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  (Source: Art of the iPhone)
Cupertino electronics maker is profiting off its loyal customers open wallets

Research by fund market analysts Canaccord Genuity gave Apple, Inc. stock (AAPL) a "buy" rating and a price target of $356 per share.  What's more interesting, though is the details behind the recommendation.

The Cupertino, California-based electronics maker has an impressive profit margin compared to its competitors.  While this was a pretty commonly known fact, the analysts offer some intriguing numbers that reveal just how amazing Apple's profit margin is.

Apple in the first half of 2010 sold 17 million mobile handsets.  Samsung, LG, and Nokia sold 400 million handsets (this figure includes all phones, not just smartphones).  And other manufacturers sold 190 million handsets.  That means Apple produced roughly 2.8 percent of the mobile units sold in the first half of the year.

However, it made 39 percent of the mobile handset industry's total profit, while Samsung, Nokia, and LG posted a 32 percent cut of the total profit, and the remaining companies made a 29 percent cut.

Producing only roughly 3 percent of your industry's products, but making close to 40 percent of your industry's profit is virtually unheard of in any business.  But that's precisely what Apple is doing with the iPhone.

So why is the iPhone so profitable?  The answer is complex.  To start, because many customers are so enamored with the phone, AT&T has reportedly given Apple an extremely lucrative contract to grow its subscribers numbers.  Thus Apple makes much more pure profit per phone.

Apple also tends to feature slightly inferior hardware to its top-of-the line Android competitors.  For example, it tends to have a smaller screen, lacks a microSD expansion slot, etc.  And Apple is extremely aggressive in negotiating its manufacturing prices, pushing companies like Foxconn to deliver higher volumes at lower prices.

At the end of the day, Apple may make as much as $400 USD in profit -- or more -- off each iPhone.  By contrast Android smartphones tend to have much smaller margins.

What that means is that Apple should have plenty of cash on hand to invest in growing its business and improving its hardware to bring the fight to Android.  On the flip side, Google has a similarly lucrative market -- internet advertising – in which it remains virtually unchallenged.  Thus Google, too has a vast cash flow and the resources to make the fight in the smartphone operating system market a fierce one for the foreseeable future.

Of course, if these numbers are true, what they also mean is that Apple doesn't really 
need to win the smartphone war.  It merely needs to hang onto its current market share and keep raking in cash from its loyal customers.

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RE: ...
By Tony Swash on 9/25/2010 5:48:41 AM , Rating: 1
Lets see what this amounts to.

Item one relates to a law lawsuit from a disgruntled consumer. Nothing to do with Apple being anticompetitive.

Item two relates to a lawsuit about the exclusive deal between Apple and ATT in the US. So its really about a local US issue rather than Apple's global phone business and it relates to a condition (ATT exclusivity) that was something that ATT insisted on and not Apple. There is no evidence that this suit stands any chance of actually succeeding.

Item three relates to a possible interpretation of a possible EU action which might impact Apple. As the article says "The problem is that Apple can easily argue that it does not have a "dominant" position to abuse when it comes to the iPhone. And even the iPad, the new clear leader in the tablet industry could stake make similar claims". Looks like fluff to me but we shall see.

Item four relates to a lawsuit by a disgruntled consumer and has nothing to do with Apple being anticompetitive.

At one point it seemed as if there was a new suit against Apple every day.

That has no actual basis in truth and your belief in such stuff is probably the result of your own unhealthy Apple-phobia.

However, their own practices of limiting their software to their own hardware is in itself a form of monopoly. Just like you cannot get a computer not made by Apple to legally run their OS, you can't get a device not Apple branded to run iOS. Therefore, an entire market is controlled by Apple,

This is so silly that even a moments thought would reveal how ridiculous it is. Just substitute the name of any other company and see how much sense it makes.

"Ford is being uncompetitive because it won't allow other companies to manufacture Ford cars"

"Sony is a monopoly because it won't allow other companies to make PlayStations"

"Boeing slams Airbus for being uncompetitive because it won't give Boeing a licence to make Airbus380s"

Do you see how silly it is.

Apple can charge high prices for its products because people really, really want them and are willing to pay what it takes to get them. That simple explanation may be irritating to some but it is the simple truth of the matter.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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