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Apple, Samsung take 103 percent of 2012 cellphone profits

updated 01:12 pm EST, Wed February 6, 2013

BlackBerry, Nokia, Motorola cede ground

Together Apple and Samsung seized about 103 percent of 2012 cellphone industry profits, and 101 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Canaccord Genuity estimates. Breaking down the 2012 figure, Apple claimed 69 percent, while Samsung took 34. A total greater than 100 is possible because of operating losses at companies like BlackBerry, Motorola, and Nokia.

"We believe Apple's value share of the handset market is even higher than our estimates...considering Apple's dominant market share of the tablet market, as some Android OEMs such as Samsung and HTC include tablet sales in reported smartphone sales and profits," writes Canaccord analyst Michael Walkley. "Given the current competitive dynamics, we believe Apple and Samsung will maintain dominant value share during Q1/13 with share gains for Samsung versus Apple expected in Q1/13."

Samsung has quickly become Apple's main competitor, thanks to phones like the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Nexus, and Galaxy Note II. Apple, though, has filed numerous patent cases as a strategic weapon against Samsung and Google's Android platform, on which most Samsung phones are based, viewing them as based on patent infringement and copied designs. Samsung and Google's subsidiary Motorola have also gone this route, but mostly using standards-essential patents as legal weapons to hold some competitors hostage to high royalties. The latter approach has, so far, been less successful and resulted in a number of government investigations.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. daqman

    Junior Member

    Joined: 09-15-00

    What?

    "Together Apple and Samsung seized about 103 percent of 2012 cellphone industry profits"
    How do you do that? Does someone not know how percentages work? Hopefully it's not me!

    Cellphone industry has profits (or losses) they are divided up between the companies making up the industry, the SUM of the profits has to be 100% it can't be bigger.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by daqmanView Post

    "Together Apple and Samsung seized about 103 percent of 2012 cellphone industry profits"
    How do you do that? Does someone not know how percentages work? Hopefully it's not me!

    Cellphone industry has profits (or losses) they are divided up between the companies making up the industry, the SUM of the profits has to be 100% it can't be bigger.



    It IS you.
    The clue is in the second part of the post, but you're failing to make the connection:

    Everybody else actually lost money, so together, Apple and Samsung are making more money than the entire industry is, put together (103% as much, in fact).

    (This has been the case for a while now, and it comes up every time the numbers are reported.)

  1. BigJayhawk

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-08-11

    Seriously? 2 Eyes/Ears but 1 Mouth

    A total greater than 100 is possible because of operating losses at companies like BlackBerry, Motorola, and Nokia.

    SERIOUSLY -- when people "talk" before "listening" (or "reading"), I just don't get it.

    There's the old saying about having 2 ears and 2 eyes versus just 1 mouth because God wanted us to LISTEN and OBSERVE twice as much as we TALK. (Apparently, now that most people "talk" by typing with "2 hands" they think that old logic doesn't apply anymore???)

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by BigJayhawkView Post

    A total greater than 100 is possible because of operating losses at companies like BlackBerry, Motorola, and Nokia.

    SERIOUSLY -- when people "talk" before "listening" (or "reading"), I just don't get it.

    There's the old saying about having 2 ears and 2 eyes versus just 1 mouth because God wanted us to LISTEN and OBSERVE twice as much as we TALK. (Apparently, now that most people "talk" by typing with "2 hands" they think that old logic doesn't apply anymore???)



    Just to chip away at that high horse:

    We spend our school lives being taught that the whole is 100%. It is not immediately obvious how a sum of values can be greater than the entirety of the class.

    THINKING before TALKING also applies to dealing with mortal humans who might not have been exposed to counter-intuitive economic concepts before. Happy to see that your command of both hands makes up for your lack of empathy, at least. :thumbsup:

  1. mattyb

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 02-22-08

    Originally Posted by BigJayhawkView Post

    A total greater than 100 is possible because of operating losses at companies like BlackBerry, Motorola, and Nokia.

    SERIOUSLY -- when people "talk" before "listening" (or "reading"), I just don't get it.

    There's the old saying about having 2 ears and 2 eyes versus just 1 mouth because God wanted us to LISTEN and OBSERVE twice as much as we TALK. (Apparently, now that most people "talk" by typing with "2 hands" they think that old logic doesn't apply anymore???)



    Quotation mark overload.

  1. OldMacGeek

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-04-10

    Sigh

    And *another* win for Samsung!! At least, that's how the pundits and analysts will spin it.

