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May 11, 2010

Comments

Reda

Interest and pleasant read, as usual. one thing you forgot to mention though is the growth curve, which is not linear (I think ;-) ) and it does affect the speed of growth you experience, the results you get compared to your efforts (e.g. by copying other business models with a similar proposition), etc.

Marat

Tomi, I partially agree with you. But I don't think we'll see "an emerging market" type of penetration in US. Main points - it's NOT prepaid based, and won't be for the foreseeable future. Double subscriptions will be rare and few in the US due to its culture and mobile tariff structure (keep in mind that it's NOT the calling party pays system like in Europe where you get free incoming calls, you pay the same whether to your network or off). But things like iPad, netbooks or in-car navigators will definitely drive the market for new subscriptions for mobile data services.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Reda and Marat

Reda - good point, yes the growth curve of subscribers is generally an S-shaped curve (as is in most technology adoption rates) but in mobile phones we have already observed several such points of discontinuity that distort the shape - as I mentioned, multiple subscriptions, second phones, prepaid, etc. But yes, it also means that we should be seeing a slowing down of the adoption in the most advanced markets before the growth ends. We have not seen that yet.

Marat - I appreciate your comments and I am sure they are well considered. The facts, however, prove otherwise. Already today, the majority of new subscribers in the USA are prepaid, not postpaid customers (according to the CTIA) and there is a rapidly growing proportion of second phones. I remember seeing the number of 11% second phones (but can't find that stat right now, I vaguely recall it was a CTIA number). Very definitely at 285 million mobile subscribers in the USA, it does mean there is an increasing proportion of multiple subscriptions - and very specifically, as most of those are not SIM cards with prepaid accounts - that is more than in many other countries - that a second subscription means also a second phone.

Trust me Marat, the pattern is exactly the same as the rest of the Industrialized World, only with some lagging factors - the USA will follow the penetration rates of Europe and advanced Asia and Australia-New Zealand and all the phenomena will replicate there. Please please do give me this benefit of the doubt, and just monitor the data. The US market follows like clock-work that of Europe, in EVERY way, in 2G, in 3G, in smartphones, in SMS, in mobile advertising, in EVERYTYHING including subscriptions, penetration rate and multiple phone ownership. Since you read this blog, please Marat, don't accept the 'conventional wisdom' that the USA is somehow going to behave differently. EVERY forecast I have made about the US cellular industry for which the truth can be determined - EVERY ONE - has proven true. (Its really easy to forecast lagging markets if you have some trusted early adopter markets to forecast from haha).

But we agree that the iPad and netbooks, telematics etc will accelerate the mobile subscriber penetration rates. The CTIA said that 4% of all active cellular subscriptions were for datacards to laptops etc. (In Sweden the ratio is 20% already)

Thank you both for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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Please please do give me this benefit of the doubt, and just monitor the data. The US market follows like clock-work that of Europe, in EVERY way, in 2G, in 3G, in smartphones, in SMS, in mobile advertising, in EVERYTYHING including subscriptions, penetration rate and multiple phone ownership.

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it is a myth. So today once again, I spotted a news story - coming from the USA (I will not link to that clueless analyst house's website as they

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A company phone and a private phone. And as Finland telecoms service costs kept coming down and phones themselves became ever cheaper, soon many young adults were getting

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Its still the same forecast and we cannot know about the possible peak of iPhone annual market share

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I spotted a news story - coming from the USA (I will not link to that clueless analyst house's website as they do not deserve any a

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We will not know until the earliest in January 2011 if I was right, and latest January 2012. The forecast period has not changed

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he point is, that you still do read, from time to time (luckily ever less that the US cellular industrym(or perhaps Canada or some other country) is nearing the 100% level and thus it must be 'nearing saturation' or 'approaching an end to growth' or words to that effect. It sounds very

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Meanwhile, I am totally satisfied with your kind response here, and please consider all your commenting privileges maintained and looking forward to many more discussions with you.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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