Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Appreciating Apple: the December Quarter

Apple (related articles on this blog and at Seeking Alpha) has repeated its feat of capturing more mobile profit than all competitors combined. As described recently in the Jaded Consumer's articles on the competition between the mobile hardware manufacturers (a 3-part article whose topics are roughly Competition Murders Most Mobile Manufacturers, Samsung Sells Tons of Stuff, and Apple Aces the Bottom Line), Apple and Samsung have together maged to capture more than 100% of the mobile profit in the last quarter.

How can two firms reap more than 100% of the total profit? There are net losers that warp the measurement of the profit pie; they take no profit, but lose it to the market. In 2012, Apple and Samsung reaped 103% of the cell phone industry's profits. In the final quarter of 2012, they took in 101%.  HTC is gaining – or at least losing less. LG has been fence-sitting on the profit metric, sometimes posting nil share, and sometimes posting a percent or two of profit share. But as suggested at Seeking Alpha, HTC is the third-party candidate to watch in the mobile deathmatch.

For the leader, stick with Apple.  On that front, Seeking Alpha just posted a new Jaded Consumer article Understanding Apple's Anemic Quarter. To get an idea just how anemic Apple's December quarter was, it took 72% of cell phone operating income during the quarter (Samsung took 29%). And that was Apple's "bad" quarter.

Baby, I like it when you're bad :-)

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