The stats keep flying in Apple's favor lately where it really matters. Gartner acknowledged that Apple was still number one in tablets in in 2013. The iPad's web traffic usage in the US and Canada is at an incredibly high of 78.2%. The iPhone is number one in America and as far as the Apple brand goes, they're noted as being the most valuable in the market today and we just learned at the end of February that Apple is the most admired brand seven year running. Could it get any better than this? Well, yes it can. A new study conducted by Upstream, the mobile monetization powerhouse, between January 31 and February 14 2014, found that Apple is "The Most Coveted Mobile Brand in Emerging Markets." I bet that'll surprise a few critics around the globe.
The Upstream report begins by stating that "With 5.2 billion of the world's 6.8 billion mobile subscribers in the developing world, handset manufacturers and developers such as Nokia, Ericsson, Facebook and Mozilla, are renewing their efforts to connect and cater to emerging market consumers. However, new data finds that although the majority of consumers in these regions use Android devices because of their accessibility, Apple is actually the most coveted mobile brand in the developing world.
The Next Mobile Frontier' report from mobile marketing expert Upstream, which polled the views of a representative sample of 4,504 consumers in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Vietnam in conjunction with analyst house Ovum, revealed that Apple (32%) is the most desired brand in these countries, with Samsung (29%) second and Nokia (13%) third."
The survey was put into graphic form using Infrographics as noted below.
App Stores: Not Everything Went Apple's Way
Upstream's report noted that "As more Western brands and app developers realise the potential to offer mobile content to consumers in emerging markets, Upstream's research reveals that 40 per cent of users access content via Google Play – although consumers desire Apple devices, most people in these regions are using lower cost Android smartphones. In the age-old Android vs. IOS rivalry in the UK and US, the data finds that in emerging markets, just 28 per cent of consumers are using Apple's App Store.
While Google Play is doing better than Apple's App Store in emerging markets, that's only due to Apple not participating in the lower-end of the market, not because Google Play is any better. In fact, to emphasize this fact, you only have to look at Upstream's Summary above to see what people in emerging markets are saying about their experiences with their App store to confirm that most problems are not Apple Store related. It notes that 24% say there's too high a number of promotional messages associated with their App Store. That's not Apple; the Lack of variety of apps? That's certainly not Apple.
Secondly, depending on how you measure iOS vs. Android stats, the swing is somewhere between 2 and 3:1 in favor of Android. In Smartphones it's about 3:1. For overall ultramobile sales, Gartner shows it's about 2:1. Yet when it comes to people using App Stores in emerging markets, we're not seeing that big a gap between Android and iOS.
In fact in China, India and Vietnam, there's only an average of about an 8.5% differential which goes to show that the percentage of Androiders using Google Play isn't that high. The ratio isn't translating from the number or users with Android phones and those using Google Play. This makes a mockery out of Wall Street's coveted "Volume" law that continually makes headlines in the press about how Android is whipping Apple's butt. But volume isn't translating into profit.
Anyways, there's no use arguing with Wall Street or mainstream critics on this point. They're mentally stuck at what's supposed to matter instead of what really matters. It reminds me of Microsoft's former CEO Steve Ballmer who was mentally stuck in the past at what mattered instead of focusing on what was actually happening in front of his nose.
From what I could see, Apple is still winning on multiple fronts. They're the most innovative, the most valuable, the most admired and in emerging markets, where people can't even afford their products, they're the most coveted brand. And that's over and above delivering record quarter sales when the "volume leader" is stumbling badly.
Another day, another win for Apple: the most coveted brand in emerging markets.
Cheers to the Crazy Ones in Cupertino.