back to article Apple's profits fetish could spell its DOOM

The other shoe is about to drop in the mobile market. For years Apple has dominated mobile, both in terms of market share and in terms of profits. It was an enviable position, and a unique one, borne of Apple's commitment to out-innovating the industry, allowing it to consistently charge a premium for its products. But as the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just speculations. the author doesn't know what research they're doing at the moment. think in the lines of "enterprise unveiled" in 5 years.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Huh? To see what Apple are innovating right now, just look at any Android handset. NFC, multi user accounts, widgets, proper notifications, proper multitasking, a framework for apps which actually do scale properly to different form factors rather than fobbing off with letterboxing and err, oh yes, maps. Followed a year later by them suing everyone who dared innovate their innovation first, natch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        yes, technically sounds nice, but is it also sound? The way you mention all those features makes me think of this episode,_Where_Art_Thou%3F . German engineering is about incrementally adding well-aged and internally proven features and I have a feeling Apple is applying the same philosophy.

        1. Naughtyhorse

          same philosophy..

          .. as in the desktop market.

          start by innovating, then fuck it all up by giving all their money to the lawyers in a vain attempt to sue the opposition out of existence.

          thats certanly part of jobses DNA. He seemed to innovate just fine in an empty market, but then got all pissy as soon as anyone else showed up whether they had their own ideas or not (or even if they had both nicked the same ideas from parc)

          persnly id rather eat worms than buy any of the cupertino idiot tax collectors outpourings. i can see they're pretty. and will take your word for it that they 'just work'. i have always been anti-hip, and that seals the deal for me, dosent matter what it does, i'd be 'one of them' if i had one! and i wont be part of that gang. you are clearly a fanboi (not really a criticism) and im sure the drawer full of old apple phones you have at home have all given you imesurable pleasure.

          but what the article is pointing out is that, they have already lost the tech edge, are losing unit sales, reducing profits per unit sale, all they have is cache - but that will pass, and pass quickly.

          and back to oblivion they will go.

    2. Craigness


      The article contains no speculation about what Apple might produce in 5 years, so we should dismiss it as speculation.

    3. Chris007

      Apple don't have 5 years - @loan 09:52 GMT

      They barely have 5 months to release something truly innovative and not a rehash of their existing product line.

      icon? For apples failed strategy since the 3GS

      1. John Molloy

        Re: Apple don't have 5 years - @loan 09:52 GMT

        Because that money sitting in the bank will explode?

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Apple don't have 5 years - @loan 09:52 GMT

          "Because that money sitting in the bank will explode?"

          Actually, it will. Investors allow Apple to sit on the cash whilst the share price rockets, or when investors believe you are using or will use that cash in a good way. At the moment Apple pay for R&D out of revenues and still add to the cash pile, so they don't really need it. Corporate investors aren't fanbois, and they'll be pushing the board to hand the money back before long, particularly now the share price has topped out.

          As one of, or the world's most valuable company by market capitalisation, they can't continue the meteoric rise in share price. So investors will let them bide their time for a while. But Cook is no Jobs, and unless Apple start to show a use for the cash, then the investors will want it back. My guess is that Apple's management will eventually start splashing out buying companies because they've no better idea of what to do with the money (and they'll be in no hurry to give money to the shareholders, even if they do own the company). And ARM are currently the obvious number one target. The only reason that ARM haven't been hoovered up by a cash rich US firm yet is because of the fear that the first mover will trigger a nuclear bidding war, with Google, Apple and Microsoft slugging it out, possibly with some incoming from the likes of Samsung or Qualcomm. Intel would probably be barred by market share reasons, although if Apple owned ARM then suddenly Intel have the custom of every other phone and tablet maker.

          Doesn't really bear thinking about, with Apple's twatty management, and their childish approach to patents and litigation.

          1. Steve Todd

            Re: Apple don't have 5 years - @loan 09:52 GMT

            You realise that Apple's share price isn't a bubble, that it's actually in line with earnings (unlike Amazon or Facebook for example)? Investors can't FORCE Apple to do anything with its cash pile, partly because lots of it are outside of the US and would be subjected to a large lump of tax if they tried to repatriate it, and partly because its a board decision and they'd first need to stack the board with their own nominees. Unless there's a dramatic drop in profits then that just isn't going to happen.

            1. John 104

              Re: Apple don't have 5 years - @loan 09:52 GMT

              Sure they can force apple to do something with it. All they have to do is start selling the shares off....

            2. Chet Mannly

              Re: Apple don't have 5 years - @loan 09:52 GMT

              "ou realise that Apple's share price isn't a bubble, that it's actually in line with earnings"

              So Apple's earnings have dropped 25%? That's what the share price has done recently...

              1. Steve Todd

                Re: Apple don't have 5 years - @loan 09:52 GMT

                Go away and learn about P/E ratios, and try not to be such a prat. Shares in blue chip companies trade at a price that is normally between 10 and 20 times their earnings. Below 10 the stock is considered undervalued, above 20 and its over valued. When the market as a whole is doing badly the average multiple goes down, and vice versa when the market goes up. Apple's current ratio is 12.7, slightly on the low side but kind of where you'd expect it to be. Amazon is currently trading at a P/E of 3341 (madness, I'd be looking nervous if I owned any), Intel at 8.5, Microsoft at 26.7.

                Companies can sustain a high PE only if the market thinks they are going to grow well. Low PEs are an indication that the market thinks they have little chance of growth. As long as a company keeps growing and increasing profits then shareholders are generally happy. When profits start to shrink they become more fractious and if the company loses money then there can be all sorts of boardroom fights. The important point here is that the board has to have made a lot of shareholders unhappy (normally by losing them money) before sitting members can be seriously challenged, and the bigger the company the harder that is.

  2. paul 97


    Lots of people are going to be very upset with if the story becomes true, perhaps there will be a vigil or something.

    Iin the future as a consumer I'd rather see lots of competition using multiple platforms based around open standards.

  3. Gordan

    Like PCs?

    I'm by no means an Apple fanboy, but I'm not sure this comparison is particularly meanintful - after all, Apple has been making overpriced PCs for ages, and they seem to sell extremely well indeed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like PCs?

      They have generally offered low hassle computer ownership. The iPhone's usability is good too.

      But as marketshare dies so does software support.

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Like PCs?

        You're confusing market share with market numbers. Provided the NUMBERS are high enough to support a developer community then they will continue to develop for the platform. iOS numbers have been increasing continually, there is a huge market for software on it, and plenty of people willing to purchase (which is the most important factor).

