The real loser: Despite the headlines, it’s not Apple

It’s not all about market share.


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Looking at the clock, dear readers, The Macalope sees that it is once again Apple doom-thirty. Or is it a quarter past Apple going out of business? Whatever time you want to call it, the company has had it now for sure this time, that much is certain.

“Huawei Outselling iPhone.”

Oh, nooooooooo. Once again Apple has been bested by <del>Samsung</del> <del>Xiaomi</del> Huawei.

Well, let’s just, for fun, dig into these here numbers, shall we? You know, while we wait for the lights to go out in Cupertino.

Chinese electronics giant Huawei Technologies sold more handsets worldwide than Apple in the second quarter, marking the first quarter since the early days of the original iPhone that Apple hasn’t been among the No. 2 suppliers…

According to?

…according to market research firm Gartner Inc.

Ah. Gartner, you say? OK, well, Gartner having been mentioned, The Macalope is now contractually obligated to link to this piece from 2006.

“Gartner: Apple should quit hardware business.”

Look, if you don’t want the Macalope to hold onto dumb things you wrote for all eternity, then don’t write dumb things. It’s not that hard. That one was pretty dumb.

“Demand for the iPhone X has started to slow down much earlier than when other new models were introduced,” said Anshul Gupta, a research director at Gartner, in a press statement.



Because, remember, we’re talking about market share, not unit sales. So, yes, Apple’s market share might be down, but how are its unit sales? And, to be fair, let’s use Gartner’s own numbers.

According to Gartner, Apple sold 44.3 million units in the second calendar quarter of 2017. How many did “Apple should quit the hardware business” say the company sold in the same quarter this year? 44.7 million. So, even according to Gartner, iPhone sales have risen. And Apple continues to state that the iPhone X is the most popular iPhone. It’s still possible it fell sharply as a percentage, but it can’t be selling that badly.

Still, Gartner’s mostly talking about market share. Maybe everyone sold more smartphones this year and it was only Apple that didn’t increase sales very much. In a word, no. Huawei’s unit sales rose about 14 million, which is a lot. But you know what’s also a lot? The 10.5 million units by which Samsung’s sales decreased. Strange Samsung didn’t make the headline as the one taking a beating from Huawei since they’re competing more closely. Sales by smaller vendors lumped into the “Other” category decreased by about 10 million units.

The headline is correct. Huawei is outselling the iPhone. It’s also eating Samsung’s lunch and dinner and has set its alarm to get up early so it can get its breakfast. Despite the perennial claims that the Galaxy S-whatever was a big problem for Apple, the only company the S9 turned out to be a big problem for is Samsung.

Naturally, though, the lede is about Apple. Because you can’t make an SEO sandwich without “Apple iPhone fail nude.”

The last one doesn’t have anything to do with smartphones, but it sure helps bring in the hits.

[Disclosure: Huawei has advertised on podcasts The Macalope has been on.]

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