Why does Apple fluctuate like this?

darksithpro

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 27, 2016
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4,568
Just curious. It doesn't seem healthy compared to Android. Why does Apple have a cycle like this and what does this mean long term, Thanks...

 

akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
8,866
10,293
This is simply because iOS is a proprietary mobile OS but Android is an open source platform that can be modified to put on a multitude of devices. Don’t forget, the numbers are in percentage. The more OEMs start to jump on the Android bandwagon the bigger the total number became and therefore affecting the percentage.
 
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ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,201
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East Coast
Just curious. It doesn't seem healthy compared to Android. Why does Apple have a cycle like this and what does this mean long term, Thanks...

I guess you're referring to the way iOS's market share bounces up and down post 2012, which is when it essentially becomes a 2-horse race.

here's my take.

This chart is based on market share for purchases in the quarter. It does not show installed user bases. If you look at Apple's iPhone unit sales numbers, you'll find that they are heavily concentrated in the the 4th calendar quarter of each year. It's timed this way because Apple typically releases the new models at the very end of the 3rd quarter or the very beginning of the 4th quarter. Also, much of the world's holiday gift buying happens in this quarter. Lastly, since there is only one iOS vendor, the numbers do not have a chance to smooth out over several vendors like with Android.

On the Android side, the unit sales don't peak as much in the 4th quarter because most vendors (especially the bigger ones) don't wait until the holiday season to release their new models. Samsung release the S-series in March (I think?) and the Note in July (I think?). Their other phones get released whenever. Lastly, Android phones (especially the lower end ones) are replaced by their owners much more frequently. For example, a user might use an iPhone for 3 years before replacing it, whereas an Android user might have purchased two phones in that same time period. Leads to more sales, but the active number of users is the same.

As for being unhealthy, it really isn't. Market share is an instaneous measure. Installed user base is much more indicative of platform health. Apple's iOS user base is fine and healthy right now. If the user base is sufficiently large, you can count on developers to continue to populate the App Store with compelling apps and content. Accessory makers will continue to make products for iPhone users. From the user standpoint, that's really the most important thing.
 
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