Apple may no longer be the top dog in global smartphone sales, but that's not stopping it from wearing the cash king crown, with Canaccord Genuity estimating the company took home a whopping 52 percent of the handheld industry's operating profits this past quarter — with just 4.2 percent of the global marketshare. Apple's long utilized a high-margin hardware strategy with the Mac, but its profit dominance in handhelds is a different animal: according to analyst T. Michael Walkley, the company made a profit of 35 cents for every dollar of handheld sales, more than double that of its closest competitor. All in what some analysts considered a "rare miss" of a quarter.
The other standout is Samsung, whose profit share leapt to 29 percent, driven by the success of the Galaxy S II and its Android lineup, and while RIM continued its downward trend, the loudest alarm bells must be ringing in Finland. Nokia scraped up just 4 percent of the industry's profits, a devastating decline from the 39 percent it captured just two years ago. While Apple will be facing tough competition this holiday quarter from the Galaxy Nexus and a variety of new HTC, Motorola, and Nokia devices, Walkley is bullish on Cupertino's chances, estimating it will sell 29 million iPhones, pushing its profit share as high as 60 percent. Then again, analysts have disappointed before, and nothing's official until we hear it on the earnings call ourselves.