To say that Apple set the standard for the modern smartphone and tablet is an understatement. The iPhone has been out for almost six years, and competitors are still unable to achieve parity with Apple’s flagship products and ecosystem.
Since only Apple divulges sales numbers of iPhone and iPad, analysts have to make educated guesses about how many smartphones and tablets are sold by competitors.
One easy way to see the gap between the guesses and real numbers is simply looking around.
How many Galaxy or Google or Amazon tablets do you see vs. the number of iPads? How many Galaxy or Google or Nokia or BlackBerry smartphones do you see, vs. the number of iPhones?
Another simple way is to see what happens at retail outlets whenever a new product is released. Where were the lines at stores that sold Nokia’s latest? Or, BlackBerry’s latest? Or, any smartphone running Android or Windows Phone?
The last major phone carrier in the U.S. to get Apple’s iPhone is T-Mobile. Small lines popped up at nearly every T-Mobile store when the iPhone was released. One published report said T-Mobile had almost 250,000 iPhones ready for sale.
T-Mobile said it was their best day of sales and activations. Ever.
What does it say when Apple’s competitors announce new products that compete with iPhone and iPad but never draw the same lines of eager customers to their stores?
Wouldn’t it be great if at the end of every month each manufacturer was required to state how many products were shipped, and how many actually sold that month? That would give us a better idea about how well some of the iPhone-killers are being killed instead of killing.
There’s truth in numbers. But there’s also lies, damned lies, and statistics. Why is it that the tech media community doesn’t press Apple’s competitors for real numbers, but instead relies on guesswork which is seldom, if ever verified?
Tech media, like media in general, prospers with controversy. When little controversy exists, it’s much easier to manufacture when you buy ink by the barrel.