Interestingly enough, iPhone sales continue to far outpace the growth in the global smartphone market. In the December quarter, for example, while the global smartphone market grew at a pace of 70% year-over-year, Apple’s iPhone grew by 87%. This point right here should end all discussion. But apparently it doesn’t, as we find more and more of these articles every day.
Secondly, if anyone ought to worry about a platform becoming singularly dominant it should be Google. Apple has its iOS seeded in not only one, but three separate markets that it dominates – the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod Touch. Even more importantly, the next version of Apple’s Mac OS (Lion) is going to assume many key elements of the iOS operating system, which will likely result in higher conversion rates to the overall Apple ecosystem.
If we’re going to discuss platforms in isolation of unit sales it seems a little disingenuous to intentionally exclude sales of the iPad and iPod Touch. After all, platform market share is supposedly of the utmost importance because developers are purportedly going to rush straight to whichever platform is more ubiquitous. ComScore doesn’t include sales of either device when looking at the platform, which makes the overall data meaningless and unreliable.
Finally, here is why this issue of platform market share is trivial and financially irrelevant to the overall Apple investment thesis, and does nothing more than to distract people from financial reality. In the end, Apple makes so much of the money in the smartphone industry because it actually understands how to run a business.