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November 14, 2012

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foo

"Ok, am posting this preliminary blog now, as some are eagerly awaiting these numbers."

Thanks, Tomi.

I was one of those eagerly waiting for a new post. :)

Wayne Borean


No surprises really. It is rather sad seeing Symbian and Blackberry OS dying out.

Of course I'm one of the guys who was upset when the Commodore C64 went out of production.

Wayne

elm70

"but don't hold your breath, Windows Phone is proving a horrid and hated OS by the retail channel."

That means retail chain is happy with Android + Apple + RIM ?

Are you still expecting 5m Lumia for Q4 2012 ?

Finally ... PC market once Microsoft got a big dominance position, it become invincible, and it left the rest to play for a niche market ... can we see the parallel with Android today ?

Android got 70% of market, and it is still growing ... no signing of saturation so far.

Is the Mobile OS War over ?

There are rumours that Nokia, since lost leadership and follow up position on the Mobile business, is exploring to enter new market ... Nokia is looking to do everything, except gave up Microsoft partnership ..

RyanZA

"Of course I'm one of the guys who was upset when the Commodore C64 went out of production."

While it ultimately feels a bit unfortunate that the C64 (and symbian, blackberry, etc) went out of production, it was still a really good thing long term. For devs to make really good stuff, the less platforms the better, since each platform means more code, more bugs, different UI, etc etc. So even if C64s had kept chugging along, the stuff you ran on them would get worse and the stuff on other platforms would probably be a bit worse too.

Unfortunately the replacement was Windows which meant nobody could compete with their own versions. Android is luckily a very very good platform to have dominating. We already have a few different 'types' of android (Amazon, MIUI, x86 versions, etc) with more coming - and all of them are fully binary compatible so you can take all your stuff and move between the different types. This is a really, really good thing for the future of smartphone usage. (Things like Google Maps etc throws this out a bit, but hopefully we can see some nice alternative ones show up for Android.. maybe when Nokia wakes up and moves to Android compatibility?)


LeeBase

We're seeing what we expected to see. Apple holding on to it's profitable niche, playing the game it's way, not pandering to the low value segment of the market.

Now it's a race to see who can drive profits OUT of the Android ecosystem the fastest. Samsung has huge scale and makes a lot of the components itself. Motorola, Sony, HTC will compete for the super phone segment of the market, where the profits really are...and all they can hope to do is keep pace with the specs and lower the price.

The rest of the ZTE's, Lenovo's and the like are going to try and take pieces of the low end of the market. Again, they will have nothing but price to offer.

And thus, Samsung will sit atop the hill, but it will be a less and less profitable perch. Samsung MAY see that coming and try to use it's massive market position to take control of Android for itself. Fork Android as Amazon has. Replace Google's apps with it's own. Try and make a value proposition via software as Apple does. Progress they've made with their Galaxy Note and the Pen apps show that they are already on their way.

RIM is dead. It will not revive. BB10 will not turn it's fortunes around. Already Apple is replacing it in the enterprise.

Microsoft has no excuses left. Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 are IT. Either Msft starts making gains, or it never will. No doubt there will be no big, instant come back in the following year. But as Windows 8 starts it's march into people's homes via new computer purchases, exposure to the "Metro" iterface will make Windows Phones more familiar.

I'd say we don't see any move by Msft until June. If sales by Nokia and HTC of Windows 8 phones aren't showing recovery...Msft will proceed to make it's own phones. Whether it does via purchasing Nokia or not remains to be seen.

Tester

>> And thus, Samsung will sit atop the hill, but it will be a less and less profitable perch. Samsung MAY see that coming and try to use it's massive market position to take control of Android for itself. Fork Android as Amazon has. Replace Google's apps with it's own. Try and make a value proposition via software as Apple does. Progress they've made with their Galaxy Note and the Pen apps show that they are already on their way.

It remains to be seen.
Amazon is hardly a good example and I guess most of its customers will soon learn that they are the losers.

At the moment the name 'Android' sells and without keepin Google in they would not be allowed to use the name. Not something appealing to the high end market. It may be successful at the low end where cheap customers are looking at price only without ever questioning a device's viability.

LeeBase

Amazon has the most successful "Android" tablet to date. Samsung has built a brand with the Galaxy line of smart phones. They are NOT marketed as "Android" phones, but Samsung Galaxy.

