3 of the World’s Top 4 Most Profitable Smartphone Vendors are Currently Chinese

Apple remains unperturbed at the top taking virtually all the profit there is to be made in the smartphone industry


In the third quarter of this year, the smartphone industry generated profits amounting to $9.4 billion.

Not surprisingly, the lion’s share of the profits made in the smartphone industry went to only one player, Apple.

Apple registered $8.5 billion from sales of its iPhones in Q3 2016 according to the latest statistics from Strategy Analytics. That represents 91% of all profits realised in the same period. The company released its latest iPhones, the 7 and 7 Plus, in Q3 and as such, given the demand the iPhone usually generates in its first few months of being available in the market, this was expected.

What was not expected, however, was the hold of the top four slots by Chinese device makers. The trio, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo have been in the top 5 smartphone vendors list since the first quarter of the year when Oppo and Vivo pulled a surprise and displaced two other Chinese companies, Xiaomi and Lenovo from the top 5.

Huawei is the world’s most profitable Android vendor for the first time ever

Huawei leads the pack and as such is the most profitable Android device maker as it took home 2.4% of all profits made from sales of smartphones worldwide. Compatriots Oppo and Vivo round up the top 4 list. The latter two’s profits are attributed to their competitive pricing and increase in shipment volumes in the Asian region where they dominate.

Vivo is a household name in China where it continues to dazzle the market with innovative products that push the boundaries of industrial design and engineering. The company is currently the holder of the ‘maker of the world’s thinnest smartphone’ title and has previously held other titles to boot as well. Oppo, on the other hand, has been slowly expanding its presence globally with the company making a long term play in emerging markets like here in Kenya where it started selling its smartphones in 2015.

An efficient supply chain, sleek products and effective marketing are what is being attributed to Huawei’s dominance among Android device makers.

Huawei appears to have benefited immensely from Samsung’s fallout from consumer’s good graces that was occasioned by its decision to withdraw from the market its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone which had been plagued by reports of fires and explosions to the few customers who had early access to the device.

The Note 7 was intended to go ahead of the iPhone 7 in the market and turn tables against Apple but that was never to be. As a result, Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone vendor, is nowhere to be seen in the top of the charts as is compatriot LG which also released a new flagship smartphone, the LG V20, in the same period.

The profits realised by all the Android OEMs combined are not a match to the juggernaut that is Apple’s money-making machine, the iPhone. This is testament to the struggles that most have been undergoing as profits made from sales of smartphones tanked as it was the case with both Sony and LG, notable longtime Android device makers.


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