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Friday, February 10, 2012

Bad news or good news -- it depends on your preferences

The latest tech news posts indicate that Apple and Samsung pretty well own the mobile phone market. The headlines of a recent article claims "Apple, Samsung own 95 percent of all mobile phone profits." The article goes on to claim:

Actually, there wasn't a whole lot left for Samsung, either, once Apple was done with things.

With strong demand for the iPhone 4S, Apple alone took home around 80 percent of all mobile phone profits in the fourth quarter, up from just 56 percent in the third quarter, according to the analyst. Yet the company holds just 8.1 percent of the global mobile phone market.
At the same time, Samsung's share of industry profits shrank to 15 percent from 26 percent, but its share of Android customers jumped to 39 percent from 35 percent.
For the quarter, Apple sold 37 million iPhones, helping it ring up overall earnings of $13 billion. Samsung didn't reveal how many smartphones it sold, but one analyst pegged the number as high as 35 million.
Apple and Samsung spent the better part of 2011 battling each other for the top crown. Combined, the two have managed to make life hard for the rest of the industry.
HTC managed to squeeze out 3 percent of all mobile phone earnings last quarter. Nokia and RIM followed, each with 2 percent of the profit pie. Motorola and LG both ended the quarter flat, while Sony Ericsson showed a 2 percent loss.
Being a happy and contented user of an iPhone 4S, I have no trouble believing these statistics. But whenever one product or service comes to dominate the market, any market, there is a concomitant loss of innovation with all the other manufacturers chasing after the leaders rather than trying to come up with something new. At the same time, the leaders in the market have the tendency to stagnate due to the lack of competition. Oh well, that won't happen for a while anyway.  

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