        1. JayBizzle

          Re: Like PCs?

          @ Steve Todd, I think you have made a good point here.

          It is no good having a large android market which is at the cheap end and will contain a demographic of low disposable income and therefore app purchases will be low. So do the developers rely on advertising to get revenue (weak model) or do they stick with Apple with a smaller market share of those willing to spend more on buying the app (strong model).

          I know which one I would prefer. I think it ties in with the turnover is vanity and profit is sanity idea.

          1. vic 4

            Re: android market which is at the cheap end

            Why do people always claim android is cheap, Android is at both ends, not just the cheap end. Some of the high end ones are better specs and higher prices to go with them than apple devices.

            it is true however that many people don't buy apps for android, simply because a lot of people don't care as long as it does what they want out of the box or even realise they can do it.

            1. Chris007

              Re: android market which is at the cheap end

              Plus the other thing people seem to forget is that today's spotty nosed kid with a "cheap" android phone is likely to be a "premium" android user in the future and not an Apple user.

              This is the thing that Apple have under estimated and will see an ever exponential decrease in Apple share over the next few years - 2 years from now will be very interesting to see!

            2. John Molloy

              Re: android market which is at the cheap end

              Because it's the cheap end where the numbers are.

              Even at the high-end 30 million selling S3 end. That's still less than 1/2 what Apple sells.

              1. vic 4

                Re: 30 million selling S3 end.

                And there are more android phone manufacturers than Samsung and other android phones with better specs than the latest iphones (ignoring screen resolution) than the galaxy 3, so if one high end phone has half the market share what about the rest. What about the ones better than the more recent older iphones?

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Like PCs? - Help me out here

          This is a request for the 5 people who downvoted this to help me out by explaining why. Steve has raised an excellent and entirely relevant point here. Market share does not equal market numbers. This is not opinion it is a simple statement of fact. So why did you downvote it ? You don't like facts or their implications so you shoot the messenger ?

          1. Simon 11

            Re: Like PCs? - Help me out here

            Market share covers more than just the number of people presently in the market, it also indicates how stable the market is and whether it is growing or shrinking.

            If the market is showing strong signs of growth, then it is probably worthwhile investing in the market, because you know that you have a good chance to recover that investment (be it time, money, reputation, whatever), or even make it big. If the market share is falling, the time period for recovering the investment is shorter and the chance of making it big is reduced (if not gone already, when considering the platform argument). If the market share is crashing, sure you may make a bit of money out of the (shrinking) existing user base, but you'll never make it big and you may not even recover your investment.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Like PCs? - Help me out here

              That's irrelevant to Steve's point. If I have 300 million customers it doesn't matter if someone else has a billion. I still have a market worth investing in. Similarly a reduced share of a market doesn't mean anything if the market is growing. If I grow from 300 million to 400 million it doesn't matter if the other guy goes from a billion to 2 billion. I'm still growing even though my market share is falling. You're making the classic mistake of assuming that marketshare is everything. It isn't. Profit is everything. Marketshare is only a good proxy for profit in a mature and stable industry.

    2. P. Lee

      Re: Like PCs?

      I think the comparison is with the advantage they had with the original Mackintosh over the original IBM PC.

      They had an obviously superior product but the desire for high-margins allowed MS Windows to eat the marketplace to the point where they almost disappeared completely.

      They have done ok with the emac/imac/mac laptops, but that's a relatively small part of the company now.

      OSX is still a better UI than W7, but W7 is cheaper (or pirated) and as other companies fail in the ultrabook market, they'll bring ultrabook "pretty" to standard laptops which is going to hurt Apple's laptop division. Likewise, android is eating IOS share with both "pretty" and features. Android is also significant enough that doing IOS-only apps is not an option.

      High-margin Samsung phones and tariff-subsidies have hidden the phone margins which protected iphone market-share but Nexus 4 and its descendents are going to spoil that party.

      If Valve can get their linux stuff off the ground, I could easily see that area squeezing things with casual gamers. Not to mention that valve already have a voip solution.

      Ha, for irony, I run debian on Apple's abandoned G5 platform. Mythtv is the killer app, but I get universal network boot if I want it, http caching as well as file-server services.

      Plus I'm really annoyed with withdrawn support. I used to have ebook applications on a 2nd gen ipod touch, but now the app store only supports later IOS versions, so after a reset, I've lost capabilities. Not good enough.

  4. Tank boy

    I'll take this with a bag of salt

    The author has extolled the virtues of all of his apple products, and the profound impact that they have made on his life... Biting the hand that feeds, or just hedging his bets? Who cares?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: I'll take this with a bag of salt

      > Who cares?


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's painful, yet funny..

    Apple is doing a Microsoft by trying to (ab)use locking rather that continue innovation (just how much R&D and innovation would have been possible to fund by the money wasted on the Samsung fight?).

    At the same time, Microsoft is trying to become Apple, and ending up being neither Microsoft nor Apple (especially by ejecting the one person who could have helped change the company for the better insofar that is still possible).

    Apple should go back to being ahead in usability and design, because that is what got them back in play - NOT the lock-ins and DRM games, NOR fighting patent battles over, well, total trivia BS which only serves to antagonise everyone, including their own customers. It's like doing a Bush to the reputation of the US abroad after Clinton built it up..

    Microsoft should.. Um.. Dunno. It'll take a while, but that ship is IMHO sinking, with Ballmer at the helm busy ramming icebergs again and again. If I was a majority shareholder I'd ditch Ballmer and get Sinofsky back (whose name reads like a game to start with: sin of sky..).

  6. rahul

    Apple is more than just a tech company...

    It is a strongly entrenched content company too.

    Android is strong, and rising fast, but mobile makers don't earn any money from content sold on Android. They may get profits on the hardware, but all profits from the platform go to Google (at least at first).

    Apple has profits from hardware, software, content and saves on bulk purchases.

    Many people comment on how Apple's share of the tablet market has slid heavily, especially in favor of Android. Yes, it has; but all it's earnings are it's to keep. The tablet markets content earnings do not benefit the manufacturer. So you have Android tablet manufacturers cutting each others profit margins to sell their devices, and try to manage with thin margins.

    This is why the biggest threat to Apple is not Google, or Android, or Samsung, or any other; currently, it's hardest competition is probably Amazon.

    Amazon has understood profits from content and scale, in a way that no other company has. It's customized Android based platform allows it to retain content profits.

