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.
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
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.
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.