While the two big smartphone vendors, Apple and Samsung, are battling it out in the courtrooms, they're still in total control of operating profits. Horace Dediu of Asymco has just published his analysis of operating profits for the top eight mobile phone vendors and found that Apple and Samsung together pulled in 99 percent of the profits in the first quarter of 2012.
Apple had the largest share of that total, with a full 73 percent of the profits made by the top mobile phone vendors. Only Apple, Samsung, and HTC made a profit in the first quarter of 2012, and HTC's share was a tiny 1 percent. The other companies on the list -- Motorola, Nokia, RIM, LG, and Sony Ericsson -- all had losses for their handset businesses.
Apple and Samsung are reaping the benefits of being the top vendors in the lucrative and growing smartphone business. Profits from the eight top vendors detailed in Dediu's report have gone from US$5.3 billion to $14.4 billion, primarily from carrier subsidies on pricey smartphones.