Apple’s record fourth quarter added up to a significant erosion in Android’s share of global smartphone profits, according to Strategy Analytics.
Android grabbed just 11.3 percent of worldwide smartphone profits, representing a sharp decline from the 29.5 percent it captured in the year-ago quarter. Apple saw its share of smartphone earnings jump to 88.7 percent, up annually from 70.5 percent.
While the iPhone raked in $18.8 billion in total profits, Android smartphone hauled in $2.4 billion.
“Apple iOS continues to tighten its grip on the smartphone industry. Apple’s strategy of premium products and lean logistics is proving hugely profitable. Android’s weak profitability for its hardware partners will worry Google,” Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston said in a statement.
Mawston said that if big OEMs like Samsung and Huawei can’t profit in the Android ecosystem, they may be more likely to turn to other platforms like Tizen.
The profit shift comes after a fourth quarter that saw both iOS and Android substantially increase total smartphone shipments. Apple’s iOS, again on the strength of two iPhones, boosted in total shipments to 74.5 million, up annually from 51 million. Android devices totals 291.7 million units shipped, up annually from 227.3 million.
As competition grows in the United States and China, Android OEM giants like Samsung have turned focus away from smartphones and toward emerging markets like the connected home and wearables.
Samsung, HTC, LG and more Android manufacturers are expected to roll out a wide range of new flagship devices and smartwatches at next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.