The curious case of IDC, Gartner & Strategy Analytics' PC, phone & tablet data on Apple



  • Reply 41 of 215

    The article is not the first one on these so called "Market Research" companies. You can guess the level of incompetency when you read the article here (


    Some light moments from the article -



    "To recap: In early 2009, Gartner projects “sharpest unit decline in history.” At the end of the year, it reports “strongest growth rate in seven years.”

    And you wonder why I put “Gartner predicts” right up there with “a report from DigiTimes” on my list of phrases that cause me to stop reading further.

    You should too."


  • Reply 42 of 215

    Great piece shedding light on these questionable firms. This piece should be re-printed on CNN and all the investment news sites.

  • Reply 43 of 215
    richsadams wrote: »
    This article highlights the "Cheat to win" strategy that is so prevalent in today's society.  The practice is disgusting, morally wrong and indefensible.


    Maybe not such a new strategy:
    Literature and linguistics.

    The strongest teacher of the prohibition of bribery was literary. At the center of the European tradition stood Dantes Divine Comedy, in which bribery and simony constituted sins of fraud, more reprehensible than sins of violence because they involved misuse of man's intellect; those who sold secular justice were punished even more severely than the ecclesiastics, by immersion in a boiling, sticky pitch. Lucca, where "No becomes Yes for money," is eternally stigmatized as a symbol of civic corruption (Inferno, canto 21). Shakespeare fixed the English literary-moral tradition, especially with passages on bribes and corruption in Julius Caesar (act 4, scene 3) and with an entire play, Measure for Measure, which contrasts Christian spiritual reciprocities with foul redemption by a bribe. From Shakespeare to Henry Adams (Democracy) and Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men), the moral offensiveness of criminal bribery has been a significant theme in English and American literature.

    The classical languages had a single word—shohadh in Hebrew, doron in Greek, and munus in Latin—meaning gift, reward, bribe. The ambiguity reflected moral and legal ambivalences. By the sixteenth century, English used bribe unambiguously in its present moral and legal sense. By the same period to bribe, bribery, and briber were in use, as well as the colloquial expression to grease, meaning to bribe. Bribee, graft, and grafter are nineteenth-century terms, the latter two American. Slush fund, a source from which bribes are paid, and payoff are twentieth-century Americanisms. The association of bribes with dirt, dirty hands, and grease goes back to classical times. Euphemisms for bribe are gift, gratuity, reward, contribution, and kickback. Conflict of interest is sometimes used for a good-faith dilemma, sometimes as a euphemism for a situation produced by bribery.
  • Reply 44 of 215
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,614member
    I don't know why you'd even quote Dvorak. Although I haven't read him in a number of years, he is incredibly wrong far more often than he he's right and he was almost always wrong about Apple.

    You could do a comedy routine with quotes from Dvorak about Apple. Here are just two, but I'm sure with a bit of research, one could easily find 100:

    March 28, 2007: "Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone" Commentary: Company risks its reputation in competitive business

    1984: "The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a "mouse". There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I dont want one of these new fangled devices."

    But he's not the only one:
    5/21/2001: Cliff Edwards: "Commentary: Sorry, Steve: Here's Why Apple Stores Won't Work. New retail outlets aren't going to fix Apple's sales.

    1/14/2007: Matthew Lynn: "Apple iPhone Will Fair in a Late, Defensive Move"

    12/23/2006: Bill Ray: "Why the Apple phone will fail, and fail badly" It's the Pippin all over again.

    10/05/2000: Michael S. Malone: "Apple R.I.P."

    And here are some more quotes, which I took off of some website (no longer remember which - it could have even been this one):

    "The iMac will only sell to some of the true believers. The iMac doesn't include a floppy disk drive drive for doing file backups or sharing of data. ... The iMac will fail.
    - Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe, 1998.

    "I'd shut [Apple] down and give the money back to the shareholders."
    - Michael Dell, October 1997

    "The biggest long-term problem with moving to an Apple platform is that the company is in decline."
    - Rob Enderle, in October 2003

    "Within the next two months, Sony will acquire Apple. Sony will be the white knight who will step into the picture."
    - former Apple VP Gaston Bastiaens, January 1996.

    "[Apple] seems to have two options. The first is to break itself up, selling the hardware side. The second is to sell the company outright."
    - The Economist, February 1995

    My issue with all these idiots is not that they get it wrong. It's that they never admit they were wrong.
  • Reply 45 of 215
    Thanks so much for sharing this incredible information! Really nice work!!!!
  • Reply 46 of 215
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,989member

    Originally Posted by macaholic_1948 View Post

    Principle in use: Tell a lie often enough and people will believe it.


    You mean like telling people if they liked their healthcare plan they could keep it? 

