When analysts and companies compare mobile devices, the big number everyone focuses on is how much market share each platform or product has in relation to its competitors. While this makes for a good overall view of the playing field, it doesn’t always give a clear or accurate picture of which companies are doing well on a single metric as a model for success and ignores others, like whether a platform or manufacturer managed to turn a significant profit.
This is, of course, a very big point when discussing Apple’s iOS succes compared to Android as a whole or to individual manufacturers – and something that Asymco’s latest review of the mobile phone market in which Apple accounts for a small 8.8% of handsets but reaps a whopping 73% of the industry’s profits.
The news isn’t entirely surprising, Apple leverages its supply chain very well, and has significantly better margins on the iPhone than most other cell phone makers. Apple also has a great deal of leverage with carriers when it comes to iPhone terms and pricing.
Asymco’s Horace Dediu makes another important point – Apple isn’t really taking profit away from its competitors. Rather, the company has created a “vast new pool of profits” and that a large bulk of Apple’s current profits come from carrier premiums related to the wildly successful iPhone 4S.
Beyond Apple, Samsung and HTC were the only companies that generated a profit in the industry. Samsung, which is becoming the primary Android manufacturer in many markets, accounted for 26% of mobile phone profits while HTC accounted for 1%. RIM, Nokia, Sony, LG and Motorola all lost money.
Via Fortune, Images Asymco.