FORTUNE -- These two charts at right, taken from a YouGov survey and chosen for demonstration purposes by Charles Arthur in the Guardian last week, illustrate nicely what's wrong with statements like this (from TheNextWeb): "Android represents somewhere in the region of 80% of the smartphone market."
That's "simply wrong," Arthur writes.
"Here's the reality: at the time this was written, more than 40% of the smartphones in use in the US... were iPhones. Only about 51% of the smartphones in peoples' hands in the US are Android phones. The ratios are more in Android's favour elsewhere, but nowhere outside of China (and perhaps India) would you find four in five smartphone owners using an Android phone."
The purpose of Arthur's Guardian piece was to explain -- once and for all -- the difference between market share and installed base, between units shipped and units sold, between new sales and replacement sales, between saturated markets and those that still have a long way to grow.
Daring Fireball's John Gruber calls Arthur's story "the best piece I've ever seen on the folly of putting too much stock into 'market share' as a metric."
As someone who spends more time than I probably should obsessing about Apple's (AAPL) market share numbers, I second that.
Last month's bestsellers: 1) iPhone 5S, 2) Samsung Galaxy S4, 3) iPhone 5C.
FORTUNE -- Driven by the iPhone 5S and 5C, Apple's (AAPL) share of U.S. sales surged in September to 39% of the smartphone market and 34% of the broader mobile phone market, according to a report issued Monday by Seoul-based Counterpoint Research.
"In spite of supply constraints and just three weeks of sales, iPhone 5s raced to become the bestselling MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 21, 2013 7:07 AM ET
Not for the first time, and probably not the last, according to CIRP.
FORTUNE -- Samsung overtook the iPhone on Apple's (AAPL) home turf in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, according to a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners' report obtained by Fortune Thursday.
[As for Verizon's (VZ) report that 51% of the smartphones it activated in the same quarter were iPhones, see UPDATE below.]
In CIRP's survey, Samsung accounted for 38% of U.S. mobile MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 17, 2013 10:41 AM ET
New reports from IDC and comScore pull in opposite directions.
FORTUNE -- Pity the poor headline writer trying to make sense of Wednesday's smartphone market share reports.
On the one hand, you have IDC reporting that Apple (AAPL) "ceded" market share last quarter as Google's (GOOG) Android "surges," generating this from the Wall Street Journal:
Android Obliterates Smartphone Market
On the other you have comScore reported numbers showing that -- for the first time MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 8, 2013 6:20 AM ET
The current state of affairs, writes an analyst from Hyderabad, is untenable.
FORTUNE -- In the midst of a loud debate over which matters most in the smartphone wars -- market share or profit share -- Sameer Singh calmly analyzes the situation from the perspective of disruption theory.
Writing on his Tech-Thoughts blog, the Indian analyst from Hyderabad describes the current state of affairs -- where Apple (AAPL) and Samsung share between MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 28, 2013 11:36 AM ET
Apple's iPad sales grew 65%. Samsung's shipments, according to IDC, grew 280%.
FORTUNE -- How do you make the fact that sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPad grew 65% -- from 11.8 million to 19.5 million -- look bad?
You bury it under a headline that points out, as several reports did, that its market share dipped below 40% for the first time.
The data come from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which took iPad MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 1, 2013 7:45 PM ET
Apple's iOS is down 6.6%, but the iPhone and iPad still account for 59% of Web usage.
FORTUNE -- Netapplications' April report, released Wednesday, shows Android's share of Web traffic recovering from its November pause and picking up its slow but steady growth.
Google's (GOOG) mobile operating platform now accounts for 26% of Web usage -- up 35% year over year -- as measured by visits to the sites of Netapplication's 40,000 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 1, 2013 10:48 AM ET
Android took 64% of smartphone sales in 10 countries polled. iPhone led only in Japan.
FORTUNE -- According to a report issued Monday by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Google's (GOOG) Android gained market share in all 10 countries surveyed to achieve an average 64% share of smartphone sales.
Android's strongest showing was in Spain, where its market share measured 93.5%. Its tightest race was in the U.S., where according to Kantar Android holds MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 30, 2013 9:41 AM ET
Unless, says Bernstein's Sacconaghi, Apple introduces new iPhones this summer.
FORTUNE -- The chart at right represents the worst case scenario for Apple's (AAPL) share of the global smartphone market, as forecast Monday by Sanford Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi.
Using Apple's own numbers for fiscal Q2, Sacconaghi calculates that iPhone sales grew 7% year over year in a sell-in basis (12% in a sell-through basis) while the overall smartphone market grew by about 36%. The MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 29, 2013 4:51 PM ET
For the first time, says IDC, more smartphones were shipped than feature phones.
FORTUNE -- The headline of IDC's quarterly report on the state of the global mobile phone market Friday was that smartphone shipments, on the strength of their 41.6% year over year growth, overtook feature phones for the first time. The overall cellphone market, by contrast, grew an anemic 4%.
"Phone users want computers in their pockets," says IDC's Kevin Restivo.
With the usual caveat MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 26, 2013 6:47 AM ET
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