Apple vs. Google/Samsung numbers: Lies, damn lies, and sloppy statistics

Apple vs. Google/Samsung numbers: Lies, damn lies, and sloppy statistics

There's a trio of strange stories this week that all revolve around the reporting of Apple vs. Samsung statistics, or rather the rush to propagate incorrect, sensationalistic, negative narratives around the currently trendy Apple is doomed theme. Things like Google saying the Nexus 7 outsold the iPad mini in Japan, or reports of Samsung beating Apple on profitability. Yet what's interesting is that these stories didn't stop there. People looked into them, dug into them, and called bullshit.

Chris Burns from Slashgear:

According to Bylines, BCN covers a total of 16% of tablet-carrying sales channels inside Japan. With a relatively major gap in stores covered in this study – especially considering the relatively unique nature in which Apple sells its tablets in Apple-exclusive stores – the simple assertion that the Nexus 7 outsold the iPad across Japan should never have been made.

Daniel Eran Dilger from AppleInsider:

Looked at honestly, Apple and the entirety of Samsung Electronics are both making nearly equal amounts of money, but Samsung is relying on much larger volumes of lower quality products to keep up.

Also interesting, this bit of reporting by Brian Klug and Anand Lal Shimpi on Anandtech calling for more consistency in benchmark reporting by manufacturers, as those often factor into comparative reporting.

Check them all out, and keep them in mind when next you read an "Apple - or any company - is doomed!" article.

Source: Slashgear, AppleInsider, Anandtech

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 25 comments. Add yours.

kch50428 says:

Figures don't lie, but any liar can figure...

Nathan Bael says:

From my forensic accounting class, I learned that figures sometimes do lie. But otherwise I get what you are saying.

Trappiste says:

"but Samsung is relying on much larger volumes of lower quality products to keep up."

Typical Apple worshipper's rhetoric. Of course, i can also ask: How many low-quality iOS installations, or low-quality products in general, Apple have had to move in order to keep up with Google (while losig market share left and right?) How many three-year-old iPhone 4's Apple have had to ship to retain volume? How desperate are things getting when the company has to sell outdated products cheap?

Anyone can pull this kind of rhetoric out of their ass. Rene, please quote something a tad smarter next time. Thanks.

pappy53 says:

Losing market share? Check your stats, as iPhone market share in the U.S. has been increasing, while Android is falling. I don't care about world market share, just in the country that I live.

theromz says:

Great logic there buddy.

iSRS says:

Not even that, but the key is THE ENTIRETY is Samsung Electronics. You know, tablets, smartphones, computers, TVs, DVD players, bluray players, appliances, landline phones, etc.

Just saying. True, Apple has not chosen to enter those other markets, but this is just proving Rene's point. Not comparing oranges to oranges.

Sent from the iMore App

Angelo_Campher says:

Please stop, you're making a fool of yourself.

Samsung apparently "shipped" 70 + million phones to generate nearly the same amount of profits as Apple did on it's "measly" 31 million iPhones.

ViewRoyal says:

Trappiste: "Typical Apple worshipper's rhetoric."

What's the matter Trappiste, do you just hate hearing factual information?

This quarter, Apple made 53% of the worldwide smartphone profits, and Samsung made less at 50% (yes I know that adds up to 103%, but that's because all other manufacturers totaled to an average -3% of profits... most lost money!).

Samsung made less profit despite selling many more phones. Why? Because most of Samsung's phones were low-end, low-priced models being sold mostly in Third World countries. Those low-end, low-priced models bring in very little revenues, and even less profits for Samsung.

theromz says:

Kind of sad how defensive a editor as to be, just cause his brand is not No#1 in 1 thing. Grow up :D.

pappy53 says:

#1 in tablets.

And market share aside, #1 in smartphones, considering smoothness, ease of use, reliability, build quality, etc.

mazzmoney95 says:

They are #1 in Tablets still? I heard a few days ago that they lost that title. It was supposed to happen in 2015, but it happened 2 years early.

