Photograph by Feng Li — Getty Images
By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
February 26, 2015

As the results from the first full quarter of iPhone 6 sales come in, the strategy for which Apple was once widely criticized — protecting smartphone profit margins at the expense of market share — looks pretty smart.

In a release issued Thursday, Strategy Analytics reported that Apple took a record 88.7% share of worldwide smartphone operating profits in the December quarter, up from 70.5% in the same period last year.

Android’s share, meanwhile, fell from 29.5% to a record low 11.3%. (Microsoft, BlackBerry and Others aren’t even in the race.)

In Strategy Analytics’ write-up, it’s now Apple that plays the heavy:

Apple iOS continues to tighten its grip on the smartphone industry. Apple’s strategy of premium products and lean logistics is proving hugely profitable. Android’s weak profitability for its hardware partners will worry Google. If major smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung or Huawei, cannot make decent profits from the Android ecosystem, they may be tempted in the future to look at alternative platforms such as Microsoft, Tizen or Firefox.”

Below: Strategy Analytics’ spreadsheet.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple AAPL coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.


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