92 % of all the profit the estimated 1,000 smartphone manufactures gather worldwide, is for Apple. It can thank its extremely high profit margins for the profit, as the iPhone manufacturer only has a 20 % market share.
Only Samsung can somewhat tag along
Business bank Canaccord Genuity has published these remarkable numbers in a recent study. Although there are some 1,000 smartphone manufacturers, two of those seem to run away with all profits: Apple and its eternal competitor Samsung. Apple apparently gets 92 % of all profits, while Samsung has to be satisfied with 15 %.
Both giants get more than 100 % of profits, which means that most other manufacturers operate at a loss (of break-even at best). According to Canaccord Genuity, Microsoft has had to take a 4 % loss, which explains why the company has just buried its mobile division.
One thing to remember when looking at these numbers: the business bank only considers profit from smartphone sales and ignores any smartphone-related income. That may include paying apps (like with Xiaomi and Microsoft) or component manufacturing for other smartphone manufacturers (like Samsung, which is a huge supplier for ... the iPhone).
Nokia comeback through brand license
Poignant detail: when Apple launched its first iPhone in 2007, two thirds of the cellphone market's profit went to the Finnish Nokia. It was the world's largest cellphone manufacturer for 14 years, but it completely missed the smartphone market.
The Finns are vying for a comeback though: Nokia believes "the soonest that could happen is Q4 2016" as that is when the Microsoft license deal ends as agreed when it sold its smartphone branch. Whenever Nokia returns, it will not build its own smartphones, as it does not own any factories anymore. It will give another manufacturer a "brand license", similar to what it did with the Nokia N1 Android tablet. With that statement, the Nokia spokesperson pretty much guaranteed the company will ditch Windows as an operating system and use Android instead.