Google revealed its own fair share of big numbers associated with Android during its Google I/O keynote presentation, saying as of 2013, there have been 900 million activations of the mobile OS, making it the world’s most popular operating system. That must mean there are a lot of companies out there getting rich and fat from selling Android hardware, right?
Well, yes, but if the latest research from Strategy Analytics is accurate, it’s only one company doing so, despite Android being licensed by dozens of firms. As you have probably guessed, the one making the most profit from Android is market leader Samsung, but the actual figure may come as a surprise, as it’s said to have taken almost 95 percent of the global profits earned from the mobile OS during the first quarter of 2013.
Analysts broke it down like this: Globally, it’s estimated the Android industry made $5.3 billion profit in the first quarter of this year, while the profit estimates for Android phones shipped by Samsung comes in at $5.1 billion for the same period. The exact figure quoted is 94.7 percent profit share, and that’s not including tablets either.
According to Strategy Analytics’ chart, in a (very) distant second place is LG, with 2.5 percent profit share, while all the other Android phone manufacturers – think about it, that’s everyone from Sony and HTC to Huawei, Acer and ZTE – are lumped into an Others category, which totals 2.7 percent.
While we may mock Samsung’s obsession with producing an Android device using every possible screen size, and question hardware using the Galaxy S3 or Galaxy S4’s name to make it more appealing, it’s these phones and Samsung’s massive international distribution network which has yielded this astonishing level of control. Still to this day people think Nokia should adopt Android, but when you see how little established players such as Sony and HTC are making from their own, high quality phones, Windows Phone suddenly looks a lot more attractive.
Finally, and perhaps even more surprising, is Strategy Analytics’ Director Neil Mawston believes Samsung now makes more money from Android than Google.