  • Reply 47 of 215
    John C. Dvorak also doesn't believe in the science of climate change and thinks nuclear power plants are a good thing.

    Apple has the world's best hardware, operating systems, customer support and customer satisfaction. Oh yeah, Apple also has more cash and makes higher profit than any other computer company. In spite of all this reality, the Wall Street cons still manage to manipulate Apple's stock price on cue, to their advantage of course.
  • Reply 48 of 215
    "If you're Pepsi and you're getting outsold by Coke, why not print headlines that statistically compare Coke to every cola on earth, or perhaps every drink containing caffeine? Poor Coke! After inventing such news its "market share" would now ostensibly be slipping into irrelevance, calling into question the fact that it sells the most product in its actual market, makes the most money, and people everywhere pay a premium for its name brand. What a miserable loser Coke suddenly is, just with some creative reporting of meaningless, contrived statistics."

  • Reply 49 of 215
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,918member
    That's why market share studies are useless when only Apple reports actual numbers. Usage share has less bias if they span a wide variety of sites/apps/etc.
  • Reply 50 of 215
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,614member

    Originally Posted by Frood View Post


    Apple doing well within the segment that is growing slowly *is* of note to Wall Street, but what they are more interested in is the segment of the market that is poised for huge growth- the low end segment.  Call them 'junk phones' if it makes you feel better, but that's where the huge growth is going to be in the next few years.  Wall Street is rightfully interested in any data it can get on that, and it may even be true that they are *more* interested in that than the data on the more established and predictable high end market.  Apple chose not compete in the high growth segment and that is fine.


    Getting mad at data firms and Wall Street for looking at the data that is important to them just because doesn't align with your belief that it should instead focus on how awesome your favorite company is would seem silly if it didn't serve the higher purpose of rallying the other members of the fan base.


    Obviously, I wouldn't expect Wall Street or any business analyst to ignore any part of the market.   But what is absurd is to claim that Apple is failing for not bothering to address a part of the market that consumes many units, but doesn't make much in the way of profit.  And if Apple did do that, Wall Street would probably complain that they're losing focus.    It's the difference between a fine restaurant and McDonald's.   Which business does one want to be in?    From a Wall Street perspective, they'd look at "hamburger shipments" and choose McDonald's.   Anyone who cared about quality would choose the fine restaurant.    


    We're seeing this right now in the photography market (partially because of Apple actually):    The low-end point-and-shoot market is disappearing even though that's where all the units were.    It's disappearing because smartphones can do just about everything the low end p&s cameras can do, much that they can't (like instant posting to photos sites or Facebook, etc.) and because the best camera to have is the one you have with you and people always have their phones with them.      Through September, shipments of p&s cameras are down 44% this year and actual sales have probably declined even more.   (Not that higher-end cameras aren't doing well either:  DSLRs are down 17% and Mirrorless are down 13%).  A number of camera makers are either getting out of the p&s business completely or are de-emphasizing it.   Do you want to see Apple in that position in a few years?


    The problem with playing at the low end of the market, aside from the lack of profits there, is that it's too easy for someone else to compete with you, since the resulting product will have fewer features or lesser performance.    I don't care what Apple's market share is - they're very smart for not trying to play in that space.    The only advantage to playing in that market is to build brand loyalty, although I wonder if even that would happen if the resulting low-end product doesn't have differentiation.   

  • Reply 51 of 215

    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

    Look. This is a business. DED sells kool aid to believers. You can believe what you want but actual facts matter - the iPad is not as dominant as it was and nowhere near as dominant as the iPod.


    Look. This is a business. Strategy Analytics sells kool aid to people willing to believe the talking points that Apple is doomed.


    Originally Posted by manxman View Post

    I think you are fundamentally wrong to look at macs in a general home computer market.

    Just like you'd be wrong to compare Porsches with Fords. Mac have never really been mainstream, but for professional users. Its not one market, its segmented such as: home, pro, and business users.


    Nope. Anyone can and does buy Macs, which start under $600.

  • Reply 52 of 215
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    swamphick wrote: »
    John C. Dvorak also doesn't believe in the science of climate change and thinks nuclear power plants are a good thing.
    damn you almost make me want to like Dvorak now...
  • Reply 53 of 215
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Originally Posted by macaholic_1948 View Post

    Principle in use: Tell a lie often enough and people will believe it.

    Very true ... and something else I learned from experience is that the most valuable form of advertisement is "word of mouth" coming from customers who bought and use a particular product .... and Apple has that "in spades".


    That's why I admire the efforts of Tim Cook so much. He has the amazing focus and ability to "separate the wheat from the chaff" and to just keep on building the world's most valuable company, while ignoring all the drivel that comes from the competition.

