Originally Posted by ascii
I agree that the iPad belongs in the same market as the PC. This is because it is powerful enough to be general purpose enough to fill the role of a PC (with a few exceptions). A 64-bit 1.4GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM and 128GB disk was a decent PC not long ago.
The second point about some kind of conspiracy from the purveyors of stats is a bit harder to believe. I agree that one way to publish objective numbers, but still have them come out to favour your losing client, is to be creative with market boundaries. But it could just as easily be explained by them taking a simplistic view of things, e.g. not grouping devices together based on how general purpose they potentially are, but just on what they look like. One can imagine non technical people making that mistake.
It isn't a conspiracy. That's putting words in DED's mouth. It is movement into new markets and servicing new customers by SA, IDC, et al.
And they aren't purveyors of stats, but rather, historically, have been creators of market analysis reports that can be used by middle managers and VPs to justify virtually any decision or forecast. That's an important distinction: the products that SA and IDC create (and charge considerable sums for) are artfully crafted reports that can be used to prop up purchasing or operations decision, so that a manager or executive can better sell his/her plan to the top brass.
Does Mr. Green's plan to focus the company's software development on products that will run exclusively on the Samsung Galaxy Y sound a bit, well, deluded? But, says Mr. Green, look here at page 32 in this hefty and oh-so-professional report custom-tailored for us by IDC! The Galaxy Y has prodigious market share in the mid-to-lower-range name-brand smartphone segment! And the chart shows that it has nowhere to go but up! Can't argue with that!
These reports are beautiful artifices, chock-full of obfuscating industry jargon, page-long tables that appear tidy and scrupulous, and, most important of all, charts and graphs that can be read to mean anything you want them to. Art, beautiful, exceptional art, masquerading as science.
Now SA, IDC, and Gartner are moving beyond their traditional reports into new products: artfully crafted press releases, designed to sway industry pundits who will assume that there must be at least a grain of truth in the releases, and who will, like the oysters they are, build fantastic pearls of wisdom around those grains. The pearls will be shared with investors, early adopters, and others who will further influence consumers. In the end, the truthiness will out.
If you were a marketer at a billion-dollar company which bet on the Android horse and hasn't seen a penny of profit from it, would you consider paying a relative pittance for press releases from well-known industry analysts that appear to be impartial but which actually paint your company's struggles as triumphs and your competitor's wins as losses?
There's no conspiracy here, just sleazy businesses servicing sleazy businesses.