“Analysts and reporters like to talk about market share statistics, but the conclusions they draw are often misleading. Here’s a look at how those numbers are used to paint grossly inaccurate portrayals of the market share of the Zune among iPods, and alternatively the Mac among PCs,” Daniel Eran writes for RoughlyDrafted.
“Market share simply refers to the portion of a vendor’s unit sales compared to the overall market. However, most large markets include specialized niches that each act as a market. For example, within the overall market for vehicles are passenger cars, and buried within that major segment is the small but profitable luxury car market,” Eran writes.
Eran writes, “BMW doesn’t compete against ship and plane builders, nor even the entire line of cars built by GM. It would therefore be absurd to talk about BMW’s small share of the ‘vehicle market,’ or even to compare its market share among other car makers. It’s simply pointless and irrelevant.”
“Microsoft-enamored analysts have long been titillated to report Apple’s small Mac market share in comparison to all PCs sold worldwide,” Eran writes. “They are not as quick to mention that the definition of ‘the PC market’ ballooned as PCs makers pushed into markets unrelated to Apple’s business, resulting in a commensurate decrease of Apple’s share as the overall PC market rapidly expanded into unrelated directions.”
More about the iPod vs Zune, the difference between unit sales and market share, profitability, statistics, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, pretty graphs, and more here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “RadDoc,” “JadisOne,” and “Bill M.” for the heads up.]
As we’ve long said, actual market share numbers are limited by measurement methodologies. It’s a tricky business. Every measure of market share uses different samples and often excludes important sources (i.e. NPD’s market share percentages do not include Apple Retail Stores, Wal-Mart, Dell’s online sales, etc.). What really matters when looking at specific market share reports are the trends they show over time, if they use consistent methodologies. The trends are what’s valuable. All measures of Mac market share that we’ve seen show increases, regardless of the specific percentages at which they arrive; they all differ because they all measure differently. Mac unit sales continue to show year-over-year increases, as do iPod unit sales.
NPD: Apple #5 in notebooks, #1 in online songs unit share – March 13, 2007
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, hits 6.38% in February 2007 – March 01, 2007
NPD: Mac sales grew 108% in January – March 01, 2007
Briefly: NPD data indicates Apple iPod units tracking above Street – February 28, 2007
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, hits 6.22% in January 2007 – February 01, 2007
NPD: Apple iPod held 72% share of PMP market in December; Microsoft Zune had 2.8% share – January 21, 2007
Gartner: Apple’s U.S. Mac shipments up 30.6% year over year – January 18, 2007
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, now at 5.39%, up 31% year-over-year – December 01, 2006
Apple’s Mac market share surges, up 35-percent year-over-year as growth accelerates – November 01, 2006
Analyst: Apple has ‘real shot at dramatically expanding Macintosh market share’ – October 31, 2006
Analyst: Apple Mac gains market share, the reason why is significant – October 26, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 5.8% of U.S. market share in Q3 06 – October 18, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 6.1% of U.S. market share in Q3 06 – October 18, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 4.6% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 4.8% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006