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« This is Delusion - Nokia CEO Elop today in interview | Main | Thinking Like a Social Media Slut - Should we publish Twitter handle on Business Card? »

February 15, 2012




Same as Leebase, I also wondering on how did you calculate the user base.

For example, in Symbian 314 Million user, does it roughly what nokia sold in 3 years? Do you have any method to calculate this?

I also wondering how many smartphone with touch screen (Symbian S60 v5 - Symbian^3) that nokia have sold, because anything in symbian before the touch screen is already dead platform (yes i know, if the phone still working, it could still be usefull for some). but my reason asking this because there would be no new software develop for it, no firmware/bug update, no support at all.

Earendil Star

What struck me most is that Nokia is the ONLY smarphone maker with a fall in SMARPHONES SOLD for the whole of 2011!

MINUS 20%, not in market share, but in SMARTPHONES SOLD! While market share is more than halved!

MINUS 30%, not in market share, but in SMARTPHONES SOLD if we compare Q4 2010 to Q4 2011!

ALL THE OTHERS GREW, at leas in smartphones sold!

As Tomi correctly predicted, the new policy at Nokia has devastated the company.
I wish to congratulate the current CEO THT Elop for this incredible achievement!


Tomi, do you have figures for age groups? Who is buying these phones, 20-somethings or 30-somethings? Here in Norway 99% (I`ve counted) of people have an iPhone so it`s hard to tell from here WHO is buying these phones and how they use them as everyone has the same.
It would be interesting to see, especially given the prices in this market, who it is making the purchases.


Your question is quite interesting, as WP for instance seems to aim a younger public than others.

also, it's interesting what budget each age section spends on its smartphone : For iPhone it's a bit easier, but price range for Android is quite wide.

So do people who buy Android buy cheaper ones, or more expensive ones ? How old are the people who buy cheaper or more expensive phones?

Same question for other OSs.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Lee, cygnus, Earendil, Christopher and vladkr

First - to all - come on folks. I am doing this all for free for you readers. There is data here that NOBODY else gives on any site for free, and I have no advertising here on the blog and you guys don't have to register to read this or anything. Can you not give me a break, about what all I provide here for free and not beg for more utterly non-existing data? Lets be real, ok guys? I thought you are HAPPY to get this level of data all in one place, for FREE, not come here an bitch about what more data you want.

Now to my replies

Hi Lee - so happy you liked it. I thought you would haha. About iPhone, you forget they've grown explosively each year, so in 2010 they only did 47.5M units and half that in 2009..

cygnus - thanks, you too. I knew you'd like them. Hey, the installed base, its a complex formula obviously because different smartphones (and markets) have different life spans but you can get a rough rule of thumb if you take the current installed base (910 million) and subtract from it all sales from 2011, then all sales of 2010, and the proportional share of sales in 2009. Will come close (plus minus couple of percent except Nokia and iPhone which have bigger installed bases for good reasons). I report the installed base in the Almanac annually for example.

about your question of Symbian sales Touch Screen vs non, Nokia did offer some splits by its premium units (N Series and E Series) but stopped giving out that data more than a year ago so we don't get that level of data. We had some calculations on some Symbian variants at All About Symbian but even that hasn't been done recently (as far as I've seen, it might be there though).

Earendil - totally agree! That is so dramatic when you see the numbers.

Christopher - see my comment above. But to answer, no. But I do have an age distribution in the Phone Book (for 2010 data). I have not seen such division on global stats in public domain. Also the price pyramid is in the Phone Book.

vladkr - thanks for responding to Christopher. But also, about the age distribution (by OS's no less) - haven't seen it anywhere. I have age distribution in the Phone Book and the upcoming 2012 Almanac has top OS's by region and the Phone Book has them even by the biggest countries (for 2010 data), but not by age of buyers haha. I haven't seen that even in the big analyst reports.

Thank you all for writing.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Hi Tomi,

According to AAS (AllAboutSymbian), nokia only manage to sell 155 Million touch screen phone. So, it's more or less the same amount as Apple.

