Analyst: Apple, Samsung again dominate smartphone profits, but is Samsung catching up?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics once again gobbled up all of the operating profits in the global smartphone industry in the first quarter, according to a new report from investment research firm Canaccord Genuity, as has been the case the past several quarters.

According to the report, Apple captured 57 percent of global smartphone industry operating profits in the quarter and Samsung took 43 percent. Benedict Evans of Enders Analysis recently produced a similar chart that illustrated how Apple and Samsung have been dominating the competition in terms of quarterly handset revenue.

Interestingly, Canaccord's report actually showed a slight improvement for Apple and Samsung's competitors compared to the fourth quarter, when the two companies took home 103 percent of smartphone industry profits, thanks to operating losses at competitors.

"Due to operating losses from smaller scale competitors trying to compete, Apple and Samsung's combined share of industry profits have exceeded 100 percent in previous quarters," Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley wrote, according to AllThingsD. "While Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the share of industry profits, improving cost structures and results from other OEMs have reduced Apple and Samsung's combined share to 100 percent from levels above 100 percent the past several quarters."

According to the report, small operating profits from BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), HTC, LG Electronics, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Sony Mobile Communications were dwarfed by Apple and Samsung. 

Further, the dynamic between Apple and Samsung is changing. A year ago, Apple took home 74 percent of smartphone industry profits and Samsung took 23 percent. Samsung's share nearly doubled year-over-year in the first quarter, and Walkley said that the global launch of Samsung's Galaxy S4 and slowing iPhone sales could push Samsung ahead in the second quarter.

Indeed, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said to expect new products in the fall, but not before that--comments that increased concerns Apple's slide will continue throughout much of this year.

For more:
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this NYT article
- see this BGR article

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