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February 15, 2012


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Tomi at his best. You are THE MAN, for numbers. Thanks for your service.

I am pleasantly surprised to see Apple outgrow the market for the year. The US growth in marketshare in Q4 was staggering. Awaiting to see how this plays out as more carriers are added throughout the world, as in China.

Samsung is flat out astounding! Should have no problem taking top spot next year.

I am a bit skeptical of your installed base numbers for IOS. If Apple sold 97million this year, it's hard to imagine only having 167million over all. Like Nokia, there is a vibrant secondary market for Apple phones.




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.


Tomi - Thank you for taking the time to collect, collate, average and report the data. Very useful. I like your methodology as well.

Now that iPhone and Android have reached the point of being offered by multiple operators in North America, Western Europe and Japan (although only the small operators), I'd like to see if it would be possible for you to report market share in advanced markets vs rest of the world.

I think you and your readers missed important trend data because you looked at world wide data, when iPhone was originally available in only one operator in one country, then only a handful of operators, and even today is excluded from sale by the largest operator in the world (by volume) China mobile as well as other giants like DoCoMo, Tmobile-US, etc.

Since you correctly point out that Operator support is the key factor in smartphone sales, you really need to look at the markets where there is open competition to see the trends.

Or perhaps (may be easier), you could pick a country with open competition - Say Italy - where most of the top OSes are openly available - to track the trend.

Finally, I'd be interested in your predictions on if/when iPhone will be offered by DoCoMo. Or better yet - could you have a post on the Japanese Smartphone market? Same for China Mobile/Chinese Market.

Thanks again for the data. I may not agree with your one-sided view on Nokia, but when you provide factual data, you are #1.

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.


Meego...the reviews were not all positive. Even those that liked it pointed out many unfinished areas. It is certainly nowhere close to a fully baked ecosystem...not anywhere close to even Windows Phone. It sold to Nokia fans, has anyone ever suggested Nokia had no fans?

Here's the tell of the tale that goes beyond the "woulda coulda shoulda" of the Meego believers. It's OPEN SOURCE. Nokia can't kill it. If Meego was done, fully baked, ready to take on Apple/Android. Then why has NO ONE ELSE released a Meego phone? It's FREE. If it's "all that" -- why hasn't HTC, ZTE, Huwei tossed out at least one handset?

Samsung and Intel are rebadging Meego to Tizen....but there is nothing to show for it. Samsung has Android, Bada, and Windows Mobile offerings....why no Meego offerings if it's already done and ready for the mass market?

Of course the answer is -- it's NOT DONE. No one else but Nokia has millions of desparate believers to buy into a half baked, just released OS with next to no apps.

Meego deserves an I for incomplete.



@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.


I took on the "all positive" notion that Tomi puts forward. That is not to say that Meego was trashed everywhere, only that there was not simply universal praise.

Love WP? I'm just giving a fair accounting of the fact that WP has a much better ecosystem. You 50,000 apps already. WP has likewise received great reviews and STILL has trouble with sales. This notion that Meego was set to triumph is just wishful thinking.

And it doesn't matter anyway because Meego is not only has never lived. As you mention, the N9 is running something that's not really Meego at all. Meego wasn't ready. Calling what the N9 runs "Meego" is just marketing. It simply was too late to continue waiting.

The N9 was a terrific looking phone. And it's still a terrific phone with Windows Phone on it. And given more time, it will show the full glory of Nokia's hardware abilities...with Windows Phone. The first three models rushed to market are not the last word on the subject.

My money is on Apple, but I can recognize that the other players all have strengths they bring to the table. I could care less whether Nokia survives. Personally. But I can see that Nokia CAN survive, and even thrive. WP is not terrible, even if it's not my own favorite choice. Android and iOS are simply a powerful one/two punch that all others are having trouble competing against.



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


I think the first set of Lumia's were "rush to get a product out" and that much better will be forthcoming.



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

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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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