The Orange View (on hiatus) Because Apple is great but it isn't perfect


Who is Jeff Tribble on AppleInsider and where does his data come from? (Updated)

(Update April 5: Jeff Tribble shows)

Amidst the heated battle between iOS and Android, Appleinsider has a kind of odd story today. The story, which purports to show that iOS is expanding its lead over Android among people browsing the web, quotes a "Jeff Tribble" who is said to be from search engine optimization firm ROI365. Tribble says his data from 4 million web visitors (not "sites" as I had earlier) shows Android web visitors slightly outnumber iPhone visitors but if iPad visitors are included, iOS has a large and growing lead.

That may well be true, but who is this guy and who is his firm that supposedly has the Google Analytics data on 4 million web visitors? If you go to what seems to be the firm's web page, you see this:

And if you search for Mr. Tribble you get a whole lot of nothing. He and his firm appear never to have been quoted by Apple Insider before. And searching for him and ROI365 on Google turns up just 118 links, all to versions of today's Apple Insider story. There's also nothing on LinkedIn for him and a firm called ROI365 does IT staffing and outsourcing. Tribble may be for real but it seems weird that such a huge firm is so absent on the Internet, doesn't it?

UPDATE: Like 11 hours after I emailed Apple Insider, the article's author replied with a blow-off email that didn't answer any of the questions about Tribble or his data:

That's why we used supporting data from two other sources to back up what he said. There is no controversy here.

That's not an answer -- it's almost an admission that they have no idea who Tribble is or why he should be believed. Again, I'm not questioning Android vs. iOS usage statistics here, which we have from all kinds of sources. I'm questioning who is this guy.

Posted by Aaron Pressman

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  1. This article is based on poor reading comprehension and a false premise. It says, “Tribble says his data from 4 million web sites shows”. But Tribble never said that. In fact the article they reference says “the firm’s analytics data covering 4 million unique visitors across a large portfolio of web sites”.

    4 million users, not sites.

  2. About 2,000 years ago, the Roman philosopher, statesman, and lawyer, Cicero, said (in Latin, of course),” When you have no case, abuse the plaintiff.”

    Above, the writer spent over 200 years trying to question the “Tribble’s” legitimacy (abusing the plaintiff) rather than responding to his point. Whether Tribble and his company are legitimate or not, the real problem you should be having is with his point. Specifically, Android is an OS, not hardware. If you want to compare Android with something from Apple, you have to compare it to iOS, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. And quite frankly, that combination demolishes Android. If you want to compare a phone that uses Android against the number of the iPhone. by all means do. But right now, MY question isn’t about who Tribble is, it’s about why you want to present specious arguments.

  3. So the author should waste their time responding to claims from someone who has next to NO valid weight?

    So Don, A unicorn named Zeus said that Freedom Fries taste best from Wendy’s. I DEMAND you take the time out of your day to come up with a well researched counter argument. If you fail to respond, or you dismiss Zeus’s claims, then you are simply abusing the plantiff.

    He, the Website author (most likely) published this piece to show how off the handle AI is with this article, specifically DED. The first rule of journalism is to Vett your sources. DED clearly didn’t, or he didn’t care.

  4. Don,

    You are assuming your own premise. Perhaps you should check your religious belief at the door before attempting to argue logic. While attempting to address a logical fallacy (of which there was none) you commited your own, and looked quite stupid doing so.

    Tribble made an assertion based on his “analytics data” that cannot be verified for authenticity. If we are not allowed to verify at least even a minuscule amount of information of how and from whom the data was collected, we can easily call into question its integrity, and of course, any argument made based on the assertion.

    So, since we can’t examine the data nor the methodology, we can look to see who is making the claim. Surely, if Tribble was a known analyst working for a renowned firm, then his claims would carry more weight, because we can look to his past work. That doesn’t make his data true but it sure increases our ability to entertain the underlying assumption.

    Here we cannot do that, considering there is very little information about the man and firm espousing this data. Also, considering the source of this article has a vested interest in promoting a particular view (bias) it’s easy for the critical thinker to question this claim.

  5. Why don’t the two of you settle this with a mind meld–the weapon of choice by the ultimate logic practioner.

  6. I’m right here folks. Email me if you have any questions about our data. We will put our stats up against comScore anytime. This is 2011, not 1985. What do you think is better sample size? 30,000 people contacted over the phone or 4,000,000 using the web in their everyday lives without knowing their activities are being tracked?