Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next. 

It’s hard out there for a smartphone manufacturer — especially when you’re up against mobile titans like Apple and Samsung.

The two companies made up 90 percent of the entire smartphone industry’s profits in the first quarter of 2012, and also hold 50 percent of the smartphone market, according to the latest research from ABI.

Apple shipped 35 million smartphones last quarter, as it announced in its last earnings report, while Samsung shipped 43 million, according to ABI. Samsung has been the only truly profitable Android manufacturer for some time, and its continued success seems to indicate that Android is a bad money-maker for anyone not at the top.

While Apple and Samsung rule the top end of the smartphone market, there’s still a chance for a strong third-place competitor to emerge. Who that could be is anyone’s guess at this point.

Nokia, meanwhile, saw its shipments decline 40 percent from last year to 11.9 million units. “At this point in the year, Nokia will have to grow its Windows Phone business 5000% in 2012 just to offset its declines in Symbian shipments,” said ABI analyst Michael Morgan in a statement today.

The research firm notes that, with the smartphone marketing now surpassing 50 percent of mobile in North America and Europe, manufacturers should target emerging markets like China. Targeting untapped markets makes sense, although in China they’ll have to contend with homegrown competitors like ZTE and Huawei.

MobileBeat 2012Design is determining the winners in everything mobile. The most successful players are focusing on one thing: How to make products, services, and devices as compelling and delightful as possible – visually, and experientially. MobileBeat 2012, July 10-11 in San Francisco , is assembling the most elite minds to debate how UI/UX is transforming every aspect of the mobile economy, and where the opportunities lie. Register here.


VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member