FORTUNE -- IDC on Wednesday released preliminary data from its survey of worldwide tablet sales in the big holiday quarter, and the only thing in the data that we can be sure about is that sales of Apple's iPad grew 48.1% year over year -- from 15.1 million to 22.9 million. We and IDC know this because Apple (AAPL) reported those unit sales figures last week.
The rest of IDC's report is almost entirely guesswork. It says that Samsung shipped 7.9 million tablets -- up 263% -- but doesn't say how it got those numbers. Certainly not from Samsung, which hasn't released unit sales figures for any of its devices in years.
IDC also says that Amazon (AMZN) shipped 6 million Kindles -- up 26.8%. This despite the fact that Amazon has never once said how many Kindles it sold, a policy that remained conspicuously in force during Tuesday's Q4 2012 earnings call.
As for the rest of IDC's findings, they just get more bizarre. The press release says Barnes & Noble (BKS) "gained traction" in the tablet market, but the spreadsheet shows Nook sales falling year over year. Even more startling, the release says Asus lost share, while the spreadsheet shows Asus' market share nearly tripling on sales that grew 402.5%.
Given the level of guesswork and sloppy reporting we see here, you should probably take the specificity of headlines like this ...
with, as they say, a grain of salt.
IDC's spreadsheet below:
There's money to be made between a $699 64GB iPad and a $999 MacBook Air
FORTUNE -- What at first glance seemed like a ho-hum memory boost may have deeper implications for Apple (AAPL), its margins and its competitors.
Wells Fargo's Maynard Um: A 128GB fourth-generation iPad. "We believe the new device will be in addition to the current product portfolio and will fill a hole in the market for tablets with larger MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 30, 2013 11:03 AM ET
The value the market assigns these two companies gets more absurd each quarter
FORTUNE -- Last week, Apple's profits grew and its share price plummeted. This week, Amazon's profits plummeted and its share price soared.
Confused? So was much of the business press. Consider this matched pair of headlines:
Reuters: "Amazon shares set record after strong quarterly profit"
Fortune: "Amazon profits take a dive"
The New York Times offered what may be MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 29, 2013 11:00 PM ET
That's down from $740 a month ago
FORTUNE -- Wall Street engaged in a wholesale reevaluation of Apple's (AAPL) medium-term prospects last week following the company's Q1 2013 earnings report and Q2 guidance. Of the 36 analysts we polled, 33 lowered their price targets.
The new range, dropping any analyst who didn't respond, still covers a lot of ground. It travels all the way from $380 (submitted by Creative Global's Carlo Besenius, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 29, 2013 5:55 AM ET
A $73.5 million investment in shares of Apple Inc. is now worth $207 million
Oil revenues from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline provided the capital for the Alaska Permanent Fund, a giant savings account created by the state's voters 1976 to make sure the legislature didn't spend the windfall all at once. But what's fueled the fund's growth in recent years -- and helped it hit a record $40.1 billion this week -- are its MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 3, 2011 6:41 AM ET
Daniel Ek, the CEO of the online music service Spotify, has ambitious plans for penetrating the U.S. market. Profitability, for now, isn't a concern.
FORTUNE -- One week after Spotify launched in the U.S., CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek discussed his company's rapid growth at Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, Colo.
The simple, legal "all-you-can-eat" music service has made waves in parts of Europe with a freemium model that lets users listen to MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 21, 2011 1:59 PM ET
One of the most innovative online music services to come along in years has finally hit the States. Here's why you should be excited. (Hint: no monthly listening cap for free U.S. users.)
FORTUNE -- Yes, America, Spotify is finally here.
After nearly two-and-a-half years of promises and speculation, the music streaming service opened up shop in the U.S earlier this morning and already promises to potentially transform the way U.S. listeners consume MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 14, 2011 11:49 AM ET
Rovio has a blockbuster franchise just as notable for its flock of revenue streams as its wildly addictive game play.
FORTUNE -- You don't have to try very hard to spot Angry Birds in their natural habitat -- online -- because they are as ubiquitous as a Manhattan pigeon.
Since launching as an iPhone app in December 2009, the franchise has been downloaded 200 million times -- double the number reported just MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jun 3, 2011 12:33 PM ET
While Intel chips power the servers that power the tablet and smartphone revolution, CEO Paul Otellini recognizes that's not enough.
Despite all the hullabaloo over a post-PC era, Intel chief executive officer Paul Otellini remains bullish on the traditional personal computing market.
At the chipmaker's annual investor meeting held earlier this week in Santa Clara, Calif., Otellini said Intel (INTC) will reinvent PCs, which will soon have features like all-day battery life, MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - May 18, 2011 3:40 PM ET
Despite losing ground to Apple and Android devices, calls for RIM's demise are premature. But the company has to make some changes to move ahead.
FORTUNE -- It's become pretty easy to take pot shots at RIM, the makers of the once iconic and still formidable BlackBerry. While consumer-oriented companies like Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) experience high double-digit growth with smart phone adoption, RIM's (RIMM) market share, at least domestically, MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Mar 29, 2011 1:04 PM ET
|Delinquent IRS employees paid bonuses by the agency|
|Students cry foul over athletes unionizing|
|HBO shows coming to Amazon ... not Netflix|
|Is capitalism driving itself out of business?|
|Sandy Hook victim's grandfather launches smart gun campaign|