The past week had a rare ‘perfect test’ for any tech reader, to evaluate most tech writers they follow. It was a test of journalistic integrity (and of competence, and possibly of deliberate intent to deceive you, the reader).
This is the test. Did your writer report about iPhone latest Quarter sales data, vs Samsung’s Galaxy series of smartphones, correctly and honestly, or did your writer try to mislead you. Were you actually a victim of ‘Fake News’ (as many US voters were when voting for Donald Trump). This is really a simple test and it will tell you categorically, is you preferred tech writer honest and fair, or is the writer biased and peddling fake news at you.
This is the REALITY of the race in smartphones. Apple sold 215.4 million smartphones (ie iPhones) in year 2016. Samsung sold 308.5 million (Samsung leads by 93.1 million units, its not even close. Samsung is 43% bigger !!!). In year 2015 Apple sold 231.4 million smartphones vs Samsung 322.0 million. Samsung sold 90.6 million more (Samsung was 39% bigger than Apple). The Christmas Quarter sales period is an anomaly in smartphone market shares because Apple has just released its latest iPhone model and Samsung will not release its new Galaxy until in the early Spring. So at any year, the single best quarter for Apple is the Christmas Quarter vs Samsung. Similarly the worst Quarter for Apple vs Samsung is the Summer June Quarter where Samsung sells about twice as many smartphones as Apple. The one quarter story is not the REALITY. It is a temporary illusion.
Here is your simple test of your tech writer - please go re-read your fave tech writers to see how they reported iPhone vs Samsung race one week ago. If the writer said ‘Apple is ahead but this is temporary’ OR if the writer said ‘Apple is ahead for the Quarter but Samsung is bigger for the full year’ - THAT is fair reporting. Most writers wrote that story. That is the accurate reporting. That writer is doing a reasonably accurate job and cannot be accused of ‘Fake News’ even if the story HEADLINE may have said something silly like ‘Apple is now biggest smartphone maker’.
But if the story ONLY mentions that Apple has now sold more than Samsung, but does not say ‘temporarily’ or say ‘full year Samsung is 41% bigger’ or that this is an abnormal market condition - THAT TECH WRITER IS BULLSHITTING YOU. That tech writer is a charlatan! That tech writer is an imbecille, an incompetent fool - or worse - that tech writer is DELIBERATELY trying to fool you. Deliberately trying to create an Apple-friendly illusion that there is some iMiracle happening in the market share.
Understand the REALITY. In Year 2016, Samsung’s worst tech year in its smartphone history, with Explod-a-pants Galaxy Note models, even then, Samsung PULLED AHEAD OF APPLE !!!! That is simple math. In year 2015, Samsung was 90.6 million smartphones sold per year bigger than Apple's iPhone. One year later, in year 2016, Samsung became 93.1 million smartphones bigger. SAMSUNG'S LEAD IS GROWING. Any idiot reporter trying to tell you otherwise sees it is raining outside and tries to insist the news is, that its a sunny day instead. They are LYING TO YOU. Apple is not gaining on Samsung. Even in its worst year, Samsung is putting MORE DISTANCE between iPhone and Samsung. ANY STORY that suggests Apple is GAINING - is MISLEADING YOU !!!
Yes, for the full year 2016, vs 2015. Samsung sold 90.6 million more smartphones in 2015 than Apple’s iPhone but even in Samsung’s Annus Horribilis, they managed to INCREASE THEIR LEAD (modestly) vs Apple’s iPhone and now lead Apple by 93.1 million. Samsung INCREASED ITS LEAD by two and an half million units. Apple is NOT CATCHING UP to Samsung - Samsung is PULLING AWAY.
What happened at the Christmas Quarter is an ANOMALY. Its like in car racing, where they have refuelling. If the lead car (car leading the race) pulls in first to refuel, and say it takes 15 seconds to refuel, its possible the guy behind him, who was say 10 seconds behind, now ‘takes the lead’ - by about 5 seconds - but only TEMPORARILY - because that second car ALSO has to be refuelled, after which the order is restored and the leader is back to about a 15 second lead (assuming of course, neither team has a major mishap in refuelling and the driver’s don’t have some major super-duper excellent run or rival has a major problem). Apple is NOT tied with Samsung. Samsung sells 41% more smartphones, sold 39% more smartphones in year 2015, sold 41% more smartphones in its bad year, and will sell at least 40% possibly 45% more smartphones this year than Apple. There is no close contest whatsoever. This is not like Coca Cola vs Pepsi. This is not like Toyota vs Volkswagen. This is not like Boeing and Airbus. No. There is no close contest! Samsung is nearly half bigger than Apple. If your tech writer wrote a story about the new statistics just out this past week, that iPhone has for one quarter outsold Samsung’s smartphones - and the tech writer was honest about it - you know you have a writer with integrity who understands this industry. There is no gray area in this - the EXACT same sources sited, the analyst houses who gave the Q4 numbers - in the SAME PRESS RELEASES also give the full-year numbers. So its either a totally incompetent tech writer or it is a deliberate intent to deceive you!
If your tech writer told you that Apple iPhone sold more than Samsung smartphones - but did NOT tell you this is temporary, or that in annual sales Samsung is the giant - that tech writer is a FRAUDULENT BASTARD BULLSHIT ARTIST. You need to immediately stop reading him or her. Forever! Block him or her from your feed. That writing is not helping you understand anything, it is POISONING YOUR MIND with blatant lies. It is PROPAGANDA. You are being fed FAKE NEWS. In most tech stories there is some ‘gray area’ but this is one of those rare areas where there is zero gray area. The EXACT same sources quoted, make that point VERY CLEARLY that Samsung for the full year is MASSIVELY BIGGER. This is crystal-clear. Samsung is 41% bigger than Apple and Samsung GAINED last year, Apple is NOT CATCHING up and any tech writer who suggests the race is tied - is BULLSHITTING YOU. Because the EXACTLY press release about market shares HAD THE TRUTH, any 'tech writer' who misleads you about the real race - has no excuse. There is no gray area today. This is a clear-cut case of incompetence (or deliberate misleading).
So sayeth the Stats Police of the Mobile Industry. Listed here below are some of hte tech writers who are incompetent or are deliberately trying to deceive you. As is our policy on the CDB blog, we do not provide links to articles with misleading or wrong statistics, they should not be rewarded. You can find these incompetent writers if you Google them. Stop reading them.
Anyone who wants the REAL numbers of the handset industry knows the best stats are in the TomiAhonen Phone Book 2016, just out a month ago. See it here: TomiAhonen Phone Book 2016.
INCOMPETENT TECH WRITERS PEDDLING FAKE NEWS:
Shara Tibken - CNet
Tim Bradshaw - Financial Times
Tiernan Ray - Barrons
Brian M Wolfe - App Advice
Adam Levine-Weinberg - Motley Fool
Lisa Johnston - Twice
Hawley Tsukayama - Washington Post
(This is not a comprehensive list, just the first few I spotted who clearly are Fake News peddlers - SHAME ON YOU! Go correct your story and I will remove your name from this list, else, SHAME ON YOU FOREVER for deliberately bullshitting your readers!)