share analysis is available for subscribing clients. The methodology involves insights from supply chain interviews and our Bill of Materials (BOM) tracker. Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] for further questions regarding our in-depth latest research, insights or press enquiries