Why Apple isn’t worried about iPad’s IDC tablet ‘market share’

“In the face of dubious market research portraying Apple’s iPad (and perhaps the entire tablet market) as troubled and teetering on the brink of collapse, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook expressed a sincere lack of concern while addressing analysts, alluding to long term strategies for outliving tablet rivals focused on volume shipments and short term market share gains,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for AppleInsider.

“One very troubling problem with IDC’s statistics is that after the company publishes its estimates on the tablet market, it revises them after the fact. There’s only one company’s tablet numbers that don’t ever change: Apple’s,” Dilger writes. “That’s because IDC (like other research groups) constructs its tablet estimates around Apple’s iPad figures, the only sales data that is ever reported publicly.”

“[The] vast, multi million dollar shifts that occur in IDC’s estimated tablet shipment figures strongly suggest not only that IDC isn’t very confident in its ability to estimate shipments, but also that its estimates are penciled in to arrive at a desired conclusion, rather than being hard data worth drawing significant conclusions from,” Dilger writes. “This harmonizes with comments made by a former IDC analyst who described the process of market estimates to Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune as being a “sausage-making process” driven by the mantra ‘preserve the growth rates; to hell with the actual numbers.’ Tellingly, he added, ‘the fudge is in the ‘others’ category, which is used as a plug to make the numbers work out.'”

Dilger writes, “IDC’s statistics also appear to intentionally obscure important, relevant context. First: Apple’s iPad sales are more cyclical than its competitors. Second: the rest of the tablet market is performing very poorly and largely offers products that do not directly compete with the iPads Apple is selling. Third: Apple has a long term strategy that isn’t simply targeting shipment volumes in an effort to impress the same tech pundits and market researchers who thought netbooks were going to have a lasting impact on the PC industry.”

Tons more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take:

IDC: Windows Phone to surpass Apple’s iOS by 2015 – June 10, 2011

Related articles:
IDC and Gartner numbers do not jibe with Apple’s double digit U.S. Mac growth – July 27, 2014
IDC: Apple iPad maintains lead in worldwide tablet market – July 24, 2014


  1. I’m telling you, the so called 5.5 inch iPhone is actually an iPad with optional telephony. Those who say Apple would never release a huge phone are right because they will release it as a tablet. That’s why it’s debuting a month later with the iPads–cause it’s an iPad! Apple will redefine the tablet category once again, on their terms, while restoring YOY iPad sales to growth.

    1. @R2 – If this happens, I am going to give you full credit for being the first person I’ve heard articulate that idea. It is a VERY interesting insight and it would explain a lot.

      1. I just can’t believe nobody’s put it together. The signs keep piling up that Apple is treating this as a different device from the iPhone and yet people don’t make the connection. I guess because of the way Android makers conduct their business, they figure Apple will fall in line and do the same.

    2. Spot on. By the same token, I really wish Apple would just dump the “iPod Touch” name—a brand distinction that increasingly makes little sense—and just go with rebranding it as the “iPad Nano”. They could reserve the iPod name for the classic pod, since they continue to sell them.

      (As an aside, its funny how every fall, we see articles proclaiming that THIS is the year that Apple will finally terminate the iPod product. But why kill it? Even though its numbers have dropped sharply over the years, it continues to MAKE MONEY. And in the case of the Touch, it provides an inexpensive entry to the iOS ecosystem, esp for the kids who are its primary recipients.)

      Good old Daniel Eran Dilger. In the face of ridiculous FUD from supposed “analysts”, he continues to mow down the bullshit through the use of little things like “facts” and “hard published data”. I fully expect the Android trolls and haters that lurk on this site praying for bad news from Apple will find some way to spin this piece to fit their worldview. Meanwhile, Apple will doubtlessly keep doing what it does, which is delighting its customers with great products.

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