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The pattern of Mac growth exceeding Windows PC growth (and overall PC growth which includes the Mac) is old news. It has been observed for at least 40 of the last 42 quarters.
It’s a historically interesting contest, but the story of computing has moved on. Starting with building computing, via floor computing, office computing and then to desktop computing and portable computing we are now in the era of mobile computing.. The problem with observing mobility in general is that there are too many mobile computing options. Phones have a wide range of capabilities, tablets and various other form factors are positioned on differing jobs-to-be-done. Platforms and services are also scattered around jobs which have been carved from fixed computing or have been established with no fixed precedent.
So can we pinpoint with any accuracy the moment when the tipping point has been reached? We could point to all mobile phone shipments, or even the vaguely-defined smartphone shipments compared to all PC shipments. We could look at tablets alone. If we could get accurate measurements.
One measurement could be to look at operating systems alone. When comparing iOS shipments (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) to Windows we can see that combined iOS shipments exceed all Windows PC shipments for all three previous quarters.
Horace and Anders talk about the “Plug Bug”, safety in the aircraft industry and take listener questions.
Source: The Critical Path #154
Special guest Horace Dediu joins The Talk Show for the first time. Topics include the state of the maps industry, Apple’s functional organizational structure, what the WWDC keynote said about the state of the company today, and more.
The Talk Show: They Buy a Hole in the Wall.
A transcontinental journey, WWDC and listener questions.
Source: The Critical Path #153
ComScore suggests that there are 100 million tablet owners in the US. On a per capita basis that implies penetration of about 30%. As a percent of mobile phone subscribers (above age of 13) that implies 40%. As a percent of smartphone users that implies 43%. As a percent of iPhone users that represents 47%. As a percent of households assuming one device per household that implies 85% penetration. By another measure (Pew) household penetration is around 50%.
Regardless of the difficulty in defining what is the correct “addressable market”, the more important question is whether tablets will be an ubiquitous object. Perhaps what we are seeing in the US is something similar to the MP3 player market or video game console markets where penetration saturated at around 50%. Perhaps tablets will reach PC levels which are closer to 80% of population or perhaps they will reach phone levels which are above 90%. The reason we can’t answer the question of ubiquity easily is because competing solutions can carve the usage out of a category “disrupting” it with alternatives.
The idea that jobs are the segments into which products fit and not demographics or product attributes is key to understanding this migration. The reason phones have subsumed more jobs onto themselves is because they have a rapid rate of evolution and because they have larger scale of economy and because they are conformable to our life spaces. As phones get better they take on more jobs and some of those jobs are those of tablets. The MP3 did not become ubiquitous because the phone took its job. Same for the video game and same perhaps for the PC and tablet.
At the 2015 WWDC Apple stated that it receives 5 billion requests per week for its maps service. It also said that Apple maps is used 3.5 times more frequently than “the next leading maps app.”
These two data points are the total number of data points we have about the global maps market. Neither Google nor Nokia provide usage or share or performance data. Regardless, commentary on the usage, share and performance of Apple Maps has been abundant for the three years since its inception.
The data presented allows us to make a few estimates for the first time and we can hope that additional data can allow a picture to emerge of where maps are going.
With these first two data points we can finally make some estimates. But some assumptions are still needed: We need to assume that the “next leading maps app” is Google Maps. Although there are other maps apps on the iOS platform they are probably insignificant and it’s a two-horse race between Google and Apple on iOS.
This means that the 3.5:1 split in usage results in a 78% share for Apple Maps and a 22% share for Google. If we assume that there are about 400 million iOS users of maps, it leads to about 90 million Google Maps users on iOS and about 310 million Apple Maps users on iOS. This includes iPad.
Given that Google also reported 1 billion downloads in 2014 we can assume between 25% to 33% Apple Maps “market share” of usage.
Horace talks about Jony Ive’s promotion and answers listener questions on everything from Apple TV to the need for companies to “have children”.
Source: The Critical Path #152
Horace and Anders discuss Comcast, cable companies and lowest common denominator content on television screens everywhere. After the break, Horace takes listener questions from Twitter.
Source: The Critical Path #151