back to article Swimming in smartmobe profit? Let us guess, you're Tim Cook?

Apple single-handedly accounted for nine-tenths of smartphone profits in the first months of 2015, beancounters claim. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity have told the Wall Street Journal that the Cupertino giant brought in 92 per cent of profits amongst the eight top smartphone vendors. Samsung claimed 15 per cent of profits for …

  1. P. Lee Silver badge

    Brand Identity

    Android makers suffer from the same problem as PC makers. At the end of the day, if you run Windows, its still just a Windows PC. There is very little that hardware can add to the brand experience. It gets worse when you fail to innovate, or innovate slightly but jack the prices sky-high.

    If I were Samsung, I'd spin off a separate company for the high-end. There is little kudos in the "Samsung" brand as it covers too large a range of items. They've plastered "Samsung" across all the devices. They need a different brand and brands take time and money to build. Typically of an established player, they have a product/solution/brand and are going to use it wherever possible. Rather like MS trying to put a desktop on a mobile device or indeed a mobile interface on the desktop. If you ask someone what kind of new phone they bought and they say "Samsung" you have to ask, "Which one?" in order to understand what they have. iPhone purchasers don't have to deal with that confusion. That is brand clarity.

    Samsung also need to keep their techie users/press happy. Get that battery life fixed. Stop the segmentation through silly storage limits. 128G only is reasonable for a flagship device at the moment. Needing to pick which music/podcasts to sync is far too irritating. USB/SD storage is also not unreasonable. Make replaceable batteries part of the casing if required. It isn't a great deal of aluminium to add to a battery. Contribute to the techie Android ecosystem. RSync and SSHFS as standard please. Help fund that OwnCloud stuff so that it works really well. Help fund a digikam/f-spot port work to Windows, etc. Samsung has shown it isn't good at writing software, but that doesn't mean it can't help. It might be cheaper than marketing.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Apple juggernaut goes on....

    It must be perplexing to Google. Far more phones run Android, yet Apple's App Store rakes in the profits. The best Android phones easily have the best cameras, yet the first cinema release of a film, recorded entirely on phones, was made using iPhones (complete with a bloody clip-on anamorphic lens - and it actually looks good - no, not the actual movie). Apple seems to have an awful lot of influencers in its pocket. More importantly, more of Apple's users are prepared to pay cold, hard cash for Apple's services. What can Apple's competitors do to correct this imbalance? (As a happy mixed system iPad/Nexus 5/Windows Phone/Surface user, I'm also a little perplexed when I look at Apple's resilience against very credible competition).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple sponsored propaganda

    When you are conning several hundreds pounds extra out of every punter, you have loads of money spare to spend making them feel like they are buying a premium product as bd trashing the competition.

    Sadly consumers are idiots, they cant see this. Classic emperor's new clothes.

    The reality is, something like (for example) the Xperia Z3 destroys the iPhone is every area, from build quality, to display, sound, feature set (waterproof, HD audio, hardware noise cancelling) even battery life (3 days).

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Apple sponsored propaganda

      You should talk to Sony and Samsung's smart phone marketing departments then because they really need to crack that idiot code. Sony especially has had to learn the hard way customer goodwill is not just an accounting principal and is remarkable hard to maintain when you make both media content and hardware.

  4. oneeye

    Apple iPhone 6 is a budget phone by today's specs!

    When our son bought his new iPhone 6,I checked the specs,and was surprised to see that my 2012 HTC Evo 4g lte was equal or better in just about every category! All the budget Androids today have specs as good or better than mine and his now. The only real reason a lot of these people stick with iPhone,is the same reason I like HTC ,familiarity. They get locked in on the services, and when contemplating moving all their music, and other cloud stuff, its just too much trouble. So,to justify their sticking with Apple's overcharging them, they defend Apple at all costs,because the other option is to admit they are being taken advantage of. It boils down to cognitive dissonance really.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: Apple iPhone 6 is a budget phone by today's specs!

