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Apple overshadows other mobile phone companies where it counts the most: profits.

The Apple iPad rules the tablet market and the iPhone is a popular among smartphone users, even though a panoply of devices running Google’s Android owns the majority of the smartphone market. We also know Research in Motion is in serious decline, and Nokia is struggling to reverse its slide through Windows Phones — a strategy set back at least temporarily as customers wait for Windows Phone 8, given that current Nokia smartphones won’t run Microsoft’s first serious version of Windows Phone.

We all see market share numbers bandied about, most of which are estimates based on opaque reporting of how many devices were sold not to customers but to stores — and not counting the returns and languishing inventory. Even allowing for funny numbers and assumptions, we think we have a good sense of where things stand.

Maybe not. VisionMobile, a market research firm, has put the mobile device market data into an amazing chart (shown below) that compares the market a year ago with today. It’s jaw-dropping: Lots of companies are selling mobile devices, fewer are making any money, and only four — Apple, Samsung, HTC, and Motorola Mobility (recently acquired by Google) — are seeing profits from them. HTC is a minor profit player, and Motorola is almost a rounding error in the equation; Apple and Samung are clearly the dominant forces in the mobile device market, and Apple overshadows Samsung where it counts the most: profits.

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Via InfoWorld

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