So, who’s winning the mobile market?

“The mobile market, everyone agrees, is the technology industry’s future. What’s not so clear is which company is best positioned to thrive in that future,” John Siracusa writes for Hypercritical.

“For smartphones in particular, the traditional metrics are confusing. Android has 70% market share, but Apple is taking 70% of the profit. Google, meanwhile, is not benefiting from Android’s market share dominance as much as Samsung, which recorded $4 billion in profit from its cellphone and telecom business in Q4 2012. In the same quarter, Google made less—$2.89 billion—from all its businesses combined,” Siracusa writes. “And when it comes to selling actual smartphones, the only two companies making any money are Apple and Samsung.”

Siracusa writes, “So who’s winning? When pondering this, I find myself thinking about dependencies. What is each company doing for itself, and in what ways does each company rely on others? I think this balance, much more than profits or market share, is what will determine long-term success. Let’s see how the players stack up.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

[Attribution: Daring Fireball. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. The interesting developments in the last six months is that Apple has increased their smartphone share in the maturing markets, whilst also getting footholds in emerging markets like China and India.
    The trend seems to be that as markets mature Apple grow their market share. This may be due to customer dissatisfaction for Android, availability of lower cost iPhones etc. In addition, its competitors are forced into lower margins.
    This trend is mirroring what happened in the PC market and look who earns the majority of profit.

  2. Just take a ride on the London Underground and look around you.

    I don’t commute, but I had to use it the last two days and within my circle of vision I saw 4 iPads, 1 Kindle and no other tablet type devices. I saw 49 iPhones, 3 blackberries, 8 androids, and about half a dozen which I couldn’t make out. Add in the couple of white headphones for which I didn’t see a device and it’s clear that even accounting for the completely unscientific and limited nature of the observation that Apple are doing amazingly well. Even if they’re not selling the most, they’re being used the most – which surely has to be the important thing for developers, content providers, and advertisers.

  3. I think it all comes down to which one of these two platforms are going to be adopted by Federal Governments and Businesses. It seems Apple iOS is being adopted at a much greater pace than Google Android.
    Government and Business will have iOS developers create custom apps for them (big investment) and eventually iOS could be the de
    facto mobile OS standard, roughly the same way Windows became the standard on the desktop.

  4. Good article, and I agree that Apple needs to add to its cloud services and to do so right away. The school district I work for is adopting Samsung Chromebooks for a number of students next year. Why? We’ve already adopted Google Apps (which, by the way, Google is now charging schools for instead of giving the service away) and need a platform on which students can create and share their work in the cloud. I wish Apple did, but they simply do not deliver that in an efficient and inexpensive way. In fact, just trying to adopt some iPads has been a challenge. We are using Casper and Configurator for administration and if any of you have been through that process, it’s a mess. Chromebooks? Almost no administration necessary.

  5. 1. Excellent article.
    2. I loved Apple’s “Sherlock” search engine back in the day. Thought it returned much better results than others.
    3. If Yahoo wants to partner with Apple, a good sign would be to totally fix the Yahoo Finance articles shown in the iPhone stick market widget. So many articles are totally lame and irrelevant. They can start by listing relevant, informative, even insightful articles on Apple.

  6. Who’s winning what (Without expressing a personal opinion):

    – Google : OS adoption (It’s everywhere on every possible device)
    – Samsung : Phone (all models together) market
    – Samsung : Phone (Specific model) “Some” markets
    – Apple : Benefits and earnings
    – Apple : Tablet market (Should change in 2013 on a general basis… But Apple should keep the “per model” lead)
    – All together : Innovation… All three bring really interesting technologies on the market)

    Looking at only one aspect (be it for Google, Samsung or Apple) is simply misleading.

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