      Except that a crude reading of the specs fails to spot that it's substantially quicker than most of the Android competition at things that users want to do (like web browsing). The CPU clock may not look fast, but it's a custom 64 bit design that clock-for-clock is much quicker than the chip in the HTC for example. You'll also find the GPU punches above its weight, and is better integrated with the OS so that you can wring more out of what you have.

    2. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

      Re: Apple iPhone 6 is a budget phone by today's specs!

      It is not cognitive dissonance to be prepared to pay more for the integration of things that people want to use. It's also true that Apple do have a reputation (deserved or not) of being less intrusive of their users, unlike Google.

      Total cost of ownership is very good on Apple devices - even if the 'capital' cost is high. If/when they go wrong, Apple seem to be good at providing service.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Apple iPhone 6 is a budget phone by today's specs!

        The higher price of iPhones is more easily justified on the basis of how well they hold their value if you want to sell them after they are 12 or 24 months old. Far better resale value than a 12 or 24 month old Galaxy S or Note, let alone the non-Samsung also-rans in the premium Android category.

        Trolls will argue that it is because Apple buyers are stupid and will pay a lot even for a used iPhone, but regardless this makes a $650 iPhone cost a lot less than a $650 Samsung if you plan to upgrade every year or other year.

  5. Michael Thibault

    >Co-founder Steve Jobs famously said that Apple wouldn't attempt to enter the low-cost end of the market because it "didn't know how" to build a cheap device.

    That was then. Those guys in Cupertino are probably wilier than they let on. They could do the world a favour and drop something into the low end of the pool, just to kill off the marginal manufacturers.

    As for cognitive dissonance.... plausible. But if the shiny-bedazzled yoof are aware that the non-Apple manufacturers are just scraping by, and there's little profit in the non-Apple sector to compete over, then they may well be aware that buying non-Apple is a crap-shoot--as a company making such shiny has a much greater likelihood of not existing, or no longer competing at all in that market, in the near term. And orphaned products are just not as fun to have around. So the decision becomes: go with the winner, because the winner has mega-tonnage of profit to burn through before it, too, has to face the possibility of running at a break-even point---which necessarily would be very long into the future. If ever.

    1. Steve Todd

      It's a misquote

      What they actually said was "We don't know how to build a sub-$500 computer that is not a piece of junk", in other words they knew perfectly well how to do it but didn't like the compromises they'd have to make in the specs/design.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Marginal manufacturers?

      Which ones do you think the world would be better off without? Xiaomi sells premium Android phones at far lower prices than the equivalent model from Samsung, HTC, etc. Surely they'll do a better job of killing them off, though it is probably the ones selling $50 phones that you're talking about. No is going to kill them off, save those selling $30 phones upping their game.

      There's no way Apple could make more money by offering a lower end iPhone. They'd cannibalize more of their high end sales than whatever they made by expanding their market.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is the Brand silly

    Why do women lust over Gucci, Prada, Jimmy Choo etc etc brands?

    Most of their wares are hardly practical (especially in the eyes of men)

    They are expensive and women can sometimes be prepared to get physical over them at the sales.

    On the male side, it is more likely to be 4-wheel tin cans.

    Own a Skoda yet lust after a Porshe?, Ferrarri, Lambo?

    Yet some of the cars produced are crap (esp some older lambo's IMHO)

    As an old male dinosaur (60+) I consider myself past the age of brand lust. I drive a 11yr old Swedish Tank (Saab), my own phone is a Nokia 6310i and due to my height, fashionable clothes are just not on my radar, I go to off the beaten track places for Holidays. (Not to Saga etc, I am not interested in Cruises unless it is to places like the N.W Passage. got it!)

    I buy stuff for practicality. I got fed up with Windows XP and the inevitable re-installs etc etc etc so in 2009 I switched to a Mac Book Pro. Do I regret switching to the church of Jobs?

    For day to day use I do not.

    I earn a living by developing Software for Windows. The Latest versions are just a horrible mess IMHO. The reasons have been well discussed here so I won't go into them again.

    When I get home and flip open the lid on the MacBook I feel at home again.

    Would I become a total Jobsian convert?