    And for those who believe Apple kit is expensive; yes, it is, but it is value for money. There is nothing midrange about anything they do or make.

    They point that they are NOT reducing profits shows their confidence. I believe it will take a good hard hit on it's content business earnings before they decide to "mainstream" their prices.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple is more than just a tech company...

      "but it is value for money"

      You are kidding, right?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple is more than just a tech company...

        "but it is value for money"

        You are kidding, right?

        Depends what your needs are. I have found an OSX machine SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper than the equivalent PC, but that is because I

        a - always bought high end laptops, so the Macbooks are not that much more

        b - also incorporate the sum of software I need to make it work, and that involves kitting out laptop as well as desktop. When you hit software you soon discover just how much you can save by using OSX. By far the most expensive software is MS Office - everything else isn't just cheaper, most of it you can also legally use "as a book", i.e. install on more systems that you use.

        c - add the cost of OS upgrades. I've had 2 now (I switched from Windows to OSX 2 years ago), and they were painless, dirt cheap and re-usable on all machines.

        d - need a Unix command line for various reasons. Normally I only get that on Linux (or a VM under Windows), but I need the ability to use commercial software.

        So, in summary, for me OSX doesn't just help we work faster by putting less in the way (the usability in Mac software keeps surprising me) but it is also cheaper in simple, hard cash terms - for me. Naturally, YMMV, but I found my needs to be rather compatible with a lot of people (except for point d :). Especially an OS upgrade that costs as much as the machine they use seems to seriously annoy people.

    2. Craigness

      Re: Apple is more than just a tech company...

      It's not good value for money if you can get something better for less. And you can.

      1. Thomas Wolf

        Re: Apple is more than just a tech company...

        You're certainly right - but since "value" is an entirely subjective measure, your "And you can" should be "And *I* can" - since you have no idea what other peoples' values are.

        I want a phone that is:

        - no hassles OUT OF THE BOX. I don't want to have to mess with brightness settings, turn off wifi/GPS or even the cell radio whenever I"m not using it, just to make the battery last through a day of moderate use. I don't want to have have to install apps to replace the crappy ones that come built-in (e.g. crappy keyboards). I don't want to have to live with crap-ware that not only takes up room, but also resources!. I don't want to have to wait 8 months for an operating system upgrade to be made available by my carrier.

        - smartly designed and of high-quality materials. I don't want a phone made of cheap plastic when I'm paying $650 of my hard-earned money for it.

        - consistent in its user interface. Everything important should be easy to find and easy to reach with my thumb. One-handed operation should be easy. IMHO Apple screwed up a little with the iPhone 5 - it's getting to be impossible for women to reach the "Back" button in the top-left corner of most apps. But it's still one-handed nirvana when compared to, say, a 4.8" Samsung Galaxy S3!

        Now, these are some of *my* values. Can you suggest a phone, other than the iPhone 5, that fulfills these values? For what it's worth, I did try. I had a iPhone 3GS and upgraded to the then top-of-the-line Samsung Galaxy S2. I used it for 10 months before selling it and buying an iPhone 5. The S2, superior in all its hardware specs, could not hold a charge for an entire day (and I don't do video with it! it seemed to be entirely due to the fact that I tend to hang out in low-coverage cell areas) without me setting screen brightness to a very low setting (totally nullifying its beautiful, high-contrast screen), turning off wifi/GPS/data whenever I wasn't using it (and turning it on when I needed them :-( I anxiously awaited Android 4.0 in the hope that it would let me de-install some of the AT&T crap-ware that seemed to be also contributing to the battery drain. I waited 7 months after ICS was released before I could finally get it on my phone....and it still would not let me de-install these apps, it only let me disable them....and battery drain was alleviated a little.

        I'm no fan of Apple's "walled garden". I'm a Java developer and hate that I can't write apps for it in the language of my choice. I hate iTunes. But if you can live within the Apple eco-system - and most consumers don't know or care about all these nuances - Apple's iPhone experience is still, by far, the better no-hassle experience.

    3. Jyve

      Re: Apple is more than just a tech company...

      " but mobile makers don't earn any money from content sold on Android"

      I suspect that eventually they'll all hammer on Google for a share of that revenue too. Google will take 30% of the app price, take 10% for themselves, 10% for the carrier (if it IS a phone or tablet with wireless), 10% for the device maker it was bought on. It's certainly something I'd negotiate for when Google came knocking on the door wanting cheap but quality devices.

  7. Robert E A Harvey

    Surprise us all

    Come on Apple, come up with something pervasive - like a small headset that can be a voice-op phone, or activate voice control on a nearby computer, or pick up timetables from intelligent bus stops, or buzz gently when someone we know is nearby.

    How about family photo sharing - all pictures taken by all family members available to all with location and timestamps?

    What about a many-sim iphone? or paired iphones, where one number rings more than one phone, like a 1930s plan 1 extension system?

    Parked bluetooth (or better wireless method) headsets that charge from the ipad while parked inside it?

    Remember 'beaming' your business card from one palm pilot to another. What about tap-to-share-contact-details?

    An Identifcation system other than passwords? something like PKI cards, but as a tiny rfid thing in jewellry or watches or phones or badges or spectacles? I would buy a terminal/programming adaptor/app for home, and blank rfid dust. I would then programme/refresh the individual rfid items to identify me for a day, week, month - after which they would die and need replacing. And the terminal could cancel them on request, perhaps by telephoning it. Maybe I would have to be carrying at least 4 to complete succesful ID, so that any one lost/stolen item could not impersonate me. The vendor could sell the terminal; charge a subscription for identifying me; and sell the rfid dust too. Up-front and continuing revenue. Perfect.

    Health monitoring and telemetry.

    Child tracking.

    Panic communities: phones with a panic button, and volunteer responders as well as national ones. (see our community defibrilators in vilages in Lincolnshire for how people are keen to help each other)

    How about a version of an LCD photo frame with a sim in it? So that I can take pictures of the kids and send them by MMS to their grandma without her having to to do anything?

    How about a 'family status' mirror, for the hallway? Nice big mirror, little individual cells showing where we are, the last message we sent, lat photo we took, happy/busy/bored/need a hug icons? Touch two of them and the mirror duplicates each other's status to each other - "Mum said you need to talk to me" sort of thing.

    A bigger, better Siri that can be your friend, learn about you, start to suggest things spontaneously?

