WhatsApp recently announced in a blog post that it will stop supporting several mobile operating systems beginning in 2017. Platforms on the chopping block by WhatsApp developers include Nokia’s mobile platforms, Windows Phone 7.1 and BlackBerry. App developers must focus their platform support based on the number of users and with Android and iOS dominating the global marketplace it was only a matter of time before the “also ran” platforms were eliminating from future releases.
WhatsApp’s focus on fewer platforms is merely the latest sign in a mobile platform war: there are two big winners. In 2015, Android and iOS devices dominated the global smartphone market with 97.5 percent of sales, a significant increase from only 38 percent in 2010.
However it is no secret that Apple’s iPhone business is exceptionally profitable. According to recent estimates released by investment bank Canaccord Genuity, clearly show Apple’s dominant position in the smartphone market. Apple claimed a whopping 92 percent of the industry’s aggregate profits in the first three quarters of 2015. And as shown above this number is even more incredible considering that the iPhone only accounted for 15 percent of global smartphone shipments during the same period.
Samsung, Apple’s primary challenge in the smartphone market, is the only other company making money, with Microsoft, LG, HTC and others currently operating at a loss. Please note that the aggregate industry profits used to calculate profit shares as shown in the chart, take into account the losses made by unprofitable vendors which explains why the combined profit share of Apple and Samsung adds up to more than 100 percent.