Consumer electronics' dynamic duo once again took more 100 percent of handset profits in the third quarter.
But in the higher-value, higher-margin smartphone
category, the duo accounted for nearly 50 percent of the market (32.2
percent for Samsung and 15.4 percent for Apple), according to Walkley.
He projects that Apple will increase its smartphone market share on
strong sales of the iPhone 5 to 20.6 percent in the fourth quarter,
while Samsung is expected to slip to 30.5 percent.
You wonder how long this can continue. With handsets—and
particularly smartphones—driving so much business and innovation in
electronics, how can it be that only two handset vendors turn a profit
ABI's advice to Android-based handset suppliers is to
follow Samsung's lead by offering a range of smartphone products at ever
lower price points to maintain market share growth. But growing market
share by cutting prices won't change the equation described by Walkley.
Although Apple took some lumps for anticipated erosions of gross margins
following its most recent quarterly report, the company continues to
capture more than half of all smartphone profits even as Android grows
its lead as the No. 1 smartphone OS.
Samsung is taking the safer route, IMO, by offering a range of products. Apple, catering only to the most fashion-conscious, is at a higher risk of seeing it all evaporate.
People have a way of believing that the status quo is the "new normal," and will remain for the rest of time. But it's never that way. It wasn't that many years ago that Apple was struggling. And it wasn't that many years ago that day traders were raking in millions for almost no work. And that we were all being told how the economy had changed forever.
Well, currently, they are the only two phone companies really innovating and coming up with compelling devices users want, so it's not terribly surprising. But maybe Windows 8, and associated Windows Phone 8, will give other companies the differentiation they need. we'll see.
This is a statement that some would take issue with. The HTC One X is in many ways superior to the S3, in some ways demonstrably so (screen, build quality, UI overlay). It is not clear that either Apple or Samsung are particularly innovative at this point. But you can't argue that they are capturing all the profits. However the causal relationship to innovation is not there, IMO
It depends how you define innovation . People dont buy the HTC One X because of its poor battery life and no SD card slot. They were also burnt by poor qualities of HTC's previous phones. Consumers are not totally dumb. They know which devices are overall best.