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Smartphone Models in the US$191-299 Wholesale Price Band Are an Important Revenue Source Globally

by Juha Winter | 4月 02, 2019

In the fourth quarter of 2018, Apple had 6 out 10 most revenue-generating smartphone models in the world, repeating a pattern that has been visible each quarter since Q4’17, as reported by Strategy Analytics’ Smartphone Model Tracker (SMT) service. The increase in the number of active iPhone models in Apple’s portfolio during the past two years has served to spread the shipments, but also the revenue, across a larger number of models than before. This means that not only the latest three iPhones, the XR, the Xs, and the Xs Max, appear in the top-10, but also the previous generation’s three models: the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X. The iPhone XR alone was responsible for an incredible 15 percent of total smartphone revenue globally in Q4’18. With the ASPs of these high-end smartphones having set new records for Apple itself and the industry as a whole, it’s no wonder Apple captures the largest share of global smartphone revenue, a little under 50 percent as of Q4’18.

Besides the iPhones mentioned, which other models are major revenue generators globally? Looking at the top-10, there’s Samsung that has three models there, namely the Galaxy Note 9, the S9, and the S9+. Huawei rounds out the list with its Mate 20 Pro. It’s also worth noting that with the exception of the S9 / S9+ which have a wholesale ASP in the US$500-599 price range, all of these devices belong to the US$600+ price tier, the so-called ultra high end.

An interesting question is, particularly for vendors other than Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, whether you can earn major revenue outside of the high end, i.e., with devices in lower price tiers. According to the research published by SMT, it turns out that certain models in the US$191-299 wholesale price tier are major revenue generators on their own, even though the revenue share of that particular price tier as a whole, and also the number of models in that price tier, is not quite so big. For example, the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) as well as the Huawei Nova 3, available in many markets, each earned more than a billion US dollars’ worth of revenue in Q4’18. Looking a bit further down the list, the Oppo R15, the Oppo F9, and Huawei Nova 3e each earned between 600 and 800 million US dollars in revenue also in Q4’18. However, some of the even cheaper models such as the Samsung Galaxy J6+ and J4+, in the US$100-190 wholesale price tier, beat all of the mid-range models mentioned above in terms of revenue generated.

Interested in seeing how different smartphone vendors and models occupy the different price tiers and what their shipments, revenue, and wholesale ASP are? Then refer to the report Global Top-500 Smartphone Revenue, Value Share, ASP, and Price Band by Model: Q4 2018, available to clients of our SMT service.

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