Here’s How Apple and Samsung Are Profit Monsters

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) together made up 101 percent of all mobile phone profits in the last quarter of 2012 as rivals Nokia (NYSE:NKE), Sony (NYSE:SNE), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) unit Motorola continued to suffer market-share losses. Apple was the overwhelming winner with a commanding 72 percent of all handset profits, while Samsung accounted for 29 percent, according to research from Canaccord Genuity.

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For the full year, Apple’s $35.903 billion in operating income from mobile devices accounted for 69 percent of the total profits, while Samsung came in at 34 percent. The higher than 100 percent share for the two rivals was because Nokia’s losses gave it a negative 2 percent profit, while Motorola and Sony together accounted for negative 1 percent.

“Given the current competitive dynamics, we believe Apple and Samsung will maintain dominant value share during [the first quarter of 2013] with share gains for Samsung versus Apple expected,” Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley said. The gains for Samsung are expected because of the possibility of the launch of the Galaxy S4 handset at the end of March. Samsung has officially not yet given any details about the features or possible launch date of the device.

Walkley, who cut his price target on Apple shares to $650 from $750 after the company’s earnings announcement in January but kept his Buy rating, reiterated that it was a good time to invest in the iPhone maker. The analyst said he expected Apple’s “industry-leading software and its leading hardware expertise” to result in strong multiyear product cycles for its key devices.

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Apple’s softer-than-expected guidance for the current quarter may have been to account for ramping up the supply of the iPhone 5 in the December quarter as well as the potential for an earlier-than-usual product transition during the first half of the year, he said.

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