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Day October 29, 2010

Trading Places: How Apple climbed into the Top Tier

Apple reached fourth place in ranking of top phone vendors by units sold. I guess that makes it a “top tier” vendor.

So how did it get there?

Here is a chart showing how market share evolved since the quarter when iPhone launched:

iPhone share of all phones sold is now above 4% and continuing to rise

I am dead serious. I am now convinced that we have enough data to determine for a fact that Apple will not only see a dramatic decline in quarter-on-quarter sales in units of the iPhone this January-March quarter (which is the predictable pattern and no surprise) but that we will also see a decline in iPhone market share against at least HTC and Blackberry;  that would be demoralizing news in itself. I know now that the numbers are clearly stacking up so, that the annual sales level of iPhone units, will result in a decline in iPhone annual market share in 2010.

via Communities Dominate Brands: iPhone in Memoriam: A History from its Peak Moment of Success. But who copied whom?.

Contrary to the loud and emphatic proclamations above, the data shows that the iPhone’s market share gains have been steady.

The following chart shows iPhone market share by quarter with a 4-quarter moving average. Total market size is reported by IDC.

Apple trading even with the S&P 500

From the Apple 10K:

The following graph shows a five−year comparison of cumulative total shareholder return, calculated on a dividend reinvested basis, for the Company, the S&P 500 Composite Index, the S&P Computer Hardware Index, and the Dow Jones U.S. Technology Index. The graph assumes $100 was invested in each of the [securities].

In other words, if you had invested $100 in the S&P 500 in September 2005, you would have $103 now. If you invested $100 in Apple in September 2005, you would have $529 now.

Apple investors should rejoice!

However, in terms of reward for earnings, consider the following graph: