A supply chain disruption may have caused Apple to lose up to $9 billion in revenue for its Q1 2023 quarter, but the company registered the highest-ever operating profit share for any smartphone firm in 2022. With an 85 percent share, the company dwarfs its closest rival, Samsung too.
Apple also surpassed Samsung with the highest smartphone shipments in Q4 2022 thanks to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max launch
Overall, Counterpoint Research comments that the smartphone market saw a decline of 18 percent year-over-year, with total shipments reaching 304 million units in Q4 2022. Apple actually beat Samsung in this quarter with a larger shipment tally at 70 million units, but global shipments saw a decline of 12 percent, reaching 1.2 billion units, which is the lowest since 2013. Global smartphone revenue also saw a decline, with a 9 percent reduction to $409 billion, which is the lowest since 2017.
Regardless, Apple weathered the storm, and despite its chief assembling partner having to temporarily shutter its primary plant due to rising COVID-19 cases, it managed to have the highest operating profit share. This is what Counterpoint Research Director Jeff Fieldhack had to say about the company’s performance.
“Having proficiently managed its production problems, Apple was able to weather a year already marred by economic and geopolitical turmoil better than other major smartphone players. Its iPhone Pro series continued performing well and its share of iPhone shipments could have been even higher if not for the production issues caused by the COVID-19 breakout at the Zhengzhou factory, which produces the vast majority of Pro series volumes. As a result, some Pro series volumes got pushed to January.”
As for the overall market dynamics, Senior Analyst Harmeet Singh Walia stated that the war in Ukraine, coupled with inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty, lowered consumer sentiment for the entire 2022, forcing them to rethink their expenditures while preventing unnecessary smartphone upgrades. There has been a decline in the consumer’s purchasing power, and Counterpoint Research believes that the smartphone market might remain under pressure until H2 2023.
As for Q4 2023, Apple intends to bring more exclusive features to its upcoming iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra to get more customers to upgrade to them. This will help the technology giant generate more revenue as a result and command a higher average selling price (ASP) for each unit sold.