Intangible assets and value capture in global value chains: the smartphone industry

Economic Research Working Paper No. 41

Author(s): Jason Dedrick, Kenneth L. Kraemer | Publication year: 2017

This report uses data on individual smart phones as well as industry data to identify which smartphone firms capture the most value. It finds that Apple captures most of the industry profits, thanks to its high prices, large profit margins and the volume of iPhone sales worldwide. Apple’s success is explained as a result of its ability to develop its own intellectual property (IP) and take advantage of IP created by suppliers through a strategy of selling only a few models at high prices compared to competitors.

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