I'm just surprised that you said Nokia still have 314 Million Symbian user. That would translate into around 150 million non-touch screen Symbian. wowwwww.... I wonder how long this phone would still be use especially in Europe, Japan, Korea, HongKong, Singapore.

PS: Thank you for the great data.

Tomi T Ahonen


Remember, the MAJORITY of Nokia's Symbian smartphones are the simple kind, their average sales price is under 200 dollars - so no, most do not own N9's or N8's or E7's or Lumia800s. The majority of Symbian users have basic smartphones with keyboards and sold in India, China, Africa, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia etc...

and thanks for finding the AAS number. That looks to me to be cumulative number, so they are not all in use anymore.. The majority of Nokia's installed base is non-touch screen (by my analysis and that is consistent with it)

Tomi :-)


Dear Tomi,
I don't think anyone complain about your data.

Your blog is visited by many people, and even quoted by other analysts (Nokia's Berezina certainly helped), and analysis you give here for free is quite valuable, even if I'm a bit lost sometimes.

The questions about age, budget, etc. are asked because they're interesting, and shouldn't be considered as a reproach for missing information. It's more marketing than economy analysis, and it's curiosity as well.

The A+ mark you gave Samsung is impressive and well deserved. That's not to mention all the great job Samsung in its wide range of products (TV, Photo, Video, components...)

I have to admit I haven't read your older production, so I'm quite sorry if the question seem stupid, but was it possible to predict such results if you were asked "what will mobile business look like in 2012?", let's say 5 years ago ?

I remember presentations made by Nokia I had in Forssa and Tampere in 1999 about mobile devices' future; all predictions concerning technology, including approximate dates of release (until about 2010) appeared to be right. That's sad future may be without Nokia, because those guys used to be quite good.


Hi Tomi,

Thanks for the explanation.
So the nokia smartphone user is not the superphone user like in Android/iOS.



in the Meego section of your OS analysis, you named Steve Balmer as CEO of Nokia.

This might be even true to some extend, but technically, you should correct this typo ;-)


Hi again Tomi,

After reading updates of your analysis, I got the answer to my question...

Now, I'm just curious if mobile phones will be still used to make calls.

Sander van der Wal

No extra grade for taking the lion's share of the profits? Mmmm.

Anyway, for Symbian-only developers the year could still have been worse: imagine having ported all your apps to Qt and hearing two days ago that Qt/Symbian&MeeGo was dead and Windows Phone would be the new OS and here are the first devices.....





With all the possible respect.

From where did you got that MeeGo on Q4 2011 sold 2M devices ?

As far as I know, the only MeeGo device on the market is the N9, and Nokia did not sold no more then 500k MeeGo max 750k N9



ps: MeeGo has been a disaster for Nokia, not because MeeGo is bad, just because it has been born already dead, killed by Elop, and sold in few markets for be mega sure it can't sell much. MeeGo is dead, was killed on 11.2 together with Symbian. RIP & AMEN.

Alex Kerr

Hi Tomi,

Thanks for the data. I'm keen to buy the Almanac 2012 when it's out! Will you also release the Phone Book 2012, and if so how soon?

The main data I am personally interested in is the updated featurephone/smartphone split in different regions (or even better, countries) of the world. Will that be available in either the Almanac or Phone Book, or otherwise where can I get them? My other main interest is in Java Mobile installed base.

Thanks again.


@Lee: have you tried a N9 or a N950 (with Meego) by yourself?


"But yes, what of that wonderful promised 'third ecosystem' fantasy by delusion-boy Elop? There were some who thought Microsoft plus Nokia would be a sure winner. There were others who felt that partnership was a case of two turkeys who will not make an eagle."

Stephen Elop made the biggest strategic mistake in History.

Let's admit the Windows Phone plan had a 50% chance of success. Elop bet the company on it.

No contigency plan. He simply declared that all the other platforms (Symbian, Meego) would be dead.

As one executive put it, "plan B is that plan A must work". That's crazy!

And it gets worse: Elop, who still thinks he works for Microsoft, asked other manufacturers to join the Windows Phone boat.

