Shocking stats: Apple rules mobile -- and it's not even close

Among companies shipping smartphones and tablets, few make money, and only four turn a profit -- with Apple far in the lead

We know Apple's iPad rules the tablet market and the iPhone is a popular smartphone, even though a panoply of devices running Google's Android owns the majority of the smartphone market. We also know Research in Motion is in serious decline, and Nokia is struggling to reverse its slide through Windows Phones -- a strategy set back at least temporarily as customers wait for Windows Phone 8, given that current Nokia smartphones won't run Microsoft's first serious version of Windows Phone.

We all see market share numbers bandied about, most of which are estimates based on opaque reporting of how many devices were sold not to customers but to stores -- and not counting the returns and languishing inventory. Even allowing for funny numbers and assumptions, we think we have a good sense of where things stand.

[ Are Verizon's new shared-data plans a rip-off? Galen Gruman crunches the numbers to find out. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights with InfoWorld's Mobilize newsletter. ]

Maybe not. VisionMobile, a market research firm, has put the mobile device market data into an amazing chart (shown below) that compares the market a year ago with today. It's jaw-dropping: Lots of companies are selling mobile devices, fewer are making any money, and only four -- Apple, Samsung, HTC, and Motorola Mobility (recently acquired by Google) -- are seeing profits from them. HTC is a minor profit player, and Motorola is almost a rounding error in the equation; Apple and Samung are clearly the dominant forces in the mobile device market, and Apple overshadows Samsung where it counts the most: profits.

Mobile device market report: sales, revenues, and profit (VisionMobile June 2012 Developer Economic Report)
Click to enlarge . (Source: VisionMobile Developer Economics Report )

This article, "Shocking stats: Apple rules mobile -- and it's not even close," was originally published at Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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