What’s the point of numbers if they cannot be twisted, turned, and reshaped to fit a particular narrative? After all, Mark Twain’s “lies, damned lies, and statistics” works for everyone, regardless of which side of the fence they put up residence.
When it comes to a company’s performance there are certain basic metrics that investors want to know, and a few others they’ll put stock in (pun intended). A product’s marketshare tops the list, right? Wrong.
Well, what numbers are better?
Marketshare is an easy metric to create because there is no verifiable math to support whatever numbers are attached to the one most used in publications. iClarified:
Apple Captured 10.1% of the Global Smartphone Market in 2Q19, Down From 11.3% in 2Q18
This is based upon a report from Counterpoint Research and it is treated as fact. It. Is. Not. How do I know?
None of the smartphone makers publishes how many devices they manufactured or sold in any given quarter or year. Apple was the last major company to do and stopped the practice last year. Why? Nobody else was handing out such facts, so why should Apple?
Oh, and if nobody else published actual sales or manufactured numbers, then totals for smartphone sales in any given period are guesstimates, and marketshare for any brand must be a guesstimate, too, right?
OK, let’s look at some of those numbers.
Samsung accounted for 21.3% of shipments, up from 19.6%, while Huawei accounted for 15.8% of shipments, up from 14.9%. Apple managed to stay ahead of Xiaomi which gained 0.2% market share reaching 9.0%.
Wow. Samsung’s numbers were about double Apple’s numbers. Yet, Apple made more money (actual factual numbers). Which metric do you think is the most valuable to a company? Marketshare? Or, Profits?
See the problem?
Apple has been at or around low double digits for many years, yet somehow the company has an installed base of iPhone customers– actual numbers, not guesses– that approaches 1-billion. If Apple’s iPhone represented only 10-percent of smartphone customers worldwide, then there must be about 10-billion smartphones on planet earth.
There. Are. Not.
Marketshare is an easy number to create and even easier for websites to publish because there is a source, even if the number is fiction. Marketshare is the least important of such metrics and should be treated as such, but instead gets glorified by websites that rush to publish regurgitated sensationalist headlines that have no basis in fact.
How is that not stupid?