John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple: The World’s Largest Handset Vendor By Revenue

Another milestone for Apple. It became the world’s largest handset vendor by revenue in the first quarter of 2011, overtaking Nokia to claim that title.

Astonishingly, it took just four years.

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, Apple’s wholesale revenues from the iPhone hit $11.9 billion for the quarter, exceeding those of Nokia, whose aggregated total revenues from smartphones, feature phones and basic phones combined was $9.4 billion.

Nokia shipped 108.5 million handsets in the first quarter of 2011, while Apple shipped 18.6 million iPhones. How did it manage to surpass the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer in handset revenues?

Foremost, by focusing on the high-margin, premium segment of the handset market. Strategy Analytics estimates Apple’s global wholesale average selling price for the iPhone was about $638 in Q1 2011–some seven times greater than the ASP for Nokia’s various handsets, which it figures was $87. But there were other contributing factors as well: the iPhone’s iconic brand, its usability, the strength and appeal of the iOS platform on which it runs and the services portfolio it offers through iTunes and the App Store.

Those factors will continue to serve Apple well in the years ahead, though whether they’ll be enough to sustain its lead in the face of a fast-growing installed base of Android smartphones and Nokia’s new partnership with Microsoft remains to be seen.