Originally Posted by jahonen
The poster that I responded to was making a claim that was in no way supported by the facts shown in the chart (loss of share due to people waiting for iPhone HD).
Sorry that I misunderstood the context of your response.
Of course Q3 is the biggest since that's immediately after launch of new models. In this case the market share growth slowed during that quarter (even if volumes went up). After that it declided. I referenced only the chart and only the market share numbers as that was the topic at hand and shows a particular trend (Apple is not the only thing on end user's choice list).
Q3 share increased to about 28% from about 24% in Q2.
If you want to discuss market share, these last few quarters have shown that the things that some even here have stated (and that has been dismissed by a larger part) are showing first signs of happening. Competition is catching up and joe average doesn't necessarily look only at the brand rather the combination of product image, price and UX. If the price is lower, UX comparable and image OK, that's competition already.
Will this downward marketshare trend for Apple (if it even is that yet) continue is a big IF. But these are the first signs that the competition is catching up and even surpassing Apple (for now only in market share in the US). If the market share drops too low, it will hurt absolute unit numbers as well (you'll lose mindshare).
A year ago between Jan and Apr, I was responding to many posts here at AI about how the competition was catching up and even surpassing Apple. G1, Omnia HD, N900, etc were all brought up to show that Apple had fallen behind. And yet come Q3, Apple gained share. So again since Sep, the competition has brought out better phones, better OSes, better App stores. We'll see what happens come Q3.
As I said earlier, Apple doesn't care that there are competitors that have larger market share in the arbitrarily defined market category of smartphones. Nokia and RIM platforms have always had larger share. The Android platform now has larger share, just like the others. Does this portend bad times to come or not?
Instead, by being focused on putting out a better iPhone (and better iPhone platform), Apple has increased AT&T activations by 800k-2million y-o-y for the last 4 quarters. It's actually growing faster than it did in the prior year. The only question is how many AT&T customers are there who might switch to a smartphone or upgrade from a prior iPhone. Apple/AT&T knows that answer better than I, but I think AT&T is fairly saturated, thus, my view that Apple should add more US carriers. But I could be wrong.
Android has had an astounding 2 quarters for Motorola and HTC over on the other 3 carriers in the US. But I think Apple and others see a flaw in the Android business model, in that Android-aligned hardware makers will make little to no profit (especially with all the 2-for-1sales). Thus the model is not truly sustainable long-term given the rate at which new models are introduced and the rate at which new technology needs to be added. Nokia, RIM, Samsung (partially), and now HP all see the critical importance of owning the OS to avoid the low-margin fate that has befallen all of the undifferentiated Windows/Linux PC mfrs.