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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


Sander van der Wal

Stone tools are technology too. And they were mobile.


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.


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.


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).


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?

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.

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/Duke:

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


Then please post it in the discussion about Nokia, not in the one about Mobile accounts outnumbering humans.

Here it is indeed offtopic.


@John Waclawsky:

I'm sorry, but I have to agree with Tester on this being off-topic. If you can keep this to discussions about Nokia's problems it's ok, albeit still annoying. But here - in a discussion about mobile in general - they have no place and should be considered spamming or trolling.

Furthermore, you are quite the hypocrite. On the one hand you accuse Microsoft of astroturfing, but on the other hand resort to the same tactics to flood these discussions with your Microsoft-hate that goes well beyond the tolerance level of many readers here.

Too bad that the actual discussion about the 'mobile moment' is polluted by all this filth. It might have been an interesting topic.


@Tester, RottenApple


@John Waclawsky, Doke

I appreciate your effort, but it IS offtopic to this article. 'Nokia' or 'Windows Phone' is not even mentioned in this blog post. If you have anything to say post it to the corresponding article or wait for the next one to arrive.

Moderation requested.

Pete Austin

A lot of technologies outnumber people, if you count the individual items: knives, drinking vessels, food plates, shoes, etc..

newbie reader

// knives, drinking vessels, food plates, shoes

difference is, all of these could be reproduced by village, or small mediveal city, economy, with no more than some thousands of population. And many could be done by 1 person, or by his family/relatives.

While mobile is 'true advanced' /i.e. complicated, global/ tech.

It requires millions of people, rather advanced knowledge and huge chunk of 20th century level tech. Forget city-level, even most of smaller countries would probably be unable to reproduce it now on their own, even if they try.


Stephen Elop in the top 5 worst CEO of 2012 according to CNBC (page 3 = about Elop)

newbie reader

Japan: Google's Nexus 7 had 44% of the market versus the iPad's 40%

Apple iPad lost the number one in Japan for the first time since 2010

newbie reader

USA 2013Q1 consumer demand for iPhone5 drops to pre-release level.

Buyers, who plan to buy iPhone over next 90 days:

sep'11, 65% /iP4S release peak/
dec'11, 54%
mar'12, 56%
jun'12, 50%
sep'12, 71% /iP5 release peak/
dec'12, 50%

plan to buy Samsung phone over next 90 days:
jun'12, 19%
sep'12, 13%
dec'12, 21%

So, if we trust these numbers,
iP5 is losing the battle to Sammy, returning to pre-release lows, on its own weight. SGS4 has not even announced yet.
Also note that higher percentage of iPhone buyers buys older model, compared to iP4S release.

And that funny guy, Baron95, talks about 'less peaky business' here :)


@John Waclawsky
"Hopefully capitalizing NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET isn't bothering you too much. It is meant to annoy the trolls."

Actually, your capitalized soundbite has the effect to "cure" Google searches from the poisoning of the trolls. One primary aim of all the troll comments is to ensure that any critical comments are drowned in "positive" remarks in search results. Your repeated soundbite works as an anti-dote.

newbie reader

Consumer Reports:

iP5 is ranked 3rd for AT&T and Sprint, below SGS3, and is not even in Top 3 for Verizon.

1. LG Optimus
2. SGS3
3. iP5

1. LG Optimus
2. SGS3
3. iP5

1. SGS3
2. HTC One S
3. Note2

1. Moto Razr Maxx
2. Moto Razr
3. SGS3

/ And my pick would be: Verizon HTC DNA /

newbie reader

SGS4 Antutu test leak, says it has octa-core A15/A7 CPU


I'm posting this for the old MS astroturfer trools that say Apple user never change to android:

this guy is an APPLE TROOL, he goes to betanews to DEFEND apple, but after he try SGN2, he's change.

2. Nexus 7 beat ipad:

Is this real or joke?:



About 1: Great find. And the article perfectly highlights what went wrong at Apple. Instead of revolutionizing smartphone use again all we got since the iPhone 4 was minor incremental improvements but no real innovation - not even an acknowledgement of how the market developed. When the first iPhone was released it had a huge screen compared to the competition, its user interface was by far the most advancved. But now? Android has caught up in all areas, and then produced something new like the Galaxy Note II. Samsung has managed to create something that's in its own league, far above the iPhone. The funniest thing here is that the entire industry and many 'experts' were mocking Samsung for creating such a monster. But it seems it was Samsung who did their research well. Let's wait what Apple releases this year - but it has to be a very significant improvement over the iPhone 5.

About 3: Haha. This is a terrific example of how to manipulate presentation of statistics. Have you noticed how the scales of the 2 things being compared don't even closely match? (IE use declined by half, murders by 1/7th) I guess you could create a similar picture with any other value that has been constantly declining for several years.


@Newbie_Reader Why are you dragging me into a blog post that I'm not even commenting? You are one of the least bad posters here (at least you post interesting data and makes a reasonable argument), so I'll respond.

A - I said that ANDROID had peaked in the US. I never said that Samsung had peaked. Samsung as the Android winner will peak much, much later than Android as a whole.

B - The Samsung bounce up is due to the Note II launch (almost as big a Galaxy launch in the US). Nothing there.

C - The iPhone 5 launch in the US is nothing short of phenomenal. No matter how many thousands of words anyone writes. The data is clear. Highest iPhone peak ever 71% of all smartphones. Apple alone selling more smartphones that all other vendors (not just Android) combined in Q4. The drop 90 days out is simple to explain. Apple has become much, much, much better at meeting demand much more quickly after a launch. The iPhone 5 went quickly into near supply-demand balance in the US. So less people had to wait months to get one.

The challenges for Apple on the iPhone continue to be the same. Exclusion from key operators like China Mobile, DoCoMo, T-Mobile USA, and affordability.

As to Tomi's post, he confuses mobile activations with mobile subscription. In fact, there are less than 1.5B true mobile subscription (a monthly plan subscription for a device used by a human as a mobile device) on the planet.

In my house, the water meter and the electric meter both have a mobile link to report outages or consumption. Those are not visible, nor used by humans. If you were to count these things, then bar-codes, for example are in hundreds of billions of products per year. Even NFC tags are in tens ob billions of products already.

Other than that, with Tomi tolerating span from the likes of John Wacko (because it happens to advance his distorted view), and deleting those that disagree with his view, this blog is near unreadable. Even coming here for some laughs on the Linux guys predictions is no longer worth it.


Incidentally, the massive losses of Android OEMs have begun. ZTE issued a warning of massive losses in Q4, which will turn the entire year 2012 negative, on what? That is right - mobile phone losses.

If Tomi wants to wright about bloodbath, the bloodbath will start in late 2013 and 2014. It is not a unit count bloodbath. It will be a profit bloodbath for OEMs and then for operators.

For OEMs, there will be a horde of Android plastic phone OEMs on a race to the bottom, a couple of niche players RIM/Windows trying to escape the race to the bottom (likely unsuccessfully) and Apple, alone, selling glass and aluminum, premium phone for the well to do, credit card iTunes crowd.

OEMs will suffer, with Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, etc offering the high value services, and they becoming a dumb pipe.

Tomi's favorite SMS revenues have peaked. In spain for instance, SMS revenues have dropped by 2/3, for 400M euros/quarter to 170M euros/quarter. In the US, SMS revenues are now impossible to measure, as unlimited SMS is a bundle on the total subscription price for smartphones and most other phones. So it is a table stakes give away.

Those are the trends that Tomi should be writing about. Instead, he will be reporting them in 2016 after it is all done, and OEMs and Operators become commodity device/access suppliers to Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, etc.

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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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