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What the iPhone, iPad and Mac market share tell us about Apple

Karen Haslam | April 23, 2013
Ignore the share price, other factors tell the bigger story

If you judge Apple's performance by its share price you might think that the company is failing. Of course we know that Apple is more successful than ever and the future remains bright.

How can we say this with confidence, and how can you prove it to be true to your doubting friends?

Here we look at the products that mean the most to Apple right now and assess whether the company is really in trouble.

iPhone market share

Some of the naysayers claim that Apple's iPhone has been over taken by Samsung's smartphones, they try to use the market share argument to suggest that Apple is sinking. Is market share the best indicator of success? Not necessarily.

Market researcher Strategy Analytics today published a report claiming that Apple accounted for 42.7% of global smartphone revenues in the fourth quarter of 2012, while Samsung accounted for 28.7%.

The point is it's not the market share that matters but what Apple does with it that counts. If Apple makes more money from a smaller market that doesn't mean that the company is failing. That's good business.

The same Strategy Analytics report indicates that Apple sold 27.4 million iPhones 5 in the fourth quarter, while Samsung sold only 11.6 million LTE smartphones. Of course in the fourth quarter Apple had just launched the iPhone 5 while the Samsung S3 was getting a bit long in the tooth. You may be thinking that with the launch of the Galaxy S4 later this week, Apple will lose yet more market share to Samsung, you may be wrong. Yankee Group claims that, despite the launch of the S4, Apple is likely to gain smartphone market share in the US this year, "rather than the other way around."

Yankee Group "doesn't see the S IV [S4] allowing Samsung to gain ground against Apple in the crucial US market." It blames the fact that the new phone is very similar to the old phone (a familiar argument usually reserved for Apple).

Yankee Group's 2013 US Consumer Survey found that: "Only about 15% of consumers intend to buy a Samsung phone within the next six months, while 40% intend to buy Apple iPhones within that period," notes Apple Insider.

Another suggestion is that the iPhone will lose ground because of its high price. One indicator that this isn't true is the high state of ownership amongst US teens. According to Piper Jaffray research, the iPhone is owned by half of all US teens. Its Taking Stock With Teens survey indicates that 48% of the teen respondents owned an iPhone. That's up from 40% last year.


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