The major publicly traded phone vendors have all reported results for the second quarter. Based on the data available so far we can begin putting together a picture of the market.
The first picture I’ll draw is usually the last: profitability. The following chart shows operating profit from the sale of mobile phones among the eight vendors I follow (Nokia, Samsung, LG, Sony-Ericsson, Motorola, HTC, Apple, RIM).
This quarter saw a slight sequential decline in overall profit for the sector, but four vendors did not manage a profit from selling phones. Nokia, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson and LG all saw losses. The other vendors split the slightly decreased pie with Apple getting two thirds of it (66.3%)
This share is up from 57% in Q1 and 50% in Q3 and Q4. Samsung’s share went to 15%, though that’s not a peak level historically. In Q1 2008 the company was at 21%. RIM was at 11%, a level in a range that has been unchanged for three years. Finally, HTC captured 7.4%, a new high and an increase from 6% since last quarter. The profit share chart follows:
The ranking chart for profitability follows:
Finally, the “before-and-after” view of profit capture showing the change in profit share over a four year period.
The story remains largely unchanged from last quarter: Three companies which captured 11% of the profits before the modern smartphone era started (four years ago!) now capture 84% of the profits. Only one global brand phone vendor selling non-smart voice-oriented feature phones is still profitable however, as we shall see later, the only reason profits still exist for any vendor is due to the strength of their smartphone portfolio.