A broken record: Marketshare predictions continue to be dumb


Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by Macworld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

Look out, Apple! IDC says you're headed for a fall! And they would know because they've been making up future market share numbers for years.

MarketWatch's Jennifer Booton explains "Why Apple’s iOS will be less dominant in 5 years." (Tip o' the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)

Answer: Because someone made a spreadsheet that says so. These numbers don't lie. They're wrong all the time, but they don't lie. There's a difference.

Actually, no, there's really no difference.

Apple Inc. is blowing past expectations with the success of its larger-screen iPhone 6 Plus, but it continues to lag Android by a wide margin when it comes to total global domination...

And this is bad for Apple because...?



[coyote howl]

[long, slow, heat death of the universe]

[no reasonable answer comes]


That’s because the iPhone maker continues to struggle with how to price its premium phone in emerging markets...

Say whaaaaaa?

Willis, you must explain what you are talking about, for your words, while ostensibly English, are utterly incomprehensible.

"Struggle" is apparently some kind of weird shorthand for "experiencing incredible sales growth". The Macalope isn't exactly sure how, but that must be what it is.

“The price difference between Android/iOS devices in many markets will remain a significant hurdle for Apple,” said IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker Program Director Ryan Reith.

Oh, you mean like in China, where Apple surged to become the number one smartphone vendor? Hello? Is this thing on?

Here's Tim Cook in last month's quarterly conference call on Apple's sales in emerging markets:

The success of iPhone has been extremely strong in emerging markets, where unit sales were up 63% year on year.

But what does that guy know? Other than how well Apple is doing in markets where the ironically-named MarketWatch thinks its "struggling". It's 2015 and Apple's prices are still too high for all the countries where they somehow manage to have explosive sales growth, just like they have for eight years. Theories of Apple doom can never fail, they can only be failed. By reality.

IDC said high market penetration in major markets like China that will lead to saturation, Apple’s problem with pricing its phones in emerging markets and increased competition from smaller rivals, like Microsoft Corp. are expected to weigh on growth.

Ah, the Windows Phone juggernaut. Should take off any day now. Just you wait. Hey, just for fun, let's look back on IDC's Windows Phone predictions to date and see how they did to see if we need to take this all that seriously.

Back in 2011, IDC predicted Microsoft would have 20.3 percent of the market in 2015. Now, that's not as goofball garbanzoville as Pyramid Research's prediction in the same year that Windows Phone would overtake Android in 2013, but it's still pretty goofball garbanzoville.

Eh, so IDC was off by 17 percent on Windows Phone. How big a drop are they predicting for iOS?

In 2019, Apple is expected to control just 14.2% of the total market, considerably below the 16.4% IDC is predicting for this year.

Oh, 2.2 percent is a "considerably" drop? Well, then, IDC must have been "considerably" wrong in its 2011 Windows Phone prediction and also "considerably" wrong in its 2013 prediction that Windows Phone would have 10.2 percent share by 2017. But, keep revising those numbers down, you'll get there eventually.

Trying to predict the smartphone market five years from now is fraught with tragic comedy, particularly when analysts seem desperate to crowbar in a Microsoft comeback. You can't stop these circus poodles from jumping through this flaming hoop, but you don't have to dignify it by taking it seriously.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon