Print 76 comment(s) - last by clovell.. on May 17 at 10:05 AM

Apple isn't buying NPD's sales analysis

Yesterday, DailyTech reported on the news that the plethora of Android-based smartphones on the market have finally jumped ahead of Apple's iPhone in the United States. The numbers pegged Android's market share at 28 percent while smartphones running iPhone OS were a bit further back at 21 percent.

We never expected Apple to respond to NPD's numbers -- the company is usually "above" such responses and marches to its own drumbeat. However, the news picked up steam all across the internet yesterday and Apple felt the need to respond.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison gave a statement to John Paczkowski which he posted on his Digital Daily blog:

This is a very limited report on 150,000 US consumers responding to an online survey and does not account for the more than 85 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide. IDC figures show that iPhone has 16.1 percent of the smartphone market and growing, far outselling Android on a worldwide basis. We had a record quarter with iPhone sales growing by 131 percent and with our new iPhone OS 4.0 software coming this summer, we see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon.

Paczkowski makes a point of noting that while NPD's numbers don't give a snapshot of the global smartphone market and only surveyed 150,000 customers, Apple isn't exactly being straightforward either. The Apple spokeswoman points out that over 85 million iPhone and iPod touches have been sold, despite the fact that the iPod touch is in no way a smartphone -- in actuality, only 55 million iPhones have been sold to date.

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Here goes
By bug77 on 5/11/2010 5:26:38 PM , Rating: 5
First phase: denial.

And did anyone else find it funny iPod touch was mentioned in the context?

RE: Here goes
By bplewis24 on 5/11/2010 5:53:26 PM , Rating: 5
Not only do they mention iPod Touch for no apparent reason (well, the reason was obviously to inflate the huge number they were throwing at us of $85 million), but they also mention their "16.1 market share" figure to illustrate that they are outselling Android on a "worldwide" basis, even though this NPD research was a domestic U.S. study, and not worldwide.

In short, to refute this Domestic U.S. Smartphone study, they bring up iPod Touches and worldwide market share figures. What is the cost of that? Not much. But the fact that Apple lemmings will repeat those figures to their friends as gospel? Priceless.


RE: Here goes
By sebmel on 5/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Here goes
By mcnabney on 5/11/2010 8:37:58 PM , Rating: 5
Jobs wants to talk about total sales numbers versus market share.


Because the iDrones always buy. The average iPhone3GS owner also has an iPhone3G, iPhone, and a Touch at home as well. Unfortunately for Jobs that one person still only counts for one when considering marketshare. Since Android is young the average Android user just owns a Droid, a Backflip, or a Hero. They probably also have an old Treo and a Curve at home too. So the Apple customer is only maintaining marketshare for Jobs, but the Android customer represents growth. We probably won't know what the long term trend for marketshare is going to be until this time next year. By then we will know if Win Phone 7 can reclaim share and if WebOS is going to continue after Pre/Pixi.

Personally I believe that Android is going to continue to eat Microsoft's lunch and finish off Palm's milkshake. If RIM doesn't modernize their product I anticipate Android moving closer to 40% while RIM drops down to 25%. Apple has filled their niche. They should have gotten out from under AT&T in 1Q. They just aren't unique anymore....

RE: Here goes
By sebmel on 5/11/2010 8:50:50 PM , Rating: 5
"Personally I believe that Android is going to continue to eat Microsoft's lunch and finish off Palm's milkshake."

I hope not. Imagine a market in which Google, Microsoft, Apple, Rim and HP are competing like hell for our mobile phone purchases. We know what a monopoly gets you... overpriced buggy software, bad terms on licensing and new versions that repackage the old bugs with a new GUI. We aren't getting that from Microsoft now because Linux and Mac OS are offering an option, and because too many old customers see sticking with XP as yet another option. How much better for us would it be if there were a vibrant 5 way battle?

Bring on the competition... it brings on the future.

RE: Here goes
By Chaser on 5/12/2010 8:49:08 AM , Rating: 2
Now that Apple has made the "smart phone" a household name, we have a new population of "smarter" smart phone users. Hopefully some of those people will open their eyes to other options. Sure the "iDroids" will stay suckled to Job's but some will be open to other options.

Advantage, Android.

RE: Here goes
By sebmel on 5/11/2010 8:59:47 PM , Rating: 3
"Jobs wants to talk about total sales numbers versus market share."

Yeah, I have seen him talk about it often but I suspect it isn't Apple's focus. If you see how profitable Apple has been and how difficult the last few years have been for Dell you realise that Apple has been boxing clever. It has been cherry picking: taking the profitable part of the market and ignoring overall sales.

If you consider that Apple hasn't added cheap models of iPhone I think it's reasonable to assume that it is doing the same again with phones. Apple sells way less phones than Nokia but its phones profits are up there with Nokia's.

Just an idea.

RE: Here goes
By Calindar on 5/11/2010 10:11:09 PM , Rating: 5
Yep, Apple takes mediocre hardware, packages it into a shiny package with a pretty logo, and sells it at a premium price to every sucker that doesn't know diddly about what they are actually buying. It really is brilliant.

