iPhone soaks up 75 percent of all mobile phone profits

Apple holds only a 9 percent share of the global mobile phone market, but it grabbed 75 percent of the industry's overall profits last quarter, according to data from Asymco.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Apple may not be the world's leading mobile phone maker, but its cut of both profits and sales puts it firmly at the top.

Though it holds only around 9 percent of the global mobile phone market, Apple raked in 75 percent of all profits across the industry last quarter, according to Asymco analyst Horace Dediu.

That left rival Samsung with 16 percent of the profit pie, RIM with 3.7 percent, HTC with 3 percent, and Nokia rounding out the list with 1.8 percent. All together that pie represents around $15 billion in profits for the final quarter of 2011.

With heavy demand for the iPhone 4S, Apple also regained the top spot in mobile phone sales, capturing almost 40 percent of the industry's overall revenue. Samsung took second place with 25 percent of all sales, followed by Nokia with 12.6 percent, and RIM with 8 percent, according to Dediu's calculations.

Drilling down further, HTC accounted for 5.5 percent of all mobile phone sales, Motorola 4.4 percent, and Sony Ericsson 2.7 percent.

Even in terms of market share, Apple has been on the rise.

Fueled by strong demand for the iPhone 4S, Apple recently jumped two spots to take third place as the world's biggest mobile phone maker behind Nokia and Samsung, said research firm IDC. The iPhone maker saw its market share more than double to 8.7 percent, according to IDC, up from 4 percent in 2010's final quarter.

For the quarter, Apple sold a record 37 million iPhones, a healthy leap over the 30 million anticipated by the average analyst.

The reports from Asymco and IDC take into account not just smartphones but all mobile phones. Smartphones have consistently been biting off a greater chunk of the overall market, but they still account for only between 30 percent and 40 percent of all phones sold across the world, according to most data.