Now, let's pretend Windows Phone will double its market share, year after year, for 5 years -- until it gets 32% market share.

If this dream becomes true, Nokia will have to split this space with other manufacturers -- who have scale gains because they don't limit their product to Windows Phone. Nokia will have a small part of this 32% market. Say, 1/3 of it.

So: Microsoft wins (from zero to 32% in 5 years), Nokia looses (from 33% to 11% in 5 years).

Of course, this is the good scenario. In the worse scenario, Windows Phone will be a flop, and Elop bet everything on it.

My prevision for 2012? Elop will backpedal on the all-Microsoft plan, and revive all the other platforms he wanted to kill -- if he doesn't kill the company first.

Earendil Star

Dear LieBase, once again your post is inaccurate.

Most reviews on the N9 are actually extremely positive on the OS itself.
However, most give it a fail because Nokia (NOKIA!) said Meego is not going to be its future OS. Meego is therefore a dead OS.
Personally, I would not blame that on the OS itself, but rather on Nokia's policies.

Furthermore, I could safely assert that WP is more "unfinished" than the N9's Meego, because it lacks a lot of functions Meego already has. By the way, that's no wonder. MS had to be quick (it was already years behind the competition), and decided to focus on the eye candy aspects of the OS rather than anything else (they are going primarily after consumers, not geeks, so looks are VERY important). I am sure they will incorporate many missing features as soon as they are ready (which might take long, because it is rumored MS is working on changing WP's kernel from WinCE to MinWin). But saying that WP is more finished than the N9 is just a biased BaseLess opinion, nothing more.

By the way, what OS is really "finished"? All OS are always work in progress, and WP is certainly no exception. Truth is, some are more appealing, some are less, which tranlates in less sales. And considering sales, WP has been a huge Elop, especially if you consider the drive behind its repeated launches (yeah, plural, because after every launch... it was necessary to try again:-).

Another misleading statement is when you say Meego is Open Source. Sure, Meego IS open source. Unfortunately, the OS running on the N9 is not Meego, it's just labeled so. It is actually Maemo Harmattan, with a Meego compatibility layer, plus PROPRIETARY bits: the swipe interface, Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive and much more. These bits are the compelling part of the N9 offering, more than the Meego core itself. It's actually the bits that make the N9 a very finished and polished product.

In the end, why are you so upset? We know you love WP, and you should be rejoicing that Nokia is ditching Maemo / Meego for WP, even if for no reason.
By the way, if Nokia had not adopted WP, you could have bought one of the many other WP offerings on the market, practically identical to Nokia's.

For us, the ditching of Meego means we have lost the possibility of having this OS as a viable long term alternative.
Therefore, please don't be so upset if we insist in saying that Nokia ditched a decent OS, which could have granted it success and a profitable future.
With WP, Nokia is destined to become a low margin captive OEM of MS.


@Leebase: I don't see how time can show the full glory of Nokia hardware abilities with WP; hardware is made by Qualcomm.


@Lee: But Nokia won't do hardware any more!

Earendil Star

Lee, Lee...

WP Ecosystem? Where? How can an ecosystem exist with no market share? 50k apps? What a misery!
Reality is that Nokia is helping the struggling WP ecosystem (the real burning platform) to even EXIST.
WP would be going NOWHERE without Nokia.

Furthermore, you appear to refer to the "real" Meego (merge between Maemo and Moblin) to prove your points, but ...

Nokia is now calling "Meego" its Maemo Harmattan OS with Meego compatibility layer.
So this is the Meego that counts now, the one Tomi (and others, including myself) are referring to.
Who cares if it's actually, technically Meego or not (which it wasn't).

Yet, its magnificent new management chose differently: to bet *ONLY* on WP.

The results, for Nokia, are visible to everyone now.


Elop killed symbian. Latest Tietokone magazine (one of the biggest IT magazine in Finland) lists 50 best smartphone apps. List contains only Android, iOS and WP apps. Article says that symbian is going to vanish and Meego is marginal. No need to list any apps for those. After reading articles like that I wonder if anybody is going to buy Symbian or Meego smartphone.

