It’s merely a line item from a list of many, but one thing we can all agree is that Apple’s numbers are just pretty damned good. For example, even the often overlooked Mac line has growing revenue, increasing profits, improved unit sales, and even better market share– all while the rest of the traditional PC industry feels the effects of the post-PC era’s steady move toward mobile devices.
Here’s what we know about PCs. Sales are down. What we don’t know is by how much. Why not? Only Apple provides hard sales numbers each quarter– for good or for bad. Everything else is simply a guesstimate. For example, two groups– IDC and Gartner– both of which publish analysis for the industry claimed Apple’s Mac sales fell slightly in the most recent quarter.
Both IDC and Gartner probably have analysts who work on spreadsheets, each of which has plenty of items that eventually line up with a conclusion; totals that are often presented as fact in the news headlines. Remember this: facts are not guesstimates.
fact |fakt| noun
a thing that is indisputably the case: she lacks political experience—a fact that becomes clear when she appears in public | a body of fact… (usu. facts) a piece of information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article.
You get the idea here, right?
guesstimate (also guestimate) informal noun |ˈgestəmit |
an estimate based on a mixture of guesswork and calculation.
What were Apple’s publicly reported facts regarding the state of the Mac in the most recent financial quarter? Mac sales units hit a new quarterly record, and increased 18-percent– pretty much the opposite of what the guesstimators at IDC and Gartner said.
Therein lies the issue with the shady world of numbers employed by Apple’s competitors. How many smartphones and tablets have been sold by Samsung, Google, HTC, Amazon, et al. Only they know and they’re not saying, instead relying on the guesstimates of the likes of IDC and Gartner (Who pays their salaries? Take a guesstimate).
These same shady number charlatans do their nasty deeds in other product lines, too. How many Apple TVs has Apple sold? A few times a year Apple tells us the facts. How many Roku devices have been sold? How many Google Chromecast devices have been sold?
Silence is golden, though Google admitted the Chromecast generated over 400-million viewer sessions recently. Is that an important number? Yes. It’s the only big number Google could come up with.
What about Amazon’s line of Kindle products? There’s the Kindle book reader and the Kindle fire tablet? All Amazon says is “millions” have been sold. Millions? Two million? 20 million? How many?
The reasons most of Apple’s competitors say so little about their actual sales numbers is because they would be totally embarrassed to do so because that information– facts– would make Apple look better than it already does.