Is Apple really losing market share?

Today in Apple: Has Apple actually lost market share? Plus: The value of Apple's brand, and missing iWork features to be reintroduced by Apple

Apple and Market Share

The media has often criticized Apple for not going after higher market share. But has Apple really lost market share? Forbes takes a look at this confusing question.

Apple gained market share in phone sales and Apple lost share… in smartphone sales. The latter category soared 45% to 250 million according to Strategy Analytics, so Apple’s 26% increase wasn’t enough to keep pace, leading to an overall 13.4% share in smartphones. But in total phones, which grew by just 7% to 417 million, Apple actually went from 6.9% to 8.1% as sales of featurephones declined in favor of smartphones.

Wait what? Samsung is selling a ton of smartphones, including around 85 million in the last quarter alone, according to Canalys. That’s obviously far more than Apple’s paltry 33.8 million! Yes, it is, but by way of analogy, Samsung says everything from the Nissan Versa of smartphones to the Mercedes S-Class while Apple only offers models that represent things from Acura up to Mercedes.

More at Forbes

I think the focus on market share by analysts and others has completely missed Apple's strategy. The company focuses on profit share, not market share. Apple is a premium brand, and it does not seek to compete at the very low end of the market. I'm not sure why this is so hard for some folks to understand.

The Value of Apple's Brand

Speaking of premium brands, Forbes also has a look at the world's dominant brands and Apple is high on the list.

But a Forbes’ study of the top brands illustrates that the Apple name is as strong as ever. Apple is the most valuable brand in the world for a third straight time at $104.3 billion, up 20% over last year. It is worth nearly twice as much as any other brand on the planet by our count.

More at Forbes

Apple's dominance on the list should come as no surprise, and it's one of the reasons why the company won't release cheap, low-end products. If Apple did that it would be diluting it's brand down to the lowest common denominator in tech products, and that would be very costly indeed.

Apple To Reintroduce iWork Features

Excellent news for users of Apple's iWork applications. The company will be reintroducing features that were removed in the recent iWork updates.

The new iWork applications—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—were released for Mac on October 22nd. These applications were rewritten from the ground up to be fully 64-bit and to support a unified file format between OS X and iOS 7 versions, as well as iWork for iCloud beta.

These apps feature an all-new design with an intelligent format panel and many new features such as easy ways to share documents, Apple-designed styles for objects, interactive charts, new templates, and new animations in Keynote.

In rewriting these applications, some features from iWork ’09 were not available for the initial release. We plan to reintroduce some of these features in the next few releases and will continue to add brand new features on an ongoing basis.

Some features in upcoming releases in the next 6 months

Pages

Customize toolbar

Vertical ruler

Improved alignment guides

Improved object placement

Import of cells with images

Improved word counts

Keyboard shortcuts for styles

Manage pages and sections from the thumbnail view

Numbers

Customize toolbar

Improvements to zoom and window placement

Multi-column and range sort

Auto-complete text in cells

Page headers and footers

Improvements to AppleScript support

Keynote

Customize toolbar

Restoring old transitions and builds

Improvements to presenter display

Improvements to AppleScript support

In the meanwhile, you can continue to use these features by accessing the previous versions of the iWork applications which remain installed on your Mac. The previous versions can be found in Applications > iWork ’09.

More at Apple Support

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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