Our post observing that Android just blew past Apple in US market share now has 325 comments and counting.Why?
Because Apple fans are apoplectic at the idea that Android–ANDROID!–could be leaving their beloved phone platform in the dust.
Never mind that Apple, at least, is hanging on to its 25% market share. It’s RIM that is getting crushed.
As we noted the other day, amid the enraged insults and fingerpointing and howling, there are a few good points as to why the market share figures don’t tell the whole story.
First and foremost, as we observed, Android is not a standardized platform: Its various flavours and releases and customisations have created a fragmented market of many different Androids, each of which has a share that is far smaller than the iPhone’s. Google is now trying to exert more control over Android. But, for now, the platform is very fragmented.
Second, Apple is maintaining price parity with Android, which is something the company did not do when it was fighting a ubiquitous software platform in the 1990s (Microsoft). Importantly, though, this price parity has not stopped Android’s share from soaring, so Apple may have to get even more aggressive on price.
Third, Apple is indeed still flogging Android in the tablet market: The Motorola Xoom has reportedly sold all of 100,000 units, compared to millions for the iPad 2. (That said, tablets and phones are different, and the fact that the iPad runs iOS does not mean that iPads and iPhones should both be counted in handset market share).
One argument that was raised in Apple’s defence has since been debunked: The argument that, if you count iPod touches in your market share calculation, Apple is still in great shape.
Our Dan Frommer ran the numbers. At least globally, if you include iPod touches, Apple’s platform share has actually fallen year over year.
(Admit it, Apple fans: That’s bad and startling news. A year ago, Apple had this whole market to itself).
In any event, we never cease to be amazed by the effectiveness of Steve Jobs’ famous “reality distortion field.” If you don’t like the news, Apple zealots all apparently agree, just shoot the messengers.