Global tech giant Apple's average profit per handset was $151 (roughly Rs. 9,600) in the July-September quarter, five times more than that of its closest rival Samsung, according to research firm Counterpoint.
Samsung, which had one of the highest number of models across price bands in its portfolio, had a profit per unit of $31 (roughly Rs. 1,900) in the same period, Counterpoint said in its 'Market Monitor program for Q3 2017' report. The report noted that the global mobile handset profits had grown 13 percent year-on-year in the July-September 2017 quarter "due to strong performance of Samsung and Chinese brands".
"Apple's per unit profit is five times higher than Samsung and approximately 14 times higher than the average per unit profit of Chinese brands. Apple's per unit profit stood at $151 (roughly Rs. 9600) in Q3 2017," the report said.
"Samsung made a strong comeback in the third quarter with its Galaxy Note 8 series while S8 series continues to perform on par. The profit share reached 26 percent as compared to its loss during Q3 2016 due to Note 7 debacle," it added.
Huawei witnessed highest profit growth of 67 percent y-o-y in the said quarter due to its portfolio expansion across price bands.
"Chinese brands like Huawei, Oppo and Vivo are all performing similar in terms of profits per unit, each having an average per unit profit of $15 (Rs.961), $14 (Rs. 897) and $13 (Rs. 833), respectively," the report said.
However, Xiaomi - when compared with its Chinese peers - had a lower per unit profit of $2 (Rs. 128) as it plays on very thin margins, the report said.
Apple accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total profits generated in mobile handset segment, followed by Samsung (26 percent) and Huawei (4.9 percent). Oppo and Vivo captured fourth and fifth spot, mainly driven by their performance in China.
"This is the first time ever when the cumulative profits of Chinese brands crossed $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 9600 crores) for the first in a single quarter," Counterpoint Associate Director Tarun Pathak said.
He added that usually all the profits have been shared by just two brands - Samsung and Apple.
"The growth of Chinese brands can be attributed to the diligent efforts in streamlining the supply chain with rising mix of mid to high-end smartphones in their portfolio," he said adding that even in the premium segment, players like Huawei are positioning their flagship models.
"This strategy is designed to penetrate premium market while maximising revenue and profit," he noted.
Counterpoint Research Director Neil Shah said Apple still generates more than $150 (roughly Rs. 9600) profit per iPhone sold and this will continue to grow into the holiday season quarter, buoyed by the high price iPhone X series.
"Our recent channel checks across key Apple markets showed, the demand for the 256GB version of iPhone X is higher which will boost Apple's profits even higher," he added.
In India, the MRP of Apple iPhones ranges between Rs. 26,000 to Rs. 1.02 lakh. The high-end iPhone X is available from Rs. 89,000 onwards.