Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Strategy Analytics

On the weekend, this story gained a lot of traction:

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, Samsung became the world’s most profitable handset vendor in Q2 2013. Apple slipped into second position, as margins have been hit by lackluster iPhone 5 volumes and tougher competition in China.

Then today, The Next Web’s Emil Protalinski published more gripping research:

Global tablet shipments in Q2 2013 reached 51.7 million units, up 43 percent from 36.1 million in Q2 2012. Breaking those numbers down, Android secured a whopping 67 percent global share, Apple’s iOS grabbed 28.3 percent, and Windows secured 4.5 percent. […]

“Apple iOS shipments were 14.6 million iPads in Q2 2013 which declined 14 percent annually,” Peter King, Director of Tablets at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.

iPad sales were down year-over-year; this much is undisputed. But Strategy Analytics uses the same bullshit “research” that most market share estimators use, as AppleInsider’s Daniel Eran Dilger explains:

Strategy Analytics has to employ “research” to come up with this claim because Samsung doesn’t actually report how many phones, smartphones, tablets, cameras or set top boxes it sells (or even the inventory numbers it ships) and doesn’t report the profit share of any of these products segments.

Amazon also doesn’t release Kindle sales figures, and neither does Barnes & Noble, majority owner of the Nook brand.

If sales figures have been derived from “research” which significantly differs from more easily-measurable data — say, web browser share — it’s likely invented, juiced, or just plain wrong.