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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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.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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