    Things for the disabled? Pick up the state of pedestrian controlled lights for blind people - "West street, crossing outside No. 8, from North to South pavement, Stop. Go in 15 seconds. 14, 13...". "Cooker turned on but not lit". "Saucepan has been boiling for 8 minutes"

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Surprise us all

      Thumbs up from me - nice post!

    2. DavCrav

      Re: Surprise us all

      Well that's just great: you've now destroyed about twenty patents with one prior art post!

      Actually, that is just great.

      1. Keep Refrigerated

        Re: destroyed about twenty patents with one prior art post!

        Think of all the future profits Apple was destined for and you've basically wiped out billions of dollars of revenue...

        What we really need is some new laws allowing retroactive patents, so that companies like Apple don't face this kind of loss from feckless commentards stealing ideas by thinking of them first!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surprise us all

        Yeah right and the OP will be submitting the patent applications tomorrow. I think not.

        It takes a lot of effort just to draft an application. Having an idea is just that, an idea. Putting stuff down in a patent application means that you are a long way down the road to actually making the thing in question.

        It costs a lot of time and money to turn an idea into something worth putting in a patent application.

        I wish people on forums like this started to understand this fairly basic concept.

        I had two patents in my name. These were granted in 1981 & 83. Just working on them took a good 4 months of my life each time. I never made any money from royalties on then, I did it for the respect it would give me in the company where I worked at the time(long since defunct).

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: Surprise us all

          @AC 12:32

          You needn't worry, I don't think a sense of humour is patented, so you're perfectly at liberty to develop one as soon as you can.

          It costs a lot of time and money to turn an idea into something worth putting in a patent application.

          Indeed, but is it actually fair to let someone patent it if it had already been thought of? I mean, it'd cost time and money for me to file a patent on a motorised vehicle with 4 (sometimes 3) wheels, does that automatically mean I should be allowed to patent it?

    3. Mike 117

      Re: Surprise us all

      I'm sure Apple would do all those things if they weren't so busy patenting a page-turn.

    4. Hardcastle the ancient

      I'd buy most of those.

      I like the mirror idea a lot.

      But the rfid dust idea, with time-to-die, is genius. We have been hearing a lot lately about how useless passwords are. The idea to just be your identity just by being there is terrific.

    5. Pet Peeve

      Re: Surprise us all

      I like a lot of your ideas. I think I'd buy most of them if they existed.

      That said, apple is all about persvasive stuff. There is little more pervasie than ipod/phone devices, they're EVERYWHERE. Apple knows how to do that in ways that nobody else does, but because there are arguably more capable devices in the same space, they're somehow stagnant and unoriginal. Doesn't really make a lot of sense.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Marketshare != sales

    Apple's marketshare is going down because the number of people buying tablets and smartphones is going up, but these extra customers aren't all buying Apple. Apple's sales figures are still in rude health. Until we see evidence of Apple selling fewer devices they're not going to be in any kind of trouble. Frankly I'm at a loss as to why that simple bit of logic has been omitted from the article (other than for trolling purposes).

    1. DavCrav

      Re: Marketshare != sales

      Because market share is what the peripheral companies look at to choose which horse to back, and without the ecosystem the horse gets put out to pasture, to strain metaphors to breaking point. That was the point of the article.

    2. John Diffenthal

      Re: Marketshare != sales

      The work done by Brad Gale and Sydney Schoeffler at GE showed pretty conclusively that long term market share and long term relative market share are the key determinants of long term ROI. Gale and Schoeffler were the guys who did the brainy stuff that kept Jack Welch as the darling of the business pages for so long.

  9. bob's hamster
    Thumb Up

    Good Article - at last!

    Well done Matt Assay, at last an article which I agree with. For those of us old enough to remember Apple computers from the late 80's through the 90's, they made by far the most innovative, well designed computers available, but these had much bigger profit margins and prices than other PCs. As the PC market expoded Apple remained content to sell into their niche markets of printing and design and therefore became less and less relevant to the average Joe. They spent the remainder of the 90's struggling against the tide, until Jobs came back and gave them new focus. The only thing which will stop the same thing from happening in the mobile market is if they can come up with another game changing product.

    1. Arctic fox

      Re:"As the PC market expoded Apple remained content to sell into their niche markets"

      Indeed that is what happened. The practical reality was that during that period the only os that could have competed with MS was the Mac OS. Apple however (after a short-lived and unsuccessful attempt) refused to license to OEMs and stuck to the business model that you refer to. This more than anything else, whatever those who like to howl "convicted monopolist"* at Redmond on every possible occasion might believe, ensured that Windows would win. It is in fact one of the biggest and nastiest ironies of the industry during the nineties that Redmond's arsehole behaviour back then was almost certainly unnecessary as far as ensuring the dominance of Windows was concerned. They ended up convicted of anti-trust violations and suffered a decade and a half or more of serious reputational damage as a result of their conduct - conduct that in fact had little practical utility in terms of their aims. MS did it to themselves without deriving any significant benefit from their behaviour - that is richly ironic, although it does not in any way shape or form excuse their conduct for which they were rightly punished.

      *The charge of being a monopolist does not exist under US or British law. In fact a monopoly is not in and of itself illegal. It's what you do with market dominance that is the issue - hence MS being convicted of anti-trust offences.

      1. Arctic fox

        Re: "MS did it to themselves without deriving any significant benefit from their behaviour "

        Just to add a further thought with regard to the irony of the situation. It is in a certain gruesome sense highly entertaining that had MS administered their market dominant position in a way that was in compliance with the law then it is likely that they would be in an even more dominating position today than they in fact are. It was their own (IMHO) stupidly unnecessary illegal behaviour that led to DOJ oversight for a decade and the fact that they are watched like hawks by all competition authorities throughout "known space". Had they shown some restraint their position today might have been in practice "bullet proof" - now that would have given the haters something to howl about! There is perhaps a certain Darwinian irony in the situation they are in today as the most watched company (as far as the compliance authorities are concerned) in the entire industry - bar none, even Cupertino. Therein lies perhaps a lesson for all versions of "BigCorp" - what goes around, comes around. Or perhaps, "being a bastard is not the only way to succeed."

  10. johnnymotel

    more speculation....

    OK let's get one thing clear here.....Tim Cook is NOT Steve Jobs.

    Keeping that in mind, is there any reason Apple will slavishly follow the SJ mantra about vertical integration and closed ecosystem?

    The article also forgets to mention that iOS dominates web search and web traffic, so even though market share is low, actual 'value' outside the ecosystem is high.

    So I just don't get how Android can have such an overwhelming market share but have such a poor showing in search and traffic.

