"Scoring by market share alone and ignoring profit," he writes in one of several sports analogies, "is like saying that a baseball team won because it had more hits when the other team scored more runs."
Lines like that infuriated market watchers who have been scoring the smartphone game by hits rather than runs for years.
The angriest response came from Jay Yarow at Business Insider, a publication that likes to describe Apple's market share as "dead in the water."
Yarow posted a piece Friday called Apple Fanboys Are Crazy To Celebrate Apple's Tiny Smartphone Market Share (since dialed down a notch to read "Apple Should Be Furious That It Has Such A Tiny Sliver Of The Smartphone Market").
"If you work at Apple, or you love Apple's products this should be burning you up," Yarow writes. "You should be furious that Android, which you believe to be an inferior product, is on more phones than iOS, Apple's software."
The solution, Yarow believes, is obvious: Apple (AAPL) should lower the price of the iPhone. "It's great that Apple's über profitable. It would be even greater if more people could afford its phones."
That misses the point, Benedict Evans argues in On Market Share.
"There is no such thing as a 'smartphone market,'" he writes. "The whole mobile phone market is converting to smart. Apple is taking the high end and Android is taking the rest."
The result is a chart that looks like this one ...
... which shows Apple and Samsung capturing between them nearly 100% of the operating profit in the global market for all cellphones -- smart or otherwise.
Weighing in from Daring Fireball, John Gruber singles out the one paragraph in Yarow's piece that he agrees with:
"The goal for Apple shouldn't be to be the company with the most money in the bank. It should be to make the best products in the world, and get them in as many hands as possible."
That's exactly what Apple is doing, writes Gruber.
"No one, or at least no one with a clue, is arguing that making the most money should be Apple's goal. (Nor is anyone arguing that market share is irrelevant; the argument is whether market share alone is of primary importance.) Apple's profits are the result of having achieved their goal: making the best products and getting them into the hands of the most people. The and there is very important. In simple terms, iOS is what you get when you try to make the best products and maximize the number of people who use them; Android devices are what you get when you try to maximize the number of people who use them."
I guess that's where I end up. Making the best phones is an expensive business, not just because the aluminum casings cost more or the devices are harder to assemble, but because of everything else Apple pours into its products -- the design work, the warranties, the telephone support, the over-staffed retail spaces, the Genius Bars, the online stores, the developer conferences, the long-term investment in capital equipment and the R&D on new products -- R&D whose happy beneficiaries in the past have included Samsung, Google (GOOG) and all those Android users.
In advance of Cook's appearance at D11 next week, a deep dive into Apple's business.
FORTUNE -- For the second year in a row, Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to be the opening night speaker at the annual D: All Things Digital conference, an invitation-only event that prides itself in assembling the people that really matter in the world of high tech.
Asymco's Horace Dediu was not invited.
More's the pity, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 24, 2013 5:10 PM ET
Did Microsoft stretch the truth in spots promoting a tablet that runs Windows?
FORTUNE -- You'd think Microsoft (MSFT) would get some credit for running a couple light-hearted TV ads that -- unlike those awful 2008 Jerry Seinfeld spots -- aren't cringeworthy.
But in the Windows tablet ads that debuted this week, Microsoft used Siri to badmouth the iPad, and some Apple (AAPL) aficionados were not amused.
AppleInsider's headline set the tone: Microsoft caught lying about MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 24, 2013 11:43 AM ET
It doesn't start until June 3, but the judge is already working on a draft of her decision.
FORTUNE -- This does not bode well for Cupertino.
Asked during a preliminary hearing Thursday to share her thoughts about the Department of Justice's case against Apple (AAPL) in the long-awaited e-book antitrust trial, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said this, according to Reuters:
"I believe that the government will be able to show at trial MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 24, 2013 8:05 AM ET
First, take photos. Second, enjoy their music. What's next?
FORTUNE -- With the release Thursday night of the second "Every Day" spot for the iPhone, it's now clear where Apple's (AAPL) new series of TV ads is headed.
With Samsung nipping at its heels in the U.S. -- and leaving it in the dust in overseas markets -- Apple is capitalizing on studies that show that despite diminishing market share, more people use MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 24, 2013 5:58 AM ET
Looking at market share vs. profit share every which way to Sunday.
FORTUNE -- "Have you heard this one?" asks John Kirk in Android's Market Share is Literally a Joke, a Tech.pinions piece posted Thursday.
It starts like this:
Two farmers bought a truckload of watermelons, paying five dollars apiece for them. Then they drove to the market and sold all their watermelons for four dollars each. After counting their money at the end MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 23, 2013 3:04 PM ET
"Who are those people? What is the opposite of a Genius Bar?"
FORTUNE -- You knew The Daily Show wasn't going to pass up a chance to comment on a hearing as unintentionally comical as the Senate subcommittee's probe into Apple's (AAPL) taxes.
Apologies for the fuzzy YouTube clip. There's a better version on Comedy Central's Daily Show site.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - May 23, 2013 1:01 PM ET
Says current iPhones are "poorly aligned" with the factors driving smartphone growth.
FORTUNE -- In a note to clients Thursday, Nomura's Stuart Jeffrey raised his estimates for smartphone sales in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by 13%, 16% and 14%, respectively.
But not for Apple (AAPL).
"Despite Apple commanding an 18% smartphone share," he writes, "we have not increased our Apple estimates."
The reason, he says, is that Apple's current crop of iPhones are "poorly aligned" MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 23, 2013 11:57 AM ET
On the New York Times Op-Ed page he calls Apple CEO Tim Cook a liar.
FORTUNE -- I met Joe Nocera once, and he seemed like a nice guy. Over his long career as a business journalist -- including more than a decade at Fortune -- he's done some first-rate work on Apple (AAPL). "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs," a profile for Esquire of the entrepreneur at age 31, may MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 23, 2013 7:24 AM ET
Google Trends says Apple beats low expectations, Samsung momentum stays strong.
FORTUNE -- Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty unveiled a new crowdsourced forecasting tool Tuesday. As explained in an April whitepaper, the AlphaWise Smartphone Tracker is based on an analysis of Google Trends, using different search terms for different regions and adjusting for seasonal trends.
The results of the first month's survey of the U.S., U.K., German, French, Japanese and Chinese markets are shown in the chart above.
As MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 22, 2013 7:09 PM ET
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