2012-poster

Could Apple's iPhone be destined for 3rd place in smartphone marketshare by 2012, trailing Nokia/Symbian's 39% and Google Android's 14.5% with a paltry 13.7%? That's what some analysts at Gartner are telling ComputerWorld, with Nokia already in the global lead, and Google's wallet, cloud-services, rapid iteration of the OS, and variety of form-factors and UIs from multiple manufacturers. Rounding out the other players are Windows Mobile with 12.8%, RIM BlackBerry with 12.5%, various Linux mobiles with a collective 5.4%, and Palm webOS with 2.1%.

iPhone, projected at 71.5 million unites sold, doesn't have Nokia's existing footprint or Google's services, but here's the thing: a) it has Apple's still-unmatched 360 degrees of ecosystem integration, b) will likely continue to improve at the same rate it has since the original iPhone 2G running 1.x with no apps or services in 2007, and c) will remain wildly profitable, and that profit share will remain more important to Apple than raw marketshare.

TiPb has discussed this before, of course. Back in August we heard that while the iPhone currently only has 8% of the market, it gets 32% of the revenue. Further back in January, we heard Apple was making double the profits of Nokia.

So, okay, if the Mayans are wrong and we're all still here in 2012, maybe Apple will only be making 30% margin on a 13.7% share. But that might still be killer compared to very little on a 39% share.

Just compare Apple's current financial results to the rest of the industry for an indication of how that works...