Apple and Samsung have combined to collect an astonishing 99 percent of mobile phone operating profit. Individually, Apple accounted for 73 percent while Samsung amassed the remaining 26 percent. HTC mustered 1 percent of operating profits in Q4 2011, as reported by Asymco.
The results are directly in line with Cupertino’s recent earnings call where the company posted a net profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per diluted share. Unsurprising enough, iPhone sales were responsible for the majority of profit in the quarter, a figure that rose 88 percent year over year.
While Apple and Samsung are riding the current wave of success, HTC and longtime manufacturers Nokia and RIM are seeing their profits continue to dwindle away. Five years ago, Nokia had a profit share that was nearly the size of Apple’s but the roles have since been reversed with Nokia barely making a blip on the proverbial radar now. HTC never really had a huge market share but what they did have is also slipping away.
As Asymco notes in their report, it’s not a case of the top two companies taking a fixed “share of profit” simply because available profits aren’t a constant. It’s the same logic behind the flawed idea that the rich are taking all of the money in the economy, leaving less for the middle class and poor. The company report highlights that Apple instead created a “vast new pool of profits” that came mostly from carrier premiums from the iPhone 4S.