    For example, my builder has an Android phone, I asked him what did he do with it....answer? Oh, emails on the job, SMS and the odd photos. Web search? Nope. Favourite apps? Games.

    I don't have a favourite mobile OS, I just don't need a smartphone. But there are questions that the article doesn't seem to answer, maybe someone here can enlighten us.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: more speculation....

      My theory is people just 'get' Android handsets by default when upgrading their contracts and most just continue to use them as a phone and for texting. I know several people with android handsets but NO data enabled on their contracts - basically a simple phone without physical buttons.

      On the other hand everyone I know with iDevices use them extensively (i.e. pretty much every day) and this is borne out by my own stats on various (fairly busy) web sites - Apple tablet traffic between 80-90% - i.e. people actually use these devices. Most of the Android devices I see are rarely used after the initial 'flurry' of excitement with a new toy.

    2. CCCP
      Thumb Up

      Re: more speculation....

      A quick look at my November web stats indeed shows utter dominance of Apple at 81% of mobile visits compared to Android at 17% with a rump of BB etc. This is a medium sized UK e-commerce website.

      Almost 2/3 of that Apple traffic is iPad.

      Where is all the Android slab traffic?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: more speculation....

        ... and I think this is extremely telling. Most Android tablet owners I know are underwhelmed by their purchase and many wish they had paid the extra for an iPad - the situation is completely reversed for people who own iPads. Also a lot of the Android tablets sold are el-cheapo models or Kindle Fires which are limited (for most users) and a far from prime experience.

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

          Re: more speculation....

          Actually I'm completely happy with my android purchase (galaxy ace).

          surf the internets, send rude messages to coworkers, the alarm clock function is suitably loud and annoying, but the phone was never bought for any of that

          Its a phone.. for making phone calls...

          And the only reason it was purchased over a iPhone.... was that it was 18 quid a month, and an iPhone on the same sort of deal was £30/month

          1. Steve Todd

            Re: more speculation....

            Ah, anecdotal evidence is better than actual usage statistics now is it? The point wasn't that no-one uses Android for web browsing, email etc, but that statistically far fewer Android users access these functions on their phones.

            1. Simon 11

              Re: more speculation....

              @ Steve Todd

              You want stats?


              Android is the most widely used mobile browser from Oct 2011 - Oct 2012

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: more speculation....

                that's no good to him, it uses flash, no way he can see that on his iPad.

        2. Koyaanisq

          Re: Re: more speculation....

          Welp, I got a Galaxy Note 2 recently, and I use it to scrawl crap down all the time. I've got a data plan. I'm on the internet all the time. I use it for phone calls and texts. I use it for the occasional photo.

          I don't think you're quite right with that. I will agree that there are cheapo phones and tablets, but people get them BECAUSE they're cheap, and simply don't want a crappy ol' Nokia.

          If you were to look at phones on the price level of the iPhone, even half of that, you'd probably notice a higher volume of data plans, internet usage and such. With Android, it isn't simply a Smartphone market. There are price ranges to consider. Whereas with Apple, there is simply the iPhone, which even with the lowest amount of flash onboard, is rather bloody expensive.

          I can't really comment on tabs though, as they seem like an utter waste across the range; Surface, iPad, Nexus, don't see the appeal of a 'portable' touch device you can't slip into your pocket and make a phone call on.

          My two cents.

  11. Nosher

    Apple are dominant only if you choose your stats carefully

    Apple's perceived dominance of the smartphone market is something of a myth. Ok, they have fairly dominated the app market for most of the time since the release of the release of the iphone, and there is no doubt that they dominate the profits, but in terms of units they've never amounted to more than about 25% of the smartphone market and more like only 10% of the entire mobile market. The iphone became a media poster child, which gave the impression that it was the *only* device around, leading gullible media types to conclude that it was the whole market and nothing else mattered.

    1. jubtastic1

      Re: Apple are dominant only if you choose your stats carefully

      I live in London, it's a fairly large English city whose citizens on average have more disposable income than other parts of the country, I have no idea how smartphone marketshare is in say Grimsby, but here in the Capital there are probably more iPhones in your vicinity than rats, and they're being used, people are buying apps, browsing the web, as long as Apple can keep people like this happy it will do just fine.

      Here's how I see things playing out:

      Amazon and Google's "look ma, no profit!" devices cause a lot of manufacturers to drop out of the mobile market unless they're being commissioned to build for Amazon or Google.

      Time passes.

      Google downsizes Android development, due to the majority of sold devices sidestepping them altogether (Amazon, Chinese and Indian home market forks of the codebase), limited returns from content deals and an increasingly competitive ad market squeezing their spending.

      Amazon either achieves its goal of monopolising shopping and jacks up prices to become the worlds most profitable company, or more likely, violently implodes after a bad quarter leaves it heavily in debt (And the rest of us wondering where all the shops went).

      Apple rolls into new market, new device is poo-poohed on the blogs, sells like hot cakes.

      Microsoft abandons W8, announces all new W9 codenamed 'Sure Thing' although later renamed 'W9 Windows Experience Editions' due to legal issues, which sadly, will not run on current W8 mobile or tablet hardware.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And yet...

    ...Apple's profits and sales are still rising compared to the same quarter last year.

    Well done Matt on taking into account overall profit share and overall market share yet still coming to a completely incorrect conclusion.

    1. Koyaanisq

      Re: And yet...

      I think you'll find Apple are in a little bit of a rough spot right now. With the release of all new EVERY PRODUCT THEY HAVE, they've seen share prices drop, sales not really jump up much, and things just simply floating around where it was beforehand. I would argue that with the release of a new iPhone, AND iPad, AND iPad Mini, AND Retina iThingies in general, you'd expect a HUGE jump in sales, profits, market share, share price.

      But, they didn't. Share prices have been dropping, in fact, until a day or two ago, I believe.

      My thoughts are that the hype is dying off, people are realizing that Apple isn't Gods gift to mobile computing, and are noticing prettier, sturdier, all-round better devices. Or, simply, cheaper devices!

      Hell, Apple has made a name for itself as a COMPLETE BASTARD in the last few years. It isn't relevant to the grand scheme of things, but most of the people that I'm acquainted with wouldn't touch an Apple device, because they know what a quality product is, and don't want to support a company who's only concern is shouting at other companies for being better, and rollin' in cash.

      Have a nice day,

      Sincerely, Not A Microsoft Employee.

