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« Picture 4 in Nokia Saga: How Badly the Promised Migration from Symbian to Windows Phone is Failing | Main | Picture 5 in Nokia Mess - How Hype, Hope and Hysteria Hide the Sad Truth - Lumia Sales Pattern »

January 15, 2013


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Countdown to Mobile Moment - When Will Mobile Phone Accounts Outnumber Humans? I say July 2013 (we are at 6.7B already):


Sander van der Wal

Stone tools are technology too. And they were mobile.

John Waclawsky

A great post Tomi, I expect that eventually the entire planet will be on Linux in some version due to reduced costs and complexity and improved performance and functionality. I can see the Microsoft astroturfers will always try to spin nonsense that people actually want microsoft products when we know NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET. I found it interesting that if you look for definitions of astroturfing that microsoft is usually mentioned and stringly intertwined with the concept. As an example:

John Waclawsky

After thinking more about Tomi's post, it seems their is a whole world to be gained as the number of smart devices proliferate and are likely to create new categories of products in the future. One measurement that doesn't exist and has a huge influence on success is your relationship with your partners and competitors and public perception. I have found the ill-will towards microsoft is enormous. If you need more proof, read the following and comments:

Of course there are some microsoft astroturfers there but the resentment towards microsoft is palpable. You can imagine what people say off the record and especially as they watched or were frustrated by microsoft's past (and ongoing) behavior. You can also consider how many people want to lead microsoft on, to get some of the microsoft desperation money (consider their marketing budget for window 8 and the non-impact of their efforts for windows phone and tablet) and happily screw them in the end.

Because of this hidden agenda of ill-will, augmented with a parade of crappy products, windows is poison. The number of smart devices will proliferate WITHOUT WINDOWS and are likely to create new categories of products in the future WITHOUT WINDOWS. And in this particular case, because of windows 8 phone, I believe microsoft will ultimately drive Nokia to extinction. This analysis boils down to a root cause for nokia: NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OT TABLET ...unless Nokia moves off windows they are clearly doomed.

John Waclawsky

Sorry for the typo in my previous post. The last sentence should read:

This analysis boils down to a root cause for nokia: NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET ...unless Nokia moves off windows they are clearly doomed.


Let me get this straight, Tomi: you don't mean 100% penetration rate as if every baby, adult and elderly would have own cell subscription, you mean that there will be as many mobile subscriptions (like in my burglar alarm) as there are people alive. So it's not about that every single jungle village in Africa or every island nation in pacific would be under network coverage, it's about subscription count vs. Population count, right?
Therefore I challenge you a bit:
Over 2 years ago (March 2010) there were 6.2 billion bank accounts on use. World population was then about 6.8 billion. Bank accounts may have exceeded world population already before now. (Just saying that it’s close, not certain that it would’ve exceeded.)
Books. Did you mention books? 130 million titles published. And Bible ALONE counts for 6 BILLION copies throughout the history and has high chance to actually exceed world population in next few decades. One book alone. Books in general have definitely exceeded human population long time ago.
And pencils! You Tomi said pens and pencils. World pencil production PER YEAR is 15 to 20 billion. It exceeds world population twice each year.
And how about electric lamps? There are definitely more electric lamps than people alive if we count all from bicycle lamps and street lamps to ordinary household lamps.

So mobile subscriptions is first _something_ (definition needed) to bypass human population, but it's not first technology to do that.


That's kind of an unfair comparison in your second paragraph. If you're saying pencil-and-paper penetration is below 100% on the grounds that some people can't read, you can't then turn around and claim mobile penetration is >100% because some people have more than one phone. A lot of people own multiple pencils too.

John Waclawsky

For those interested in some perspective behind Nokia and microsofts windows phone sales, here is some clarification regarding the "obfuscation and spin" behind Nokia's current numbers and company performance by Motley Fool analyst called the "Nokia's Windows Phone Reality Check". The analyst concludes.

"my fundamental assessment that most consumers are not interested in Windows Phone".

