Apple Has Last Laugh: Android Leads Sales, but Cupertino Most Profitable Handset Maker



Don’t cry too hard about Android’s ascension as king of smartphones and Apple losing a few share points. The Cupertino, Calif. company is crying — but it’s all the way to the bank. Although Apple has just 4.2 percent of the entire cell phone market – not just smartphones – the company pulls in 51 percent of the profit.

Earlier Monday, research firm Canalys announced Google’s Android pushed Nokia’s Symbian out of smartphone No. 1 position, selling 32.9 million smartphones, compared to 31 million for Symbian. Although Apple’s share of the smartphone market slipped to 16.2 percent, Asymco’s Horace Dediu points out Monday Apple’s share of the overall mobile phone market has increased to five percent – up from 4 percent in October of last year.

The Asymco analyst also appears to have an accurate crystal ball. Android-powered phones from Samsung, HTC and LG Electronics were credited with giving Android its gargantuan seven-fold increase in sales during the 2010 fourth quarter. In September of 2010, Dediu pointed to Samsung, LG, and HTC as being among “the only possible contenders” to help Android grow.

[Asymco, Fortune]