Samsung sees the same things Microsoft sees and Google sees. Apple's near complete control of all the important technologies is a competitive advantage. Amazon and Barnes and Noble used their position as retailers/etailers to market their products sans Google. I see no reason Samsung couldn't leverage it's position and brand in mobile to do the same thing.

Not today, not tomorrow, but it's likely in the cards. The notion that Apple can't keep it's profitable perch, cannot sustain a reason to charge more than others -- is FAR more applicable to Samsung. Samsung has so dominated the Android market that the only thing LEFT for companies to do is lower their prices to buy market share.

If Google had a reason to be uncomfortable with Apple controlling it's mobile future, it will be no more comfortable with Samsung doing so. It's not to Google's advantage to have a single company dominating the Android ecosystem the way Samsung does. Expect Google to get more serious about Motorola. Expect Samsung to see that as more reason to protect itself from Google.

All while Apple's war chest grows and grows.

There's plenty more interesting times to come even if we won't see a change in the top 2 any time soon.

Baron95

@Elm_70 "Finally ... PC market once Microsoft got a big dominance position, it become invincible, and it left the rest to play for a niche market ... can we see the parallel with Android today ?"

There is a big difference between Windows vs Mac and Android vs iOS.

Windows dominance came from the availability of 3rd party SW titles. There were many more Windows titles than Mac titles and many more DOS legacy programs that also ran on Windows. The playing field was severely tilted. And that happened because more people were BUYING Windows titles than Mac OS Titles.

In iOS vs Android, the opposite situation exists. There are more iOS titles than Android titles, and many, many, many more consumers BUYING (paying) iOS titles than Android titles.

Second, the mobile OS battle does not make distinction on devices like Tomi wants you to make. When Facetime developed the new app, they didn't think of iPhone market. They thought of the iPhone PLUS iPodTouch PLUS iPad market. They also thought about how affluent and attractive to advertisers those users are. And they, correctly, chose to launch their flagship new app on iOS.

And as OS X and iOS converge, iOS is actually helping sell Macs (which have outperformed Windows PCs basically since the iPhone launched).

It is not true, as Tomi, claims that SW developers favor the platform with the most units shipped. They favor the platform with the most valuable consumers (either buyers of apps or desirable to advertisers). Apple iOS still towers over Android, and there is little indication they will lose that position anytime soon.

The other guys - BB10, Symbian, Bada, etc - are in fact doomed. Not only do they have low volumes, but their customers have little to near zero value as apps/ad consumers. Windows is an interesting case - Microsoft may buy its way in. Still a long shot, but can happen with the Windows 8 leverage and a ton of cash.

elm70

@ Baron95

Yes, DOS legacy was the key for let Microsft win the war in the past ... but the war was very simple ... Microsoft did ride the success of Intel PC , clone of IBM ... this gave DOS/Windows PC a huge price advantage over Apple Mac

Same we see now ... multiple Android providers with price war ... vs premium Apple iPhone

iPhone today has still the advantage to have had 2 years head start compared to Android , plus Apple now has a very solid relationship with the telecoms, that help them to maximize the sales ... US telecoms are pushing iPhone like never ... as example iPhone 5 is sold by US telecom at same price as Samsung S3, that is 30% cheaper

Anyhow Android + iPhone cover almost 90% of the market ... both are still growing ... yes ... I don't expect iPhone to decline anytime soon, but I see a parallel to the PC business : Android dominant like was Windows in the PC ... Apple to take care of a niche but well profitable market ... the rest will be nothing commercial ... like the today Ubuntu ... there is a space for MeeGo/Jolla ... for the freak niche

Windows and Microsoft have failed over 10 years on the Mobile OS market, and there is no sign that this will change

All the money of Microsoft can do nothing against a dominant open source OS

The first confirmation of my view will come soon, if Microsoft will have dignity to release the ultra low sales of Windows 8 RT , and their useless Surface Tablet ... in the Q4 open balance report

Tchuss

E_lm_70

bjarneh

Baron95> It is not true, as Tomi, claims that SW developers favor the platform with the most units shipped. They favor the platform with the most valuable consumers (either buyers of apps or desirable to advertisers).

nobody is making any money in that app-store, the largest platform will win because providers of services will make apps for it, this is where developers make their money. i'm developer, i don't make money trying to build the next facebook or angry birds, i make a living writing programs for people who need them, and they typically need to reach their customers.

take online banking as an example, all the banks in Norway (where i'm from) have to make Android apps, since this is the biggest platform. they need developers to do it naturally, this is where the real value with these app-stores are in terms of being a developer.

your argument is very common, but ask developers, what percentage of them make a living off something they pushed for themselves on the app-store?

