Q4 2012 Handset Value Share: Preliminary

Just two companies take 95% of the profits in the mobile handset industry: Apple and Samsung.


Counterpoint Research has released its preliminary Q4 2012 mobile handset and smartphone results. The most stunning part is that Samsung took 25% of the industry profit while Apple took 70%. Leaving a tiny 5% to share among the other 100+ handset vendors. As 4Q 2012 results roll in from across the technology sector there are some interesting patterns emerging in the mobile device market. In the full report we take a look at the preliminary market numbers and try to tease out the main signals and what they mean for the industry.

Apple wins the 4Q battle but may not win the the war in 2013.
Apple’s record quarter failed to match heightened investor expectations. Apple’s main challenge is in creating the next wave of innovation to both lock-in its largely loyal customer base, while unlocking new segments. This is far harder to do second time around. The fast growth the company has enjoyed will naturally flatten through 2013.

Samsung, was the only other mobile handset manufacturer to record a meaningful profit in 4Q 2012. Samsung continues to lead the market with a volume share of almost 27% across the handset market as a whole and a 32% volume share of smartphone market.

Meanwhile Nokia is mourning its lost supply chain mastery. It did well with its high end Lumia products but could have done better were it not for supply chain constraints. Nevertheless, the signs are less negative than they have been for Nokia over the last number of quarters. The greatest danger likely comes from low cost Android disrupting the Asha volume story, while the greatest opportunity will come from a general warming toward Windows Phone.

Below are some key findings.
– Samsung is number one in handsets with 26% share (down slightly due to the rise of Apple.)
– Samsung is number one in smartphones.
– Apple however is number one in smartphone revenues.
– Apple is now again number one in overall handset revenue (including both smartphones and feature phones)
– Apple is still number one in handset profit – making over 2.5 times as much as Samsung
– Samsung and Apple take more than 95% of the profit in the industry


For the full report please send a request to

Tom is an expert in the telecoms industry with 14 years of experience. He provides practical advice for the short term goals of clients as well as insights for long term vision. Previously he was a celebrated world renowned analyst at Strategy Analytics. He first introduced value share and profit share. He also created the Smartphone Strategies service and headed the research growing it to become the largest service in the company. Tom also worked for LG Electronics within the Mobile Communications Company in various roles.

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