Apple Crushing Competition in Hardware Sales and Profits

 |  Includes: AAPL, GOOG
by: Leigh Drogen

Yes, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system has caught up to the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS. It will take much larger market share from here. This is not really debatable.

But those who believe operating system market share loss means Apple is losing its footing in the mobile race are completely wrong. We can talk all day about what operating system people are using, but when it comes to real things like revenue, profits, and stock price -- the things that actually make us money as traders -- it means little.

Why? Because although the iOS is a great operating system (save for the fact that it is a closed/walled garden), Apple makes its money on the hardware. Real profits come from selling things. Google took a run at it, but decided that hardware wasn’t really its thing when it axed the Nexus. I don’t blame Google; why would you want to compete with Apple at the hardware game? It’s not even close.

Yes, Google will make a ton of money from search on the Android platform. But Apple will make money from both search and hardware. The mobile race is as much about the hardware as it is about the software. Oh, right, and that little thing called the iTunes payment system? That could end up being the backbone of people ditching their wallets altogether and using their phones to pay for everything via near field communication technology.

So please, quiet down about this debate in the mobile space between Apple and Google; they are playing completely different games. And as far as Apple and every other hardware manufacturer, it's not even close.

[Click to enlarge]
Click to enlarge

No one even close to Apple now has greater than 51% of the profit share in the space. That will only go higher as the rest of the market fractures further. As a caveat, though, I am by no means saying Apple will rule the hardware space forever. You are only as good as your last product cycle, and Apple can slip up at any time. As well, it is possible that someone comes along with a crazy new technology that knocks Apple off the podium; you never know. This is why we don’t buy and hold -- that is for lazy people and those who are religious lovers of a company.

Apple is king for now and should continue to be so ... but you’ve always got to keep your eyes open. The charts will tell the story.

Disclosure: None