Apple picked up 93 per cent of all of the industry’s profits in the mobile space in Q4 of 2014, according to an analyst – and in three years, it’ll probably hit 650 million users, or one-third of all smartphone owners.
On Monday, Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley said he was raising his price target on Apple from $135 up to $145, based on the performance of the iPhone 6 and his prediction it’s only going to continue to do well, according to a story from Barrons.
Here’s what he had to say:
“We believe the strong iPhone 6 replacement sales should continue during C’15, as we estimate only 15% of the current estimated 404M iPhone installed base has upgraded to the new devices. We also anticipate continued strong share gains for the larger screen iPhones from high-tier Android smartphones during C’15 driving strong growth in the iPhone installed base and model the iPhone installed base growing to 487M subscribers exiting C’15 up 20% Y/Y. Longer term, we anticipate a gradually moderating rate of growth for the installed base from C’16 through C’18 and estimate 650M iPhone users exiting C’18. We note this base would only represent 1/3rd of an estimated 1.82B global premium smartphone subscribers anticipated by C’18. Finally, we anticipate steady long-term iPhone replacement sales within this growing iPhone installed base, and we believe this combined with our modest installed base growth expectations position Apple for steady sales of roughly 210M-215M iPhone units annually between C2015 to C2018.”
For any other smartphone vendor, there’s no doubt things are pretty brutal. Apple’s closest rival, Samsung, only scooped up a sliver of the profit, with other vendors either making no profits at all or going into negative margins.
While it might be hard to imagine one vendor dominating all the rest in the hyper-competitive mobile industry in just three years, maybe it shouldn’t be all that surprising. At the end of January, Apple posted its most profitable quarter on record – and perhaps of any public company, period – with about $18 billion in profit. The sight of those numbers, plus the company’s potential to take over the smartphone market in just three years, may be the catalyst forcing the major players in the Android ecosystem together.
Even so, if Canaccord Genuity’s Walkley is right, other vendors will have to really pull something spectacular to compete.
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