  13. JaitcH

    MG Siegler, for example, gushed about all the different ways that Apple is amazingly, shockingly ...

    You overlooked that sad excuse of a copywriter at the Guardian, Charles Arthur, for whom Apple can do no wrong. The sun rises, and sets, on Cupertino.

    It beats me how these Apple Trolls continue their sad boosting mutterings without their publishers just how much damage they do to their publications when this hero-worship is allowed to continue.

    One thing readers appreciate The Register for is that it is beholden to no one, at least perceptibly.

    1. Chris D Rogers

      Charles Arthur's review of the iPad Mini was an advotorial at best and outright Apple advert at worst, myself and maybe another 50 posters had all our comments deleted when it was pointed out the close Guardian relationship with Apple and the fact Charles Arthur had a nice all expenses paid junket to go to the October Apple Fanbois Fest - I was not amused.

      Whilst my household is an all Apple ecosystem, its pricing strategy is just now so out of whack with reality, particularly with regards the the iPad Mini and iMac - apart from dumping on all those who supported the business during its lean times, Apple is now just a business aimed at the aspiring middle class, regrettably, whilst its profits have been maintained, market share has been abandoned in favour of price gouging its loyal customer-base - my question is simple, what happens to Apple once it loses its 'designer label' appeal?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Charles Arthur

        Charles is the worst, as he does not seem to have an honest opinion. If it's an Apple story it's consistently fawning, Google are consistently attacked and Microsoft stories are generally taken from elsewhere but inevitably negative.

        He writes about nothing else - it's like he's trying to sell his book by positioning these three companies as the complete tech world.

        1. John Molloy

          Re: Charles Arthur

          "Charles is the worst, as he does not seem to have an honest opinion."

          Charles has an opinion that differs from mine. There, fixed it for you.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Daleos

        Chris D Rogers

        Indeed. Many of my Mac owning designer friends are upset that Apple seem to be ignoring them after many, many years of devoted loyal service. Whilst there's still a way to go before they're likely to switch platform, perhaps this is the angle MS needs to claw back market share... Emphasize a professional OS for professional people. They should stop messing about in the consumer area and aim squarely at professional vertical markets, especially those in engineering and design.

        Whatever happens, aside from high end gaming, the desktop will decline rapidly outside the workplace as consumers can now consume on anything. Better for MS to concentrate it's Windows OS on professionals who more likely than not will need a quality desktop and do something separate (I mean completely separate) for the plebs.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia had it all too, once.

    Ease of use, well designed/built reliable products, massive market share.

    That was only 10 years ago...

    Plus ça change...

  15. Steve Todd

    China is a critical market?

    It's a BIG market, but the demographic isn't one that advertisers are particularly excited by. There is a small proportion of wealthy Chinese who are happy to splash their cash about (and probably own iPhones) and lots of very poor people who, if they are lucky, can just about afford a cheap mobile phone on contract. You're never going to make much money advertising to this audience or writing software for them.

    Apple have always targeted the upper end of the market, preferring to cater to people who have high disposable incomes. Advertisers love this audience and software authors target people who will spend money on their products. The result is what we see today, even Google make more money from iOS than they do from Android, developers write first for iOS etc. This despite the fact that more Android devices are sold.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: China is a critical market?

      You should visit China... The small proportion of rich people is probably bigger than Europe's these days. Ok joking, but to under estimate that market is a mistake.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For years, Apple fanbois have pooh-poohed Apple's loss of market share, crowing that it still controlled industry profits.

    May be a similarity with the US vs Japanese auto industry from what I heard on a recent R4 business program ... when Japanese manufacturers entered the US car market they came in right at the bottom and gained a foothold via value vs comparable US offerings. US manufacturers didn't compete much but instead were happy to move away from the low profit end and relied on the mid and top range cars where the profits were. Over time Japanese manufacturers moved up the market and US manufacturers retreated into higher end ... but by the time Japanese had branched out into Lexus etc there was nowhere for the US manufacturers to hide - hence situation GM is in now etc.

    Couple of years ago Android was dismissed as a threat to Apple as it was low end so it didn't matter ... no longer the case now.

  18. Redundent Asset


    Anyone else but me getting really tired at seeing the word innovative?

    It went from a rarely used word to everyone and their dog writing it.

    Its like the new cloud.

  19. Shonko Kid

    Dominant market share?

    Can the author please point to where iOS dominanted on the helpfully included graph? I can't quite see it.

    If you're going to do an analysis piece, best not to open with an obviously bogus claim.

    1. AceRimmer

      Re: Dominant market share?

      The graph shows the share that the various mobile OSs have of the CHINESE market

  20. b166er

    Unfortunately for Apple, it was always going to be so. They are blind to their arrogance.

    @CCCP, without knowing what sort of e-commerce site it is, your statistics mean absolutely nothing. You could be selling iPad accessories for all I know.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @b166er - if that makes you feel better - but it's the same over multiple (non-Apple) web sites and blogs I have seen. Pretty sure I saw it quoted in an article here on the reg as well a few days ago.

    2. CCCP

      @b166er - it's not related to tech in any shape or form so the point stands that apple represents a disproportionate share of e-commerce.

      In fact, I'd like more android traffic as it would push mobile higher up our agenda. But it's just not there....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazon are selling their kindle Fire HD at cost - so we can assume that £159-169 is about cost price for a 16Gb tablet - so we have a situation where people like Asus (who sell via retailers and have to give them a cut), Amazon etc. are selling their tablets at near enough zero profit. Amazon wins if people buy their content - but Asus?

    Then you have Apple - they develop their own OS (which gives them advantages) and spread over all their tablet and phones probably is not a huge cost per unit. Their device is better made but with their volumes they should be making good profits selling them at £269 and the fact is they are selling every one they can make.

    Called John Lewis to check stock (a friend wanted me to pick one up for her) - lady on the phone knew the part number off the top of her head and was not surprised. Their delivery had arrived and they only had 8 left - I ordered it over the phone to reserve it - got it the car and by the time I got there to collect it the rest had sold out (that was by 10am).

    In the store they have a variety of tablets - no-one cared to really look at the Samsung / other tablets - they were literally people 2-3 deep all trying out and ordering iPads and iPad Minis. Similar story - went to an Apple Store and it was even busier than usual - loads of staff and all busy.

    Think the next quarter sales figures may be better than many expect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and yet....

