According to reports by IDC and Strategy Analytics, Apple was the fourth largest and RIM the fifth largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the third quarter (July-September) 2010. This is remarkable considering that Apple and RIM are the only two vendors on the list of five vendors that make only smart phones. The others, Nokia, Samsung and LG, make both feature phones and smart phones.
No doubt, organizing the list of device vendors by PROFITABILITY would position Apple and RIM even more differently. Feature phones are inexpensive to sell and inexpensive to make. They therefore carrying much less contribution margin than the more complicated and more popular smart phone class of devices. Smart phones however, attract much higher margins and marketing costs since users need to become aware of the coolest and most important features of the device long before the user arrives at the mobile phone store.