As for those #1's, Android is #1 at a lot of things, it is up to the user to determine whether or not the tradeoff is worth it. Android Phone's are #1 in customization, build quality (I'd take an HTC One build over an iPhone build any day), choice (so many to pick), etc. For me (and probably millions of others), Android makes sense while the iPhone makes little to no sense. And I'm sure it's vice versa for millions of others.

Nathan Bael says:

I have used other tablets, and do use other phones (currently loving my Z10), but I have never had a tablet come close to the iPad in user experience. I think some of it is the lack of tablet specific apps. Also, I really don't like the 16:9 form factor on a tablet, it makes it unwieldy to me.

rogifan says:

So asking for accurate reporting is childish?

ViewRoyal says:

"So asking for accurate reporting is childish?"

Yes... if you're a child... which theromz seems to be (at least in maturity ;-)

theromz says:

Not sure how I'm a child, but thanks I want to be a child at heart forever <3

theromz says:

Its just his tone like he was personally hurt by it, why should it even matter what someone says. I just find it a bit childish for a chief editor to act like this. This is also not the only article where he takes it very personally and acts like a fanboi.

I'm all for numbers be correct and I respect apple for this but I just feel he needs to be a bit more professional.

Some of his insights are great and he really understands a lot of things and is very fair at times. But its just too often that you see posts like this which I find very childish.

AdamChew says:

He is entitled to his opinion just as you are entitled to the childish meme.

Why not be a writer of this blog and throw us some bones so that we will find out whether your opinions are childish or matured.

Rene Ritchie says:

Bullshit. Apple has never been #1. They were way behind Nokia and BlackBerry when they started, they're way behind Android now. I don't care about numbers - I care about good phones and accurate reporting, no matter who makes or does it.

Maybe start the growing at home? :)

tigerinexile says:

Apple has always had a model of lower levels of sales with higher margins to make money.

Sometimes it works -- 1980s. Sometimes it flops -- 1990s. Sometimes they get higher levels of sales even with these conditions -- late 2000s.

But there's a comparator -- Boeing with the 747. They make far more off fewer numbers of those than Airbus makes off its similar-capacity Airbus models.

vinny jr says:

This story is comical. Come on Rene, this is just crap, you can do much better than these kinds of stories. I am also an iPhone owner, I also own several top of the line Android phones. Saying that I don't understand why the editor of a website gets all hot and bothered about a story that very few people even give two shits about. That makes you look and sound like a forum fanboy who is pissed off because his device of choice isn't this months flavor of choice. You can do much better than this.

Rene Ritchie says:

What specifically is crap about this story? Google announced Nexus 7 outsold iPhone in Japan on stage at their event. It wasn't true. That makes it a story.

The story is good, I'm not sure why the comment wasn't? ;)

Lenin17301 says:

Apple is ghettoizing itself again, with its "we only care about the US" mentality, all the while Samsung and Google fill their pockets by shipping low value gadgets to basically every corner of the world, with a cheap look-and-feel compared to Apple's, but with much lower price tags, the number one factor for buyers on 2nd and 3rd world countries. I guess the iPhone 5C rumours, if true, show that Tim Cook does want to reverse this trend.

Rene Ritchie says:

Google "fills their pockets" on iOS devices which earn them really, really healthy services dollars, don't kid yourself ;)

Lenin17301 says:

That's another area where Apple is behind Google, Apple makes money for lots of people, while Google leeches from everybody, both mined data and cold hard cash. Of course that is in Apple's nature, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

lshivamber says:

Rene, the "Apple is doomed" theme is very powerful and is built on a foundation of flawed analysis and misleading propaganda masquerading as journalism. I wrote about the Apple versus Samsung comparison flaws in a piece here: http://www.shivamber.com/why-are-facts-irrelevant-to-online-analysts/

Sadly, objective and critical analysis are dying skills. Glad to see the web is enabling some accountability for flawed reporting. Good work!