There's been a non-stop harping coming from trolls, bloggers, "analyst", and Android fans about how Apple is doomed. You've read the headlines, "Apple isn't innovative anymore", "Apple needs to release another "disrupting" product now", "iOS is stale/boring", blah, blah blah. After 5 solid years of almost total domination in the smartphone and tablet markets the praising had to become boring at some point. The once exalted and admired corporation is now being attacked almost daily from all sides. You could almost hear the cannons being turned inward soon after Steve Jobs passed away. Can Tim Cook replace Steve Jobs? Will Apple be able to still innovate? While most asked reasonable questions about the future of Apple, they didn't seem that interested in waiting to see what played out. As early as last summer, this growing false narrative among some in the tech community, partly due to a few missteps from Apple itself, that they had somehow gone off the rails within 12 months.
Early iPhone 5 case leaks, iCloud issues, Maps, and the lack of "killer feature" in iOS 6 were the fuel to the "Doom & Gloom squad's" fire. While there are arguments as to the state of iOS when compared to Android 4.0+, Windows Phone 8, even Blackberry 10, there are no clear signs that Apple is in trouble as a company that can be pointed to today, at least financially or sales. Yet, that hasn't stop numerous writers, podcasters and so called "analyst" from believing Apple's time in the sun is coming to an end. Yet only slightly more than 10% of all of the Android users are even on a usable version of the OS, not to mention all of the facts that shows Apple current strength.
-Average amount of spending on apps per user, much higher than on Android
-Nearly every major app releases on iOS first and either comes to Android at the same time, at a later time or sometimes not at all.
-iOS devices make up for a vast majority of Internet traffic from mobile devices
-Sales of iPhones have gone up year-after-year every qtr since its release.
Apple's 1st qtr numbers come out Wednesday, showing the first full quarter of iPhone 5 sales, iPad Mini, and free iPhone 4 over the holidays. These numbers will give us an up to date idea on the status of the Apple brand. Don't underestimate how important the iPhone 4 and iPad Mini sales are to the larger picture. It will be interesting to see if Apple shares any specific numbers for devices or lump them all as iPad sales / iPhone sales.
The Apple haters keep trying to make it a market share issue when Apple has never been a company that placed high value to market share. It's always been about the profit share. Sure the iPod, iPhone and iPad have had breakout sales in their respected markets and have held dominate portions of market share among any one competing device but that has never changed Apple's way of doing things. They've always been a slightly more expensive brand that payed extra attention to detail and gave you a lot if you were willing to spend the money and played by their (at times restrictive) rules. That is obviously not for everyone, most people are happy to take the cheapest phone in the store or what more of a choice. In fact if you look at what most of the Androids that are sold you'll notice it's not the top tier phones running the latest version of Android, but the lower-end models that are running Gingerbread (v.2.3) that are selling for $99 or less.
I recently had the "pleasure" of showing my uncle how to use his new smartphone. He was sent a free Samsung Captivate running what looked like a two year old version of Android from his phone carrier as a replacement for his dying Blackberry Curve. My uncle had no idea how to even make a call with this thing, forget downloading apps! After going to a site that had an interactive page on how to use basic features of the phone he frustratingly looked at my iPhone and asked if he could get an iPhone on his carrier. This is what a lot of first-time Android users are experiencing. A crappy old version of Android as their first smart phone then switching to the free iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S when their contract expires. After Apple's 1st quarter numbers are released we'll know the trajectory of Apple in 2013 and hopefully all of the stupid will subside.