Strategy Analytics has looked into the global sales of smartphones and estimates that global Android profits reached $5.3 billion during the first quarter of this year, and Samsung owned about 95% of this income.
The overall smartphone industry’s profits reached $12.5 billion for the same period, with Android making up 43% of this. That means Samsung alone captured nearly 41% of all smartphone profits. LG’s operating profit placed it in second place behind Samsung in the race, but at just $0.1 billion dollars its income is tiny.
Strategy Analytics believes Android earns Samsung more money than it earns for Google itself, and that “Samsung has strong market power and it may use this position to influence the future direction of the Android ecosystem.” In this context the decision by Google to release an unskinned, pure edition of Android in a special edition of the Galaxy S4 phone, announced during its launch event at the I/O conference yesterday, is particularly interesting. It may be seen as a gentle push by Google to assert its ownership of Android as a platform. Separately, Apple (which dominates the non-Android smartphone world) is pushing to include the S4 in its ongoing lawsuit against Samsung.