This chart shows why Apple is happy with its market share, and how Microsoft intends to grow

has just come out with a devastatingly simple chart that explains a ton about the mobile ecosystem as a whole. The chart itself breaks down the Q2 2014 smartphone shipments for each platform by price tiers. Some of the things you'll notice were obvious before, like the fact that Apple flat out doesn't ship low-end iOS devices. But, there is some other interesting info if you combine this chart with some other recent data.

For example, data from Strategy Analytics recently showed that Android makers shipped a total of 249.6 million smartphones in Q2. Given that Statista shows 19.82% of the Android ecosystem to be high-end, that adds up to about 49.47 million high-end Android smartphones. On the other hand, Apple shipped 35.2 million iPhones, and 84.6% of those were high-end, meaning about 29.8 million high-end devices. Given how many Android makers there are, and how many different high-end devices, it is pretty impressive that all of those devices only add up to 20 million more units than Apple alone. We have said many times that Apple and Google are playing different games, and this is the proof. Google wants market share, and Apple wants profits. So, Android may have about 85% of smartphone shipments, but Apple is still extremely competitive in the high-end market, which is where you find the majority of the profits. 

Of course, while the high-end market holds the profits, it has become essentially saturated, and the low-end market is where you find the growth opportunities. The majority of Windows Phone growth has come from that low-end, which is why Microsoft has been doubling down on those devices. The low-end market is how Android built itself up at first, and Microsoft is hoping to do the same with Windows Phone, which is why you see a very similar price tier breakdown between the two platforms. 

source: Statista



71. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Windows Phone is nothing more than a half-brained clone of iOS going nowhere. Everything positive in the media is paid for by Microsoft. Most of the positive WP users on the phone news sites are just paid for shills. And to top it off, the WP app store is just basically scamware, just like the total POS Win8 app store: "the app store in Windows 8 is easily one of the worst around - if not the worst among the mainstream options. It falls completely flat on its face when compared to Apple's App Store or Google's Play Store, and it takes little more than simply loading it up to understand where I'm coming from with that assessment. It's not entirely intuitive, the selection is subpar, and worse, scams and trickery are abundant."

50. gustavoace

Posts: 187; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Saying that $400+ is high end you put Nexus 5 on mid range and iphone 4s on high end.

69. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Nexus 5 32GB would be considered high-end, no? Anyway, the Nexus 5 is a high-end phone at a mid-range price, while the iPhone is a mid-range phone at a high-end price...

76. gustavoace

Posts: 187; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Exactly... high or low end is not related to the price (N5, OnePlus One, MX4)....

48. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

We can parrywords around anyway we want but, the term high end is becoming an abused definition. We can compare high end with high end and render a complete difference in what is considered high end. While the specifications claim only 16 percent of Android's marketshare is high end and Apple's is 11, the argument would surely perceive an interesting point. In reality, Apple doesn't have a low end. But, it also doesn't offer a high end. They offer one choice whether it was an older or new model. This doesn't necessarily equate to high end. Since Apple relies heavily on components manufactured by many of the companies in which also make devices. How is it Apple can make a far better profit off of a product with ohave her manufacturer parts than the manufacturer that sells it under its own name? Because Apple has historically, reused older technology of said manufacturers that has just reached its expiration threshold in what is considered new technology and sells it as "High End". In the end, a much higher percentage degree of consumers, are the basis of what creates a certain marketshare. The world percentage has chosen that a more financially economical approach for a phone or internet device is in the best interest. As an Ex-Apple user, I can safely say that Apple is happy with its position because only a small marketshare has made them extremely wealthy. The majority, however, would rather institute a more practical approach in getting more bang for the buck. If we look at even midrange handsets of say Google's Android, the specs are almost mirrored with Apple's high end. I'm not saying Apple is bad. I merely am stating that we must watch what we define in comparisons. John B.

