Quarter (Q1) 2015 results show once again that Apple has smartphone market profits on the lock down. 92%. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple raked in…

Who exactly is making money on Android OS?

Quarter (Q1) 2015 results show once again that Apple has smartphone market profits on the lock down. 92%. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple raked in 92% of all smartphone industry profits in Q1 2015. In other words, Android manufacturers and others are all sharing only 8% of the industry’s profits. All those manufacturers? Who really is making money on Android OS?


making money on Android OS

If my horrible math is not as horrible as I think it is, that means that the remaining 8% of the smartphone market’s profit is shared between Samsung, LG, Sony, TECNO, Infinix, Pliris Mobile, Asus, OnePlus, Xiaomi, BlackBerry, Micromax, Microsoft, Alcatel, BLU, Yezz, Huawei, Lenovo, Lava, Gionee, HTC, Acer, and the scores of other smartphone brands scattered across the planet. Mind you, many of those on that list are reporting losses.


But let me paint the picture more accurately:

  • iOS with 13.8% marketshare makes 92% of the profit
  • Android with 78% marketshare makes 8% of the profit
  • The others….oh, well

Mindboggling situation. Certainly, some of those Android brands are running at a loss, and many are making margins so small on the grand scale.

  • So, no-one is making profit from Windows Phone.
  • No-one is making profit from Firefox.
  • No-one is making profit from Sailfish.

Many Android brands are struggling and returning losses. Samsung has been the poster boy for Android OS, but even its returns have been dropping in recent times. Perhaps if we asked the question, who exactly is making money on Android (tons of money, that is), the only answer would be “Google”.

Like I said in October 2014, perhaps iOS is the only viable smartphone platform. Who is going to prove that wrong?

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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi's journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Uncle, I have always said it and I will continue to say it… Apple is still the best. They set the trend and the rest go to battle to beat their inventions or innovation. That’s why its not for everyone.

  2. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple raked in 92% of all smartphone industry profits in Q1 2015.

    What exactly does ‘Smartphone Industry’ mean?

    This could be a sad reminder of the fact that there are more (i)sheep on earth than planet earth. 😉 Maybe Wall Street Journal should conduct a research on this.


    Someone needs to explain this. I have never trusted bean_counters cum statisticians… they can make figures lie just like pictures can be made to lie with modern technology.

    When it is said that company X has taken Y percent of the total.profits, does that refer to JUST the revenue from hardware, or does that include the ecosystem surrounding the different OS platforms?

    Would advert income be part of smartphone revenue, if those advert revenues come through smartphone use.?

    Wall Street Journal probably conveniently neglects the fact that it’s possible not to make (much) money on hardware sales (like InnJoo, or Google that sells Nexus without direct profit in mind ) but make money from the surrounding ecosystem.

    Clearly, someone is playing Russian Roulette with figures here, as the title is simply sensationalist.

  3. It’s probably pretty accurate.any of us love with more than one OS at our disposal. Pocketnow did a straw poll on Twitter recently, asking followers if they use more than one OS. From the responses I saw, it was clear that this was the case for many.

    What was also interesting to note was the variations; the one that stood out most for me were the number of people using an Android phone and an iPad.

    The truth is, people may live with more than one OS at their disposal. Despite the fact that Android may dominate in certain spheres, it is obvious they don’t in all.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Apple was still making a killing from apps, an arena that Android I don’t think even bother to try to compete with, and I can see why. Some apps simply don’t convert well from iOS to Android. I’d like to know which developers are making the most money on their respective platforms.

  4. “Who exactly is making money from Android OS?”

    Why should I care? I’ll just keep enjoying and utilising my current smartphone, thank you!

  5. it’s not a zero sum game, Samsung has a slice of the profit that’s at least 12-15%. problem is quite a few OEMs are losing money, SONY especially. personally the numbers don’t really matter to me, problem is it matters to the OEMs and the losses will affect the market

  6. Na android be the topic before, but of course mobility had to use an iPhone pic and them isheeps have committed red herring… question is who tf is making money from droid? Nigerians and them English deficiencies

  7. anyhow, most of the OEMS make money in their own way.. only d dumb stubborn and slow ones that have been caught on their arses and making losses, shoutout to HTC and Sony and lg.. *drops mic*

  8. simple answer, Korean & Chinese OEMs
    Samsung, LG, Lenovo, Xiaomi, Meizu etc

  9. lol, SONY’s mobile division is running at a loss
    HTC just crawled back into profitability

  10. Forget about figures.It is used to deceive us most times.Why won’t iPhone make large profit. A ready select consumers who don’t care about the ever rising cost of their phones plus the safe profit margin already tucked in the price.

  11. Oh dear Ehis, I wonder about you, really. You fail to realise there is more than one side to this question, and there’s nothing iSheepish about the responses to date. And the abbreviations were unnecessary.

  12. I’ve thought about it, and it’s thanks to the Chinese market penetration that is giving iPhone its profits.

    Samsung is global but hasn’t penetrated the Chinese market. Xiaomi makes its money from within China and its territories. The likes of Sony, HTC and LG are taking some of that miniscule profit.

    Which means the likes of Innjoo, Gionee, Infinix and Tecno and others have a negligible amount of that profit – but it can’t be that small or they’d no longer be in business!

    Therefore, as the article rightly pointed out, Google is the real all round winner.

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