Baron95

@bjameh "nobody is making any money in that app-store,"

What a ridiculous statement.

eBay, Facebook, Skype (Microsoft), Netflix, NYtimes, etc, etc, etc are generating a growing part of their revenue from the App Store.

Additionally, multiple companies like American Airlines, HSBC, are relying heavily on App Store to reduce costs, increase customer loyalty, by their Apps, which has value in the billions.

You have a very distorted idea on how money is made on the App Store. Independent ISV (with the exception of breakaways like Rovio) are not it. Most of the money being saved/made in the App Store is in corporate loyalty, customer self care, shopping, news/entertainment apps.

American Airlines and HSBC will continue to make sure their apps work particularly well and first on iOS simply because iOS users, on average, tower in comparison to Android users in all commercial interest measures (disposable income, age, location, advertiser desirability, influencer status, etc).

Ad buying rates (CPMs) on iOS are many multiples than on Android.

You can think it is a unit volume game only, but it is not. It is still a customer value game. Ownership of an iPhone on a data plan one of the most valuable determinants of customer value around. Sadly, with the invasion of Lenovo and ZTE and Huawai low cost pre-paid Android phones, the situation will only get worse for Android.

tgee

The reason of iOS app sales isn't the iPhone, it is the iPad. Android has yet to make a dent in there and with limited fragmentation. Google nexus 7 may be what it takes to do so as Samsung stupidly missed the 7/8 inch format for the notepad.
Microsoft also missed that format, but apple is now there... So is rim, that may rejoice its tablet with an enterprise success of bb10.
I'm convinced that both the tablet and the phone will ship and tehter together. Which means, less in the phone and more in a wifi only tablet. The winner will be the one that make carriers accept this dual headed device, possibly with limiting the hotstop capability to the pair tablet.
NFC Telco stack wifi hotspot miracast but no Bluetooth, limited storage and memory, no front camera in the phone. Limited screen.
And the muscles in the tablet, but neither NFC nor Telco stack.
Somehow I'm disappointed Jolla tried a follower
product approach. But Nokia may have what it takes to risk something different.
The phone can be a feature phone + a miracast dongle
The tablet can be the second screen, the trackpad or penpad couple to a Bluetooth keyboard. Hence with 3 devices, I can group the features of many devices, with minimal overlap.
It just takes not to consider each devices separatly.

tgee

Forget to add that in this model, carrier would differentiate on national media content which they shall already be ready for.

bjarneh

Baron95> What a ridiculous statement.

Baron95> eBay, Facebook, Skype (Microsoft), Netflix, NYtimes, etc, etc, etc are generating a growing part of their revenue from the App Store.

these are not *DEVELOPERS*, this is exactly my point.

Baron95> It is not true, as Tomi, claims that SW developers favor the platform with the most units shipped. They favor the platform with the most valuable consumers.

"They" are SW developers right?

corporations etc is a different story, *they* will prefer whatever they think customers want.. but for software developers there really is no Android vs. IOS, i'll gladly write one program for each platform for twice the salary, doesn't matter to me...

corporations cannot ignore the largest platform, so there will be MORE Android development in the future than IOS/Windows/Bada/Tizen etc, unless there is a unifying way to write code for all platforms. HTML5 seems to be the only way forward in this direction, but it is a horrible direction (Javascript) IMO.

Bob,Boulder, Colorado

Google is poised to be the winner of this smartphone battle. I see more and more carrier blowback to the huge iphone subsidies. Iphone will probably retain its lead in US, but in the rest of world, battered by recession and by a consumer profile markedly different from the ever spending US consumer profile, they will switch over completely to android which will provide everything iOS does, but at a lower cost and sometimes android will even provide better services for free.

