Linked by Matthew Johnson on Tue 31st Jan 2012 22:24 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless In its analysis of last year's smartphone market in the U.S., NPD found that market share for Apple's iOS went up following the release of the iPhone 4S, to 43 percent of all smartphone sales in October and November from 26 percent in the third quarter. Android, meanwhile, retained its lead, but lost market share towards the end of the year, dropping in October and November to 47 percent from 60 percent in the previous quarter. These are some dramatic shifts in market share but what do they really mean to you and me?
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"Market share is about the percentage of sales, not the total number of sales. It's about how the market is shared out.

Sales are sales, market share is market share. It’s pretty easy to understand. Here quoting wikipedia: "Market share is the percentage of a market accounted for by a specific entity."

That is a definition of market share, however the one that is commonly used by business publications and analysts is:

"The percentage of an industry or market's total sales that is earned by a particular company over a specified time period."

Generally speaking, no one cares about install base (which is what the definition you're using would normally be called) because it gives no indication of how a company is doing now. Having a large install base doesn't help anyone if their competitors selling more units per quarter now.

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