With just 4% of mobile market, Apple owns 52% of profits

Apple’s iPhone accounted for just 4.2% of the mobile handsets shipped in the third quarter of 2011, but the company still managed to rake in more than half of the industry’s profits. Among the eight top cell phone vendors in the world, Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley said Apple accounted for 52% of total operating income between them. The figure is down from 57% in the second quarter. Samsung accounted for 29% of profit among top vendors, up from 18% in the June quarter, and HTC accounted for 9% of total operating income. RIM’s value share slid to 7% from 11% in the prior quarter, and Nokia dipped three points to 4%. Read on for more.

“Apple generated a remarkable 52% value share of estimated Q3/C2011 handset industry operating profits among the top 8 OEMs,” Walkley wrote in a research note on Friday. “With only 4.2% global handset unit market share, it is remarkable Apple captures more than 50% of industry profits.”

Walkley also made it a point to highlight Samsung’s meteoric rise among smartphone vendors. “Demonstrating the importance of a strong smartphone offerings relative to industry profits, Samsung gained a remarkable 11 points of value share sequentially with its leading Android Galaxy S II product offering,” The analyst wrote. “RIM and Nokia lost a combined 7% value share due to its aging smartphone portfolios that are in transition.”

Canaccord now expects Apple to ship 29 million iPhone handset in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from the firm’s earlierĀ estimate of 27 million. Walkley also increased his price target on Apple from $545 to $560 with a Buy rating.

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