Apr 282011

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Google’s Android OS for mobile devices will doom Apple’s iOS soon. Witness the impending savage brutality:

The analyst’s conclusion: Android will overtake iOS by July of this year. Looks pretty obvious from this graph, right? Not really.


1. Where did you people learn statistics?

Wanna hear something awesome? I will be a millionaire by the the time I retire and I have the statistics to prove it. You see: I found $100 bill on the street today. If you assume that I will find $100 on the street every day for *cough* *ahem* *cough* years, and allow for compounding at a modest interest rate, I will be a millionaire around 65. Screw the IRA!

Distimo used the February-March 2011 month-to-month data to project the June numbers. I know this because they say so in their write-up. Taking month-to-month growth of an app ecosystem and extending a line from it is as meaningless an exercise as taking any 2 short-term data points and extending a trend line from the segment formed. And speaking of drawing…


2. Where did you people learn to draw?

Maybe it’s me, but do you see the line come off a little “flat” for iOS in March and get a little goosed for Android around mid April? You guys know something we don’t? Wanna let us in on it?


3. Try looking up “ringtones” in the Android Market.

Wanna guess how many of these apps are conduits for pirated, copyright/trademark-violating properties? If you guessed “a shit-ton”, you’d be correct. People used to joke about how many fart apps were in the App Store. The Android Market wishes it had apps as valuable as the worst fart app ever put up. Distimo does note that Android now has more free apps than the App Store. Nothing screams “make money here!” to app developers as effectively as having more stuff not worth paying for in your market.


4. So I guess the iPad doesn’t count now?

We’re comparing OS markets, but we’re leaving out devices that make up part of the market ecosystem. I guess if you want a graph that fits well in landscape orientation, you have to cut some corners. Like not drawing our lines straight. Or making that ziggy line on the y-axis between 50,000 and 100,000 on a graph that spans 0 to 400,000. Hallmarks of a company that should be taken seriously.


If you’re banking on Android overtaking iOS in the near future, you’d feel a lot better if you sought out analysis that actually makes sense, as opposed to getting it from another no-name firm with zero track record looking to make a quick buck by using shitty statistics poorly.

  6 Responses to “TMA Rips More Lazy Analyst Nonsense”

  1. No doubt I’m learning impaired because your email invites me to join the TMA Community (where?), follow you on twitter (dude, where be your twitter “follow me” link?), and to subscribe to your RSS feed. Where, oh where, is your subscribe button? In the meanwhile, I’ll go click happy on your ads.

  2. You’re not as learning impaired as I am site design impaired.

    -The “TMA community” basically meant “participate in the discussion”, which I suppose is covered by “leave a comment”.
    -I’ll definitely add a “Twitter” button to the end of homepage articles (there are “Tweet” buttons if you click through to articles themselves). BTW Twitter is TheMacAdvocate
    -For the RSS feed, I’ll also make that easier to find, but for now if you go into your browser’s address bar, you’ll see the RSS icon (in Chrome) or an RSS badge (in Safari) for easy subscription.

    And, as always, thanks for the monetization. I’m sure you’ve been well-versed on the importance of ads from your experience with “Greek Tragedy”.

  3. Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. I don’t think Apple really cares, let them talk all they want. I owned a Nokia for years and bought a few Apps but they never seemed to work right. Now I own a number of Apps for my iPod (Gen2, iOS 4) and I continually look around for new Apps. Most platforms it’s not worth buying Apps because they are not updated for new releases of the OS, the OS is not updated so we can’t use new Apps on year old devices. Even if I can find an App for my phone OS, will it support my screen, sound, other hardware?!? If I buy an App and lose my phone will I be able to use it with my next phone?

    These spruikers can say what they want but regular people don’t read tech press. They just go out and buy the phone they want, simple as that.

  4. In Apple’s March 2nd iOS 4.3 announcement they told the world that there were 65,000 apps for the iPad and 350,000 for the iPhone/iPod touch.

    Yet Distimo says there were 75K iPad apps back in January.

  5. There’s a post over on Roughly Drafted that covers the “quality” issue much more thoroughly (if you don’t yet read Dan Eran Dilger, I highly recommend him). In addition to fundamental mistakes made by these analyst/clowns, they truly are comparing Apples and oranges in terms of app quality.

  6. The most recent estimate I’ve heard put the count at 80,000 as of 4/16. I don’t know if it’s due to an inability to count, or a different methodology, but to me it’s all the more reason to seriously discount anyone who says they know where an app store will be 3 months out – even if their charts do have that charming “infographic” feel.

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