Apple Dominating Global Smartphone and Watch Markets

It’s Apple’s world, and we are all living in it. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple’s iPhone captured a record 51 percent of the global smartphone revenue share, accounting for more revenue than the rest of the entire industry combined, according to Boston-based analytics firm Strategy Analytics.
Apple made three times more revenue off its smartphones than Samsung and 7 times more than Huawei — the popular Chinese smartphone company whose partnerships with AT&T and Verizon were prematurely disbanded after pressures from the U.S. government over cybersecurity concerns.

Despite declines in actual phone sales, the overall smartphone industry saw an 18 percent rise in revenue growth from a year ago due to rising average selling prices. Apple was an outlier in average selling prices compared to its competitors, as an iPhone on average cost almost $800, nearly three times higher than the average industry price.

Apple in its most recent earnings report said it sold 77.3 million iPhones in the quarter, down 1 percent from a year ago. But Samsung had an even bigger fall in smartphone sales — down 4.4 percent from a year ago to 74.1 million — and was knocked off its bestselling perch by Apple, according to a report from data analytics firm IDC.

“Apple iPhone is an incredible money-making machine,” said Strategy Analytics’ executive director Neil Mawston.

The iPhone was not the only money-making machine at Apple’s disposal. The Apple Watch — long the bestselling wearable in the market — leapfrogged over the entire Swiss watch industry in the same fourth quarter of 2017 for the first time.

Apple sold about 8 million Apple Watch during the holiday quarter, according to market research firm Canalys. That was 1.2 million more watches than all Swiss watch exports at 6.8 million — which include brands like Rolex and Swatch — according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

Canalys’ Apple Watch figure is not an official one, as Apple does not release how many Watch units it sells every quarter.

However, Apple Watch’s dominance over the centuries-old Swiss watch industry may be a fleeting one. Apple Watch sales vary greatly — they were as low as 2.7 million in the second quarter of 2017 — whereas the Swiss watch industry exports have remained remarkably consistent, hovering between 5.7 million and 6.8 million every quarter.

“Apple has won the wearables game,” said Canalys’ senior analyst Jason Low. “Despite innovative designs, such as the rotating bezels and circular screens employed by other vendors, Apple has pulled far ahead as it continues to focus on its core iPhone user base.”

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