No question that Apple is sitting on a pile of cash (much of which is going into building a new headquarters), has a wider profit margin, and commands a premium price for its products from its legion hard-core fans. That said many iPhone users are not hard-core fans, but are simply looking for the best product at a pricepoint. As the value/price ratio falls, I would expect a lot of them to shift to Samsung or other lower-cost phones that offer the same or better features, particularly as two-year service contracts expire in the lucrative North American market. Apple investors apparently agree...the stock is trading at about $447 now, up slightly from its 52-week low of $385, but a long way from the $705 they commanded in September 2012.
Can Apple come up with another industry leading product to sustain its once-proud image as the leading industry innovator? Or is it slowly drifting downward into a heads-on competition with Samsung and other manufacturers, resulting in much tighter margin?
Thanks, Peter. It is very good information. No doubt Samsung is leading the revenue and market share. Apple iPhone still has the highest profit margin among all the other competitors'.
Apple might be worried about the seemingly sliding of market share. However, number of iPhone shipment is still increasing. Management may not be worried too much. After all, Apple has a group of fans that will own Apple products and nothing else. In addition, Apple seems to be playing a hi-end luxury product strategy in the electronic market. The closest parallel is BMW vs KIA. Neither is necessarily better than the other. They just belong to different market segments.
In trips to Asia last year I saw Samsung's big displays making headway in the market for the top-end fashionista phone.
I don't know if Sammi can continue to dominate at the top or if Apple will take it back with some iPhone 6 or 7 cool thing, but I suspect the spectrum of what radical new stuff you can do at the high end will narrow over time.
In any case, I think Samsung's strategy of making a broad portfolio will ultimately leave Apple and its one-high-end-model approach in the dust.
Yes, hence my point about margins. They can't carry on with such high margins strategy with the iphones as Android phones are bridging the quality gap with cheaper products. Apple have to bring something disruptive and start it all over again. They have done it in the past, I hope they can do it again as they seem to be the only company capable of doing so these days :-|
You have to bear in mind that Samsung made its $5.2 billion profit on 107 million mobile phones shipped in 2Q13 while Apple made its $4.6 billion profit on just 31.2 million phones shipped in the same period.
So Apple leads in profit per phone shipped.
I make it about $50 Samsung phone and $150 per Apple iPhone.
Hardly surprising given the quality price ratio, Samsung's smartphone beat Apple's hands down. If Apple want to continue with their high margin strategy, they have to come with something new and exciting.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.