      I want a Nexus, tried to get from Argos, not one store in two counties had any in stock, plenty of iPad minis though. Walked through my local supermarket, where two iPads sit forlorn, as the odd random kid picks one up, fiddles with it, puts it down when mum or dad call them over. Never seen an adult near them, never seen anyone buy one. Was in another large store at the weekend, where I saw an iPad mini on display. A middle aged couple were looking at it, put it down and walked away. Nobody else cared to look at it.

      My anecdotal "evidence" contradicts yours completely.

      However, I realise that it actually means fuck all in the big wide world. Just like yours.

  22. Eddie Edwards

    Android is not a platform

    Apple have not held dominant market share over Android for as long as Android has been playing the "me too, only cheaper" game. Their market share grew with the iPhone 4, but still didn't reach Android's. Q32010: 45% android, 23% iOS. Q32011: 60% android, 26% iOS. Q42011: 45% android, 43% iOS. Q32012: 75% android, 15% iOS.

    And yet it took until last month for Android to reach iOS in terms of number of apps. Why?

    Because Android is not a platform in the sense that iOS is. No word on if all those apps actually *work* on all the Android phones. It's a bazaar, not a platform. Microsoft succeed in building a platform on top of commodity PC hardware; Google failed to do this, relying instead on the Java WORA myth, and if you want to write C++ apps for Android (say, games) you're into a world of pain.

    Each manufacturer does things a little bit differently. Testing an Android app requires testing on at least 40 or 50 devices. Testing an iOS app requires testing on maybe 10, and six of those are a formality. And the more Android succeeds, the worse this gets. iOS will continue to garner a lead in quality, because in a market with such marginal profitability, proper testing is a luxury. And, developers will continue to prefer iOS development over Android development, outside of a *strong* business case to focus on Android, because it's so much less work. And that business case has to rest on the *revenue* the app will generate, not the number of potential downloads. The cheaper option is not going to produce the most aftermarket revenue, market share point for market share point. Many of the SME developers are still iOS only, even with 1/5 the market share, because that's where their market intelligence tells them to be.

    As for China, they do not pay for apps over there. Western developers could not care less what the dominant phone is in China, except insofar as they might avoid developing apps for it that have any per-user cost component. China is a market for hardware, not software.

    There will continue to be a healthy stream of software developed for iOS, have no fear of that. Customers are not going to be driven away by a lack of new apps, or by the latest game everyone is talking about not appearing on iOS. Market share is only part of the story, no matter what some univariate-capable analyst wants you to believe.

  23. Matthew 25
    Thumb Up

    He's right y'know

    Apple are making exactly the same mistake they made before.

    Apple platform is only available on Apple hardware, and it is expensive.

    Android is available on hardware from many OEMs. They compete with one another and this drives down price.

    More consumers will purchase the cheaper equivalent product. They don't really understand the all the differences, and don't need to. They understand they can play most of the same games, browse the same web sites, and watch the same catchup TV services, i.e. do all the things they want to do. If you don't look too closely they are exactly the same, hence all the law suits.

    Currently app(lication)s are (mostly) produced just for the major platforms: iOS and Android.

    As the percentage install base of iOS drops away the profit for iOS apps will also drop away. Software producers will concentrate on Android because that is where the money will be.

    iOS will become more irrelevant.

    Fewer people will buy it because it won't run X or Y killer app, and then you are in a vicious circle.

    This is exactly what happened in Mac vs PC. It has nothing to do with the quality of the platform and everything to do with high prices and restricted choice.

    As for the others? HP have thrown in the towel, RIM have missed the boat.

    Microsoft may be able to build their own boat if they can get compatibility between desktop sorted out in time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He's right y'know

      Would Apple care if they 'only' had 10-15% of the smart phone market if that share gave them 80% of the profits and resulted in a loyal user base who actually use their devices for more than calls + texts and buy apps, music and other media?

      Someone raised Mac vs PC - well pretty sure I read that the number 1 laptop and number 1 desktop in the US are Apple products - people forget they are a single manufacturer and as such are doing exceedingly well. Dell and HP sell lots of product and make no money - Microsoft seem to make most of the cash out of standard PCs selling software.

    2. Manu T

      Re: He's right y'know

      " Android is available on hardware from many OEMs. They compete with one another and this drives down price.

      More consumers will purchase the cheaper equivalent product. They don't really understand the all the differences, and don't need to. They understand they can play most of the same games, browse the same web sites, and watch the same catchup TV services, i.e. do all the things they want to do. If you don't look too closely they are exactly the same, hence all the law suits."

      Except that the lower specced android devices don't play most o/t games, or you can't browse the same pages. And watching the same catchup TV show has nothing to do with Android or iOS capabilities but all with content provider actually providing the stuff for your region. The many online "propagandists" let you believe that the vast majority of Android devices are essentially all the same but the reality shows a completely different story. Just look at the flow of Android upgrades amongst the various models (even from the same handsetmaker) due to different SoC's etc...

      "As the percentage install base of iOS drops away the profit for iOS apps will also drop away."

      A percentage doesn't mean a thing. The REAL numbers of sold apps mean the diffference. The majority of Android users don't buy (as many) apps. To give numbers. If out o/t 2 million iPad owners 500000 people actually buy apps and out of the 20milion Android users 300000 users actallly buy apps then it's obvious that developpers will eventually ditch the Android platform because the platform with the less marketshare is much more profitable. Real numbers cpunt not percentages, these are fun for marketing jockeys who live in their own bubble.

      "Fewer people will buy it because it won't run X or Y killer app"

      Doubtfull since the change of getting your app actually working an the entire range of apple products is far easier then get it working on the vast Android market. In fact the change of getting that game running on an old iPhone 4s is more likely than on your Galaxy III mini.

      "It has nothing to do with the quality of the platform and everything to do with high prices and restricted choice."

      Since developers are first targetting iOS they still have the advantage. And regarding the price. Apple DID learn their lesson! The proof is with iTunes music store. When they released music at 0.99$/song. Unfortunately at one time other parties started to interfere. The RIAA (and other parasitic organizations) ruined it for endusers by enforcing higher prices upon Apple. This is what could destroy Apple! Outside parasitic companies dictating Apple what it should do which Apple tries to avoid as much as it can (as we see from Apple's stubborn attitude to do as much by itself as possible).

      As for RIM missed the boat. No they haven't. RIM should remain commited to their stronghold. Just as Nokia should have on Symbian and Meego. Because for now Apple created momentum with their ipod/iPhone success but eventually profesional users will realise that their iPhones are fine for kids but are useless as a serious business tool. All RIM should do is to remain alive as eventually when all the hype is over, users will come back. Especially if you can show the world that you ARE as solid as a rock! Nokia shouldn't have dropped Symbian and Meego just like that too, since now they completely destroyed their own credibility. ANd that will destroy Nokia!

