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Tuesday was a big day as Apple announced larger iPhones and the legendary watch and also maybe electric-powered soup? There was kind of a lot in there and the feed kept skipping. Anyway, please enjoy what may be the last “Apple must make a larger phone!” piece you’ll ever be forced to read.

Writing for Wired, Marcus Wohlsen says “Apple Is in Big Trouble if It Doesn’t Make Bigger iPhones” (tip o’ the antlers to Srini Addepalli).

Or, “How To Confuse Share With Raw Numbers.”

Smartphones with bigger screens are poaching Apple’s business from both ends of the size spectrum.

How exactly are they “poaching” business when Apple manages to sell more and more iPhones every year? Are they poaching it in a delightful white wine sauce with shallots and garlic? Because that sounds delicious.

“The Samsung phones are starting to become more useful for browsing, and Apple ones are becoming less so,” [Adobe Digital Index principal analyst Tamara] Gaffney says.

Allow the Macalope to raise his hoof again. How are the 4-inch iPhones becoming “less useful” for browsing? Is there some Web standards change that isn’t implemented on them? No, they’re just as useful as they always were.

Might there be another reason browsing on smaller phones might have decreased by 11 percent beyond “iPhones suck, phablets rule”? Yes, as a matter of fact, there is.

Android makers are shifting from making smaller phones to making larger ones. And the Macalope doesn’t know if you’ve heard this before, but Android has more market share. So much of this shift has nothing to do with Apple, it’s just Android users getting larger phones (evidence here).

And the news for Apple gets worse.


For a brief moment last year, tablet browsing topped smartphone browsing, according to Adobe’s metrics—a fillip for Apple, whose iPad accounts for 80 percent of tablet-driven web traffic. But since then, tablet browsing has flattened …

All tablet browsing has flattened. But this is only bad news for Apple. Got it.

To be clear, Apple’s devices still command a definitive majority of mobile web traffic. In no way is Apple suffering for popularity.

It’s just in big trouble. Oookay.

If you read the report itself (PDF), you’ll find that Adobe actually has a pretty good way of judging how much Apple’s smartphone web usage declined:

Safari’s share fell by 2.6%.

Sure, you can install another browser on iOS, but the vast majority of iOS users use Safari. So if there is a real decline in just Apple’s share, it’s probably something like 3 percent, not 11 percent. A 3 percent year-over-year reduction is “big trouble.”

Look, Apple sells more phones than ever before. This is just that same old market-share argument repackaged and served lukewarm right before Apple did what? Oh, that’s right, announced larger phones. Way to get this in under the wire.

Safari still drives more traffic than all other mobile browsers combined.

Yeah! By a lot! Safari’s share is 59.1 percent.

But Apple’s in “big trouble.” Well, not anymore.

What was the point of this exercise again?

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