The mobile industry is a game of numbers, and you can normally get a fairly accurate picture of the general state of play by studying the figures with a trained eye.
But here are a couple of figures that summarise things nicely without much analysis at all: the iPhone accounted for 4.2% of all mobile handset sales in Q3 2011, but in terms of profits Apple raked in more cash than all of its leading rivals in the mobile space put together.
Analyst Mike Walkley of Canaccord Genuity has done the number-crunching on this one, comparing Apple's figures with the rest of the top 8 OEMs in the mobile handset industry. All in all, Apple accounted for 52% of total operating income, which believe it or not is actually down 5% on Q2.
As for the rest, it's pretty much what you'd expect: Samsung's star is very much on the rise, and it's profit share reflect that, rising from 18% in June to 29% now, while HTC is next up on 9%, while unsurprisingly both RIM and Nokia lost ground.
“Apple generated a remarkable 52% value share of estimated Q3/C2011 handset industry operating profits among the top 8 OEMs,” Walkley wrote yesterday. “With only 4.2% global handset unit market share, it is remarkable Apple captures more than 50% of industry profits.
“Demonstrating the importance of a strong smartphone offerings relative to industry profits, Samsung gained a remarkable 11 points of value share sequentially with its leading Android Galaxy S II product offering,” The analyst wrote. “RIM and Nokia lost a combined 7% value share due to its aging smartphone portfolios that are in transition.”