This is an interesting article about the Apple/Samsung debacle by Farhad Manjoo (writing in the PandoDaily). Even more interesting if the strategy of copying the iPhone will, eventually, work in Samsung’s favour. A recommended read.
Originally posted on PandoDaily:
In the fall of 2008, just a year after it released the iPhone, Apple became the most profitable phone maker in the world. The milestone wasn’t much remarked upon by the press. At the time, Apple was still selling only a tiny number of phones compared to its rivals, and it wasn’t clear that it could ever become a global juggernaut in the phone business.
Still, because rivals couldn’t match Apple’s average sales price and profit margins, they were falling behind. In the fourth quarter of 2008, Nokia, which had long been the phone industry’s profit leader, sold 113 million devices worldwide, about 15 million of them smartphones. It made about $1.2 billion in profit on all those phones. That same quarter, Apple sold just 4 million iPhones. But that single device earned Apple a profit of $1.3 billion.
These numbers—which Asymco’s Horace Dediu has helpfully archived here—provide the backstory to an industry in panic. If you were a phone maker watching the iPhone’s sudden rise in 2008, you had to make a quick decision. A storm was blasting through your business and your survival depended on how you reacted.