Apple's share of profitability and revenue in the global smartphone market hit record levels in the second quarter of 2023, amid another down three-month period for the industry, a new study has shown.
The iPhone-maker was the single-largest contributor to profitability in the smartphone sector with 85 per cent, up from 81 per cent a year ago and 84 per cent from the first quarter, Counterpoint Research said in a report on Friday.
The share of revenue from the California-based company grew to 45 per cent, up by about 3 per cent from the second quarter of 2023, it said.
Both measures gave Apple a big lead over Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest mobile phone manufacturer, which had profit and revenue shares of 12 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively, Counterpoint said.
Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo all trailed the two market giants, with Samsung holding a significant gap between them.
Seoul-based Samsung, however, edged out Apple in shipments, holding a 20 per cent share in the second quarter compared to Apple's 17 per cent.
The record levels posted by Apple come amid global smartphone market revenue slipping under $90 billion in the three months ended June, which is down 8 per cent annually and 15 per cent on a quarterly basis, the Hong Kong-based research firm said.
That was the lowest figure for a second quarter since 2020, the period in which global lockdowns that disrupted supply and consumer chains were enforced as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, according to Counterpoint data.
“Apple’s shipments declined by 3 per cent year-on-year while the smartphone market declined by 9 per cent in the same period,” Jeff Fieldhack, research director at Counterpoint, wrote in the report.
“At the same time, its ASP [average selling price] increased thanks to a growing contribution of the Pro series, declining contribution of the SE series and the replacement of the Mini in iPhone 13 with a Plus in iPhone 14.”
The iPhone 14 Plus, with a 6.7-inch display, replaced the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini, as Apple sought to appeal to users seeking an iPhone with a screen size at par with the high-end Pro Max version, but who are on a budget or feel they do not need its premium features.
“As a result, while Apple’s iPhone revenue declined by 2 per cent annually, its revenue share grew, reaching a second-quarter record of 45 per cent,” Mr Fieldhack said.
Global smartphone shipments have declined as macroeconomic challenges and weak consumer demand have weighed on the sector.
“The low ASP growth is mainly due to seasonality as, for instance, the second quarter is equidistant from peak iPhone demand and new iPhone launch, and sees neither of Samsung’s ultra-premium S or Z-series launches,” said Tarun Pathak, a research director at Counterpoint.
Samsung last month launched the latest iterations of its Galaxy Z foldables, while Apple is slated to launch what is expected to be the iPhone 15 series in September.
“The annual revenue decline also translated into operating profit losses for the overall market. The sequential operating profit decline suffered additionally from a changing shipment-mix, especially as the shipment share of Apple, the single-biggest contributor to total operating profit, went down by almost 4 per cent quarter-on-quarter,” Mr Pathak said.
The smartphone market, however, is expected to recover in the second half of 2023, which would support the industry in a period when it traditionally deals with lower shipments.
“Despite ASP growth stagnating in the quarter, the premiumisation trend is likely to continue as emerging markets drive the next chapter of its growth and mid-tier brands target the premium segment and premium brands aim to sell more of their highest-priced models,” Counterpoint said.
Apple on Thursday reported that net profit for its fiscal third quarter rose 2.3 per cent annually to more than $19.8 billion, despite the company reporting a yearly drop in total sales. However, that was 17.7 per cent down on a quarterly basis.
Revenue dropped 1 per cent annually to nearly $81.8 billion during the quarter, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $81.6 billion. This was more than $13 billion less than the March quarter.
As a result, Apple on Friday lost its $3 trillion market capitalisation, as its shares fell 4.8 per cent, dragging its market cap down to about $2.85 trillion. The day’s decline, Apple’s largest since September, represented a drop of more than $160 billion in market value.