Apple's iOS captured 88.7 percent of smartphone profits in Q4, Android slid to an all-time low of 11

By Shawn Knight · 8 replies
Feb 27, 2015
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  1. apple ios android google windows samsung htc smartphone huawei tizen mobile os profits firefox os strategy analytics satya nadella

    While Google is no doubt ahead in terms of overall mobile OS market share, it’s Apple that’s winning where it really counts: the bank.

    According to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics, Apple’s iOS accounted for a record-setting 88.7 percent of global smartphone profits in the fourth quarter of 2014. Android, meanwhile, set a record of its own with a new all-time low at 11.3 percent share.

    Overall, global smartphone operating profit grew by 31 percent last year from $16.2 billion in Q4 2013 to $21.2 billion in Q4 2014.

    Breaking it down by OS, we see that Apple’s iOS grew its operating profit from $11.4 billion in Q4 2013 to $18.8 billion during the last quarter. Android hardware vendors combined took home half as much as they did a year ago, dropping from $4.8 billion in Q4 2013 to $2.4 billion in Q4 2014.

    Strategy Analytics points out that this should be reason for concern at Google. If major smartphone manufacturers such as HTC, Huawei and Samsung are unable to make decent profits from Android, they’re increasingly likely to turn to alternatives such as Firefox, Tizen or Windows.

    It’s up for debate as to which of those three would emerge in a worst-case scenario. Windows is the most established platform and under Satya Nadella’s leadership, likely has the most potential. Tizen (for smartphones) got off to an awfully slow start as the first phone running the OS shipped only last month (although it has been a surprise seller). Firefox OS seems to be coming along nicely as well albeit thus far, only on entry-level devices.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2015
  2. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 814   +371

    Both my parents moved to iPhone 6+'s last week. Mom moved from samsung galaxys4 and dad moved from nokia Lumina 1320. Both liking the IOS better now that they have bigger screens.
  3. Ultraman1966

    Ultraman1966 TS Enthusiast Posts: 94   +10

    A Monopoly never benefits the consumer in the long term.
    Rippleman likes this.
  4. Badvok

    Badvok TS Addict Posts: 174   +66

    A fool and his money are soon parted - ooooh shiny!
  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    it's not a monopoly... see below...
    I doubt this trend would ever change... Google gives people more freedom with their phones, Apple charges people for more and adds restrictions. The result... Apple makes more money, Google sells more phones.

    It's also worth noting that Google doesn't need to make a lot from Android. They have their search business that helped them make $40 billion in profit last year. Apple has to make money on phones... it's not like the iPad is going to carry them.

    The rough part is for the partners. It would really be a bummer if we lost HTC or LG's phone division. I dont' want to have to use a Samsung.
  6. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Would these profits not simply indicate the open source nature of Android? How does an Android OS generate profit exactly? From it's apps presumably, the OS itself is free to use from what I understand and instead generate profit from proprietary software, which the manufacturer can replace with their own, Samsung, HTC and LG all do this eliminating that revenue stream. So what are you left with, a customizable OS that Can be free of bloat-ware and other useless junk, at the discretion of the manufacturer or carrier of course. Still though, Android devices are still ahead in the platform market share almost 3 to 1 against Apple, this just shows how much more iOS users spend on app purchases or whatever it is they're buying. I personally have yet to spend a dime in the Android app store, Google Play... And question how people throw away money when most things are free.
    mosu likes this.
  7. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 814   +371

    Samsung phones are not bad phones and anyone that buys a Samsung phone is not a fool. People have preferences and those preferences shift. In the end, buy what you like. Most people (if given one or the other with no price considered) seem to choose IOS over Android/Windows since it simply "works".

    Disclaimer: I enjoy and use all three ecosystems.

    Edit: windows also "just works" but seems to... to... not sure what the word is.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  8. Ultraman1966

    Ultraman1966 TS Enthusiast Posts: 94   +10

    It's not a monopoly in the traditional sense but those numbers are just ridiculous; they have a monopoly on the profit to the point where everyone might as well pack up and go home. I'm also avoiding feeding Samsung and hence why I got a Sony for this gen.
  9. dnldchesley

    dnldchesley TS Rookie

    Still Android has 80% of the market,thats to say out of a 100 people only 20 people are apple users and its dropping more every year,not to bash Apple but Android is slowly taking over and for the most part its the price gouging thats hurting them,I mean a Ipod is like 250 for the 8gig model and my little Sansa clip 8gig blows it out of the water as far as sound is concerned yeah I cant use apps with it but I have my phone for that,Steve Jobs needs needs to be reborn and put this company back in line.

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