Apple Inc. (AAPL): This Is What Tim Cook Cares About

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is losing unit share in both the smartphone and tablet markets. These two facts have contributed to the Mac maker’s decline over the past nine months.

According to market researcher IDC, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s share of the smartphone market fell to 17.3% in the first quarter, while archrival Samsung’s ballooned to 32.7%. Over the past year, Samsung has widened its lead over Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) by a healthy margin. IDC’s data also shows Apple’s tablet share falling to “just” 39.6%.

Vendor Market Q1 2012 Q1 2013
Apple Smartphones 23% 17.3%
Samsung Smartphones 28.8% 32.7%
Apple Tablets 58.1% 39.6%
Samsung Tablets 11.3% 17.9%

Source: IDC.

All the while, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook has not been perturbed. In numerous appearances so far this year, Cook made it clear that there are many metrics that he considers when gauging the health of Apple’s business, with unit market share among the least relevant, in his opinion. Instead, Cook has been citing statistics like usage and customer satisfaction at the top of that list.

Apple Inc. (AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS)

Online ad network Chitika just gave Cook some more ammo: iPad usage share just hit a five-month high in May. After posting a small downtick in April, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) regained its usage share and then some and now grabs 82.4% of tablet usage within Chitika’s ad network that measures “tens of millions’ of ad impressions in North America. Chitika calls iPad users “prolific” when it comes to web browsing. The ad network believes that increased sales of refurbished iPads could be helping boost Apple’s usage share.

In a distant second is Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)‘s Kindle Fire, at 6.5% usage in May, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy tablets with 4.7%.

Tablet May Usage Share
All iPads 82.4%
Amazon Kindle Fire 6.5%
Samsung Galaxy tablets 4.7%

Source: Chitika.