Welcome to Twisted Sample Size Theater, the ongoing production the Macalope just made up where he looks at surveys that defy statistical good taste.
Writing for Fortune, Jonathan Vanian declares Microsoft the winner.
“Microsoft Scores a Mini-Victory Against Apple in the Tablet Wars.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Brian.)
Mini is correct. Tablet, though?
Apple is leading overall online tablet sales for the previous 12 months ending in October. But for the first time, Microsoft and its rival devices have earned a mini-victory.
You see, if you hold up the sales figures and take a pair of shears and cut random parts out, then Microsoft wins! It’s that easy. Observe.
Microsoft’s tablets, including the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book laptop-tablet hybrid, had a 45% share of U.S. online tablet sales in October compared with 17% for Apple, according to data analytics company 1010data.
Oh, hey! 1010data! The company with the… thing… and the… yeah, never heard of them.
So, Microsoft now leads Apple in this survey. But what does this survey cover?
1010data said its data comes from millions of U.S. consumers…
Well, both companies only sell devices in the U.S. so that’s utterly complete and we should spend not one more second on the topic of geography. NEXT CRITERION.
…who voluntarily share their shopping histories.
Opt-in people. Which is really all people. Or all people who matter. When you get down to it, people who don’t take time to answer surveys are animals who we should not deign to measure. Which is convenient since measuring them is hard and they did not, in fact, get measured in this survey.
The report did not take in account customers who purchased their tablets in brick-and-mortar stores, such as Apple’s retail stores or Best Buy.
OH, COME ON.
Now let us peruse the collection of Windows-based misfit toys that were included.
The survey lumped together both tablets and variants of the devices known as laplets…
By absolutely no one.
4, 5, 6-in-1 PCs. 8-in-3 PCs. Square root of 2 PCs. A sack full of rocks with “Windows” written on the outside. One angry goat that just happened to be walking by.
Also included were turnables, dockturds, notefangles, crapdoodles and, of course, jerkbooks. Lotta jerkbooks out there these days. Leaving those out would simply be unfair.
What was not included were the kinds of things people invested in the Apple ecosystem might buy instead of an iPad, like an iPhone 6s Plus, a MacBook or a MacBook Air. Those are clearly not tablets like the 200 Windows-based devices company-you’ve-never-heard-of decided to include. So don’t even go there, sister. Step off, girlfriend. Check yourself, you will find you have, indeed… wrecked yourself.
OK, it is true that Apple was previously ahead in this survey and now is not. So, yes, it is a win for Microsoft. But it also answers the question “Could God make a win so small that even talking about it feels like losing?”