Apple 2.0

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Apple's iPhone 'dead in the water'? Really?

May 12, 2011: 5:26 AM ET

A second look at the claim that Apple's four-year conquest of the mobile market is adrift

Source: Asymco

Business Insider's Henry Blodget may come to regret -- if he doesn't already -- using the phrase "dead in the water" to describe the performance of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone in a comScore market share survey that seemed to show, as Blodget's headline put it, that "Android is destroying everyone."

The comScore survey to which Blodget was referring showed Google's (GOOG) Android share of the U.S. smartphone market growing 7 percentage points (to 33%) in the three months ending February while Apple's grew only 0.2 (to 25.2%).

But the iPhone certainly doesn't look like it's drifting in the chart Asymco's Horace Dediu published Wednesday.

In fact, iPhone sales grew 113% year over year last quarter, gaining steam even after the big holiday quarter. Apple is now the fourth most popular cell phone vendor in the world, bigger than Research in Motion (RIMM), HTC, Motorola (MOT), Sony Ericsson (SNE, ERIC) and ZTE.

"So what makes the iPhone dead in the water?" Dediu asks rhetorically.

"The claim," he writes, "was made relative to the (a) share of (b) mobile platforms (c) installed base (d) in the US. In other words, if one adds all Android phones in use vs. the iPhones in use in the US (while ignoring iOS devices other than iPhone) while the market is growing at nearly triple digit rates, then the iPhone is not gaining (much) share.

"That's the most obtuse way of suggesting a slowing product."

You can read the rest of Dediu's Blodget takedown -- and subscribe to Asymco's RSS feed -- here.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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