There’s little mystery of who shot down the iPad’s market share or what weapon they’re using: all three major market research firms rapidly fire off headline bullets clearly aimed at wounding the perception of Apple’s tablet. One can, generally, only speculate about why this is occurring.
However, Strategy Analytics has offered some unusual transparency regarding its motive for carving out a very specific market and then stuffing the pie chart with “tier two” volume to the point where the world’s best selling tablet is crushed down into an embarrassing statistical sliver of shrinking “share.”
On the company’s Clients page, Strategy Analytics notes that its “customer base includes more than half of the world’s largest mobile operators and most of the leading infrastructure and device vendors, 13 of the top 15 handset OEMs, five of the top 10 semiconductor companies, two-thirds of the top twenty global operators, eight of the top 10 global automobile manufacturers, the top 10 electronics-focused tier one suppliers and the top 10 automotive semiconductor vendors.”
Strategy Analytics sells its research, like Gartner and IDC, in the form of reports that cost corporate buyers thousands of dollars. Only a tiny portion of that data is outlined in the firms’ public press releases, because those firms are in business to make money, not just give away collected data. In addition to selling reports, marketing firms also offer a variety of other consulting services.
As Strategy Analytics notes, “we support our clients with a variety of high-stakes projects, including: new product development and product roadmaps; driving existing products down the cost curve; bundled pricing strategies; infrastructure investment and optimization; new market penetration and market expansion; influencing consumer behavior and buying preferences, and many more short- and long-term initiatives.”
That last line is particularly interesting because Strategy Analytics came out and said what lots of people have been thinking. Rather than being an unbiased source of purely factual data, Strategy Analytics disclosed that one of its most valuable “high stakes projects” for its clients is the practice of “influencing consumer behavior and buying preferences.”
How exactly does reporting facts on sales result in “influencing consumer behavior and buying preferences”? Hypothetically, if one could fool the world’s journalists into parroting off statistics that portrayed the most successful vendor of tablets as being in desperate straits and “failing” in a matter of speaking, it would sure take the pressure off of those who are failing to actually sell tablets, wouldn’t it?