Is Apple in trouble?

Before you read into the title too much, hear this: This is only addressing the people that only time Apple should exist is if they’re winning the smartphone os war. Apple is in no danger of even becoming a niche market anytime soon. However, since they’ve been usurped in market I’ve noticed a couple of things that you also may find interesting (and a lot claims that Apple is in trouble)

1. Anyone notice how much more advertising the iPhone is getting again?

Three months ago you couldn’t watch for less than hour without seeing some “Droid” commercial rammed down your throat. I even remember several occasions that I would see two of them back to back. While AT&T liked to “suggest” they had the iPhone in their commercials (they never explicitly said it since Apple’s PR Geniuses only want it shown they way they want to), you rarely saw an actual iPhone commercial. What about now? I still see the occasional “Droid” commercial, yet the iPhone commercials are reaching a mass that was only seen when it was first released. Generally speaking, in the market, a product is heavily advertised only when it’s first introduced or the demand for it is down/the company particularly wants it to be  higher.

Does this make the hard core fans sad:

Yes. This does suggest that Apple is aware that Android has taken over as the “big dog” now. For the relatively small fan base that wants complete Apple domination, I’m sorry.

Does this point to Apple being in trouble (for the rest of us):

Absolutely not. People seriously read into these things too much. Of course Apple wants its demand higher, what company doesn’t? Yes, Android demand is probably at an all time high. Apple is trying to push back. To say that this means they’re in trouble is absolutely ridiculous. Financially Apple is doing the best it has in years, the iPhone is still the top dog in customer satisfaction, and their market share has not dropped in months (meaning that Android is not taking users away from their iPhones, but rather other companies).

2. Apple supporters are starting to twist data.

Again, NOT ALL APPLE SUPPORTERS ARE DOING THAT. However, I find it interesting how many times this survey came up the other day. The results were tabulated as follows (click it to enlarge):

You know what the headline on the articles from this survey are? Things like “Surprise: Teenagers want an iPhone,” or “Android take a seat. Teens only interested in iPhone.”

Perhaps I misunderstand my statistics teachers over the years, but since when was 37% a majority? Or even 17%??? 17% of teens own an iPhone, and they supposedly prefer it? What about that other 83%? I’m sure that’s not all Android, but I’d recon that a decent chunk of it is (and if not more than 17%, at least close enough that you couldn’t say that teens only have an eye for the iPhone). Perhaps they were talking about the 37% that said they’d buy one in the next 6 months? Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but that still means that 63% of teens have no interest in buying an iPhone. And 63% is a majority (heck, that’s almost enough to pass a bill in congress). There’s no article (that I have been able to find…if you can, PLEASE comment with it below) that shows what the other 63% of teens were thinking. I’m just confused at how news outlets haven’t sat down and thought, “Wait a minute…Somin’ ain’t right here.” While I’m aware that most of the sites are Apple based (and yes, both sides twist data to suit their own needs), this is absolutely absurd. I’m glad that interest in the iPhone is rising among teens, but rising and having the majority are two different things.

3. Then you have surveys like this one:

Speaking of surveys, check out the title on this one: “WHY WOULD ANYONE EVER BUY AN ANDROID PHONE? Take Our Smartphone Survey And Tell Us!

Wow. BusinessInsider isn’t exactly a slouch of a website, but a Psych 101 student could tell you that this survey is null from bias. And if that weren’t enough, the questions couldn’t make it any more obvious. Look at one of the options for 8 :

8. If you think you’ll buy an iPhone, what might make you buy an Android or BlackBerry or Microsoft WP7 phone instead?

“Nothing: I live in the reality distortion field”

I’m sure this will be posted as “Survey shows people are even more interested in iPhone that 37%” or something like that. I took screenshots of the survey (posted below) for those of you that are interested.

So what does this mean?

I’m not really sure. Perhaps it’s just coincidence that Apple suddenly has a bunch of dumb supporters that want their voice to be heard. I’m not really sure what’s causing it, but it’s necessary.  Apple, and the iPhone are doing fine. In fact, it’s STILL increasing its market share month to month. I don’t know why now people are getting all fussed up about Android having the greatest market share in the smartphone OS war. We all knew it was going to happen, Apple’s strategy has always been that way. Get enough people to try your product, they’ll love it, and keep them hooked from then on. Apple has no intent at being the biggest smartphone company. They’re satisfied with making the most money. This goes the same for you Android die hards too: Just because Android is the most popular OS doesn’t mean you need to be an idiot about it. Google is doing fine, so is Apple. Let the companies fight, you don’t need to.

