Now that Apple’s stock price appears to have regained some sanity, rising this morning to $500 from last week’s low, perhaps its time to introduce some reality into the Apple vs. Android discussions which lately have resembled Chicken Little’s adaptation of the Mayan Calendar. Before “The Sky is Falling: Apple orders are down” mania, there was the “Android has the market share and Apple’s a has-been” debate.
The core argument and evidence of Android’s dominance over Apple was right out of Circular Logic 101: Android has the Market Share. But look behind the curtain and the end of the world does not seem so close – at least for Apple…
The common definition of market share is a percentage of sales in a given country controlled by a company. It goes, then, that market share dominance equates to overall product dominance, right? If that were true, Walmart’s boatloads of costume jewelry would dominate Tiffany’s small market of high-quality, high-priced products.
But just as Walmart is not the leader in gemstones, Android is not the leader in smartphones. Or, put another way, Apple is lagging behind Android in market share, but destroying Google’s mobile platform in every other metric.
The iPhone 5S concept render via Martin Hajek.
Per conventional wisdom, Android’s market share lead must inevitably lead to a larger portion of industry profits.
Then why does Apple continue to report incredible profits?
In 2012, Christian reported that Apple had 80 percent of mobile profits and Samsung had 20 percent. This even as the South Korean Android smartphone maker’s marketing department outspends the iPhone maker 10-to-1. Indeed, Samsung outspends Apple, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, HP and Dell combined, according to independent Horace Dediu.
So, if market share dominance doesn’t ensure profitability, it must entice more developers?
OK, advertisers must prefer Android, right?
Advertisers prefer iOS – even love the iPad, we recently reported.
If market share doesn’t equate to profits, developers or advertisers, those crazy gamers must surely like Android?
Eh, maybe not.
But wait until Samsung unleashes their new Galaxy S IV, it’ll blow iPhone fanatics away, right?
So far, the Galaxy S phones are being outsold by the iPhone, according to one analyst.
The reality that Android’s dominance of market share only means a dominance of market share and not much else is slowly sinking in with observers.
But pessimists need to overly worry, the year has just begun.
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