There's almost no money in making Android smartphones

Apple captured an estimated 104 percent of total smartphone industry profits during Q3. How is this possible? Because the Android vendors were busy losing money.

What's a guaranteed way to become a millionaire? Start off as a billionaire and make a whole bunch of bad decisions.

See also: Apple has been outsmarted by Microsoft

This appears to be the current state of play for the Android market, according to BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long, who estimates that for Q3 Apple captured 103.6 percent of the smartphone industry's profits.

How is it possible that Apple could capture over 100 percent of the profits? Because Android vendors are busy losing money.

So, if Apple got 104 percent of the profits, where does the best Android maker rank in the scheme of things? Well, in second place is Android powerhouse Samsung, with a profit share of only 0.9 percent.

This is despite Samsung having 21.7 percent of the smartphone market based on units sold in Q3, followed by Apple, which had 13.2 percent.

Now, the third quarter was a particularly bad one for Samsung, especially given its Galaxy Note 7 problems, so its poor performance can be excused (to a point). But companies such as LG and HTC didn't suffer similar issues, and yet both these companies lost money.

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