But to answer the question in the title: NO.

*flame shield, activate!*

» See more articles by Andrew Greenfield


  • Dil

    Eh. Both sides have their idiots

  • Cookies

    Dang, that is one long rant. I agree with your later paragraph though, both sides have their idiots. Apple’s are suddenly more vocal all of asudden, the Android idiots could do the same too (hopefully not)

  • Phish

    lol. That survey is hilarious rofl

  • http://www.appsbybirbeck.com/ birbeck

    Good article, but I wanted to comment on point 1.

    It’s not the increased amount of ads, not that i’m aware of that because I don’t watch television, but the nature of the ads. When they say, “If you don’t have an iPhone…” and imply that some feature is exclusive to iPhones only (not iPod Touch or iPad?), when in fact, Android has every one of the features in their three new commercials, with even better options available. The new marketing just sounds very desperate.

    As for 2 and 3, surveys are always stacked and results are twisted to make whatever point they want. Especially true when only distributed to a very small targeted pool of people who will respond favorably to support the desired results. Like you say, what about the other 63%, but also what about non-teens?

    From my market stats averaged across all my apps, only 3.7% are between the ages of 15 and 20. Other age groups are pretty well distributed but by far the most users for each app are 35-45.

  • Dirty Sanchez

    It may seem like Apple idiots have become more vocal lately. That’s easy to ‘splain. It’s because the Droid idiots have been VERY VERY quiet as of late. I wonder why.

    http://gigaom.com/2011/04/07/google-should-drop-androids-open-talk/

  • Len

    Fanboys have their place. In apples case, it’s very important as they are were they are because their hip. When non-techies read articles.. and comments, they see the bias and don’t know better. These people are doing it for their company.

    While yes, they are not on the company payroll.. people have a right to pick a team and hope they win. Hell, I personally want Google to win and Steve Jobs to just go away. Steve Jobs and his fans are a reminder to me how people are mostly just sheep and Apple, or more precicley the sheep, are slowing down the worlds Technilogical evolution by rewarding better ad’s over real function.

    Now, I’m sure Apple fans have their own reasons to want Apple to be on top as Google to fail. What they are I don’t know.. but, If I trust Google and want them to succeed this much, I’d be a hippocrite to say Apple fan’s shouldn’t feel the same.. (though they are wrong ofcourse.)

  • http://talkandroid.com Andrew Greenfield

    Sanchez: [speaking to the article]: That’ll happen as soon as Apple drops its “innovative talk.” Apple claims it invents things all the time, when they really don’t. Google explains that they’re completely open all the time, but they aren’t. Apple does like to make old features work a lot better, and Google is about as open as you can get without literally handing over the keys to the consumer (you couldn’t make a business that way). Both lie, and both tell the truth when they say that. It’s called ADVERTISING.

  • darkdvr

    Good article, but Jesus, proof-read your stuff. Tons of mistakes, some sentences don’t make any sense at all.
    It’s discrediting.

  • noah

    Apple has really leveraged their fans in the past. When Apple was getting bad press, they basically rallied everyone to harass journalists who would talk smack about them (ahem). Since Jobs came back that link has basically been severed. Many of the Macheads of old feel like Apple has deserted them by going mobile. Apple is now more like Willy Wonka’s factory, and Google is the more open one that does a lot more user-outreach. Despite this, Apple’s platform continues to attract more developers and users. The old Mac evangelism may still be around, but most users don’t get caught up in the rhetoric and loyalty any more, they just use their Apple products and enjoy them. Still, people will line up by the hundreds for hours on end to get the iPad. I lined up at a local Apple Store, and I can’t say there was really anyone that looked like you might picture as a hysteric Apple fan. That is what I find amazing about Apple. They prove that good design, proper marketing and a little magic can get people excited about technology like nothing else.

    I won’t get into this article like I did the others just now, but I’ll just say that I wouldn’t call Android “top dog”. These manufacturers are making $1 for every $4 Apple makes. Apple right now is sitting on about $65 billion, it could probably buy out most of them in one fell-swoop (maybe with the exception of Sony, but I’ve even heard rumours about that). When it comes to apps it’s a similar story, especially if you put the focus on iPad. I’ve heard reports that there are only about 17-50 truly tablet-optimized (not just enlarged) apps on Android 3.0. As I’ve said before, if you want to consider market share as the only qualifier, Symbian is the champ.

