Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Apple's Market Share Problems

The last few days have seen a number of interesting revelations about Apple's market share.

The title of this first article is a bit misleading. All of the big phone vendor's market share tends to "grow" - temporarily - when they release a new flagship product. The important point here is that when the iPhone 5 release, iOS's market share temporarily grew 18.7 points (from 34.6% to 53.3%). With the iPhone 5S/5C release, it only had (probably temporarily) grown 7.1 points (from 35.1% to 43.1%). These numbers are US market share, world-wide iOS doesn't fair nearly so well.
Apple iPhone Market Share 2013: Still growing, but slower than before | BGR
Basically this is just another sign that Apple is becoming boring.

This next article covers an even more disturbing trend. Apple is RAPIDLY declining in Europe. It is written from the standpoint of Windows Phone in the EURO5, but the numbers for Apple and Android are there as well.
Windows Phone Makes Solid Gains On The Eve Of The Microsoft Takeover - Seeking Alpha
The important point is this. Apple is #3 in Italy already and could well be #3 in much of Europe within a year. Note that Android gained 7.4 points during this period (from 61.5% to 69.1%).

There is evidence that Apple losing to Android with developers, tech leaders and journalists and well lots of others too:
Android And Apple At CES - Business Insider

Android Developer Interest Is Catching Up To Its Market Share – ReadWrite

More developers targeting Android tablets for new apps than iPad | TabTimes

Why Apple Is Losing Ground To The Samsung Brand - Forbes

Gartner and IDC have released preliminary sales numbers for holiday PC sales:
Apple's domestic Mac sales surge 28.5% as overall PC market shrinks 7.5% [u]

Mac Shipments in U.S. Rise 28.5%, PC Shipments in Decline - The Mac Observer

The Mac blogs play this like it's great news for Apple. First of all, the "rise" is only in the US. Apple is still very much insignificant elsewhere. Second, while the rise is year to year for the quarter... it comes in a quarter that had an important Mac refresh (the Macbook Pro). If you look at data for all of 2012 and all of 2013, Gartner has Macs up a little and IDC has Macs down a little. It is true that Macs are out performing Windows PCs, but just how hard is that? I'll not bother with further analysis until the firm numbers get released in early February.

Oh, one thing is certain... because both Macbooks and Chromebooks are being counted in the total, the Window's PC market share was a whole lot worse than the estimated 7.5% loss of the whole US PC market. I'm estimating that Windows PC market share fell something like 15%-25%. Hopefully Gartner and/or IDC will break that out for us when the final figures come. Strangely, I have seen a number of analysts talking about the 7.5% loss as a sign of slowing loss. That might be true for Intel and OEMs like Acer (heavy into Chromebooks) and Apple... but it is disastrous for Microsoft.

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