Apple and Samsung split 109% of mobile phone profits in Q3November 16, 2013: 12:17 PM ET
If you ignore China and count Nokia, RIM, Motorola, LG and HTC as "negative profits."
FORTUNE -- According to Canaccord Genuity's Michael Walkley, Apple (AAPL) and Samsung managed last quarter to split all the world's profits in mobile phones -- 56% Apple and 53% Samsung -- and come up with a total of more than 100%.
That only makes sense if you accept two premises:
- That money lost in a market should be treated as "negative profits" -- an oxymoron if I ever heard one.
- That you can ignore every Chinese mobile phone manufacturer, even though as a group they accounted for more than 30% of units sold in Q3 2013 (see pie chart).
Ignoring ZTE, TCL and the other Chinese manufacturers was a matter of necessity, according to Walkley, due to the lack of what he calls "available profit metrics" (i.e. quarterly reports).
The question of how market researchers account for so-called Chinese white box devices -- often cheap, underpowered knockoffs -- has become a sore point for companies such as Apple that don't believe their high-end products are in the same market.
For an Apple-centric take on the issue, see Daniel Eran Dilger's The curious case of IDC, Gartner & Strategy Analytics' PC, phone & tablet data on Apple posted Saturday on AppleInsider.com.