More misleading comparisons
Horace Schmidt has written an article and produced some graphs comparing sales of the iPad against sales of Nintendo consoles (Amongst others).
I don’t agree with the method of deduction (Sales graphs) for several reasons:
1) The iPad is a general use computing device. Comparing it to a dedicated portable gaming device, where sales were almost guaranteed to be lower simply by looking at the size of potential markets, is almost useless.
2) The graphs present the various iPad models as one model, whereas the various DS models (All of which had similar incremental upgrades to the iPad) are presented separately. Perhaps the graphs would show a similar decline for the iPad models if they were presented in the same fashion as the Nintendo portables? Or is Schmidt suggesting that sales of the iPad 1 did not decline after the iPad 2 was released?
3) The graphs give no historical context when presenting the decline of Nintendo’s consoles. Comparing the decline of Nintendo’s consoles with that of consoles produced in the 90s would better illustrate the impact the iPad is having on Nintendo.
4) Apple release a new iPad and iPhone model every year. Schmidt doesn’t seem to take this into account, with regards to its affect on sales, when making comparisons to products with a life cycle of 5-7 years.
5) Finally, the iPad is a novel device, which combined with the large potential market (iPad owners aren’t exclusively playing video games) means faster, higher sales figures. Schmidt could have compared sales growth of the iPad to sales of a similarly novel early games console, such as the Atari 2600.
I want to make it clear that I’m not disagreeing with Schmidt’s conclusion, just his methods. He could be right about the effect the iPad is having on the dedicated/portable games console market, but these graphs don’t convince me of anything other than the fact that statistics can be presented in compelling ways.
Update: I posted the above text as a comment on the article itself. The author replied, so if you’d like to see his responses to my points above, visit the article.