Apparently the first rule of iPhone Club is no one is ever allowed to say that a rival is selling more units than the iPhone (unless its the BlackBerry). And if anyone ever does say such heresy, then you must immediately try to rationalize how that information was arrived at.
The NPD group released a report today that Google had more Android-based devices sold in the first quarter of this year then iPhones, and that has seemingly sent people into frothing madness as they try to come up with reasons why such a thing could ever be reported. “It was an online survey of 150,000 people! It can’t be trusted!” is the refrain you are hearing the most, and, yes, online surveys are a bit questionable, but why is it so hard for people to accept that this very well could be the truth?
Peter Kafka of Media Memo started his post on the subject today with:
Here’s a curveball of a data point: Android is now outselling the iPhone.
Yes, Mr. Kafka, that really is what the report says.
He goes on to try to rationalize how such a thing could happen:
The best argument in support of NPD’s numbers, meanwhile, is that Google’s handset and carrier partners, particularly Verizon Wireless (VZ) and Motorola (MOT), have been pushing their Android phones hard in recent months. And perhaps potential iPhone buyers are in a wait-and-see mode until June, when Apple is expected to unveil a next-generation handset. But this explanation requires an awful lot of iPhone buyers to be awfully savvy about Apple’s product cycle.
Um … Mr. Kafka? This is the iPhone we’re talking about here. Even my best friend, who is not tech savvy, got an iPhone for Christmas this year, and one of the first things she said to me was, “I know it’s mid-cycle for the iPhone, but how can I say no to a Christmas gift?” Yes, Mr. Kafka, people don’t have to be “awfully savvy” to know about Apple’s product cycles.
Pretty much everywhere you turn online today people are saying how this just isn’t possible, that it must be because it was an online survey and so on. No, in short it is just a matter of business. Apple is selling two phone models (the 3G and the 3GS) through one carrier; Google has Android running on multiple handsets on multiple carriers, all of whom are aggressively selling the devices. Simple math tells you that Google should be selling more handsets than Apple.
And what kills me is we aren’t talking like Apple is on the verge of collapse here. Apple still sold 21 percent of smartphones in the first quarter, with Android in second place with 28 percent and BlackBerry handsets leading at 36 percent.
It makes me wonder if people have tied so much of their sense of self-worth to their phones that they have to stand up and defend the iPhone like their lives depended on it. Does it really matter that a phone sold exclusively on one carrier that just about everyone in the country complains about their lousy service isn’t selling as many units as an operating system sold on more devices through more carriers? Does this somehow make your phone work in a different way? Does it in some way lessen its value? This really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things so long as you are happy with the phone. Heck, I would say the same about people who use WebOS, sure I’ve been critical of the company’s business decisions, but that shouldn’t bother anyone who owns one of the devices and likes it.
For some reason people feel the need to write up how this is so flawed, and that this isn’t the way things really are. The way everyone keeps going on about how this report doesn’t matter, it makes me think of a famous Shakespearean quote of, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” You sure all are spending a lot of time on something that doesn’t matter.