Apple registered one more win over other operating systems after a new report indicated that iOS was eight times more profitable than Google’s Android in the fourth quarter. Apple’s iOS is backed by premium priced products and a comparatively low-manufacturing cost.
Numbers again favoring Apple
Smartphone operating profit for the iPhone maker came in at $18.7 billion during the fourth quarter, outpacing Android’s $2.3 billion, according to data from consulting firm Strategy Analytics.
In total, the smartphone operating profit surged 31% globally to $21 billion last quarter. Google’s Android hardware vendors grabbed only around 11% share in the overall profitability, a drop from 29% last year, while iOS captured a record high of 89%, an increase from 71% a year ago, according to a report.
Android and Apple are the supreme powers in the world of mobile operating systems, outperforming rival operating systems from Microsoft and BlackBerry. Earlier this week, data from IDC claimed that Android and iOS took a 96.3% share of the operating system market during the fourth quarter, an increase from 95.6% in the previous year.
Low profit could trigger a shift
Despite a strong fourth quarter for Apple, Android has been able to marginally outperforme the market by shipments in fiscal 2014. Android took the game away from Apple by offering its operating system platform on lower-priced platforms, especially in developing regions. Apple, on the other hand, has thrived on premium priced products, including stronger-than-expected demand for the iPhone 6 Plus.
“Apple’s strategy of premium products and lean logistics is proving hugely profitable,” Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Thursday.
Mawtson noted that Apple’s comparative profit should stand as a concern to Google, adding, “Android’s weak profitability for its hardware partners will worry Google.” Mawston noted that if companies such as Samsung continue to earn lower profits from the Android operating ecosystem, they could shift toward alternative platforms such as Microsoft, Tizen or Firefox.
Samsung has been the leader in Android-based smartphones, but in recent times, the Korean company has been struggling to generate profits. For the fourth quarter, the company posted a 64% drop in operating profit for its IT and Mobile Communications division, which includes smartphones.