    I honestly don't know. I have a company iPhone 5 (not 5s) that does its job without complaint so it sort of 'just works' for what I want it to do.

    IMHO their employment of the ex head of Burberry to run their retail arm was a great move. She understands 'Brands' and 'brand loyalty' very well.

    That might be the key point. The apple brand does what is says on the tin for say 95% of the people who buy into it. Their levels of customer satisfaction tend to back that up.

    The Android team need to make their user experience a lot more like Apple. I don't mean copy their UI etc but improve things especially in the area of upgrades and moving to a new device. The same goes for Windows. How many people will lose their data when applying the 'free' windows 10 upgrade.

    Apple are not infallible but they sure set the bar high in terms of overall user experience over the longer term.

    That's just my POV. Before you blinly downvote this post why not post your thoughts/POV instead and thus contribute to the discussion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is the Brand silly

      I can agree with that. I use Windows and Linux all day at work, but when I get home I have a MacBook.

      I have an Android phone because work gives me one, but if it was my own money I would probably buy an iPhone. I don't hate my Android phone though, it's fine.

      If people are spending their own money on something that does what they want and makes them happy, what's the problem? That's the beauty of a (mostly) free market, you have choices.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is the Brand silly

      Yep largely my impression of Apple as well. Very nice kit but the kind its best to get work to buy (with their depreciation cycles etc). When its your own budget then bursting it for kit the company often won't even support (at least software wise) 3 or 4 years from now is usually a bridge too far.

  7. David Lawton

    As somebody who went from the Nokia N900 (hated Apple at this point), to a Samsung Galaxy S2 (because i did not want anything Apple) to an iPhone 5 , i would now not buy anything but an Apple iPhone.

    I see people comparing specs, or shouting we have had NFC for years. You are all looking at it wrong. With Apple it is all about the user experience. Thats what the other manufactures just don't get. Whats the point in them putting NFC on the iPhone if hardly anybody is adopting it? The experience to the user will be rubbish. Now they do the whole thing with Apple Pay its actually being used and last year in its first week their was more Apple Pay transactions than all of Googles Wallet to date at the point. Why? Because Apple made sure the user experience was good from the start.

    iPhone acting a bit odd, developed a hardware fault? Just walk into the Apple Store , go to the genius bar, they find the fault, you walk out a happy Apple customer with a replacement iPhone. User experience? off the charts.

    I also love the experience of using iOS compared to Android (or at least Samsungs dogs breakfast version of it!). Its consistent and does not do anywhere near the odd things my S2 would do.

    Another example is Spotify, for the last year I've kept dipping in and out of it , but in the end i just gave up, Spotifty just drove me potty. Apple Music? Im loving it, so now I'm back to streaming music, my experience is great. Im loving it.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. PassiveSmoking

    Plenty of people complain about the cost of the iPhone, but from the looks of it, it would appear Apple are the only one pricing their products at a realistic level. The Android manufacturers are probably trying to undermine the iPhone's market share with products sold at close to or maybe even below cost.

    I'm sure Apple are perfectly happy to let the current situation continue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Isn't this how the PC market went years ago? Manufacturers cutting profit to the bone and ultimately shooting themselves in the foot to the point the business was unsustainable?

      1. asdf Silver badge

        don't let the PC part fool you

        Isn't this how all commodity markets went years ago and today?

        FIFY. And business is not unsustainable look at Lenovo.

    2. montyburns56

      " it would appear Apple are the only one pricing their products at a realistic level. "

      Err, no they just have a huge profit margin compared to the small profit margin of other manufacturers.

  9. Dieter Haussmann

    People moan about the iPhone being a rip-off but the numbers speak for themselves - at the UK University where I work, iOS accounts for 55% of all unique WIFI'd BYOD devices, including laptops. When you look at the usage (band-with) they are transferring ~6 x more data than android, despite there only being about 10% more iOS devices than androids.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yeah

      >People moan about the iPhone being a rip-off

      No at least here stateside under contract its about the same price as any other flagship which is how I got work to get me one. As for the data usage didn't I read iPhone users download more porn on average.

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