1 Bit of Bad News for Apple Stock Investors


OK, so Apple's stock isn't doing so great. We all know that. But the stock price isn't the only thing that's falling for the company. The latest IDC numbers show iOS is losing ground in India and Western Europe as well. But is this just a temporary setback, or a sign of more to come?

Small drop for iOS, big jump for Android
In Q1 2013, Apple's iOS lost 5 percentage points in market share in Western Europe while Google's Android OS gained 14 percentage points year over year. This puts Android at an amazing 69% market share in the region, and leaves Apple with just 20% now.

Not good.

What makes matters worse is that Apple was one of only two top-five smartphone makers in Western Europe to see its year-over-year shipment numbers drop (the other was Nokia). Apple shipped just 6.2 million units while major rival Samsung shipped 14.3 million -- and this excluded the latter company's feature phones.

While smartphone shipments declined by more than 4% year over year in Western Europe, Samsung managed to increase its year-over-year smartphone shipments by 31%.

All of this would be bad enough, but the IDC data also showed Apple got kicked out of the top-five vendor spot in India in Q1 2013 as well. This is pretty important considering that India just became the world's third-largest smartphone market this week. Meanwhile, Android is killing it India with 90% OS market share in the country.

More difficulties to come
For Apple, Western Europe isn't a great bet for the near future. The majority of smartphones sales to date have been for premium devices -- like the iPhone. But going forward, the next round of purchases are expected to be of cheaper smartphones.

This is obviously bad news for Apple. Until the economic climate in Western Europe turns around, investors can expect Apple to have a hard time shipping iPhones over there. Sure, a cheaper iPhone could help turn that around, but the device is still just a rumor -- and Apple needs it in these markets now.

This Fool is having a hard time understanding Apple's seemingly slow response to shifting market desires. At some point, Apple and its followers need to acknowledge that the company is clearly doing something wrong -- even if it is making great products. With each step of Android growth, the iMaker shows that its popularity with consumers is waning.

Though Apple isn't faring well in Western Europe and India, the company does have a history of cranking out revolutionary products... and then creatively destroying them with something better. Read about the future of Apple in the free report, "Apple Will Destroy Its Greatest Product." Can Apple really disrupt its own iPhones and iPads? Find out by clicking here.

The article 1 Bit of Bad News for Apple Stock Investors originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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