Google is the undisputed champion of web and this is the weapon that will help google win the smartphone war. Google is like an ultimate naval power in a world composed only of infantries and tanks and other outdated technologies like OS and hardware. The profits will all be in services.

LeeBase

It's both, folks. Apple's platform is established, and it has the desirable economics. It's not going away, at least not any time soon. Google's platform has the numbers. It's not going away either. This will not be a repeat of Mac/Windows with one platform having 95% share.

It will be more like Coke/Pepsi. Two giants with everyone else marginalized. Google will be coke with the largest market share. Apple will be Pepsi with the most revenue.

Windows will be -- RC Cola. Still in the game because Msft makes enough money to pay developers to support it's OS, and because of the huge installed base of Windows software developers. Msft is the giant in PC's and will be a decent player in tablets. Likely it will be Msft to rise to be 3rd, a really tiny 3rd.

Back in the day, DOS was established by IBM. All the other pc platforms died out EXCEPT Apple's. Then the Mac was released but NEVER was taken as a serious business platform. Pagemaker and Photoshop established the Mac in the art department, and schools took to the Mac and some amount of home sales. But the Mac was NEVER main stream as computers themselves weren't mainstream at the time. Windows came along and you could run all your DOS apps and the few Windows apps like Word/Excel. Businesses adopted windows and supported it. And Windows became the standard. And the Mac -- ALWAYS -- lagged in software support outside of graphics.

Now you have iOS which has all the app support first. Both for business and consumer. It is successful both in business and with consumers. It is far and away the most economically desirable platform. Therefore you will not have the exact scenario played out. But then, you also won't see Apple "win" the marketshare race as Apple simply does not cater to the low margin business which is where smartphones are racing toward.

Developers cannot ignore the Android market OR the iOS market. The two are established now.

HUber

@Baron: iOS is easier to develop for, I just recently talked to some guys from Startup companies, and they told me they develop first for iOS simply because it is easier.

Hence they have a lower time-to-market and get some revenue earlier. Additionally, they just need to hire iOS-developers at first, which saves costs.

One guy told me that he despises Apple in private for their locked down system, but his business decision is iOS first nevertheless.

This is why people claim Apple gets the 'cool' Apps first, and there certainly is some truth in it.

OTOH, when big corporations release Apps, they usually have the budget to develop for both Android and iOS from the beginning.

These are for example banks, insurances etc. Usually these companies analyze how much of their own customers use iOS or Android and prioritize their App development accordingly.

Other companies, like Denon with their App-based Smartphone Remote Control, start with one OS (mostly iOS), then the other follows.
But this is only a limitation for a short time. After the Android-App is released, both Apps normally get the same upgrades, since the know-how is there now.

Finally, low-cost smartphones get better and better. What nowadays is considered low-end would have been high-end in 2010.
At the same time, mobile data plans become cheaper and cheaper. So the number of people who use Android-smartphones like they used to use their dumb phone is shrinking.

The sheer number of Android phones with mobile data available will attract developers in the future, especially when the number of high-end Android phones will exceed the number of iOS phones in total. Then the cheap Androids are an additional incentive to go for Android

foo

@LeeBase "It will be more like Coke/Pepsi. Two giants with everyone else marginalized. Google will be coke with the largest market share. Apple will be Pepsi with the most revenue."

According to Beverage Digest's 2008 report on carbonated soft drinks, PepsiCo's U.S. market share is 30.8 percent, while The Coca-Cola Company's is 42.7 percent.

Compare that to Android's 70% against iOS 15%. There is no comparison. And the difference is increasing.

For instance: the difference between Apple (#2) and Huawey (#3) reduced from 12% to 6% in one quarter. That's right, folks: if the trend continues, Apple will drop to #3 in two quarters.

Android is quickly becoming the Windows of mobile, except that it is open source -- a huge advantage for the manufacturers who adopt it.

There is no reason for a manufacturer to adopt WindowsPhone (except the heavy handed tactics from Microsoft involving patent suits). There is little space for differentiation, so they only can compete on price or become a niche player. And they become hostage of Microsoft, which is never good. (See Nokia)

cycnus

What's interesting in Tomi's bloodbath war data were:

* In Q4 2012 RIM probably will be out of 10. because RIM lost around 1% of market share each quarter
* In Q1 2013 RIM would still be out of 10.

