What what? iPhone dominates Android? Let’s see if I understand the same planet that a card carrying member of Forbes’ halfway house for vagabond technology writers understands. We’re talking planet earth, right? Doesn’t Android have 85-percent marketshare for worldwide smartphone sales while Apple is a distant second at barely 15-percent? Yeah. That Apple. But domination?
It’s Just Numbers
Only Apple releases real sales unit numbers, but those who reach into dark, moist places where processed food went to be processed again to get their daily dose of guesstimates have determined that Samsung sells twice as many smartphones as Apple. But somehow, only Samsung can save the Android world from the iPhone’s obviously not-quite-so-obvious domination.
verb [ with obj. ]
have a commanding influence on; exercise control over: the company dominates the market for operating system software.
• be the most important or conspicuous person or thing in: the race was dominated by the 1992 champion.
• (of something tall or high) have a commanding position over; overlook: a picturesque city dominated by the cathedral tower.
Alright, let’s look at Apple’s dominant position again. At 15-percent there is little about the iPhone’s marketshare that is news worthy other than how low it is. We all know that Apple sets the design standard for hardware and other smartphone makers– especially Samsung– follow closely all that Apple designs and builds because it saves them billions on R&D costs.
Android accounts for over eighty percent of the market, with iOS a distant second. With that measure Android is ‘winning’ but that’s not enough.
Very distant. But that’s the common consideration.
There are other numbers which should be considered as important as market share. Profit share is good place to start. Not only does this reverse the position of the two platforms, but gives Apple an even larger section of the market with well over ninety percent of smartphone profits flowing to Cupertino.
No. That’s wrong. Marketshare is a measurement, though in the case of Android devices, and Samsung in particular, they’re really guesstimates vs. Apple’s iPhone facts, but whatever. Just remember this. Profit is more important than anything except shareholder value (but only if you’re a shareholder).
If Apple’s iPhone had a less than 1-percent marketshare– you know, like Windows Phones– but still had 90-percent of the industry’s profits, well Apple would still be doomed but not soon.
When you look at a collection of economic indicators, Android struggles to match iOS.
In profits. Only Samsung seems to be able to make a dent in the iPhone’s world domination status, and accounts for around 10-percent of the industry’s profits. Apple gets the rest. Except nobody but me and Sataya Nadella counts Microsoft’s royalties from Android makers who have to pay up to the tune of a few billion smackers a year because Linux and patents.
The way the smartphone market shakes out is this way. Apple sells a few hundred million devices a year and captures most of the profits. iTunes App Store developers sell a gazillion applications to the aforementioned iPhone’s customer base every year and make billions. Android? Not so much. It’s just Samsung. Everyone else is a rounding error.
Spence again (what happens when you get paid by the word):
Nevertheless Android remains in touch with the top of these tables thanks to a single company. Without Samsung, Android would be left with a raft of smaller manufacturers (such as Huawei) providing the occasional point of interest at the high-end, and a fleet of budget handsets running on low-margin hardware bulking up the sales.
Ipso facto, alakazam, and Voila! Marketshare don’t mean diddly squat compared to profitshare or shareholder value (the latter of which is what has propped up Amazon and Alphabet stock for years). Yes, Apple’s iconic iPhone is dominant. Over Samsung. Over everyone else. But a little extra marketshare would make investors sit up and notice that math in shareholder value comes in many colors. Six, to be exact.