Apple Continues to Take More Than Half of Mobile Phone Industry Profits

Apple | | November 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Despite a sequential drop in iPhone sales in the third calendar quarter of 2011 as customers held out for the iPhone 4S, Apple once again seized over half of the profits generated by leading mobile phone manufacturers during the quarter, according to a new research report by Cannacord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley and shared by Forbes. According to the study’s estimates, Apple raked in 52% of the overall profits during the quarter, down slightly from 57% in the second calendar quarter but up from 47% in the year-ago quarter that also had the then-new iPhone 4 on the market.

In an epic reversal of fortunes, Mr. Walkley pointed out that in 2007, Nokia had 67% of operating profits while Apple had just 4%. Today, while Apple has 52% of industry profits, Nokia has been relegated its rival’s former position with just 4% of operating profits.

As noted in a report from AllThingsD on the same research note, Walkley predicts that the launch of the iPhone 4S will spur even further growth for Apple, pushing the company to take over 60% of industry profits in the final calendar quarter of 2011.

Walkley is not the only observer to routinely release estimates of mobile phone manufacturer profit shares, as asymco‘s Horace Dediu performs a similar analysis each quarter. Dediu’s numbers have typically come in 5-10 percentage points higher for Apple than Walkley’s estimates have, but the trends seen by each analyst are certainly consistent: Aside from some natural ebb and flow due to iPhone release cycles, Apple is continuing to increase its dominant share of mobile phone industry profits despite shipping only a small fraction of total units.

Update: Dediu has just posted his Q3 estimates, pegging Apple at 56% of industry profits.

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