Monday, 19 November 2012

Read before you share - otherwise it's gossip

A rubbish post by business insider titled "This Survey Is Devastating For Microsoft: 42% Of Windows Users Plan To Switch To Apple" and a very dubious post by the New York Times titled "The Tablet Market Grows Cluttered" drew my attention today - the latter claimed that
About 98 percent of Web traffic from tablets comes from iPads, according to Onswipe, a digital publishing company
The answer to the first riddle lies in the post itself, the other answer is just a few clicks away. The verdict: bogus anal-ysis. Which doesn't matter to the authors, because the shares came in by the hundreds of course. Amazing facts!

Let's take a closer look at the business insider post first:

  • Overall, 16% of those surveyed said they planned to buy a new computer 
The survey was done among 135K Windows-only users, which is impressive. Of those 16% that planned to buy a new computer, reasons for doing so are unknown - it is unclear whether that is a replacement for their current PC, or an addition to it.
You have to watch the video at the original site of USA Today to hear the phrase "of those ready to upgrade", where the question in the poll reads "Purchase a new computer at all?"

That, if you ask me, is purposefully distorting the truth as hard and evil as you can. In fact, dear USA Today, the vast majority of the people on this planet would label that as a lie.
And that, equally dear business insider dot com, makes you a liar as well

What would the headline read like if you did a proper job?
"Less than 2% of current Windows users plans on buying a Mac. Less than 5% plans on buying an iPad"

Exciting huh? How many clicks and views would that give you? For the slow calculists among you: 12% of 16% equals 1.9% - and 30% of 16% equals 4.8%. Got it?

Now, onto the New York Times. 98% of web traffic on tablets comes from iPads - wow. That is kind of hard to believe, isn't it? I have to give it to NYT that they don't scream this from the roofs, but just mildly mumble that halfway through the post. They even throw in some stats about tablet users:
The iPad still dominates the market with a 50 percent share, according to third-quarter figures from the research firm IDC, but that is down from 60 percent a year ago. Samsung is in second place with an 18 percent share, Amazon is third with 9 percent, and Asus, which makes Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, is in fourth with 8.6 percent of the market
Wait - wait?! Apple has half of the market, and the others share the other half? Isn't the big news then that Apple tablet market share is down 30% from last year? Hello? Do I hear an echo here?
Well, again, what a headline that would make hey?

But let's investigate this survey then, because it's odd to have 98% of web traffic if you only have 50% of market share, isn't it? No, not really, if you just measure subjectively enough.
Onswipe is a company with the mission "(...) to power the way the world experiences the web on touch".
It does so, by supporting specific devices - apparently some devices are more touchy feely than others

So, which devices do you think Onswipe supports?

  • iPad
  • Nexus 7
  • Kindle
  • iPhone
and that's it! Which Kindle versions? Only the Fire (fresh since June 2012) which even is Wi-Fi only. The Nexus 7 has just come out in June as well, so these two have to battle the iPad? What about all the other tablets out there, that make up the other half of the market? Not supported by this company that does some convenient anal-ysis on the side.
Comparing apples to oranges, and concealing the hard truth that Apple tablet market share are going down hard

So, now you know this, and shared these "facts" in the blink of an eye, do you feel differently? I sure hope so, and also that you think just a little bit longer the next time you read an "amazing fact"

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