In the most recent quarterly reporting period ending February 2013, comScore estimates Apple increased its lead over number two Samsung. Thirty-eight-point-nine percent of smartphone subscribers carry iPhones. That's up 3.9% from the previous three-month window, dwarfing Samsung's share -- spread across multiple devices -- of 21.3% (a 1.0% quarter-over-quarter increase).
But that's not what Apple does. If it starts, make no mistake, it beats itself. Google and Samsung would deserve credit for little more than planting the idea in Tim Cook's head to shift course and veer from the Apple way. That's precisely why things like premium-priced iPad minis and iTVs make sense -- and work/will work for Apple -- whereas the color and size change strategies we have seen with iPod should be used sparingly, if at all, elsewhere in the product line. Don't look to Google or Samsung or OS marketshare numbers to see if Apple is winning or losing. You'll wind up making unfair comparisons like so much of the tech and financial media.
Even in its uncertain -- dare I say bruised and battered state (at least psychologically and in the eyes of Wall Street) -- Apple dominates the smartphone wars. Don't expect that to change unless Tim Cook stumbles and makes it so. Follow @rocco_thestreet -- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.