In yet another sign that the smartphone market is a two-horse race, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung Electronics together grabbed 108% of the industry’s profits in the second quarter of 2012. How did they do that? Well, Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Motorola — now owned by Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) — all posted operating losses for the quarter. The data come from the latest research at Canaccord Genuity.
Apple, which accounts for just 6.4% of handset sales, took 71% of smartphone profits in the quarter, an amazing feat by any measure. Samsung had 37% of smartphone profits in the quarter, up from 26% in the first quarter.
Samsung also continues to gain market share as buyers have put off iPhone purchases in anticipation of a new model due next month. Google’s Android operating system claims two-thirds of the platform market, while Apple claims another 16% with its iOS platform.
And the losses at RIM and Nokia may not be reversible. BlackBerry market share has dwindled from 16% in 2010 to 10.7% in 2011 to 4.8% in the June 2012 quarter. Nokia’s Symbian platform has all but disappeared.
Canaccord Genuity expects the Windows Phone OS from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) to become a strong option for consumers even though the market share forecast for the platform calls for just a 6% share at the end of this year. The research firm believes that wireless carriers will want to encourage a third platform. That makes sense because it puts pressure on Apple and Android-based vendors to compete on price. Of course that will only work if Nokia and Microsoft can put together a product offering that includes all the capabilities of an iPhone or a Galaxy S3 at a lower price.