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When Market Share Matters -- Or Not

You can't discuss smartphones and tablets without coming back to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and Samsung. The two giants are crushing the mobile market with impunity, owning about half of the world's device sales between them (not to mention all of the mobile profits).

But why should investors bother to look at market share figures? Isn't the mobile industry big enough for the two of these dueling cowboys -- and more besides?

In this video, Fool contributor Anders Bylund explains why market share matters, but maybe not for the reasons you thought. This is not a game of thrones as much as it is a battle for survival if you're not part of the ruling class. That's bad news for BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) as well as the odd couple of Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) and Microsoft. The only time the king really matters is when there are no dukes getting within grabbing distance of his crown. Look to Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) for a modern example of this. In both cases, life is exceedingly hard for the little guys.

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Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 10:01 PM, k1moops wrote:

    Apple is very similar to BMW, both makers must stay low profile enough to avoid becoming a Lamborghini, a Toyota (Samsung) or a Lada (Blackberry).

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 10:22 PM, samdungnogood wrote:

    Your funny...Why would you buy a Blackberry when they will be irrelevant and fighting for their existence......LOL!!!! I wish I was fighting for my existence with over 2 billion in cash and 80 million subscribers...Global secure Network with World Governments who depend on it. Oh and a new Operating system that is in high demand around the world.....

    OINK OINK!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 10:33 PM, HelpIsHere wrote:

    Apple has fallen 44% in the past 8 months. Made countless 52 week lows this year and heading much lower. They have no products that consumers want, yeah, that's a good investment.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2013, at 11:44 AM, k1moops wrote:

    Blackberry has lost nearly 90% of its body now only 10% of its former self. Blackberry can laugh about it and keep saying 'I may be only a head without a body but I am still alive'. By the way, Blackberry is still losing businesses every quarter.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2013, at 5:17 AM, misledbyfools wrote:

    One thing sticks in my mind regarding your comments. People like choices. Just look at the auto industry in the free world!!! Many, many models from more than a couple of manufacturers. As the mobile computing/smartphone market continues to grow/mature it will be obvious how wrong your conclusions are with regard to a developed market worldwide. First to market only lasts until the copycats show up and exponentially expand the choices and drop prices and margins accordingly. Samsung/google etc. are doing this to Apple right now. There will always be many phone manufacturers with many different products each, so your article is really not that relevant IMO.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2013, at 5:34 PM, k1moops wrote:

    Someone famously once said if cars evolved at the speed of computing devices cars would cost $10 and can fly back and forth between galaxies spanning light years apart. The Moore's Law certainly has no apart in the automotive industry. It's been nearly 30 years yet IBM, Microsoft and Apple still rule, and for that matter, the British monarchy lasted from 400 AD - 1603, and the current Windsor royal family since 1952. If that's not long enough for you then I suggest you look at the Roman Catholic Church, or the Hindu religion. All these demonstrate one and only one artifact: do and treat things and people right and you could truly last in this world for a long long time. IBM, Microsoft, and Apple have all learned this artifact and taken it to heart. There is no absolute figure as how long these companies would last, but as long as they continue to do and treat things and people right, they are sure to greatly outlast this Blackberry company which has blatantly demonstrated that Blackberry could not and can not do nearly anything right, with a horrific human resource record including employees who issued open letters of complaints, and nonstop exodus of talented and productive workers resulting in Blackberry being forced to acquire external companies such as TAT and QNX, who have yet to contribute in slowing down the continuous downward operating and business performance of Blackberry for the past 14 quarters with little hopes of getting any better. Blackberry has just recently lost its exclusivity with the American Department of Defence contract. Further deterioration of Blackberry business is not only logical, but highly expected as seen by BBRY having more than 30% of shorts among BBRY shareholders.

  • Report this Comment On May 20, 2013, at 3:20 AM, sazabi1980 wrote:

    WTF are you talking about? LMAO!!! Who is that famous someone? The automotive industry is changing faster than you think. I know because I work on them for a long long time. You will be surprise on how many little things changes on every model on every year. You are truly right about Apple is similar to BMW, because BMW stands for BREAK MY WALLET! Doing right things and treating people right... no $hit buddy, great wisdoms there. If Blackberry, like you said, are doing everything wrong and mistreating people, then why are they still here? Listen, someone NOT famous told me last week: You don't owe Apple anything, why upgrade to a iPhone 5 (I have a iPhone 4)? Get the phone that truly fits your needs.

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