How good Android data leads to bad iPad analysis

Industry analyst disputes bad info about iPad marketshare

Looking at tablet sales numbers, it's easy to assume that the iPad is already badly eclipsed by Android devices. But a closer look at those numbers reveal a different story, according to tech industry analyst Ben Bajarin, who posts his thoughts at

Bajarin notes that the biggest chunk of Android tablet sales aren't coming from a single vendor, but from "Other," or as he describes them, "the no-name brand white-box tablets being sold at razor thin margins mostly in China and other emerging markets." And what consumers are doing with those is very, very limited. "...they aren't actually showing up on anyone's radar when it comes to apps and services in a meaningful way," Bajarin writes.

Excluding the "other" category from tablet sales, Apple's share of the market jumps from about one-third to more than half. What's more, his research suggests that many first time buyers of low-cost tablets have buyer's remorse and plan to spend more to get something better next time - a glowing opportunity for Apple.

Apple certainly faces very serious challenges from Samsung and other tablet vendors moving forward, and needs to stay ahead of them through innovation and the continued development and support of a compelling user experience and ecosystem that makes customers want to keep buying their products.

But as Bajarin points out, part of his job - and the job of other analysts (and those of us reporting on it) - is to provide good context for the data. Too often, "data that gets thrown around in the public sphere clouds the truth rather than brings clarity to it."


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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

How good Android data leads to bad iPad analysis


Bajarin hints about the smartphone issue at the end of his editorial. It'll be interesting to see how he fleshes that out in the future.

Something else I see as an issue is news media and tech sites equating estimates with sales. As far as I know, no company outside of Apple consistently reports quarterly shipment figures for phones or tablets. So if we don't know what companies are shipping how in the world can we know what the "market" is and what Apple's share of that "market" is? Does anyone ever perform analysis or dig deeper on IDC or Gartner or others and how they arrive at their estimates? I know just a couple years back IDC claimed that Windows phone would be #2 behind Android by 2014. How do we know the numbers they're reporting are good numbers?