Oh, Apple... you've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: January 16, 2013

I do hope that some of you are gamers so you can appreciate the reference I made in the title, but in the case that you are not (or have never played the game in reference) I’m sure you can still relate to the title of this article as it pertains to Apple’s recent market share plunge. As many of you are aware, recently Apple’s market shares have taken a turn for the worse due to the tech giant needing to cut screen orders for the iPhone 5 by half, presumably due to less-than-desirable sales of the latest iPhone.

Apple’s market shares went from being an all-time high this past September at $702.10 to, as of this article right now, $485.92 – an alarming dip in profits to say the least. The numbers are dropping even lower as the days pass, and they are showing no signs of letting up any time soon.

Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway) the demand for the iPhone 5 was not as popular as expected, and it looks like it’s giving Apple the swift kick in the rump they need to get themselves in gear. I’m both surprised and not surprised that there was less demand for the iPhone 5, and why I say I’m surprised comes with good reason.

Anybody who had purchased an iPhone past the 3GS already knew that they were purchasing something with almost no innovation whatsoever. 2009 was around the time Apple switched on “Auto Pilot” mode and was practically sailing on patents alone. At the same time, Android, a viable competitor but nothing too fancy at the time, saw that as an opportunity to come up with a strategy to overthrow Apple from the throne. Android was first to offer LTE, has complete Google App support (which would be kind of upsetting if it didn’t), and is open source. iPhone 5 currently offers only one of those things, and I hate to bring it up (but you know how I am, I’m going to do it anyway) it might have been a little late to the party in doing so. Of course, that just seems to be the Apple-esque thing to do now anyways.

So why am I surprised that shares are dropping it like it’s hot? Because I presumed that Apple fans expected this phone not to showcase anything breathtaking. They’re used to that by now, right? Yet they're still sold like hotcakes anyway. Perhaps that’s why the demand is so low. Some iPhone fans are finally starting to grow tired of it; not all, obviously, but enough to make the company’s wallet a little lighter. They’re tired of Apple’s “Back in my day…” stories and are starting to tune them out in favor of a sweeter song by the name of Android.

According to the International Data Corporation, less than two out of ten smartphones that were shipped in the third quarter of 2012 were running on iOS. Don’t ask me how not one, and not two, but “less than two” devices (1.5 maybe? Secret iPhone-Android hybrid device in the wild somewhere) were running on the operating system, but they were. Meanwhile, Android was running on more than seven devices (but not eight!) out of ten. However, while Apple may not be faring too well in regards to smartphones, IDC does expect Apple to remain #1 in regards to tablets for 2012. They are predicted to end 2012 at 53.8% market share, which actually drops it down from their 2011 share of 56.3%. Android is expected to rise to 42.7% this year from their previous market share at 39.8%. Apple is set to reveal their official fiscal first-quarter earnings on January 23. Assuming the predictions are true, unless Apple does something about this Hare and Tortoise-esque story, it won’t be long before the Tortoise crosses the finish line first once and for all.

Readers, what do you think about the drop in market shares? Is it reflecting something that’s been a long time coming? Do you think Apple will put up a fight, or let themselves sink deeper?

Did anybody ever think that maybe they asked for the decrease in screens to help save the environment? Why don’t we think of the environment anymore?!

…I don’t think so either, but I figured I’d cut them a little slack.

Products mentioned