The Wall Steet Journal (paywall) notes that Apple and RIM are making disporportionately high profits on their smartphones while the rest of the industry is in a race to the bottom (sound like NetBook vs. Laptop market?).  Interestingly, Nokia is having significant issues with Smartphone marketshare but is still ahead on the profit curve.

Apple and RIM accounted for only 3% of all cellphones sold in the world last year but 35% of operating profits, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff.  The disparity will become even starker this year when, he estimates, the two will take 5% of the market in unit terms but 58% of total operating profits.

The iPhone, which is exclusive to AT&T and whose users are the heaviest Web surfers, draws the fattest subsidy, at about $400 a phone, Mr. Modoff calculates. BlackBerries draw subsidies averaging $200 from U.S. operators. Basic cellphones get a $100 subsidy.

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