  • Reply 54 of 215
    Mitigating all the efforts at "Influencing consumer behavior and buying preferences" is the obvious fact that folks who buy Apple products simply do not spend much time reading the financial or the technical press. They are too busy getting on with their lives with a product that delivers a satisfying experience.

    Two years from now, many Android advocates might need to jump ship, as Samsun moves forward with a big Tizen push. A Time Techland article entitled "Tizen: Samsung Makes Quiet Push for New Mobile Operating Operating System". In it, Kang Yeen-kyu, of the state-run Korea Information Society Development Institute suggested that %u201CSamsung%u2019s goal is to establish an ecosystem centered on Samsung.%u201D
  • Reply 54 of 215

    Facts are not the truth, they are merely an indication of where the truth may lie.

  • Reply 56 of 215
    rogifan wrote: »
    swamphick wrote: »
    John C. Dvorak also doesn't believe in the science of climate change and thinks nuclear power plants are a good thing.
    damn you almost make me want to like Dvorak now...


    But, but, but... climate change is settled science...

    This (emphasis mine):
    the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

    And this:
    settled science
    Web definitions
    Betrayal of the scientific method for politics or money or both.
  • Reply 57 of 215

    This is almost a good article.  


    He raises some very good points including how Macs, Iphone and iPads are categorized, and I think he certainly can make an argument that the categorization that was chosen by the IDCs and Gartners of this world perhaps didn't help Apple.  


    I also certainly agree that IDC and Gartner et al. very much try to influence the market.   In a prior role, I used to routinely have IDC and Gartner among others come in to talk at large customer events and they would ask us what they wanted us to say and would present only data that backed up what we requested.  Basically, you can buy any of these companies.  These firms have a long history of doing this, well before smartphones and tablets were a twinkling in Jobs' eye.   That being said, I don't believe any of these companies have an intrinsic Apple bias, on the contrary, I find some of their projections to be very rosy for Apple.


    However, as usual, I'm afraid, the bias in this articles ruins it.  Some of the assertions are ridiculous, such as: 


    "Over the past year, the failure of Android tablets from Amazon, Samsung, Asus, LG, Microsoft and Google/Motorola to live up their sales predictions (or have any substantial impact on the iPad at all) has demanded a new tactic in the anti-counting of Apple's iPad."


    I agree with the author that the 'white label' tablets should be singled out, but in the latest 3Q tablet data from IDC, you'll see Samsung growing 123% to 9.7 million units and Lenovo growing 421% to 2.3 million units.  This compares to Apple's growth of 0.6% to 14.1 million units.  Apple will of course do much better in 4Q, but the claims that this is having no substantial impact on Apple is not backed up by the evidence.  The fact that Apple came out with an 8" device responding directly to a (correctly perceived) threat from these very competitors is evidence that even Apple wouldn't agree with the author.

  • Reply 58 of 215
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    Something else happened in 2010: iPad, a highly mobile personal computer with a tablet form factor. Shortly after it went on sale, Gartner and IDC stopped counting tablets as Personal Computers. Well not exactly; they stopped counting tablets that didn't run Windows as Personal Computers.

    This prevented Apple from distorting their PC market share figures. As the PC market mysteriously flattened out (it failed to grow by more than 2 million units between 2010 and 2012, a pace more than twice as slow as that seen during the recession of 2008), Apple's iPad sales quickly ramped up to 58.3 million per year.


    that's because its not a pc, why report on it as if its a pc when its not. very simple reason.

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    What is the relevance of digging up this "tier two" garbage, counting it as a serious product offering, and then announcing that, given the discovery of piles of junk being shoveled into inventory channels, that Apple's iPad "market share" has fallen? Particularly when the same market research firms are studiously avoiding any comparison between conventional PCs and the iPads that are stampeding through their historical markets, a move of noteworthy significance? 


    Err because there tablets that have been made and sold! Price is irrelevant, if it looks like a tablet, works like a tablet then why wouldn't you include it.

  • Reply 59 of 215
    This "pay the market research firm or suffer the consequences" does sound like a paying for protection... Don't you guys have racketeering laws? :)
  • Reply 60 of 215
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,716member

    Why would Apple want to get in the way of competitors getting information that is overly optimistic, if not outright false? Savvy people like Horace Dediu of asymco provide a solid counter to these analysts, as do Apple's financial reports.


    Excepting Wall Street's take on Apple, which will from here on be pessimistic, I don't see a downside for Apple.


    Watch Samsung.


    They are Apple's primary competitor, and they are having to sell a mix of substantially more phones of all types to increase revenues, but ASP and margins are falling quite fast relative to Apple. Eventually, Samsung will see much of its low end market overtaken by hungry "white box" oem's while Apple will maintain its premium dominance, while seeing a slower decrease in ASP and margins, still with increasing sales volume.

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