Thursday, February 14, 2013

Apple's Disproportionate Profit

A new report credits Apple with over 70% of all smartphone profits globally last quarter, on over 40% of the world's smartphone revenues. It continues an existing trend in which Apple (AAPL) smelts a minority market share by units into an outsized profit.  It's the inverse of the lesson Dell taught us – with huge sales volume and minuscule profits – that unit share isn't profit share

Apple's outsized profitability in the mobile market has been in evidence as far back as 2009, when Apple and BlackBerry (BBRY) (née Research In Motion) together shared less than 3% of the market's unit sales but reaped 35% of its profit.   Since 2011, Apple's smartphone profits have exceeded those of all other smartphone makers combined.

The 72%-of-all-smartphone-profits metric is all the more astounding in light of the press declaring that Apple is suddenly floundering. Apple's "share" isn't in jeopardy now more than last year.  Apple's last quarter wasn't the anemic result one would infer from headlines; when the truth catches up to Apple, it'll be a wind ride. Again. With huge advantages in the international market – where the growth is – Apple is looking good as its business heads into the future.

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