Heading into the last quarter of 2012, the smartphone industry remains largely a duopoly by Apple and Samsung, with the two giants gobbling 108 per cent shares of profits as of September 2012.
The result, according to CNET, was a rollover from the June figures, in which Apple and Samsung were the runaway winners in shipping out the most number of smartphones every quarter and getting them to consumers' hand in record quantities.
Citing data from Canaccord Genuity, CNET said little is left for other smartphone vendors to scrape on the remaining market pie that left other popular brands such as BlackBerry, Motorola and Nokia scampering for profits that mostly were attracted by handsets printed with the iPhone and Galaxy brand names.
While Apple and Samsung were raking in billions as quarterly profits, their rivals seem eternally frustrated in arresting their declines, despite the barrage of new handsets that flooded the market earlier this year.
The only key achiever to come out of the crowded smartphone global tussle is LG Electronics, thanks mostly to its line of LG Optimus phone models, which powered the South Korean firm to Q3 profits of more than $200 million, The Associated Press reported.
Yet when pitted with the ledgers of Apple and Samsung, LG's respectable performance as of last month was overwhelmingly dwarfed by the billions in dollars of sales and incomes that the two market leaders have been accumulating.
Samsung alone has shipped out more than 157 million Galaxy smartphones in the nine months leading to September 2012, easily making it not only the frontliner in the Android ecosystem, but also the largest industry player, a distinction once held by Nokia and Apple, respectively.
"Samsung has been highly effective in leveraging its global brand strength and the popularity of the Android OS to drive sales of smartphones in all price tiers," the tech market research firm said recently in a report, underscoring the Asian firm's incredible success in the past five quarters that saw it overtaking Apple.
Apple, however, is not exactly envious of Samsung's stature, Canaccord's Mike Walkley told CNET, explaining that while the U.S.-based only captured 6.3 per cent of global handset sales (and 15.4 per cent of global smartphone sales) in September, it has the biggest slice in operating profits.
The company, Mr Walkley said, cornered 59 per cent of smartphone profits for Q3 2012.
In comparison, Samsung only captured 47 per cent of the profit to be had in the period despite commanding 25.6 per cent of total mobile phone sales from July to September.
This trend, in which two major players hold sway over smartphone buyers the world over, is expected to be sustained in Q4 and Samsung, Canaccord said, will likely keep its crown through the end of the year notwithstanding the arrival of new and powerful Android phones and the gradual roll out of handsets powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.
Only a bit of a shift will likely occur by the time Q4 results are published in January 2013, CNET said, which would show Apple has snatched back some lost territories from Samsung due mainly to the worldwide excitement generated by the iPhone 5.
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