Apple sold more iOS devices in Q4 2011 than all Androids combined, reclaims No.1 smartphone maker spot

Apple has just reported its results for the fourth quarter of 2011, and records have been broken. Again.

Following a pretty bland Q3, when everything was up compared to 2010, but some numbers were down compared to Q2, the company has delivered some very impressive sales, revenue, and profit numbers – most undoubtedly having to do with the launch of the iPhone 4S. It was the first time when Apple moved its new phone launch to Q4, and the first time when it let more than a year pass between phone releases. And that shows. Apparently there was a lot of pent-up demand for a new Apple phone. And that all turned into record sales, even from the first weekend.

So what are the numbers? Apple has sold 37.04 million iPhones in Q4, which is 117% more than last quarter, and 128% more year-on-year. At that rate, Apple has probably just become the No.1 smartphone maker in the world again. That was a position it first held during the second quarter of 2011 (after Nokia’s infamous February 11 Windows Phone announcement torpedoed its smartphone sales in the short term), but lost in Q3 to Samsung. In Q4, Samsung is expected to have sold around 35 million smartphones, and that’s according to pretty optimistic analysts. So if that’s the case, then Apple is clearly No.1 once again – as there’s no other manufacturer even close to these numbers at the moment.

Equally interesting is the fact that Apple sold more iOS devices in Q4 2011 than all Android devices combined. Google recently reported that 60 million new Android devices were activated during the quarter. But Apple sold 62 million iOS units during the same period.

So one company, with exactly six products on the market (the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3 GS, iPad, iPad 2, and iPod touch), managed to outsell the myriad of companies selling dozens (if not hundreds) of different Android gadgets. That’s an astonishing accomplishment.

But don’t expect this to continue. It has been an interesting quarter, but the numbers are so heavily influenced by the iPhone 4S launch (and, apparently, how eager people were to give Apple their money after one year and a half without a new phone launch) that we’ll have to wait a quarter or two to see if there really is a trend here (and Apple really can overtake Android) or this was just an exception.

Apple has kept its lead over Android in the ‘overall sales’ category, having sold 315 million iOS devices since the original iPhone was introduced in 2007. Google recently reported that it has activated just 250 million Android devices so far. Whether or not Google will be able to reduce that difference is again up to how Apple will do in the following few quarters. If what we’ve seen in Q4 2011 is the start of a trend, then clearly it won’t. If not though, Google may overtake Apple in this metric at some point – though it’s looking to be a lot harder after seeing these numbers than it felt like a few months ago.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple’s revenue grew to $46.33 billion (63% more than the previous quarter, and up 79% YoY) and its net profit to $13.06 billion (up 97% from Q3 and 117% YoY). The company’s gross margin was 44.7%, compared to 38.5% one year ago. International sales accounted for 58% of the quarter’s revenue.

According to Apple, the US and Japan were markets where sales were particularly good in the last three months of last year, with China pretty strong too (where the iPhone 4S wasn’t even available yet). Speaking of China, the biggest gift-giving holiday over there has started a couple of days ago, and the iPhone 4S is now available (launched strategically to capture those sales, of course). So do expect Apple’s numbers for the first quarter of 2012 to be heavily influenced by sales of the iPhone 4S in China.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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  • Anonymous

    nice Apple bias you have there.

    “Apple has probably just become the No.1 smartphone maker in the world again”

    Apple sold how many in 2011? 

    Samsung sold *over 300 million smartphones in 2011*, closing in on the days when Nokia sold over 400 million annually.

    http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/samsung-sells-300-million-phones-in-2011-1047149 

    i don’t think Apple has ever sold more smartphones than Nokia or Samsung.  but feel free to show us when Apple sold, say, 200 million iPhones and *maybe* that would come *close* to the real market leaders.

    “Google recently reported that 60 million new Android devices were activated during the quarter. But Apple sold 62 million iOS units during the same period.”

    not bad for Android considering Apple launched a year earlier with it’s first iOS device in 2007. i’d say either Apple were slowing down, or Google were speeding up, because that 12 month difference isn’t proportional to the stats that show them much closer than the time difference would suggest. 

    that minor advantage in *one quarter* isn’t something to be proud of when Apple had a 12 month head-start.

    “So one company, with exactly six products on the market (the iPhone 4S,
    iPhone 4, iPhone 3 GS, iPad, iPad 2, and iPod touch), managed to outsell
    the myriad of companies selling dozens (if not hundreds) of different
    Android gadgets. That’s an astonishing accomplishment.”

    less astonishing considering iOS and Android didn’t release the same time: this is not an equal comparison here.

    none of these stats change the fact that Android is the global market leader in mobile OS’s, even though it launched a full year after Apple’s first iOS device in 2007:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2396404,00.asp 

    world leader in less time since Apple’s iOS launched? That’s an astonishing accomplishment.

    also, let’s remember Apple’s litigation all over the planet attempting to slow down Android’s global market dominance by blocking innovation instead of making great products.

    Android innovates, and Apple litigates.

  • Anonymous

    nice Apple bias you have there.