The author is correct in his assessment. Despite heavily discounting the windows phones and tablets, enormous advertising and promotion, and some shilling by carriers, the lumia phones are a bust. Nokia has no alternate plan or ecosystem of their own. They are walking dead in 2013.

...and the reason, If you read the article you will see that NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET

But also interesting is the comments. You can see microsoft astroturfing going into overdrive, getting more aggressive and attacking as Windows 8's desktop and mobile failings become more and more obvious.

This is part of the "ill-will" microsoft angle that I see. This astroturfing activity are actually having a very negative effect on Microsoft and Nokia's brands.

I see desperation by microsoft in their astroturfer hostility towards very simple facts like those presented by Tomi. The prevalent microsoft astroturfer response: ignore the facts! make up your own data! dismiss unfavorable trends!, pretend they know something about Linux, dispute unfavorable comparisons! point to transient stock activity as a trend! deny obvious data points! and more. Sounds like some trolls on this blog, doesn't it...


Here is an interesting up-to-date notice about Microsoft products that point to bloated software. Why would Nokia use microsoft??? Now it is discovered that the Windows Phone 8 runs on the NT Kernel. Really!!! Unbelievable!!! that low quality windows is crap and "that a tried and tested software is running underneath the fluid and fast WP8" LOL!!!!

The URL has a lesson that "it’s about porting a system so badly with such a lazyness they kept the desktop error message on a mobile device. They really should try making some Mobile Touch OS from the scratch instead of porting the desktop one and making the same mistakes over and over and over…"


"Computing's copy of the Microsoft Surface tablet has been knocking around the office like an expensive paperweight in recent weeks, largely due to the fact that it has never actually worked"

Clearly what has been mentioned on this blog a number of times is obviously true. NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET ....because of that, its the end of Nokia


I think you might be underestimating how enormously competitive the pen, pencil and paper are. Also, some rudimentary agricultural staples like rice and corn are so ubiquitous they exist in large numbers.

However, mobile phones are probably the most widely adopted digital technology ever.


Digital technology. Thank you Cassini! That was the word I was looking for! Excludes out all my previously listed techs.


Nice post @John is something very new about microsoft astroturfing AND you mention "ill-will". Both from the BBC. One statement in particular stands out "...Microsoft was then, and still is, one of the most unpopular companies in the computer industry"

I think a lot of the industry is totally sick of microsoft, their astroturfers, crappy products and monopolistic practices and can't wait for the windows funeral.

The BBC material just adds to the fact that:


Tomi, you forgot the knife and fire as the most ubiquitous technologies ever. And the wheel as a technology used by almost every human in the last century. I think we can safely say that every human who ever lived has hold a knife and used a fire to cook or warm at least at one point in life.

But on the other hand, a new technology that is as ubiquitous as fire, the knife, and the wheel is a breakthrough. Indeed a milestone in human history. The world will never be the same (it never was, but anyhow).


...and I find it quite amusing when Duke is having dialogue with John.


Next milestone: A mobile phone for every tree:


I think he said gadget, but any way, fire had been remplaced by counter tops, and knife no everybody use them.

Insurance agencies are putting gsm trackers on cars with obdII, and i think news cars come gsm system integration to track faults. Does them count?


They have mobile subscription so they count.

newbie reader

Here is another weird piece of "analytic" I found recently.

What is smartphone marketshare estimate for 2016 ?

Well, all forecasts for iOS/Android estimate are BS, nobody can foresee it.

However, some knowledge of year 2016 total smartphone marketshares is just common sense.

Consider this:

USA pop is about 1/3 of China pop. Number of mobile subscribtions in these countries is currently /2012/ about the same ratio.

Yet, here is IDC "forecast" for 2016 smartphone marketshares:

Country, 2011 Share, 2012 Share, 2016 forecast
China 18.3% 26.5% 23.0%
USA 21.3% 17.8% 14.5%

so, the forecasted 2016 ratio is about 23/14=1.64, up from 26/17=1.52 in 2012

What kind of "analytics" is that?


@newby reader
Just extrapolate a straight line. If you can draw a straight line you have a great future as an analyst.

