Post Format

★ losing market share to Android


Losing market share is like the 90’s rearing its ugly head all over again. Market share is meaningful in some contexts, like when you’re competing with a monopoly like Microsoft, or struggling to sell burgers in an environment dominated by cheap and cheerful franchisees.

According to new numbers from the NPD Group, the iPhone 4S launch delay didn’t hurt Apple from a sales perspective. Over a year past launch, the iPhone 4 was the top selling phone in all of Q3 2011, with the two-year-old iPhone 3GS coming in at number two. Interestingly, the HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid 3, and Samsung Intensity II, hardly the latest and greatest devices, rounded out the top five. While some consumers may have waited for the latest iPhone to finally be released in Q4, it seems most were happy to continue buying Apple’s older wares.

So, you’re saying that the iPhone is doing well – actually quite well. How does that relate to the linkbait title of your article (Apple has the top selling phones, but it’s still losing market share to Android)?

The iPhone’s 21 percent growth trailed the overall smartphone market growth and its share of the market dropped to 15 percent.

So comparing the iPhone 4S (one of 3 models Apple are selling) to the overall smartphone market is fair? Even if we accept that premise, how could you consider a growth rate of 21%, poor performance? Poor, compared to what? Oh, wait I remember now. Android market share.

Though Apple may have dominated on an individual device level, Gartner’s Q3 2011 sales data shows Android pulling away from iOS. Android sales grew 194 percent year-over-year and the platform now accounts for more than 50 percent of all smartphones sold.

The next decade will not be shaped by market share. The next decade will be shaped by dollars, just like the last decade and the decades before. Google’s business has never been to put phones in people’s hands, but that sure works a treat for putting advertising in front of eyeballs.

Google’s business is advertising, so releasing an OS as open source seems like a worthwhile loss, if it generates business in other ways. This is pretty simple really, and a lesson HP is soon to learn, albeit the hard way.

Bonus points: here’s one from the recent archives, this time from Marco

if anyone’s willing to throw massive piles of money at gaining marketshare that isn’t worth anywhere near what they spent to gain it, it’s Microsoft.

Let’s not welcome back the 90’s, shall we?

On another note, this is a perfect example of the criticism levelled at the verge by others, that there’s generally far more interesting debate in the comments than there is in the article itself.