This just in from 2012


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Writing for Bloomberg, Leonid Bershidsky brings us 2012’s analysis … today.

“Another Apple Alibi Sours” (tip o’ the antlers to weid1).

Complacency is a sin in business …

Sure. And running tired, conventional wisdom is a sin in journalism.

… now that devices with the Android operating system have surpassed Apple’s iOS in web-browsing share, the iPhone maker is guilty of hubris.

Hmm. Wonder who still makes the most profit?

Few remember now that in 2009, the year Samsung introduced its first Galaxy smartphone running Google’s Android OS, the South Korean company had a 3 percent share of all smartphone shipments. Apple was the undisputed market leader with 15 percent.

And what do we mean by “market leader”? Do we mean “had the most market share”? No, apparently, we don’t, because what was the market share of Symbian in 2009? 47 percent. BlackBerry? 20 percent. So, what we mean by “market leader” is “trendsetter.” Look at Xiaomi and tell the Macalope that Apple isn’t still setting the market trend. You can’t. Your mouth would literally explode from the effort.

Two years later, Samsung overtook Apple, using a varied model range with lots of different form factors and prices …

It overtook Apple by stealing share from Nokia and BlackBerry and other Android handset makers, not by stealing share from the iPhone.

Apple, however, had a defense: It still had a bigger market share in value terms, and its fans pointed out that the Cupertino company was skimming the cream as Android phone makers fought over the non-fat milk. Then, in 2012, Samsung caught up on that measure as well, and by 2013 the excuse was gone …

This is another sleight of hand. Bershidsky is apparently talking about revenue share, while what fans of both Apple and reality were pointing out was that Apple had the larger share of profit. And it still does.

It was time for a new defense …

No, it wasn’t. It’s the same defense. You’re just pretending it was something it wasn’t.

There are several other exonerations Cook could reach for, some of which he’s employed already. So what if Android now generates more web traffic—it’s just all those cheap phones.

Many of them are in China and benefit neither Google nor Samsung, as was evidenced by Samsung’s most recent earnings report, which set off red flags for everyone other than Bershidsky. He really could not have written this piece at a more inopportune moment in the history of the smartphone industry.

Apple: iPhone sales continue to rise!
Samsung: We’re getting clobbered in China!

One is almost tempted to ask “What is the fight which you are watching?” because, surely, it is not this fight that is happening right here.

The problem with excuses, however, is that they get trumped by reality.

You’re telling the Macalope.

Those iOS devices aren’t special any more, though they still demand premium prices.

Dude, even Business Insider has learned that Apple can find people to pay for their devices in China and India. Get with the now.

Even Samsung is now being undermined by cheaper smartphone and tablet makers, and its experience shows that as Asian markets approach saturation, financial performance can turn nasty …

Translation: “I started this piece before Samsung’s earnings report came in.”

Apple’s finances still look great, and its loss of market share is not catastrophic, but the reckoning will come abruptly unless the company does something to shore up its position …

So, in short, while Samsung’s financials are bad and Apple’s are good and Apple’s market share and profit share are about the same as they’ve been for five years, Samsung is the winner and Apple is the loser. Because.

Good analysis. Thanks for that.

[Prints Bloomberg piece. Puts it into the shredder just to watch it happen.]

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