In three years, India is tail chasing China. USA is somewhere in the back.

John Waclawsky

The surface is a bust claims USB. See:

There is some good poetry in the comments :-)

The Surface was quite roughly hewn
It seemed like a shot at the moon
The sales have been slack
It sure takes me back
Now, who else remembers the Zune?

John Waclawsky

I forgot to post the Motley Fool analysis URL called the "Nokia's Windows Phone Reality Check". You can find it at:

You will notice that the quote "Nokia's return to sustained profitability will be difficult if not impossible in 2013" is based on the fact that


newbie reader

// extrapolate a straight line

Well, it looks like for a good career as IDC "analyst", one needs to know very well, whose straight lines are more staright than the others :)

I already did this good example here:!World_Wide_Smartphone_Sales_Share.png!World_Wide_Smartphone_Sales_Share.png!World_Wide_Smartphone_Sales_Share.png

Apparently, for a good IDC career, Apple line should be "more straight" than that of Android :)

John Waclawsky

If Nokia is considering a tablet they ought to look at all the feedback for microsoft's surface. Nokia would be selling into a dying (and probably dead) windows table market by the time they release their tablet.

"...emphasizes that iPad adoption and management is an easier problem to solve for many businesses than permitting Windows 8 tablets, a trend that could become a major problem for Microsoft throughout this year."

Most of the major and respected technology magazines and analysts have declared that NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET! The writing is clearly on the wall, so why does Nokia insist on using a failed windows P(OS)?


@John Waclawsky/Duke:

Can you please refrain from spamming non-Nokia blog discussions with your rants? This is clearly off-topic here!

John Waclawsky

@tester, NOT at all off topic! The current Nokia problem goes back to the choice of exclusively focusing on windows as the mobile market explodes as Tomi's stats indicate. The choice of windows IS the root cause of Nokia's demise. IT IS just that simple!

Not only has Nokia lost the current market they will lose ALL the important FUTURE markets too as Tomi's statistics indicate. The "monster number" that Tomi refers to is still only a small piece of the overall pie when you consider machine to machine, etc. The fact that Android is winning is not an accident (you really can't sell stuff to people they don't want, especially in the massive numbers generated by android). There is a lot behind this.

- Industry wide ill-will towards all things microsoft is a big part of the problem,
- abusive microsoft licensing terms,
- microsoft astroturfing to tear down competitors and anything Linux,
- microsoft lobbying AGAINST more nimble and innovative competitors that provide better products and services for consumers
- microsoft patent war on open source
- excessively hardware greedy microsoft storage and processing requirements,
- microsoft screwing their partners
- the complexity of their crappy OS (they port XP to windows phone 8 for god sakes got to be kidding me!),
- add a lot more negative microsoft items if you want but you get the picture...
- now add in Android/Linux/OpenSource and get another long list of why Android/Linux/OpenSourc are better starting with: you can read the code and modify it to do anything you want, extremely cost effective, etc. etc.

The cost, complexity, flexibility etc required in the future will not magically show up in microsoft products EVER (how many iterations of microsoft soaftware have we seen in phones over the years with the same pathetic results - have you ever heard of the definition of "insanity"). Why? because the microsoft business model is dying and will be overwhelmed by the statistics that Tomi is eluding too.

The windows OS is NOT competitive for the future and Nokia embraced this??? ..are the Nokia executives total morons. This is a part of the lesson inside the statistics by Tomi. People don't realize how dire the situation is for Nokia ...and microsoft in the not too distant future.

As the total world converges to an ENORMOUS intertwined mobile and legacy digital age, windows will not be competitive in future markets and it is already showing its age today

It all boils down to the fact: NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET for Nokia and other mobile device manufacturers and soon that will change in the future to NO ONE WANTS WINDOWS, PERIOD! You can see it coming. Where do you think Tomi's numbers are leading?

If Nokia doesn't course correct toward Linux/Android they will be toast. The rapid successive failures of windows phone 7 and 8 should have opened their eyes by now. Maybe Tomi's blog will help in that regard.

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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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