    :)

  1. BigJayhawk

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-08-11

    comment title

    As Spheric agrees, this has NOTHING to do with counter-intuitive economic concepts. It has to do with READING an article that clearly explains itself before posting. It's happening more and more and it's ridiculous.

    At least there are only a few posts here. Often times when there are very interesting articles that have hundreds or even thousands of comments posted, it is unbearable to read them because half the responses make it clear that the writer did not even spend the time to READ the article!

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    No, actually I thought you were being arrogant and overbearing in an inappropriate reply to a perfectly legitimate question about something that isn't immediately obvious.

    I think the reason you thought I was agreeing was that I toned down the insult in the latter part to comply with the heavy-handed moderation in the news comments.

  1. gradient

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 08-20-05

    Originally Posted by BigJayhawkView Post

    At least there are only a few posts here. Often times when there are very interesting articles that have hundreds or even thousands of comments posted, it is unbearable to read them because half the responses make it clear that the writer did not even spend the time to READ the article!



    I actually find that the unbearable user comments on websites are the ones attacking other users for reasons that have nothing to do with the original content of the article.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Seriously, how dense do you have to be not to read the whole first paragraph of the article -- which clearly explains the 103 percent figure -- before commenting? You do yourself no favours there ...

  1. Dark Goob

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-02-01

    This is dumb.

    To everyone who says that the article "explains" the 103% figure, I disagree. I read the article. The 103% figure is still bogus.

    It's bogus because the collective profit of the industry is equal to 100% of the collective profit of the industry, no matter how much acid you take. Period.

    If a company lost money, that does not mean that the collective profit of the industry is less. Profit is when you don't. Therefore companies that lost money should not be factored into the "collective profit" figure at all. To factor companies that were NOT profitable into the "collective profit" makes ZERO sense logically and it makes even less sense grammatically and semantically.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by Dark GoobView Post

    To everyone who says that the article "explains" the 103% figure, I disagree. I read the article. The 103% figure is still bogus.

    It's bogus because the collective profit of the industry is equal to 100% of the collective profit of the industry, no matter how much acid you take. Period.

    If a company lost money, that does not mean that the collective profit of the industry is less.



    Of course it does.

    That's exactly what "collective profit" means - the total profit made between ALL companies in a market. If somebody made LESS than zero profit, that figures directly against the positive made elsewhere. Do you perhaps mean "cumulative"? Not that it would make sense not to subtract losses from that number, as well...

    This is just one way of looking at it, and it's rather telling. If you wish to say that 100% of the profit made in the market went to Apple and Samsung, that's fine, but that statement contains different (not incorrect) information than the 103% figure.

    It's like talking about total profits vs. operating margins — different ways of looking at the same numbers in different context.

  1. mattyb

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 02-22-08

    Its no wonder the world gets screwed by banks and financial scandals. Using terms such a negative profit and having a spreadsheet of income figures (no mention of net which is used as a replacement for profit sometimes) and then magically having a title of profit is dishonest IMHO.

    Some other figures for Motorola : http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/18/motorola-3q2012-revenues-2-58-billion-18-of-revenue-for-googles-total-q3/

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    See, and that article makes no mention of the fact that all other competitors actually posted losses.

  1. mattyb

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 02-22-08

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    See, and that article makes no mention of the fact that all other competitors actually posted losses.



    Do you agree that a loss does not equal a profit?

    And so the losses of others, would not/should not be counted in the profits of the mobile phone industry as a whole?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Tha depends on whether they are relevant to what you want to report.

    The focus of your link was on the difficulty for Microsoft and Google to find hardware partners, so it was only relevant to state that Apple and Samsung are the only ones turning profits.

    The focus of this particular report is on the market as a whole, and it is ABSOLUTELY relevant to the state of the market that the other competitors are not only not making profit, but actually losing money.

    You can put that in two sentences or clauses, or you can put it in a single number.

    So every time that number is released, there are people confused by it. So what? People are confused about stuff every day, ask about it, Nd have it explained to them.
    Where is the problem?

  1. mac_in_tosh

    Junior Member

    Joined: 12-14-11

    comment title

    Count me in the camp of readers that don't count a loss as a negative profit. A certain amount of money was made in the cellphone industry. Apple and Samsung cannot make more profit than the whole industry of which they are a part.

  1. mattyb

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 02-22-08

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    Where is the problem?



    Originally Posted by mac_in_toshView Post

    Count me in the camp of readers that don't count a loss as a negative profit. A certain amount of money was made in the cellphone industry. Apple and Samsung cannot make more profit than the whole industry of which they are a part.



    Me too mac_in_tosh, me too.

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