For technical point of view: Symbian has improved in a year more than several previous years together. When I bought my N8 in spring 2011 it had S^3. Later N8 got an update to Anna. Now I can update my N8 to Belle. Never ever in history any Nokia smartphone has had such a good operating system support!



You table about OS for Q4 is looking very very strange

You state 2M MeeGo sold on Q4 2011 ... strange

From Garten this is impossible, for them MeeGo was even to mention, and has been placed on the "others", and just 1.1M devices are in:



@Barron95 ... about 8.000 unproductive Symbian developer ... what about the Skype-Microsoft developers that after so many months from the Skype acquisition ... have still not bring Skype on Windows Phone ? This is really really embarrassing ... are the developer of Skype unproductive? Or is Windows Phone such a junk of OS that it is impossible to port in a decent way Skype?


Lee wrote: "One could see, if one stopped living in the hopes of the past -- that the main elements of what Nokia switched platforms FOR, are indeed coming together."

The problem is: even if Windows Phone reaches 1/3 of the market, with the help of Samsung, HTC and other manufacturers (that's the plan, right?), Nokia will be reduced to a fraction of 1/3 of the market -- let's say 1/3 of 1/3. Elop built the roof at 11% of market share. In the best scenario!

The other players don't have this problem, because they didn't make the dumb decision of dropping everything and bet the company in a single platform; Samsung will ship Androids, Windows Phones, Badas, etc.

And Apple has 100% of the iOS market, so it can grow as much as iOS goes. Even if iOS was limited to 25%, it would be a much higher than Nokia could be. And Apple doesn't have to pay royalties for the operating system.

Conclusion: in the best scenario, Nokia will have a fraction of the Windows Phone market, which itself is a fraction of the operating systems market.

That's absolutely crazy. If Windows Phone succeeds, Nokia fails. If Windows Phone fails, Nokia is gone.

"Plan 'B' is that plan 'A' must succeed". Crazy.

Earendil Star

Baron, sorry but your statements are so easy to debunk. You should really try harder.
You speak of WP as if it was already a dominant platform. You are dreaming. Please wake up!

Nokia will do HW. Uhm, no, not yet at least. And in the future plans are to leave that to the Chinese, since Nokia plants are being shut down.
WP Cool UI. Maybe. Yet nobody buys it. Market wins. You loose.
Nokia unproductive developers. Yeah, ok. Go back to work and stop writing nonsense on this blog.
Nokia hostage on low performance chips. What a laugh! WP cannot even run on multicore chips.
Nokia is now free to innovate. What? OS is MS's, hardware is Compal's & Co.. Maybe design.
Win 8 on ARM. Still Vaporware. Still to be proven that legacy apps will manage to run on ARM.
MS is desperately trying to catch up in touch but ist vision appears blurred and confused. Could be a big flop.
Win 1 year behind Apple. What?! YEARS BEHIND TECH AND LOOKS. Not to mention the gap in phone/pad/pod market share and profits.
WP 8 and Nokia able to be on par with its competitors. This means:
a) you agree that even with WP7 Nokia is still lagging competition
b) just think in one year's time what the competition will already be: iPhone 5, iPad 3 or 4, new Android devices, etc. etc.
What you are saying would have been true if Win 8 / WP 8 had been released NOW. But no, it will just be available in one year's time (maybe).

Lee, sorry to disagree, an ecosystem without users is worthless, it does not exist.
So, you HOPE it will become big, but we still do not know yet. You are free to dream what you wish, but that's your business.
That the N9 looks are nice it's sure. That's the only that rivals iPhone in terms of looks is debatable. Personal opinion again.
Fact is, you are still confusing what's best for Nokia and what's best for MS.
Since you are talking about what's progress for MS, I totally agree with you!
Namely, the current Nokia path is what is ideal for WP and MS and it shows real improvement: WP is no longer a burning platform and now -thanks to Nokia- it could stand a chance to become relevant for the first time. As for Nokia itself, it's a completely different story: disaster.

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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 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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