It's comforting that in this day of a strangely changing narrative about Apple, one can still find people who'll make a big fuss about market share. Even if it is goofballs from Goofball Central (Seeking Alpha) and Goofball High (Forbes).
In between we'll look at the iPhone 6! (Actual iPhone 6 not included.)
Writing for Seeking Alpha, "Transcend Asset" sounds the alert. (Transcend Asset is probably not the writer's real name, but who knows? "Transcend Macklemore Asset! Stop jumping on that divan!")
When there is an elephant in the room, it seems everybody wants to find out what it is doing there.
People are apparently very analytical. Personally, the Macalope's first reaction would be more "AAAGH, THERE'S AN ELEPHANT IN HERE! RUN!" But that's just him.
According to Kantar Worldpanel, Apple's market share has been shrinking in its home country for quite some time.
This seems weird to the Macalope because his loose recollection was that Apple's U.S. share had been increasing slowly into 2013 and then perhaps shrank a bit. It's a loose recollection because he doesn't pay that much attention to market share. It's not nearly as important to Apple as other shares such as profit share or even, well, Cher. Every Monday morning Tim Cook gets two reports in his inbox: customer sat and Cher share.
But looking at the Kantar World Panel data hyperbolic Seeking Alpha writer links to, it does look like it's been declining a bit since 2012, which is as far back as the charted data goes. Once the iPhone was available on all carriers in the U.S., Apple was kind of limited to where it could go to get more market share. What's happened since then is that other vendors have picked off the remaining feature phone users, people who were never going to be Apple customers anyway. Once again, it's kind of hard to get worked up about market share, particularly when there are other indicators that it was still doing well as of last October. And then there's the fact that Apple keeps selling more iPhones regardless of share and the fact that they take most of the profit in the phone market and, finally, there's the Ive index.
Is Jony Ive still glowering on the Apple executives page? Yes, he is. Then all is well.
You'd think that a BlackBerry shareholder like the author of this piece would really rather not talk about market share. Oh, did the Macalope forget to mention that?
The author is long BBRY.
Go figure. BlackBerry's smartphone share is actually up of late, from next to nothing to slightly less next to nothing but still really close to nothing. It's all blue skies for BlackBerry.
What they can see of the sky from the hole they're in.
Apple's situation in the US market is significant for consideration as the US is the world's largest consumer market, and home to the world's largest stock exchange.
Also the world's largest Corn Palace. And the capital of Nebraska is Lincoln.
While the US market share may not be looking well for Apple, some may want to say that Apple is doing well in China... I question that.
Who saw that coming?!
In July 2012, iOS accounts for 26.4%.
In January 2013, 22.1% and January 2014, 17.4%.
June 2014 data shows it is further down to 12.8%.
Seems weird, right? Apple's sales in China have been increasing but its share has fallen. How can this be?
Because this is smartphone share and the story in China has been people switching from feature phones. Here's a report from January of this year:
Say, how's BlackBerry doing in China in the most recent data?
Nowhere to go but up. Unless negative market share is a thing.
Holy cow, you guys! Who wants to see the iPhone 6? Because Cult of Mac's John Brownlee has got it!
"This is the iPhone 6 in all its glory" (no link because, well, you'll see)
Wow! So, exciting. But guess what the surprise in this article is. Take a wild guess. Go ahead. You'll never guess it in a million years.
Yeah, you're right. It is not the iPhone 6. Tip o' the antlers on this one go to Saved You A Click which correctly replies "No it isn't".
Conceptual designer Martin Hajek has no peer when it comes to turning the latest Apple rumors into blisteringly sexy 3-D renders...
Sexy. Phone. Renders.
Also, "blisteringly sexy"? Not the horny one's idea of sexy. Look, some people are into blisters. That's OK. Well, no, it's not. It's gross. But let's not judge.
Anyway, what Brownlee has is a bunch of renders, not the real device. Oopsies. Hope you weren't led astray by the headline. So sorry. Their bad.
...Martin Hajek has re-examined all of his old renders and every rumor and part leak for the iPhone 6 so far, to come up with the most realistic and accurate iPhone 6 renders yet...
And yet... and yet... they are still renders based on rumors. Is this the iPhone 6? No, it is not. Full stop.
How can we tell? Because Brownlee even tells us.
If the real iPhone 6 looks even half this good...
So really, the headline should have read "This is a fake iPhone 6 in all its glory." Admittedly that doesn't attract as many clicks as what Cult of Mac went with but it would be more accurate. Or, in any way accurate at all.
Not seeing the forest for the trees
Cue the heavy organ music, because the Forbes contributor network clown car has rolled up and pushed out Peter Cohan to give us the doom-one-one.
"Can Apple Halt Its Eroding Market Share?" (no link, but tip o' the antlers to @JonyIveParody)
Get ready for this lede because it's a work of beauty.
Apple (AAPL) is rapidly losing market share -- and that might be fine if it had not also lost its ability to innovate.
First of all, pretending market share is the most important thing evah is dumb. Second, it's even dumberer when you're just looking at smartphone market share. Apple's share of the global phone market is up. Not a lot, but it's up.
By innovate I mean gaining share in a big market in which Apple previously did not compete.
Way to move those goal posts! Forget the fact that Apple products drive the direction of all its competitors even when it only has a small market share (see: MacBook, iPhone, iMac). No, innovation has nothing to do with design or user experience, it's all about [insert ridiculous bar Apple isn't meeting].
Meanwhile Google Android operating system captured a new record of 85% share...
Wrong! "Google Android" does not have that share. "Android" has that share. "Android", and you have to use the quotes because you're not legally allowed to use the brand name unless you agree to Google's terms which means using their services. Most phones in China don't do this.
Oh, details, details, stop being so pedantic, Mr. Mythical Creature with the horns and Classic Mac head! -- Yes, well, details are where you can divine the people who are actually doing analysis and asking questions and trying to figure things out and the people like Cohan who are just blasting away at the clown horn.
This returns me to where I started...
A primordial swamp.
...the definition of innovation. What Cook appears to mean is a tweaking of product features.
What Cohan means is whatever Apple's not doing right now. Today it's owning entire markets, which has rarely been the norm for Apple. Who knows what it'll be next year? Possibly something having to do with lunar space stations and low-gravity pudding.