There was an interesting pie chart I that caught my interest of late on the web. As the Chinese proverb goes, “A picture speaks a

Apple iPhone Dominates Overall Phone Profits

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There was an interesting pie chart I that caught my interest of late on the web. As the Chinese proverb goes, “A picture speaks a thousand words”. So what better way to illustrate what I want to say than with a picture?

Recently, I saw an interesting analysis of worldwide mobile phone sales – both in sales units and in profits – at GearLog and CNN’s Fortune Tech.

Apple iPhone Dominates

The diagram above shows the units of mobile phone sold by Apple and other handset manufacturers from the periods between January to June 2010. Apple iPhones’ unit sales is the tiny thin red sliver in the pie chart and it shows that Apple sold 17 million phones in this period. While Nokia, Samsung and LG combined sold about 400 million handsets in the same period of time.

Maybe one can argue that Apple is just one company with one OS/product (ios) which is essentially the iPhone while the other manufacturers are multiple companies with multiple models. Nokia, Samsung and LG which make up the Blue slice on the other hand with a plethora of models easily overwhelm the iPhone sales with 400 million units in sales. In addition Nokia, Samsung and LG are the worlds’ 3 largest phone manufacturers in the world! Even with this, the difference is however still quite staggering.

Now let’s look at the second pie chart and the information we generate would suddenly become very interesting. The colours are still the same. Apple is red, and Nokia, Samsung and LG combined are still blue, with others in green.

Apple iPhone Dominates profits

This second pie chart depicts profits made by handset manufacturers over that same period of time. Apple is seen to suddenly take up a whopping 39 percent of industry profits! This is 7% more than Nokia, Samsung, and LG combined! And to crown it all, it is also a full 10% more than the rest of the industry (Others=29%) combined.

If I am asked which Business model to choose from, I’d definitely choose Apple. This is clearly any investor’s dream. The Cupertino Company is obviously raking in the cash as its competitors struggle to post any profit at all. In light of the above, Steve Jobs does not need to look for any interesting statistics the next time he addresses another Apple special event.


  1. this analysis reminds me of the era of the stratified banking landscape of merchant vs. commercial.

    do you prefer numerous small_time customers with the attendant administrative stress; or would you rather concentrate on fewer high_caliber customers?

    After all, the whole essence of business is maximum profit with minimal effort.

    i doff ny non existent cap to Apple. their business model is wellworth studying by the business schools. arrogant. tough_ but totally focused on the bottomline…

  2. Something Good is sure going on in Cupertino, wonder what would have happened if Android was not available.

  3. This stats are for the 1st half of the year, before the iphone 4 went on general sale. And I hear the iphone 4 broke all previous records in number of sales. So the figure for the second half of the year is expected to be better.

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