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Harshest Critics Don't Understand Apple

Stocks in this article: AAPL GOOG BBRY MSFT

In comScore's ranking of the top smartphone OEMs (companies that make the hardware) Apple remains number one by a relative mile. With a 40.4% market share, it's still growing and a full 16.3 percentage points ahead of second-place Samsung. Apple managed to grow without a new device. Samsung's share increased 2.1% over the same timeframe with too many devices to count.

You cannot look at the operating system and have a serious and honest market share discussion about Apple and smartphones. The OEM category provides a much more accurate, self-explanatory picture.

We could argue all day about "the importance of market share."

It's about as easy to achieve consensus there as it is to get a room full of Toronto Maple Leafs fans to agree on the team's goaltender strategy headed into the season. Do they give one guy the job and go with him all season or let James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier share the load? I could probably make an effective argument in either direction.

So I'm not saying Doug Kass and others are wrong to argue that Apple should cheapen its brand and grab some low-hanging fruit. There aren't many among us -- Tim Cook included -- who don't think this approach would generate more market share for iOS.

But I guarantee you this, lots of folks are in Apple-hate mode right now. If the company came out with a truly "cheap" phone, a 5S in multiple colors with multiple screen sizes they would be getting hammered for risking margins and profit. With some people right now the company can't win, even when it is winning.

There's lots to worry about in Apple's future. But if you're calling the world's most popular smartphone a "dud" and suggesting it should cut prices by "$300 to $350" you're mistaking the here and now for a future that has yet to arrive.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
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