Mobile phone O/S market share

For those people who think the mobile phone world is primarily iPhones and Blackberries, there is an article about mobile phone operating system (O/S) market share, based on web usage, which had this graph.

As I have said before, patterns and trends from North America do not necessarily translate elsewhere, and US patterns are not necessarily a useful predictor of worldwide directions.

The big future markets of Africa, Asia and South America are very much dominated by Nokia’s Symbian O/S. Does this mean we could end up with a divided market – developed countries on Apple and RIM, developing world on Nokia? And if you are a mobile applications developer, which mobile O/S do you focus your development efforts on?

Mobile platforms – size vs. profit

I have previously commented that a trend in the US does not necessarily transfer globally – in Internet bandwidth, and other technology developments.

An interesting stat in Fortune, shows that the big mobile handset manufacturers – Nokia, Samsung, LG – ship over 400 million handsets a year, compared to Apple’s meagre 17 million. However, Apple has 39 percent of the profits of the industry – the big manufacturers combined have 32 percent.

My question is: does leading in profitability, or in units sold, indicate which vendor handset will become a global leader?