Apple’s Only Competitor in Mobile Handset Industry

Much has already been written (and graphed) about Apple’s giant Q1 2012 profits, in particular the profits from iPhone.  Sometimes it helps to put these massive numbers into perspective:

(Image source: Business Insider)

Apple iPhone revenue is now larger than Microsoft.  That’s just the beginning.

Horace Dediu of Asymco has two relevant theories about the future of the mobile handset business:

  1.  Android is pursuing of the biggest losers in mobile
  2. The market never forgives a company that loses money in the mobile market.

So let’s consider Apple competition in Mobile Handset business, I use the term loosely since they are not much competition:

(Image source: Asymco)
  • HTC: 26% decrease in profits
  • RIM: Changing CEO, Decreasing profits, losing market and mind share
  • Sony Ericsson: Hasn’t made money since 2007
  • Motorola: Sold out to Google, they losing money
  • Nokia: Jumped from one dead platform to another, rapid loss of market and profit share

The only conclusion we can draw from this is simple, in the long term, only companies that make profit will continue in business.  By this measure and knowing that once a company starts losing in the mobile business they never recover, it would be safe to say that the only competitor to Apple in the mobile handset space will be Samsung, all others will die.

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