Samsung and Apple capture 90% of smartphone profit

The duo made up 55% of global smartphone shipments in Q1 2012
Apple and Samsung made up 55% of global smartphone shipments in Q1 2012.
Apple and Samsung made up 55% of global smartphone shipments in Q1 2012.

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Smartphone shipments have grown 41% year-on-year to reach a total of 144.6 million as of the quarter ending March 2012.

However not all manufacturers are enjoying the benefits of the ever growing smartphone market. Samsung and Apple have captured 55% of global smartphone shipments in Q1 2012 and over 90% of the market's profit.

Of the top ten smartphone OEMs only Samsung and Sony experienced growth in shipments over Q4 2011. Nokia witnessed a 40% sequential decline in shipments, whereas RIM marked a 20% decline.

"At this point in the year, Nokia will have to grow its Windows Phone business 5000% in 2012 just to offset its declines in Symbian shipments," says Michael Morgan, senior analyst, devices, applications & content, ABI Research.

The smartphone markets of N. America and W. Europe will soon pass 50% in smartphone penetration, and OEMs should be looking for growth in key markets like China which is still showing strong shipments of over 80%.

Local vendors in the Chinese market like ZTE and Huawei are tailored to deliver smartphones and content ecosystems at lower price points that are needed to generate growth and adoption across the country.

"As Nokia's market share in China plummets, the competition to fill this power vacuum has the potential to make or break smartphone OEMs currently struggling with profitability and differentiation," adds Jeff Orr, practice director, devices, applications & content, ABI Research.

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