Everyone is trying to figure out what’s going wrong with Apple, as if there’s a problem to solve. Analysts lead the fray, with their speculations, anecdotal data, and bizarre conclusions. Most lead with the childish notion that big and flashy is better, like those AT&T ads with the cute kids and the sympathetic guy in a suit.
Apple analysts see Phablets as the next revolution in mobile, because it’s big and flashy, and because they can’t think of anything else that might be affecting stock price. Perhaps they should look inward and see that it’s more than likely the fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), which these very same analysts have created. Analysts are a scourge on investors.
Phablets are those oversized mobile phones with an identity crisis, like the Samsung Note, that are almost big enough to be mini tablets. But phablets are not tablets, they are grotesquely oversized phones that have caught the attention of people drawn to big and shiny. And while big and shiny might enthrall some kids, Big Data shows Phablets to be nothing more than a fad.
According to Flurry Analytics, who take in and analyze over 1.4 billion mobile app session reports every day, from more than 80 percent of all mobile devices, there’s a clear trend of use by size of the device.
In a nutshell, there are four category of devices that Flurry Analytics tracks; small (Blackberry), medium (iPhones), a little bigger than medium (phablets), and large (mini and full-sized tablets). Small devices, like the original Blackberry, represent about 14 percent of devices and are dwindling fast… this form factor is on the way out because these devices are older, too small for apps (even if they existed), and quite frankly, they suck by present day standards…hence the release of the new Blackberry Z10 (medium sized), another iPhone knock-off.
Medium sized devices, with screens between 3.5 − 4.9 inches, like the iPhone, Galaxy, HTC, and LG, make up the vast majority of devices, nearly 70 percent. Phablets are new, so only make up about 2 percent of all active devices out there, while tablets like the iPad represent 17 percent of devices. But the data on phablets is still extensive enough to garner usage habits.
Now the interesting thing is the distribution of active users and time spent on these devices, when categorized by size. And the facts are that medium and large devices, as a percentage of the numbers in use, apps are used an overwhelmingly greater percentage of the time. In other words, people with phablets are not finding them as useful on a day in, day out basis. These differences are statistically significant.
So, back to the Apple analysts that think the iMaker should embrace the phablet, that somehow it will be their saving grace. Well, they are full of shit, Big Data does not support this in any way. Apple has it right, the size of the iPhone screen is just about perfect for it’s category, and the size of tablets is perfect for it’s category. Phablets are stuck somewhere between, searching for an identity and users.
Now let’s go back to why Apple stock price has been falling. I believe it’s due to a confluence of an unusual combination of events and the times we live in. The mobile device market is still very young, and the evolution of product lines are still being worked out, like Darwin’s natural selection. There have been challenges that continuously help define these selections, including economies, consumer sentiment, and analysts bloviating FUD.
Apple had it right from the start, they chose medium and large, the iPhone and the iPad. Of course with small phones going they way of the Dodo bird, the iPhone might be considered small, unless iWatches take that spot, and the iPad Mini tablet is a variation of the large category. Phablets are nowhere, searching for an identity, they are a fad.