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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

It looks like the iPhone will continue to be the most popular, with 62% of teens saying they plan to make the iPhone their next phone. Piper Jaffray interviewed 5,200 teens. Of the same group, 68% owned iPads, compared to the slightly greater 72% last year. The decline is likely due to the onslaught of competing tablets over the past year.

Incidentally, calls for Apple to release a cheaper iPhone (for the emerging markets of China and India) may not be the best advice if profitability is more important than market share.

iPad market share

What about the iPad? IDC research from March suggests that Android will overtake the iPad this year with the competition from cheaper Android tablets syphoning off sales. iPad shipments will account for 46% of the tablet market in 2013, predicts IDC. That's down from 51% in 2012. Android devices are expected to grow to 49% of the market this year, up from 42% in 2012, according to IDC.

As we suggested above, market share isn't necessarily the thing that matters most.

A report from Chitika suggests that Apple's iPad accounts for 81.9% of US and Canadian web traffic, and this is on the increase. Everyone else in the tablet space is miles behind Apple, in second place Amazon's Kindle Fire has 7.1% and in third, Samsung's Galaxy Tablets get 4.3%, for example. Chitika's report is based on its 300 million ad impressions, so what it suggests is that iPad users look at more web pages than anyone else, it doesn't reflect ownership of the device.

Similarly, an NPD Group study indicates that iOS users download more content on their devices. The study found that iPhone owners in the US downloaded 1.12 gigabytes per month, while Android users downloaded an average of 0.92 gigabytes of data.

So those using Apple devices view more web pages and download more content. They also spend more: while the number of apps available on the App Store may now be comparable to the Android apps available on Google Play, Apple's App Store is far more profitable (it makes four times as much money, according to app analytics firm Distino).

Mac market share

Another reason why the iPad is so important to Apple is its cannibalisation of another Apple product category, the Mac, and with it the PC.

One PC category in particular seems to be suffering at the hands of the iPad. IHS iSuppli is predicting that the iPad is the primary driver in the decline of the netbook, with a report suggesting that netbook shipments this year will be just 3.97, down from 32.14 in 2010. IHS predicts that by 2015 the segment will be dead. What happened? "Netbooks began their descent into oblivion with the introduction in 2010 of Apple's iPad," claims IHS analyst Craig Stice.


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