    3. Kiwirob

      Re: He's right y'know

      This is a totally flawed argument. A drop in market share does not lead to a drop in iOS application profits. Both Android and iOS platforms are ecosystems. Once a user is invested in the ecosystem there are barriers to leave that ecosystem and move to another. It is a fact that iOS user pay more for content on their devices than Andriod. This creates stickiness where an iOS user who has spent $10's or $100's on media and apps compatible only with their device will stay within the iOS ecosystem.

      There are currently two races that are being run by iOS and Andriod. The original article is mistaken in only factoring in one of the two races. The first race is "market share", getting devices into the hands of initial users, Andriod is winning this race. The second race is getting users to invest into the platform ecosystem with media and app purchases, Apple is winning this race.

      As has been mentioned the majority of Andriod devices counted in the stats are run by user as feature phones, not true smartphones. The exception to this is the open source technology enthusiast to is a more advanced user of smartphone functionality than even most iOS users. The problem is feature phone type users which make the majority of Andriod user base are not "locked into" their system. They might get a Samsung, then a HTC, or a Windows Mobile device, they don't really care. They can even upgrade to an Apple after their contract runs out and they get a new phone subsidy. But most of iOS users who are persuaded to purchase media and apps on their device do not migrate back to Andriod and lose the investment they have made in the ecosystem. Sure a minority (which are over represented as a majority on technology websites) will leave because they prefer the "openness" of Andriod. But a 35 year old mother of 2.5 kids doesn't give a rats ass about "open", "linux", "GPL", "Andriod", they more than likely want a device their friends have and a fashion item, hence but Apple products.

      In terms of everyday smartphone users Andriod does hold a majority of the innovators and early adopters who love the technical aspects of that platform. Apple holds both the early and late majority of the product adoption cycle including aging business executives and soccer mums. The rest of Andiod numbers are made up of buy one get one free, free on contract, or cheapest to buy feature phone users who happen to have a smartphone they do not use the advanced features of.

      When Apple can't get the 100,000's of workers in China (and now Brazil) to make enough iOS devices to meet worldwide demand i fail to see how the company can have systemic failures in its business plans?

      Lastly I'd point out that the very capable Samsung Galaxy III which is a true competitor to iPhone in every way costs about the same and Samsung is now making serious profits for their efforts. BMW, Audi and Mercedes did not go out of business because of Hyundai or Kai cars from Korea just like Apple will not got out of business because of Samsung and HTC.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple pay to develop their own OS, provide iCloud services etc. and part of the extra cost of their devices goes towards this. HTC, Samsung and others just re-skin Android (i.e. relatively little work). Android manufacturers just pass it all off to Google who basically use your data to make them money with advertising - personally I don't really trust Google when their business is making money from you / your data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ahh... so there's no advertising in the App Store? Apple don't own iAd????


    Jobs was the engine.

    Apple are now just coasting on the forward momentum he left them with.

    Unless they find another driving force as powerful, creative and single minded, nothing they'll do now will sustain them beyond being just another tech company.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    here we go again... marketshare blabla bla.

    It doesn't mean a thing. Of course Apple doesn't care that it looses some marketshare when that market is still growing Apple will remain growing. Perhaps not as big or fast as previous years but so what. Profit is profit!

    Besides both Apple and Microsft are roaming the profits of Android OS as well. So eventually manufacturers will decrease their Android models in favour of Windows Phone models. As we already begin to see for 2013 line-up from several important handset-makers. Even the cheap chinese crapware makers are going for Windows Phone for their 2013 line-up (e.g. huawei Ascend W8).

    Funny how nobody notices this? I don't want to sound all conspiracy but US company G create an OS which is supposedly 'open source' and sells it very cheap/free, then 2 other supposedly non-related US companies (say A and M) sue every (non-US) handset maker whom dares to use OS from US company G and enforce them to licence another OS from company M. I think something fishy is going on and nobody notices this.

    Where are all the smart reporters?

  27. Stephen Channell

    crunch time will come whe the iPad batteries start to fail.

    with tablets usage skewed so much to the web a five year old iPad would still be viable, except when the battery has gone & can't be replaced.. Its then that Apple can become so far from cool that few people will want it.

    1. Herba

      Re: crunch time will come whe the iPad batteries start to fail.

      The ipad batteries can be replace...

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Only a moron thinks SMARTPHONE market share trends matter

    The primary growth in the smartphone market at this point forward is feature phone replacement - i.e., at the LOW end of the market. Both the share of iPhones (all priced on the higher end of the market) and high end Android phones (priced in the same range) are shrinking as a share of smartphones sold, because while both iPhones and GS3s (to take one example) are continuing to grow in absolute numbers, they are both growing more slowly than the smartphone market as a whole is.

    If you look as you should at the ENTIRE mobile market, you'll see that Apple was just a few percent three years ago but has grown nicely into a profitable but far from dominant ~10% share of the overall mobile market. Android is probably north of 50% of the overall mobile market by this point and will continue to grow to perhaps 80% or so as the feature phone market disappears over the next few years (assuming Apple grows a few more percent and WP8 and BB10 take the remaining few percent)

    Not sure why making a profit is seen as a "fetish". It is, after all, the primary function of a corporation. It is funny that he's slagging on the company making the most money of any in the world, with the exception of state owned oil giants Petrochina and Aramco. Will that still be the case in five years? Who knows. Things can change fast in the tech market. But cutting prices in pursuit of market share doesn't guarantee they'll be there in five years either, but does guarantee they'll make a lot less money in the meantime.

  29. Herba

    "For years Apple has dominated mobile, both in terms of market share..."

    WTF are you talking about? I don't recall Apple dominating the smartphone market at any point in time. They pretty much get all the profits, but not the market shares.

    And number are very deceiving, last quarter was the S3 first 3 months and it was Apple 4s last 3 months. Lets look at the chart in february again and compare...

    The china chart is a joke, 95% of the android phones sold there a complete junk than can barely run any app because they are running old Android versions on junk hardware.

  30. Alan Denman

    Juast a fad, we are now into the Phablet era.

    Xmas means your iDevices will still sell like hotcakes to the kids.

    Only next year will they cotton on next year that they wished for last years gear.

    That's blanket marketing for you.

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