Apple is basically the only company making any money selling smartphones

Winner takes all—and a little bit more.
Winner takes all—and a little bit more.
Image: Reuters/Jason Lee
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Apple is still the king of profitability among smartphone makers. And it’s not even close.

Yes, the company experienced three straight quarters of declining iPhone sales before registering an uptick in its most recently completed quarter. And its overall quarterly profit slid for the first time in 15 years. Even so, Apple accounted for a staggering 103.6% of the smartphone industry’s operating profits during the third quarter, according to a BMO Capital Markets analyst, Investor Business Daily reported.

How’s that possible? Pretty much all of its competitors logged losses during that time period. Samsung, which is suffering due to its exploding Galaxy Note 7 debacle, grabbed an almost insignificant share (0.9%) of industry profits, BMO found. Money-losers in the smartphone business last quarter included LG and HTC, Long told IBD.

LG reported a $381 million loss due to weakening interest in its flagship G5 phone, which saw shipments decline 9% from the year prior. Taiwanese vendor HTC’s revenue was down 44% compared to a year ago, as it failed to keep up with the hyper-competitive market.

Meanwhile, from July through September, the iPhone accounted for 60% of Apple’s revenue, and overall the company generated $9 billion in income.

Making it even more remarkable is the fact that Apple has actually been losing market share. In the third quarter of 2016, Android captured a record 88% of the global market, according to Strategy Analytics. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS share slipped to 12.1% in the same period, from 13.6% the year prior. Android has hundreds of partners across the world—Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and more—which play in the low and mid-range sectors in price-sensitive economies.

Apple iOS is only available in the handful of handsets the Cupertino company releases, and its cheapest device is the $400 iPhone SE.

Apple has always captured a small portion of the market and yet brought in the vast majority of the profits. During the third quarter of 2015, it generated 90% of the industry’s profits in the industry, BMO said.