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业界内个人电脑销量预测的肮脏内幕

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Apple called BS last week to the U.S. Mac sales numbers IDC and Gartner sent to clients two weeks earlier, AppleInsider‘s Daniel Eran Dilger reported Saturday. The two market research firms had sales falling. Apple had them growing by “strong double digits[s],” according to the earnings call transcript [see note below].据AppleInsider网站的丹尼尔·伊兰·迪尔格上周六报导,苹果(Apple)在上上周认为,IDC与低德纳(Gartner)得出的Mac电脑在美国的销售数字有误。这两家市场调研公司称之为,Mac电脑在美销售经常出现下降,而苹果收益电话会议的文字记录表明,公司称之为Mac电脑在美销售快速增长强大,“增幅低约两位数”。It’s not the first time Gartner and IDC have been caught with their methodological pants down. In November 2010 Asymco’s Horace Dediu was aghast to discover a 77 million unit discrepancy in their mobile phone data — data he depends on to draw his famous charts and graphs.这不是低德纳和IDC第一次被人找到方法论错误。

2010年11月,Asymco的贺拉斯o德迪乌吃惊的找到,两者的移动电话销量数据差额高达7700万台,而德迪乌知名的图表正是基于该数据绘制。“Our methodologies, which are continually updated and improved, are among our most valuable assets,” according to Gartner, which goes on to describe them in the vaguest possible terms:低德纳称之为:“我们的方法论在不断更新和完备,它是我们最宝贵的财富之一。

”该公司之后十分含糊其辞的叙述道:“Once an objective is set, analysts gather information through formal and informal surveys of IT users, technology providers and investors, business professionals, academicians and other researchers.” [From Inside Gartner Research]“一旦目标原作,分析师不会通过向IT用户、技术提供商和投资者、商务人士、学者和其他研究人员派发月或非正式的调查来搜集信息。”[节录“低德纳内部研究”]It’s even squishier than that, according to a former IDC researcher who spent eight years with the company in the late 1990s and early 2000s.而据一名IDC公司的前研究员称之为,销售预测比上面说道的更加不可信。该研究员曾于20世纪90年代末至21世纪初在IDC工作了八年。After I posted a story about the 77 million missing phones, he described in some detail how IDC goes about estimating sales.我公布了一篇关于“移动电话销量数据差距7700万台”的文章后,这名研究员给我透漏了一些IDC公司如何展开销量预测的细节。

According to my source, who for legal reasons asked that his name not be used, here’s how it worked:出于法律方面的考虑到,这位线人拒绝电子邮件。他的描写如下:“Philip, I know something about this sausage-making process, as I used to do it for IDC. In 3Q98, I did a cross-section, an excavation, if you like, of our methodology, putting a crowbar to it and snapping it into fragments. It was the PC count, but the methodology is the same for phones.“菲利普,我曾在IDC公司专门从事销量预测,所以对其中的可怕内幕有所理解。

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1998年第3季度,我对公司的方法论展开了一番了解挖出。尽管我做到的调查是有关个人电脑销量预测,但手机销量预测的方法论是一样的。 ”“In most quarters, the team starts with OEM guidance and, depending on the country, does some by-country cross-checking. However, for the US team, we just did some systematic adjustments to the vendor guidance and called it a day. For example, we knew that lots of Macs were transshipped from Miami to Latin America. So, we took some percentage of Macs (Apple, of course, never helped; in fact, even objected, saying it wasn’t so) and reallocated them from the US to a smattering of Latin countries, effectively modeling the market but with no low-level data.“在大部分季度,团队再行以完整设备制造商的销量提示为基础,并根据国家的有所不同,按国别展开交叉检验。

然而,对于美国市场,我们只对供应商的销量提示做到些系统性的调整就算完事。比如,我们告诉许多Mac电脑是通过迈阿密运输到拉丁美洲的。因此,我们将美国市场的Mac电脑销量乘以一定比例(当然,苹果根本没帮过整天;事实上该公司甚至赞成这种作法,称之为实情并非如此),由此得出来的销量就被安在几个拉美国家头上。