79. mrochester

Posts: 1048; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Apple have the benefit of being able to get away with 'lesser' hardware because they put so much effort into the software and overall user experience. They also only make a few models, and make huge quantities of them, which affords them an economy of scale like no other. A good example of this concept in action is a comparison between my two phones; the iPhone 5S and the Moto G. They both have the same amount of RAM, yet the iPhone doesn't have to reload or redraw webpages, apps or the homescreen like the Moto G does. So you cannot just look at the hardware components when defining what is high, mid or low end as they only tell a tiny part of the story given the importance of software and optimisation. What should define high, mid and low end is the overall user-experience that is offered.

28. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Let's see how many fools continue to bash Apple on market share, when profit margin is their business model.

30. Timmons

Posts: 24; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

No doubt they do well and surely not trying to bash them

33. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

People love to attack them there, and it's not even what they're after bro. Google and apple play two different ball games, and both excellent at those games. I've always been impressed with both of them as companies. Guarantee though, the trolls will still do just that.

34. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

But don't you think that with the high end smartphone market saturating quickly in the West, and growth primarily coming from developing markets, Apple should at least try to capitalize on this growth with an ACTUAL budget iPhone?

42. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

they are trying, they are trying to sell older iphones at lower prices in those markets and they are the budget iphones in apple's view. they can make a new budget phone for those markets but that could cost them some of the existing iphone users because apple will no longer be a company that only sells expensive phones...and there is no guarantee that people will buy those inexpensive phones because they would still be more expensive than many android or windows phones....they can't make any new budget iphone that costs less than $499

43. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Sure I do, and they've probably considered that. They know more than we do bro. Good point +1

20. Timmons

Posts: 24; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

I feel that Microsoft will overtake apple in a few years as they seem hungrier and willing to change. It's got to be hard to try and fight in so many areas as they do. I say with some focus they will be just fine.

22. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I don't see that happening for one specific reason-people love Macs. So long as they're selling a good amount of macs I see apple continuously growing. And apples game plan with their ecosystem is brilliant. The way Macs and other apple products talk to each other is absolutely amazing. The average consumer just wants something as easy maintenance free as possible. When your phone carries over to your tv, tablet and Mac seemlessly, I think it's always going to grow.

25. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Macs are popular only in the US. Outside that country, they're considered a luxurious product. And Windows just rules the PC market. If MS can capitalize on that with WP and market it even more, they can succeed and who knows, maybe even overtake iOS one day.

26. mrochester

Posts: 1048; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

I've just bought myself a 15" rMBP to replace a 15" Windows laptop with one of the reasons being that Yosemite and iOS 8 will play so well together. It's great being in the Apple ecosystem.

31. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

I agree. If you're into one ecosystem, like Apple's, there's no reason to buy a WP or Windows PC. Same for me. I love using MS' products on my WP and Windows laptop. Android users should also stick into Google's ecosystem with their mobile OS and laptop OS as well.

41. wilsong17 unregistered

Don't need too cut android play well with most os

32. sgodsell

Posts: 7677; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The other thing is if people have bought into a particular ecosystem. Then you would 1) have to find the same apps if they even have them on the new platform. 2) have to purchase them again on the new platform. 3) find and use similar, if not the same services on the new platform. With those three things its going to be very hard for anyone to change over to a new platform if even just 1 or all of those things occur.

14. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Excellent article and analysis Michael.

13. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

Im not surprised by this graph.

9. timezone

Posts: 87; Member since: Jun 16, 2013

The windows smartphone has a bright future. It is a great OS and the Nokia phones are super

15. lolatfailphones

Posts: 224; Member since: Apr 08, 2013

Super crappy*

19. Timmons

Posts: 24; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

You mean in your opinion right?

17. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Yeah right.....Bright future with a declining market share.

18. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

I hope they could make a big changes and growth with the advent of WP 9. Considering since the WP7, there's no any big changes on the ui element in WP.

23. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Still brighter than your future.

29. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

No one knows the future including you, unless you're a time traveler.

36. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

lel...butthurt ? xD Did I got your nerve there ? haha..

38. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Let me take this moment to correct you, you wanna say lol, not lel. And why are you interested in my "nerve"? Its like the 10th time you've mentioned it in a reply to me!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless