Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune:
For the record:
• IDC estimated two weeks ago that Apple shipped 4.982 million Macs in calendar Q3
• Apple announced Monday that it actually sold 5.52 million Macs in that period
“In percentage terms, IDC said Mac sales would grow 8.9% year over year in an industry that was shrinking by -1.7%,” P.E.D. reports. “As it turned out, Mac sales grew 18%.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: It’s interesting how these “research” outfits never seem to err by overestimating when it comes to Apple Macintosh; they only seem to undercount.
We briefly mentioned this IDC discrepancy during our live Q414 Apple conference call notes on Monday: “Apple Unit Sales Q414: Mac: 5.520 million (vs. 4.413 million YOY, +21% YOY)… By the way: IDC estimated Mac shipments at only 4.982 million units for the quarter.”
As we wrote back in July:
The bottom line goal of unit share manipulators: Make the average Joe think he’s buying a “winning” product by making Apple products look like they’re “losing.” If the unit share numbers don’t look good for their clients and/or bad for Apple, they’ll concoct other ways to count them until they do.
One thing these shady data massagers can’t hide under tons of questionable data: Apple’s immense profits. That’s why they don’t release monthly press releases on profit share. If they did, they’d be out of business. Profit share, the actual measure of success in a market, is to be ignored at all costs by those in the business of “influencing consumer behavior and buying preferences.”
Further, as we wrote back in October 2013:
The well-heeled customer chooses Apple… These are the desirable customers. These are the customers that pay for substantive R&D. These are the customers that matter. This is why they get the world’s first and only 64-bit smartphone. This is, in fact, why they get the world’s modern smartphone in 2007, years before anyone else gets a serviceable knockoff.
These are the customers that pay for not only the best devices, but also for the best apps and services. This is why market share doesn’t matter for Apple and why Apple doesn’t really care about general market (unit) share. This is why the Mac lived while all the others’ PC businesses slowly died during Microsoft’s dreadful Dark Age of Personal Computing. This is why the Mac continues to thrive today. All of the smart and rich people have Macs. Intelligent developers understand this.
In each market in which it competes, Apple owns the only part of market that matters: Consumers with taste, the ability to discern value, and who possess disposable income and the will to spend it. Google, Samsung et al. can have all of the leftovers. They’re more trouble than they’re worth, which isn’t much, not even en masse.
If you have a billion users who settled for your product because it was part of a Buy One Get One freebie, how much content (music, movies, apps, books, etc.) are they going to buy and to how many paid services are they going to subscribe and how much are they worth to advertisers? Pretty much bupkis on all three counts.
We’d rather have the 400+ million (and rapidly growing) customers with the taste, the intelligence to recognize incredible value, and the money and the will to spend it. Wouldn’t you?
As long as you corner the market on the best customers, and there are enough of them to support a healthy business (very healthy in Apple’s case), market share doesn’t matter.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]
IDC again undercounts Mac unit sales – October 9, 2014
IDC and Gartner numbers do not jibe with Apple’s double digit U.S. Mac growth – July 27, 2014
Exposing IDC’s, Gartner’s, and Strategy Analytics’ PC, phone and tablet data on Apple – November 16, 2013\
Smashing Apple: Is Strategy Analytics in Samsung’s pocket? – August 3, 2013
Strategy Analytics claims Android now dominates tablet market – July 31, 2013
Gartner and IDC trumpet wildly incongruous Mac unit sales estimates – April 11, 2013
Canalys unafraid to count iPad, puts Apple third in worldwide PC market share – January 26, 2011