RE: Here goes
By FredEx on 5/12/2010 6:39:19 AM , Rating: 3
Well put.

People I know doing Apples have bought all the devices they come out with. They get the new models of them all then. If they bought just one IPod, ITouch, IPhone and IPad, you then have only one person owning 4. Most Apple nuts I know have multiple IPods...they HAD to have the new one with a larger hard drive, had to have the mini, and so on.

It would be interesting to see a study on how many of the devices each Apple nut owns. I'm sure they'd all love to brag about all of them they own. I would not be surprised to hear that 85 Million sales of all the devices is more like 20 Million actual owners.

RE: Here goes
By Tony Swash on 5/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: Here goes
By Targon on 5/12/2010 8:09:37 AM , Rating: 1
You can't argue that anyone who buys EVERY Apple device that comes out is a bit foolish. There is ZERO reason to buy an iPod Touch if you have an iPhone for example. The iPod is one of the few devices that I feel is a pretty good device overall, but Apple does go on a "number of sales" basis, since they DO inflate the price of their products so much, their per-unit profit is higher than many other companies.

Actual sales NUMBERS, and market share numbers I suspect are WAY off and are inflated for Apple. Yes, you see a bunch of iPhones out there for example, but the percentage of the overall smartphone market isn't even close to the 1 out of 5 mark(20 percent). Blackberry devices are out there in huge numbers, and for corporate use, the iPhone has many areas where other devices are better.

If anything, you can thank the incompetence in marketing departments of other companies for the success of the iPhone. No marketing people seem to understand how to push the STRENGTHS of their products and show why the target audience should be buying their product compared to something from the competition. It is all about hype, and trying to make consumers forget the core idea of most of these devices, to have a GOOD phone with one or more additional features that add value to them.

RE: Here goes
By Tony Swash on 5/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: Here goes
By Alexstarfire on 5/12/2010 7:00:13 PM , Rating: 2
This entire post is nonsense. And in fact most of it basically agrees with what the OP said.

RE: Here goes
By zmatt on 5/12/2010 12:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
While the capabilities and feature set make it a gray area the targeted market and intended use is what sets them apart. When people purchase an iPhone or android phone they are shopping for a phone first and a media player second. When people buy an iPad, iPod, or another mp3 player, net book, whatever they are not looking at phones at all.

The iPod and iPad do not compete with smart phones as people buy them for different reasons, therefore it is unfair to include them.

RE: Here goes
By stevejluke on 5/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Here goes
By druble on 5/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Here goes
By daveinternets on 5/11/2010 6:55:31 PM , Rating: 5
This is about SMARTPHONE market share. This is not an OS to OS comparison. The iPod Touch is not a SMARTPHONE. Bringing it up is irrelevant to this 'survey'.

RE: Here goes
By Brandon Hill on 5/11/2010 7:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The NPD report specifically mentions Android-based smartphones, so Apple is barking up the wrong tree.

RE: Here goes
By druble on 5/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Here goes
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/11/2010 8:06:04 PM , Rating: 3
The article is still about SMARTPHONES, touch is NOT a smartphone regardless of the OS.

RE: Here goes
By stevejluke on 5/11/2010 11:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
No, I think you need to read the report. here is the quote:

"The Android operating system (OS) continued to shake up the U.S. mobile phone market in the first quarter (Q1) of 2010, moving past Apple to take the number-two position among smartphone operating systems, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. NPD’s wireless market research reveals that based on unit sales to consumers last quarter the Android operating system moved into second position at 28 percent behind RIM’s OS (36 percent) and ahead of Apple’s OS (21 percent)."

It is all about the OS, and devices running the OS. not smartphones. The term 'smartphone' is only used in reference to the type of OS. Since both the iPod Touch and iPad use the iPhone OS, they should be counted in as devices running the iPhone operating system (and if they are not then I would believe it is a flaw in the report). I assume, based on the language used, that the report does use these devices in the count (or more probably asked questions which included them).

RE: Here goes
By Dark Legion on 5/12/2010 2:47:49 AM , Rating: 3
From your own quote: "The Android operating system (OS) continued to shake up the U.S. mobile phone market..."
Yes, in this case the term 'smartphone' is being used in reference to the type of OS, but it is still clear from the beginning that this research is about phone/smartphone market share, and thus includes only phones running smartphone OS'.

RE: Here goes
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/12/2010 8:44:26 AM , Rating: 2
The term 'smartphone' is only used in reference to the type of OS
Again, key WORD, PHONE. Not sure how hard this is to understand? I don't, and I am sure many others, when we think of SMARTPHONE, we are thinking of the PHONE, NOT THE OS

/me rolls eyes

RE: Here goes
By Tony Swash on 5/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: Here goes
By Gio6518 on 5/12/2010 7:57:27 AM , Rating: 2
does not account for the more than 85 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide

not only does it take into account ipod touch, they also count every single iphone and ipod touch since its creation, like no one has updated their original iphone to a 3g or 3gs....

its all about manipulation, they want to make the illusion that their still in demand...

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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