The Macalope: Stories we tell


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Who likes stories? Everyone does, right? Well, not anymore.

“Apple and BlackBerry, together at last (in the loser’s column)” (no link because this is getting to be a habit for John Koetsier, but tip o’ the antlers to Jeff Kauffman).

This story is getting old.

The story about Koetsier writing Apple hit pieces? You got that right, brother.

The latest IDC numbers confirm what Strategy Analytics said first two weeks ago: Android has won …

Oh, the story about how market share is the only thing in the world that matters? That’s pretty old, too.

Actually, it looks like it’s both stories.

… Apple and BlackBerry can now be mentioned in the same breath as two major (or, in BlackBerry’s case, once-major) mobile platforms that are decreasing in market share.

Uh, yes, but let’s look at the unit shipments. Because while BlackBerry was down 41.6 percent in unit shipments, the iPhone was up 25.6 percent. In other words, Apple’s business is still doing quite well, thank you very little, while BlackBerry is heading toward DIVIDEBYZEROERROR territory.

The problem is that the focus of the smartphone market has shifted east, to China, where a third of all smartphones bought globally are now sold.

Gosh, if only Apple had a good quarter in China. Like the kind of quarter an analyst said was better than that of any of the other tech company he follows, like Ben Reitzes of Barclay Capital did.

In those regions, Apple has languished in seventh place as local competitors such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Yulong, and of course Samsung win on price, with devices sometimes as low as $100.

And of those companies, which of them is really making any profit doing it? You remember profit, right? It’s supposed to be what companies generate. Is the Macalope the only one who remembers that?

But the question continues to be: Can Apple remain competitive globally with a world-class apps, media, and accessories ecosystem if it continues to dip in market share?

Really? You think that people are going to stop making apps and accessories for iPhones?

Let’s see if we can find the teensy flaw in Koetsier’s supposed concern. Android is selling more and more phones every day by pricing them low, lower, lowest, sub-basement, kingdom of the mole men and, finally, Hades. The people buying these phones are not exactly swimming in disposable income. So, they’re not buying wads of cases, peripherals, and apps. Who’s buying those? Oh, right, iPhone users.

Why don’t you ask the same question another way and see if it makes more sense?

In other words, will app makers, accessory manufacturers, and digital media vendors continue to supply Apple with what it needs to make a compelling case to consumers?

Nope. Same answer.

If Apple does care enough to do something about this, its strategy needs to change. As of yet, there are no signs that it will.

Apple likes two things: making the best devices and making money. End of story.

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