* Huawei will be number 2 in 1 or 2 or 3 quarter. Depending how well iphone 5 sales number is. Tomi still believe that apple will sell a truck load of iphone 5, and Huawei won't beat apple for another year.... if huawei manage to kick apple from number 2, then some other company too... apple will be piss off.

* If RIM and Nokia out of number 10 in Q4 2012, that's mean 9 android manufacture vs. iphone.

chithanh

@HUber how recently did you talk to them? In the Freelancer Fast 50 report for 2011 (released in February 2012) it was predicted that Android development jobs would overtake iOS by Q4 2012, at least when it comes to freelancing.

LeeBase

Looked at by profit, and Apple makes more than all of the Android makers combined...twice more. Sooo....perhaps it's not such a bad comparison after all. Neither Coke nor Pepsi can knock the other out. They are both established. They both sell a very similar product. By competing with each other, they foster the notion that they are the only two choices. Everyone else struggles to be noticed. I think that's an apt comparison to Android/iOS vs. all the other mobile platforms.

@Tomi - have you noticed that Apple has moved up to 5% of all mobile phones? While the rapid growth of all smartphones makes Apple's increase look marginal, when compared to all mobile phones, you can see that Apple is growing very well indeed.

If you further realize that there are "smart phones" and there are "super phones", and realize that it's not particularly meaningful to compare the sales of the cheap low end android phones to the Galaxy SIII, Motorola Razor and the iPhone -- you'd see that "in it's class" the iPhone is doing very well indeed.

And no, Apple has NOT competed in the low end, no profit margin segments in ANY of the other markets. There are $10 mp3 players, but Apple doesn't make them. There are $250 laptops/netbooks, but not made by Apple. Apple released the iPad mini, but nowhere near the marginless price points that the 7" Android tablets are going for.

Huber

@chithanh:

I talked to them about two weeks ago.

But note that these were guys from small Startups. They lack money and focus first on iOS because it is cheaper (less different devices, resolutions etc.). Only when their iOS-App succeeds do they have money for an according Android-App.

Bigger corporations don't have such problems, so your statistic could very well be correct.

Also my evidence is anecdotal, perhaps other Startups do it different to those I personally talked to.

foo

@LeeBase: "If you further realize that there are "smart phones" and there are "super phones", and realize that it's not particularly meaningful to compare the sales of the cheap low end android phones to the Galaxy SIII, Motorola Razor and the iPhone -- you'd see that "in it's class" the iPhone is doing very well indeed."

Good point.

"And no, Apple has NOT competed in the low end, no profit margin segments in ANY of the other markets. There are $10 mp3 players, but Apple doesn't make them. There are $250 laptops/netbooks, but not made by Apple. Apple released the iPad mini, but nowhere near the marginless price points that the 7" Android tablets are going for."

I beg to differ: Apple does compete in the low end, with iPhone 4 -- which is free with contract.

So, while I agree Apple still has a big chunk of the superphones (and I think that Tomi should consider using this segmentation in his analysis), they also compete with cheap Android phones by offering iPhone 4 for free.

LeeBase

@Huber - consider that Android has sold more than double iOS for a couple years now, and is more than 3 times selling now -- and STILL there are not more/better apps for Android than for iOS. One doesn't need anecdotes to realize that something other than pure marketshare is at play.

The notion that once Android passes iOS in sales, that developers would drop iOS and flock to Android has been put forth long before Android passed iOS. And then Android did pass. And then Android doubled iOS sales. And then Android tripled iOS sales. And now 4 times. And STILL most apps come out for iOS first and THEN Android.

Both ecosystems are firmly established. There may be a delay between when an app appears on iOS and then Android...or vice versa. But there is a least a VERY good chance that an app exists, or an alternative exists for iOS and Android. And if an app is very successful on one platform, it's just a matter of time before the other gets it.

Not so Windows Phone, Bada, Blackberry, Symbian, Meego. Those are the platforms that are going to struggle getting/staying relevant. Msft will continue to pay the top app makers to support their product. Not sure anybody else can afford to play the game that way.

John Waclawsky

Haven't you guys figured it out Baron95 is a Microsoft astroturfer. Just ignore him. Your cluttering up the comment section with a troll discussion. See:
http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/AstroTurfing

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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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