Aurora Magazine

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Is iPhone X Samsung’s most profitable product?

Updated Oct 12, 2017 04:48pm
Even if the new iPhone X has record-breaking sales, Samsung still pocket $110 for every unit sold!

Recently, a little boutique phone manufacturer called Apple made a few announcements. In case you missed them, here’s a summary – they announced three new iPhones: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are visually identical to last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Essentially, the only things different are better stereo speakers this time, a slight bump in battery capacity and an upgraded processor. It wouldn’t be entirely unfair to simply term them as iPhone 7s and 7s Plus.

The iPhone X, though, is a different beast altogether. It sports a brand new design, reducing the bezels (no, the term ‘bezel-less’ cannot accurately be applied to any phone), changing the aspect ratio of its 5.8-inch Super AMOLED screen to 18:9, and re-branding a new handicap as a ‘feature’ in typical Apple fashion: the notch at the top which houses the camera and the sensors cuts away into the screen. They also touted a new ‘Face ID’ feature (device unlocking through facial recognition) and they like it so much that they conveniently did away with the fingerprint sensor.


Dig a little deeper though, and you will realise that the iPhone X is essentially repackaged Samsung parts!


Now if you take away the notch and removal of the fingerprint scanner and read the above paragraph again, I may well have been describing the Samsung Galaxy S8!

Yes, the screen size, technology and the approach to design debuted on S8 and LG G6 six months ago. Dig a little deeper though, and you will realise that the iPhone X is essentially repackaged Samsung parts! Check this: the screen, the processor, the memory chips inside the iPhone X are all made by Samsung.

Don’t (want to) believe me, Apple fans? The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Samsung, as a corporate entity (not its mobile division), are set to earn $110 on every iPhone X that is sold, by virtue of its screen, DRAM, NAND memory and processor. Please don’t forget that Samsung are supplying all those parts, except the screen, for the ‘regular’ iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.) Apple’s 2017 line-up has been met with scepticism. iOS remains as fast and fluid as ever, but increasingly behind the times in terms of features. iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are likely to sell well simply because they are within the usual price range for new iPhones. iPhone X, though, crosses the $1,000 barrier and is squarely positioned as a ‘luxury’ device.

Given that the device hasn’t been released yet and is likely to face supply issues (real or created by Apple) and also the fact that the specs and features are as good – or worse – as Samsung’s $400 cheaper Galaxy S8, which has been in the market for months now and is proving to be immensely popular, we may see a slight dip in Apple’s usual stellar sales.

That may be a problem for Apple, but Samsung is laughing all the way to the bank. In case the iPhone X has record-breaking sales, Samsung still pockets $110 of profit. The more, the merrier!

In case it doesn’t, Samsung has not one, but three devices in three price and size classes for those who deem the iPhone X as too expensive: the Galaxy S8, S8+, and the newly-launched Note 8. Together, these devices mirror the size and positioning of the three iPhones, but are way cheaper and deliver more.

Samsung devices can also pair with Gear VR (virtual reality) headsets to deliver 3D movies, games and VR experiences; Apple have no such ecosystem. In addition, Samsung sets also have face recognition, fingerprint sensors and iris scanners: choose your poison!


The most likely scenario is that the three iPhones will sell extremely well, whereas the three Galaxies will also sell well but less than half the number of the iPhones. In a somewhat less likely scenario, the iPhones will suffer a dip in sales; that gap is most likely to be filled by Samsung’s cheaper and flashier Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note8.


I could go on and on, but the fact is that Apple users seldom look at, care about, or are even aware of, the other options available. They are the world’s most loyal customer base and any company, including Samsung, will like nothing more than to have even a fraction of that brand loyalty.

The most likely scenario is that the three iPhones will sell extremely well, whereas the three Galaxies will also sell well but less than half the number of the iPhones. In a somewhat less likely scenario, the iPhones will suffer a dip in sales; that gap is most likely to be filled by Samsung’s cheaper and flashier Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note8.

But most importantly: exactly in line with this piece I wrote six months ago, Samsung are set to emerge on top no matter which way the cookie crumbles!