    Oh, and should I mention you’re only talking about the U.S.? I implore you to check out the situation in Canada or elsewhere.

  • http://talkandroid.com Andrew Greenfield

    Apple has a way with the media. Their PR people are absolutely incredible.

    I would still call Android top dog. You’re talking about how much each is making, I’m talking about who has more devices out there. You’re right, if I look at Canada (and Australia) iOS is top dog. But in Europe and in Asia, Android reigns king. Also, I’m talking smartphone OS, specifically between Android and Apple.

  • noah

    This is interesting: when given a choice of a free phone of any kind, 92% of Clorox workers chose the iPhone, 6% chose Android and 2% chose WP7. [ http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9215598/Clorox_cleans_out_BlackBerries_in_favor_of_iPhones_Android_devices ]

    Considering this data, I might think the reasons behind Android popularity in the U.S. don’t have to do with people actually wanting Android, but some other reason, or reasons. My two best guesses are,

    1. Carrier availability of the iPhone. Using Canada as an example, the iPhone is available on all of the 3 major carriers (and their 5 or so other brands). Given that the iPhone is only on half the major networks in the U.S. (and one of them only just recently), this is probably a leading factor as many analysts will agree.

    2. Deteriorating economic conditions in the U.S. Again, we can look at Canada as an example. There is not such a bold disappearance of the middle class there as in the U.S. Prices are arguably what give Android and Nokia an upper hand in developing markets as well. The U.S. could be turning into one of those markets itself.

    • http://talkandroid.com Andrew Greenfield

      Considering this is one study, I doubt that you can say the iPhone SHOULD be winning in the US.
      1. The iPhone is now available for Verizon. It is on the two biggest carriers right now. Did you see the study that the Thunderbolt was outselling the iPhone? While many would argue that “the iPhone 5 is just around the corner!,” (and that is a valid point), the fact that an Android phone might be outselling the iPhone should be concern enough. Last year 3G sales were strong even after the iPhone 4 came out. This tells me that people are looking for the newest and greatest technology rather than well running, “dated” technology (at least, in the smart phone world). The Thunderbolt’s biggest selling point? Huge screen, and LTE. The iPhone has neither of those, and if neither are addressed I actually see the iPhone 5 sales faltering.
      Back on topic, everyone said that “Android was doomed once the iPhone came to Verizon.” I think Android is doing better than it has been in the past DESPITE the fact that it’s on Verizon…Plus, 63% of teens (possibly the biggest smart phone market) say they don’t want an iPhone. That’s not good for Apple.
      2. And economic conditions in Europe are poor? Android is taking over in Europe, a “good” economy right now…and in Asia/India, where cheaper price means everything. And for the record, Canada’s selection of Android phone’s is no where near the selection of Europe’s, let alone America. Give it time and I think that Canada will succumb too. The fact of the matter is Android is outselling the iPhone where people are willing to pay money AND where people aren’t willing to pay money. They appear to have both sides of the demographic locked up.

  • ari-free

    Android marketshare matters because it means that Android OEM’s will get more excited and more competitive.
    If Apple doesn’t innovate, it could end up like Palm. Remember when every PDA was called a Palm Pilot and all the good apps were for it? Palm fizzled out completely because it was stuck with the same old limits and people wanted to do much more after a while.

  • noah

    ari-free, meet the iPad!

  • ari-free

    The ipad. No flash, just one app at a time and Steve doesn’t think a stylus is useful. People will want more than that.

  • noah

    ari-free, the Apple Store sells styluses.

    Andrew, I do not trust you to interpret data. You spin an increase in demand among teens as, “most teens don’t want it!”. Laughable!

    Anyway, I can tell you’re probably still a teen yourself, so I’m gonna stop picking on you I think. I hope I haven’t been hurtful and I hope you pursue journalism or technology or something as you seem to enjoy them. But if I see too much funny business it may call me back into action so we may meet again! Farewell! :)

    • http://talkandroid.com Andrew Greenfield

      I’m not spinning anything. In fact, I’m using the definition of the word Majority: more than half. I find it odd that sites claim that most teens want the iPhone, when in fact, that is absolutely false. Only 37% of teens said they would buy one in the next six months. Say you do a product test. 37% of the people that try your product say they like it. If you told your boss that the most of the people liked it and it should go to market immediately, you would be fired. 37% means most people (as in, more than 50%) don’t want it. There is an increase in demand for the iPhone among teens, however, the majority of teens still do not want an iPhone.