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Apple earned 66% of the entire smartphone market's profits in 2019

Apple's iPhone 11

Research claims that while the entire market's smartphone profits declined by around a tenth in 2019, Apple continued to dominate with 66% of all profits and the nearest competitor being Samsung on just 17%.

The global profits from cell phone sales fell by 11% in the third quarter of 2019, earning companies an estimated total of $12 billion. Apple has again dominated those profits, though, earning a reported 66% or almost $8 billion. When compared to revenue instead of profits, Apple remains in the lead with 32%.

According to Counterpoint Research, the remaining 34% of profits was chiefly divided between Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiami. Of all of these, Samsung was the closest to Apple, but it only earned 17% of the profits.

These figures are broadly similar to 2018's, and like that year's, doesn't include companies that didn't turn a profit. But, 2019 marks growth for Samsung, which Counterpoint ascribes chiefly to the launch of the Galaxy Note 10 Series.

The research firm believes the overall decline in smartphone profits in the last quarter is because premium smartphones are facing greater competition from mid-tier devices.

Counterpoint also reports that Chinese brands are expanding outside China, and that they are providing flagship phones at more affordable prices. These firms are also said to be looking at providing an ecosystem that includes financial services.

The most profitable smartphone handset companies. (Source: Counterpoint)
The most profitable smartphone handset companies. (Source: Counterpoint)

The ability of Chinese firms to increase their profits has been hampered, however, by users holding on their devices for longer — and Apple introducing price cuts and trade-ins.

The company believes that Apple's ecosystem is strong enough to guarantee it steady revenue for years, but also that it will see increased profits this holiday season with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.