[Apple and Samsung are sucking the oxygen out of the room. What's the recipe of their profits and why are all the other OEMs struggling? In this reiteration of April 2012's Mobile Insider, VisionMobile analyst Stijn Schuermans gives insight into sustainability and profits in the handset market.]
The mobile handset market is in turmoil. Since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, OEMs have been rushing to jump on the smartphone bandwagon. Five years later, few have managed to do so profitably. Even if more companies are gaining a significant market share, only two seem to be making a profit out of it: Apple – the creator of the market in the first place – and Samsung, a fast follower. Attractive profit margins are elusive for most of their competitors. Some are toppling from their former glory (Nokia, RIM), while some newcomers seem to be gaining speed (ZTE, Huawei). But will they manage to become profitable? This article is based on an issue of Mobile Insider, a monthly publication by VisionMobile. that examines under-the-radar and forward-looking trends in mobile. Each issue focuses on a specific topic distilling the insights in an easy-to-digest 5-page format. Mobile Insider is part of Telco Economics, a range of strategy research and workshops that deliver a 360° view on the new economics of the mobile industry and changing role of telcos in the era of digital ecosystems.