The Macalope Weekly: Credulity incarnate
It’s still astounding to the Macalope what some people take as gospel. Apple could walk away with 100 percent of the profit in the smartphone market and people would still say it isn’t “winning.” It’s also a wonder how Google’s Eric Schmidt can even believe the things that come out of his mouth. Finally, the tendency to believe Apple rumors has always been a problem, but now it’s confirmed.
There’s winning going on out there in the smartphone wars and the Macalope is sorry to say it’s not being done by Apple, friends.
Yes, according to Don Reisinger writing for CNet, Samsung is pulling away from Apple in the smartphone market.
It’s no secret that Samsung and Apple are battling it out for smartphone dominance. But it appears Samsung is, at least for now, winning the war.
How! Do! You! Like! Them! Apples! Apple?!
During the first quarter, Samsung shipped 42.2 million smartphones worldwide, earning it 29.1 percent market share, according to a study released today by research firm IDC. Apple, meanwhile, shipped 35.1 million iPhones, helping it to secure 24.2 percent market share.
Yes, market share is all that matters. Scan Reisinger’s piece and you won’t find the words “revenue,” “profit,” or “satisfaction” anywhere. All categories in which Apple, of course, leads Samsung. The company continues to have the single most popular phone (well, if you can call it a single phone anymore) and still makes all the money.
[Juniper Research] estimates that Apple’s mobile revenues were $29.3 billion, when including the iPad. By comparison, Samsung’s revenue from all mobile devices including feature phones came in at $17 billion.
The stark difference arises from the gross margin that each company makes from its mobile device sales. Samsung’s gross margin is at just 12.9 percent overall, which is in some part due to its willingness to compete at the lower end of the market where margins are tight. Apple’s gross margin remains the envy of the tech industry at a significantly higher 47.4 percent.
But other than that, Samsung is “winning.”
So, congratulations, Samsung! By making 9000 different models, you’ve been able to fill every “Island of Misfit Toys” niche of the market! 3D phone? Check! Projector phone? Check! Ludicrously large phone with a stylus? Check!
Samsung has something for every niche need. Well, except the niche for the best all-around smartphone with a terrific user experience. That was taken by another company.
But that’s Samsung’s business model and that’s OK. It works pretty well for the company. Not as well as Apple’s works, but pretty well. Well-ish.
As an aside, if you want to make yourself progressively stupider, read the comment section of the CNet piece where you will be told, amongst other things, that you need to “stop it with your apple coolaid iSheep” (that’s verbatim).
Seriously, the Macalope got about ten comments in before he realized he had forgotten how to add fractions. After 15 comments in, he found himself wondering whether gravity was the result of competing furies. And 20 comments in, flandangle the monkey bits with Zanzibar mayonnaise.
Just one question to those who think that Apple needs carriers to push its phones, and who predict imminent doom for Apple because carriers are going to start pushing Samsung and Nokia phones: If that’s true, how come iPads sell so well while Samsung’s mom won’t even buy its Android tablets?
One month to go!
Yes, it’s just one more month until Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s magical six months are up, so it’s time to take another look at how it’s going.
Answer: Not. So. Good.
Remember, if you will, what Schmidt expected to happen over the course of six months. The primary dose of Schmidt craziness was claiming that developers would decide to ship apps on Android first, instead of iOS. The reasoning behind this was that Ice Cream Sandwich would spur developers to want to “get all up in that.” The problem is that Ice Cream Sandwich is, to date, installed on a whopping 4.9 percent of Android devices.
The Macalope is no math wiz, but even he knows that’s not a lot. It’s not even most of them! Uh … right? Carry the one … yeah, right!
If Apple had this problem it’d be called “Non-Updategate” or something.
Android’s got more problems than that, though. MG Siegler took a look at the recent market share numbers and comes to the conclusion that Android’s either losing or only “winning” because Apple’s letting it. Siegler notes that the only reason Android got as far ahead as it did (in the U.S. at least) was because Apple was only on one carrier.
What if Apple finally puts the iPhone on T-Mobile later this year? Given what we now know—again, from actual data—is there any question that it becomes the top smartphone there? What about the other, smaller regional carriers? That’s already starting to happen.
Android’s only hope is to actually have a phone, or a set of phones, that are more appealing to consumers than the iPhone. But that hasn’t happened in the past four years, so what makes us think that will change this year?
Oh, come on, MG. There’s always a reason to think that the 7-inch 3D Android projector phones that are coming out next quarter will drive customers away from the iPhone. Apple’s failed to keep up in the feature war! Only a monstrous phone that you need oven-mitt-sized hands to operate will save them!
It’s not just devices and market share, though, that are keeping Schmidt’s fever dream from coming true. It’s more about results.
The Macalope doesn’t know whether this particular survey is correct, but there’s plenty of evidence it’s directionally correct. That’s why developers ship for iOS first. And why Schmidt’s going to have an uncomfortable June.
Saturday Special: CONFIRMED
When the Macalope talks to the kids these days he says “It was different when the Macalope was coming up, kids.” And the kids say “AAAGH! MONSTER! COMPUTER-HEADED MONSTER!” and then an angry mob tries to run the Macalope out of town until he explains to them that he’s a mythical creature who is part man, part Mac, and part antelope and he means no harm, he just wants to set the record straight about Apple, and then we all have a good laugh over it.
Wait, what was the Macalope’s point?
Oh, right. Things were different “back in the day.” It used to be that you had to go to sites like Marty’s Mega Mac Shack and Mac Fanbois ‘R Us for unrepentant credulity about Apple rumors. Now you can go to Forbes.
“Confirmed: New iPhone Will Be Longer and Thinner and Have Smaller Dock Connector” (tip o’ the antlers to markbyrn)
Does “confirmed” no longer mean “to establish the truth or correctness of something previously believed or suspected”? Is the Macalope having a seizure? Do you smell burnt toast?
It’s perfectly possible that Anthony Wing Kosner didn’t write the headline of this piece, but either he or an overzealous Forbes copy editor need to turn themselves in to the authorities for gross misuse of the English language.
What’s Kosner’s evidence of this “confirmation”? That the person making these claims, iLounge editor Jeremy Horwitz, once made other claims that turned out to be true. That’s it. Usually when you confirm something you have another reputable source that’s saying the same thing. Kosner doesn’t even have that.
The Macalope has no idea whether Horwitz is right about the specs of the next iPhone, and even the horny one himself is not immune to credulity. But he does know what “confirmed” means, and this ain’t it.
[Editors’ Note: Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]