Market share v. profits (updated)

I have written about this before, but there is some new information out.  Once again, in the cellphone marketplace, while Apple has a small share of the total units sold, it has a stunning share of industry profits from cellphones.

For example, … Apple sold 17 million mobile handsets in the first half of 2010, compared with 400 million handsets sold by Nokia (NOK), Samsung and LG. Yet it pulled in 39% of the industry’s profit during that period, more than the 32% earned by the world’s three largest handset makers combined.

Apple is a hardware company that couples sleek industrial design with beautifully designed custom software to sell hardware. Apple successfully crafts devices that are viewed as unique and attractive, thereby allowing the company to play in the (smaller) high end of the space. In another example, Apple has about a 7% unit share of the personal computer market (not counting iPads), yet it earns 35% of the PC industry profit.

Which would you rather have: the biggest share of the profits or the biggest share of the market?

Disclosure: I own Apple stock.

Update: Of course, delivering consumer satisfaction doesn’t hurt either.