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Apple's "Cumulative iPhone Sales" chart is spinning data hard

Posted: , posted by Michael H.

Apple's
We've discussed this trend before, but Apple keeps doing it, so we have to keep revisiting the topic. You see, there is often a pretty blatant disconnect between the data that Apple chooses to show during its events and the data that would more accurately describe what is happening. Of course, Apple isn't the only company to do this, every company deals in various types of data spinning. Apple just makes it easier to spin back because it always has nice charts to go along with claims. 

Where Samsung will simply say the number 38 million, or Google will say 1 billion, those companies will simply leave out the context, and not try to make the data seem more positive than it is with a chart. Apple isn't like that. Apple loves to have that moment of pop when a chart goes up on the big display at an event to show you the cumulative iPhone sales to date.

Of course, a cumulative total will often be impressive on its own, like the fact that Apple is closing in on its 700 millionth iOS device sold, but in context, the data often betrays what a company wants you to see. For example, just looking at the "Cumulative iPhone Sales" chart that Tim Cook pulled out today, you would think that everything is amazing in iOS land, but in reality, Apple has seen sales drop for the past three quarters. Apple is used to having a dip in the quarter leading up to a new iPhone announcement, but this dip has been continuing since the iPhone 5 was released. 

Apple does have reason to be hopeful, because two new carrier deals - NTT DoCoMo in Japan, and China Mobile in China - have the potential of opening up 800 million new customers to the iPhone, although the reported price tag of the iPhone 5C in China may throw a wrench in that plan. 


source: Quartz

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