    “Apple has probably just become the No.1 smartphone maker in the world again”

    Apple sold how many in 2011? 

    Samsung sold *over 300 million smartphones in 2011*, closing in on the days when Nokia sold over 400 million annually.

    http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/samsung-sells-300-million-phones-in-2011-1047149 

    i don’t think Apple has ever sold more smartphones than Nokia or Samsung.  but feel free to show us when Apple sold, say, 200 million iPhones and *maybe* that would come *close* to the real market leaders.

    “Google recently reported that 60 million new Android devices were activated during the quarter. But Apple sold 62 million iOS units during the same period.”

    not bad for Android considering Apple launched a year earlier with it’s first iOS device in 2007. i’d say either Apple were slowing down, or Google were speeding up, because that 12 month difference isn’t proportional to the stats that show them much closer than the time difference would suggest. 

    that minor advantage in *one quarter* isn’t something to be proud of when Apple had a 12 month head-start.

    “So one company, with exactly six products on the market (the iPhone 4S,
    iPhone 4, iPhone 3 GS, iPad, iPad 2, and iPod touch), managed to outsell
    the myriad of companies selling dozens (if not hundreds) of different
    Android gadgets. That’s an astonishing accomplishment.”

    less astonishing considering iOS and Android didn’t release the same time: this is not an equal comparison here.

    none of these stats change the fact that Android is the global market leader in mobile OS’s, even though it launched a full year after Apple’s first iOS device in 2007:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2396404,00.asp 

    world leader in less time since Apple’s iOS launched? That’s an astonishing accomplishment.

    also, let’s remember Apple’s litigation all over the planet attempting to slow down Android’s global market dominance by blocking innovation instead of making great products.

    Android innovates, and Apple litigates.

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Please do get your facts straight before callig out others.

    Samsung may sell 300 mil phones (as in dumbphones and smartphones) in 2011. It ship ;ess then 100 mil smartphones this year. And even the most optimistic forecast have it ship 35mil in Q4.

    And, unless Samsung ships way more then even the most optimistic estimates – it will ship less smartphones then Apple shipped for the full year 2011. But we will not really know for sure anyway. Since Samsung does not dare to report these numvers anymore, having decided to hide them for some reason half a year ago:
    http://www.unwiredview.com/2011/07/29/samsung-q2-2011-no-more-then-15-65m-smartphones-shipped-its-still-3-behind-apple-and-nokia/
    Apple sold more smartphones then samsung every year and every quarter since iPhone launched. With one exception – Q3 2011. (Well, maybe in 2007 situation was different) but we are talking recent history.

    And Apple shipped more smartphones then Nokia since Q2 2011, and will, most likely, ship more smartphones then Nokia for the full year 2011.

  • Anonymous

    “Samsung may sell 300 mil phones (as in dumbphones and smartphones) in
    2011. It ship ;ess then 100 mil smartphones this year. And even the most
    optimistic forecast have it ship 35mil in Q4.”

    wait, you’re confusing yourself here.

    do you admit Samsung sold 300 million phones (regardless what type, it’s Apple’s choice to limit their range) in 2011 or not? because you can’t then say:

     “It ship ;ess (sic) then 100 mil smartphones this year.”

    which year, THIS year of 2012 that just started ?

    dispute it if you want, Samsung sold ~280 million phones in 2010, and over 300 million in 2011:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/11/us-korea-samsung-idUSTRE7BA04320111211 

    Apple sold less than 30 million in 2009:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2010/02/23/gartner-iphone-sales-double-in-2009-as-apple-claims-third-place-in-smartphone-sales/ 

    Apple sold less than 40 million for financial year 2010, and less than 73 million financial year 2011:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:IPhone_sales_per_quarter_simple.svg

    “Apple sold more smartphones then samsung every year and every quarter since iPhone launched”

    really?

    care to show us where Apple sold more than 280 million phones in 2011? because that’s what Samsung sold. where’s your source for this outlandish claim?

    also, let’s not take your optimistic claims about Apple’s superior sales and make it about competing against one competitor, remember you yourself said it was “astonishing” how Apple competes with so little range of devices against so many other companies and their devices.

    so quit trying to make this a focused attack on nokia or Samsung.

    Apple competes against them all, and it isn’t as successful as you claim. any of my shared sources reveal you are using impressively creative maths of the present to generalize to entertain the idea Apple have been on top for years.

    which is blatantly not true.

    i back my assertions with sources, but i don’t see you doing likewise with your replies.

    “And Apple shipped more smartphones then Nokia since Q2 2011, and will,
    most likely, ship more smartphones then Nokia for the full year 2011.

    Nokia are quite irrelevant since they sold out to Microsoft, Nokia don’t sell nearly half a billion annually anymore since that deal. 

    you need to compare against all the competitors, or the nearest competitor, and that’s Android. cherry-picking individual competitors to make Apple look bigger is poor journalism and flatly biased.

    have a look at a video response i made to refute Apple’s claims from their own WWDC 2011:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8W_JEDwqnA&list=UUuGpw7Z2sasUFFpEtlhuLLg&index=3&feature=plcp#t=42m10s

    here i show that Apple fudge their numbers and that Apple is nowhere near as much a “leader” as much as Apple and people like you seem to think.

