Woe is Apple. How will the company survive. Every competitor has better products at a lower price. What are Apple’s customers thinking? Those billion or so customers will abandon the Apple ship any day now as the company’s fortunes slowly sink into, well, something bad.
Need an example of Apple’s woes? Lisa Eadicicco has the standard meme:
Apple just got bumped down to 4th place in a list of the world’s top smartphone makers
Oh no. Say it ain’t so. Where was Apple before it dropped?
First place? Nope. Second place for sure? Uh uh. Well, it had to be third place so maybe we should ask a couple of questions.
First, what are the basic numbers for each of the top smartphone makers? That would make it easier to judge what is happening to Apple.
Second, as it turns out, marketshare numbers are a science. An imaginary science. Various and sundry research groups analyze anal droppings onto tea leaves and then publish numbers as if they are facts.
Not. Real. Facts.
Numbers? Yes. Facts? No. They are guesses. That’s because none of the major manufacturers actually divulge how many of whatever they make gets sold in a given quarter. Even Apple. In this particular guesstimate, Samsung came in at #1, followed by the Chinese maker under ban in half the world, Huawei. After that, it’s newcomer Oppo– with 36.2-million smartphones shipped– then Apple, followed up by Apple copycat Xiaomi.
Apple’s share declined. Apple’s revenue declined. Apple’s smartphone shipments declined. Only one of those has a real number associated to it and it came from Apple.
Everything else is a guess.
What do such headlines mean? Well, first, it means writers are not going to put much time into analysis and simply regurgitate what some unknown research company came up with after using a suppository. Second, the numbers that actually matter seldom show up because few companies publish them.
Numbers? Revenue. Profits. Gross margins.
Those numbers matter more than imaginary marketshare, and Apple stands where it has stood for nearly a decade. Tops in revenue, tops in profit, tops in marketshare.
Nobody else is close. If that is true, then why all the anti-Apple screeds about marketshare losses?
Shipments do not a profitable company make. Profits are more important. Apple owns those in each hardware industry where the company competes. Everyone else is tied for last place.