这有效地仿真了市场状况,但缺少底层数据反对。”“So, in 3Q98, I analyzed the ‘choke points,’ those parts of the supply chain where the channel narrowed enough to get a definitive count. At the time, it was OS, processor, graphics, and hard drive. As I recall, I found 20 million processors with no homes. The market at the time was about 100 million, so this was a 20% discrepancy.“因此,在1998年第3季度,我分析了‘瓶颈’,即供应链中渠道较宽到不足以获得最后数字的部分。当时,“瓶颈”是操作系统、处理器、显示卡和硬盘驱动器。

我忘记,我找到多出了2000万台处理器销量。而当时的市场容量大约是1亿台,所以差额高达20%。”“The process that ensued was a marvel of obfuscation. The leader of the Tracker team figured out a way to rationalize away all the extra units (e.g., multiprocessor servers, inventory, speculation, etc.). It was politically impossible to force the extra units on the regions because it would introduce gross distortions to the historical trends.“随后再次发生的事情真是可谓蒙混过关的典范。Tracker小组的组组长想到了办法,让所有多出的处理器销量显得名正言顺(比如多处理器服务器、库存、投机抹黑等)。

但多出的销量容忍到这些类目都会都有问题,因为这将相当严重变形历史趋势。 ”“So, the mantra became, preserve the growth rates; to hell with the actual numbers. Even the growth rates are fiction. The fudge is in the “others” category, which is used as a plug to make the numbers work out. In fairness, we did do survey work, calling around, and attending white box conferences and venues to try to get a feel for that market, but in the end, the process was political. I used to tell customers which parts of the data they could trust, essentially the major vendors by form factor and region. The rest was garbage.“所以,最后就出了保有增长速度数据,别管实际数字。而即便增长率数据只不过也是瞎编。关键在于“其它”类目,每当有追没法的数据就往“其它”里塞。

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平心而论,我们显然做到了调查工作,四处打电话,参与白盒测试会议与聚会,企图感觉市场情况,但说到底,整个过程并不靠谱。我曾告诉他客户他们能信任哪部分数据,基本上也就是各大厂商的形状因素和地区数据。其它数据都是垃圾。

”“The industry itself was aware of these issues, but agreed to maintain the fiction because it was convenient. Most vendors kept their own numbers, but referred to IDC for public purposes. Thing is, real executives got real compensation based on our numbers. There were other games played, but that’s for another time.“该行业本身意识到了这些问题,但自由选择了之后瞎编,因为这过于省事了。大多数供应商自己统计资料了涉及数据,但在公开场合都用于IDC公司得出的数字。关键就在于,那些高管们取得的薪酬是基于我们得出的销售数字。这里头还有其它一些把戏,不过这些下次再说吧。

”“The question always came down to, are these fiduciary numbers that investment managers charged with keeping money for widows and orphans rely on, or are they just inside baseball for the industry to squabble over and not all that important? That question has never been answered.”“问题最后归结,这些预测数据究竟是那些为孤儿寡母财经的投资经理们展开投资决策的依据,还是只是行业内部自说自话的产物,显然无足轻重?这个问题仍然没答案。”[Note: The language Apple CFO Luca Maestri used in his prepared remarks -- We achieved strong double digit Mac growth across many countries, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, Australia, China, India and the Middle-East -- is open to interpretation. Does the growth rate apply to the set of countries listed, or to every element in the set?[录:在事前打算的讲话中,苹果首席财务官卢卡o马斯特利的原话是:“Mac销量在许多国家构建了强大的两位数快速增长,还包括美国、加拿大、墨西哥、英国、德国、法国、澳大利亚、中国、印度以及中东。

”这句话可以有有所不同的说明。马斯特利所说的两位数快速增长,是指上述所有国家的Mac总销量,还是所指在以上各个国家的销量?Apple spokesman Steve Dowling confirmed Monday that the growth was double digit (i.e. 10% or more) in each of those markets.]苹果发言人史蒂夫·道林本周一证实,Mac销量在上述各市场都构建了两位数快速增长(即增长率超过10%或10%以上)。_AG亚博集团。

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