Every quarter Apple releases the standard financials which tell us how well the company is doing. Despite the slowdown in revenue and profits and even unit sales in 2016, by most measures Apple’s financials are pretty good. Interestingly, Apple does one thing that competitors do not. Yes, they have to publish financials, too, but unlike Apple, every competitor avoids publishing unit sales of their major product lines.
What are they hiding?
Earlier this week I read an interesting article about billionaire Mark Cuban who suggested that the reason Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hadn’t released his income tax returns is because Bill and Hillary Clinton actually made more money and definitely paid more taxes.
It’s not a tough argument looking at their taxes and fec filings that the Clinton’s are much smarter business people and negotiators. I get offers almost daily (at same $ as clintons) to give speeches. Organizations want knowledge and insight. It’s a great business.
So, it’s just as logical that the reason behind Trump’s refusal to release his income tax returns is because there’s something very embarrassing in them.
Maybe @realDonaldTrump didn’t release his taxes because @HillaryClinton paid more in taxes than @realDonaldTrump made in income?
Fair enough. So, why doesn’t Google announce how many smartphones they sell each year? Why does Samsung only release a total number of phones, and not the Galaxy line which competes against Apple’s premium iPhone? Amazon, which struggles to make a profit, never reveals how many Kindles, Amazon Fire-whatevers, or Echo devices are sold each quarter.
Even the Chinese smartphone makers, supposedly chewing into Samsung and Apple’s marketshare, don’t release specific numbers (and who would believe them if they did). What are they hiding?
Instead, number junkies must rely on the likes of IDC to get corresponding numbers to compare between vendors, and IDC’s track record for accuracy is laughable. They’re the same IDC which said Microsoft’s Windows Phone would have a 10-percent marketshare by 2015 while market leader BlackBerry would come in at more than 13-percent. What happened? Both are dead in the water as of 2015 and deader than dead in 2016.
IDC’s numbers cannot be trusted but they publish them anyway and to Samsung, Google, Microsoft, HP, Dell, et all, that’s just fine because they know the published numbers do not reflect the real shipping numbers so marketshare comparisons are inflated in their favor, not Apple’s (because Apple’s numbers reflect reality).
Let’s assume for a moment that IDC’s numbers regarding Samsung tablets and smartphones were actually much less than Samsung’s actual numbers. Wouldn’t Samsung scream to the hills about the discrepancy? Instead, all of Apple’s competitors remain silent and allow IDC, Gartner, and others who grasp numbers from where the sun doesn’t shine and then compare them to real numbers published by Apple.
Why the silence?
IDC’s guesstimates are higher than their real numbers. Real numbers would be embarrassing so it pays to remain silent.
Alright, why doesn’t Apple announce how many Watches have been sold? That’s an easy answer. Watch is an accessory to iPhone, not a standalone, full-fledged product line in the vein of Mac, iPad, or iPhone, so any numerical comparison to iPhone is silly. Watch is in its infancy and an oddly positioned product anyway. It’s a utilitarian product. It’s an accessory. It’s a fashion statement. Watch numbers would be compared to iPhone numbers and that’s like comparing Apples to apples.