The disappointing earnings outlooks that Samsung Electronics and HTC posted last week may point to a industry where cutthroat competition has hurt device sales across the board, but even with its slumping profit margins Apple holds a unique advantage in a field full of Android devices, analysts say. Android fans have divided their loyalty among a range of smartphone-makers while Apple stands alone, much as Mac computers thrived when Windows-based PC manufacturers fragmented sales of that consumer base, this analysis notes.

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