Yes, boys and girls, guys and dolls, numbers don’t always add up. There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. And if you believe statistics, I have a bridge down the street here in Brooklyn that I’m willing to sell.
Taking Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine to more than a year ago, yours truly highlighted some numbers that don’t add up. It all has to do with sales numbers, and marketshare numbers, and members of the technorati elite politburo, nattering nabobs of negativism, who unwittingly or deliberately misstate what the math makes clear.
A Myth Of Numbers
The premise of my argument a year ago was this. Marketshare numbers are a guesstimate at best, and an absolute lie at worst, but most of what you’ve read regarding Apple’s iPhone vs. Android OS is wrong. Or a myth. You choose.
John Koetsier, writing for the Forbes’ contributor network and large animal husbandry research center, wrote, “Hey, that Kate MacKenzie’s math is pretty good. Let me try using it.” Or, something to that effect. Here in the U.S. iOS and Android OS battle it out but not elsewhere in the world.
Globally, however, the percentage looks much more like somewhere between 80% to almost 90% Android, leading many to conclude that the mobile platform war is pretty much Windows versus MacOS, part two.
We know that’s so because statistics.
Recently, a Google executive who should know better than to make mathematical pronouncements, announced that there are 2-billion monthly active Android devices on planet earth.
This is an extraordinarily humbling milestone — and it’s the largest reach of any computing platform of its kind.
Hey, that’s even more lousy software on crummy computing devices than Windows. Humbling indeed. So, where’s the marketshare myth, Kate? Glad you asked. Koetsier answered:
Just a bit less amazing but also impressive is that over a year ago, Apple announced that there were more than one billion iOS devices in active use. Since that announcement in January 2016, Apple has sold more than 260 million iPhones alone, according to publicly-released sales figures. (Note: iPads also run iOS, and would bolster that number additionally.)
Forget the fact that Apple’s 1-billion iOS devices number from a year or so ago also include iPad numbers from the same period, but add a few hundred million more iPhones and iPads since then, and ipso facto, alakazam, and Voila! Marketshare myth. After all, what’s more important? Devices sold that don’t work and get thrown away? Or, devices that are activated, active, and get used? In that category, Apple does well. Very well.
Just using Apple’s own numbers from a year ago and Google’s numbers this year, iOS devices have a roughly 35-percent marketshare while Android devices have a 65-percent marketshare. That seems to be quite different than what we read from the nattering nabobs of negativism who claim Apple is dead, dying, or about to get clobbered by cheap Android smartphones from China.
Why is the math happening?
One reason, potentially, is that iOS hardware tends to be higher quality, on average, than Android. Apple makes iPhones to a very high standard, and while many manufacturers make premium Android phones to a similar or perhaps even higher level of quality, there are plenty of cheap Android phones, especially for emerging markets, than (sic) tend to drag down the average.
We can quibble with some of that, but OK. It’s true. The marketshare myth is just wrong, and made even worse because nearly 90-percent of all those iOS-based iPhones and iPads still churning away in the wild run iOS 10.x which makes Android’s latest OS version laughable by comparison.
The fact that Apple also soaks up nearly 90-percent of the entire smartphone and tablet industry’s profits should tell anyone who can count or run a digital calculator that it’s anything but gloom and doom for Apple.
Apple getting clobbered by Android is a myth.