  • Anonymous

    you moron.  Samsung sold 300M PHONES, NOT SMART-PHONES.  BIG difference.  Most of those were chep throw-away flip phones, NOT Smartphones.

    You are too stupid to live.  Jump off a bridge.

  • Anonymous

    Android isn’t a competitor.  Android doesn’t make phones.  Why should one phone maker have to compete against ALL others just because they all decided to use the same copy-cat OS?

  • Asd

    Android innovates? Don’t make me laugh, Android is a cheap copy of iOS.

  • Anonymous

    same copycat OS?

    motoblur, kindle, nook, touchwiz, htc Sense, etc all copycat Android OS’s ? 

    try against n with some evidence next time you want to accuse ?

  • Anonymous

    really? 

    how’s that “notification center” doing you? looks a lot like Android’s status bar eh?

  • Anonymous

    “Apple has kept its lead over Android in the ‘overall sales’ category, having sold 315 million iOS devices since the original iPhone was introduced in 2007″ 

    if the article’s author can quote numbers including devices that aren’t smartphones, so can i. 

    i didn’t even count tablets and other devices sych as music players ,etc like Apple count them in their “iOS sales”. 

    big difference eh ?

  • Anonymous

    “Apple has kept its lead over Android in the ‘overall sales’ category, having sold 315 million iOS devices since the original iPhone was introduced in 2007″ 

    if the article’s author can quote numbers including devices that aren’t smartphones, so can i. 

    i didn’t even count tablets and other devices sych as music players ,etc like Apple count them in their “iOS sales”. 

    big difference eh ?

  • Ahmedjan87

    Why dont you just shoot your self and cut.it short youre blinded with the fact that android is available before iphone os ever existed.(yes before 2007) but google didnt own it back then look on wikipedia

  • Ahmedjan87

    Why dont you just shoot your self and cut.it short youre blinded with the fact that android is available before iphone os ever existed.(yes before 2007) but google didnt own it back then look on wikipedia

  • Ahmedjan87

    Exactly
    android varies from maker to another if not from phone to phone so it doesnt make sense to say its a cheap copy (as some people say) of the iOS

  • Anonymous

    In Q4: Samsung 35 million + HTC 10 million + Huawei 6 million + Motorola 5.3 million + Sony 5 million + ZTE 4.7 million = TOTAL 66 million… 

    66 million is bigger than 37 million… so combined, Android continues to outsell Apple’s iPhone… the Samsung 35 million is an analyst estimate. Samsung revised sales to above estimates so it could be higher. Samsung reports this Friday… but no matter what it is, Android still outsells iPhone by a large margin… so the title of the article is flat out WRONG! 

  • Anonymous

    Oh please… you never used Android then… the fact is that Android innovates while Apple copies… like the Android notifications, OTA and cloud services and soon faceunlock… all Apple knows how to do is copy copy copy… even the original iPhone was a copy from LG like the Mac UI was from Xerox… they haven’t invented a single thing that is Apple continues to lose their garbage lawsuits…sheesh…

  • Anonymous

    You are the moron… 
    In Q4: Samsung 35 million + HTC 10 million + Huawei 6 million + Motorola 5.3 million + Sony 5 million + ZTE 4.7 million = TOTAL 66 million…  

    66 million is bigger than 37 million… and most of the Apple growth came in the US where they are full of morons like you….

  • Anonymous

    @f8308de0932dd186a6135c32ce366677:disqus

    Not sure what you’re implying.

    are you saying that Android was available on devices like phones before Google launched it in 2008 ? because you should know it wasn’t.

    Android was bought by Google, but before then it wasn’t on any devices, let alone phones.

    so i’m not sure what relevance that is to launching 12 months later than iOS ?

  • Anonymous

    exactly.

    and so what if it is similar or even exactly the same on every device, i don’t see Apple taking crap for making iOS the same on all their mobile devices, so why should Android be any different when talking about sales numbers?

    what’s the relevance of the similarities when we’re talking about market share ?

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Samsung 35 million – yes, it is an estimate, and a very (too) optimistic, IMHO. And, what’s more, not all Samsung Smartphones run Android. They also have Bada and Windows Phones. 
    Any source for Huawei and ZTE numbers? They do seem a bit high.

    Our comparison was between all iOS devices sold – which includes iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Which was comapred to the official number of Android devices activated in Q4, as provided by Google in their Q4 earnings call – 60 million

     

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Samsung 35 million – yes, it is an estimate, and a very (too) optimistic, IMHO. And, what’s more, not all Samsung Smartphones run Android. They also have Bada and Windows Phones. 
    Any source for Huawei and ZTE numbers? They do seem a bit high.

    Our comparison was between all iOS devices sold – which includes iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Which was comapred to the official number of Android devices activated in Q4, as provided by Google in their Q4 earnings call – 60 million