Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Aug 2012 22:17 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless You wouldn't believe it, but something actually, truly interesting came out of the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit yesterday. Apple had conducted a survey to find out why, exactly, consumers opted to go with Android instead of the iPhone. The results are fascinating - not only do they seem to invalidate Apple's claims, they provide an unusual insight into consumer behaviour. The gist? People choose Android not because it's an iPhone copy - they choose it because of Android's unique characteristics.
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RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by jeffb on Wed 15th Aug 2012 00:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
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Apple makes most of the money in PCs. A few years back when Apple was 8% of the PC market they made 90% of the profits. Today they are at 12%.

Apple makes more money because Apple targets the profitable sector of the market. They have consistently chosen profits over market share but not so much that they've allowed their share to fall. Apple in the 1990s was even more greedy and allowed their share to fall.

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RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Wed 15th Aug 2012 10:17 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
Tony Swash Member since:

Again you are trying to compare the PC market to the new mobile device market, they are very different.

Apple has made a fantastic job of staging a comeback in the PC world where Microsoft's hegemony was so vast. They focussed on gutting the PC OEMs profits, mostly because they were the weak link in the PC food chain where Microsoft took the bulk of the profits and left crumbs for the other feeders and so stepping around them was easy. But that fantastic comeback, even though it has delighted old fans like me and made many new converts to the OSX platform, is about yesterday's game.

The new big game in town is mobile devices and here Apple is by far the most successful player. In just five years Apple has built a business with essentially a single product, the iPhone, that on it's own is bigger than Microsoft. The software market and developer base of iOS is already bigger and far more dynamic than the Windows software/developer space. That's quite some achievement.

It seems that unlike in the PC world in the mobile device world the money (and hence the software, the developers and the peripheral makers) no longer simply follow the platform that sells the most units. This is not the PC market.

If the money, and all that is connected to money, no longer simply follows the platform with the most units shipped, then the device market needs to be looked at as a competition between device makers. For example stats like this are important: according to NPD, the top five smartphone brands, and their market shares, in Q2 were as follows:
Apple: 31 percent
Samsung: 24 percent
HTC: 15 percent
Motorola: 12 percent
LG: 6 percent

And on that list only Apple and Samsung are making much in the way of profits.

The indications are strong that in the new device markets the consumer world is far more important than the enterprise world, and in fact the former appears to be beginning to drive the latter (hence Microsoft's risky Surface initiative than is primarily intended to reassert it's enterprise hegemony). It also appears that fully integrated devices (software, hardware, sales channels, digital content) are more successful than fragmented devices (hence Google's recent downgrading of piracy related search results in order to move forward stalled content negotiations with the content owners in music and especially film and TV).

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RE[3]: Comment by Tony Swash
by mkone on Fri 17th Aug 2012 18:23 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash"
mkone Member since:

Again you are trying to compare the PC market to the new mobile device market, they are very different.

They are not as different as you think. Apple can, and will differentiate themselves. If the smartphone market grows to 1bn devices per annum, and Apple can capture 15% of that market, they will be more than content. Apple have shown that you do not need a monopoly to be profitable. Apple still makes less than 10% of all mobile phone, and if they can increase their overall share of the mobile phone market as the dumbphone market disappears, they will be able to make incredibly good profits.

Right now, they are growing their "PC" market share, growing their tablet business, growing their smartphone business, growing profits. They are doing exactly what they need to do.

The smartphone market will end up like the PC market. A dozen or so manufacturers making Android phone, and competing on price (by necessity). Margins for that business will drop.

Apple will use the same components and compete for the higher niche end of the market where the profits are.

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