Apple: 2.8% of Mobile Handsets, 39% of Mobile Profits

Apple sold a tiny percentage of mobile handsets during the first half of 2010, but the company managed to rake in the lion’s share of the industry’s profits, according to Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley. In a research note obtained by The Mac Observer initiating coverage of Apple, Mr. Walkley said that Apple sold 2.8% of all mobile handsets, but claimed 39% of manufacturing profits.

Apple sold some 17 million handsets during that time period. In comparison, the top three handset makers (Nokia, Samsung, and LG) combined sold some 400 million units, or 65.9% of all mobile handsets. Those same three manufactures laid claim to 32% of the industry’s profits, which is less than Apple’s share.

These numbers represent the entire mobile handset industry, and not just the smartphone sub-category in which Apple competes. The analyst didn’t break down the profits from just the smartphone category.

“Apple leads the industry in every metric except for unit share,” Mr. Walkley said in his research note, adding that Apple stands out in its ability to both innovate and turn that innovation into profits.

Mr. Walkley initiated coverage of AAPL with a “Buy” rating and a price target of $356 per share. He currently estimates fiscal 2010 sales (Apple’s fiscal year ends in September) at $63.3 billion with earnings per share (EPS) of $14.27. Fiscal 2011 estimates are revenue of $81.6 billion and EPS of $17.80, while fiscal 2012 estimates are for revenue of $93.3 billion and EPS of $20.4 billion.

Shares in Apple closed the day with a new record high of US$283.77, up $0.54 (+0.19%), on strong volume of 23.5 million shares trading hands.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.