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« Apple Results Q4 - Wow this was far worse than I thought... | Main | Microsoft Announces New CEO: Not Elop »

January 30, 2014

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Earendil Star

On WP (P)OS. In projecting WP trends, please remember that during the Christmas quarter (which should be the strongest) Nokia (practically the only WP vendor currently) saw decreasing UNIT sales. Not decreasing or stable MARKET share (like Samsung). Now, WP sells thanks to the huge incentives NokiaMS is paying to operators and retailers. If despite being sold at a loss through dumping, WP is losing market share, I do not think things are looking all that well for the "ecosystem". Remember: Nokias were selling only thanks to the Nokia brand. Now that Nokia (the real one) is out of the game, MS will find it much harder to sell its phones.

On the iPhone. I really cannot understand those continuing to say that the iOS products (iPhone, iPad) are bad. They are very good and quality products. Apple (in contrast to MS) produces top quality phones, pads and software. The ecosystem is closed and has its drawbacks, but that's another story. The real issue here, is whether the business model that worked in the past (i.e. thrive thanks to subsidies paid by carriers, especially in the US) is still viable.
Signs are there that this business model is starting to show its limits. And the new tide may start precisely in the US. If this is confirmed, the profitability of the model will be strongly endangered. This is the real threat for Apple.

Will Apple collapse and die? Not for sure, at least as long as no former MS Mr Nobody in mobile as Elop Flop takes the helm at the company. Yet, the fact that Steve Jobs is no longer there to assist with his genius and vision is no minor disatvantage, even if people continue to disregard it. Having people portrayed as geniuses (as Jony Ive) without being it does not help Apple in any way.

The risk is there that Apple might once again be reduced to a niche company, as happened in the nineties, as was correctly pointed out by foo.

Finally, on Google and the profitability of its Motorola acquisition, well, as pointed out before it is much better than it looks. Actually, it may even end up with free patents as a profit. Meanwhile, Google is proceeding with its innovation and in the strengthening of its ecosystem.

So, my take, is that the bloodbath is far from over. Stay tuned.

AtTheBottomOfTheHilton

@John Alatalo

There is an app for my bank on my phone but I don't use it because the browser on my phone is good enough to handle the full desktop version. The screen on many phones are today 720 or even 1080 HD resolution so the special app version is quickly becoming obsolete. Also I don't recognize the interface of my bank on the app version so I rather use the full internet site version. It's like WAP which was invented because phones has monochrome low res LCD displays. That changed quickly and nobody uses WAP today. The same will happen with the app craze where you need an app just to display an internet page. If a mobile OS has 500000 apps really doesn't say much to me as most of them are just a browser substitute. It's better to look at a selection of known quality apps if they are available for a particular OS to judge its support.

My point is that the app craze is right now exaggerated but will become less important. Just like Chrome OS is centered around the browser and the phones are heading the same way.

Baron--9-5

"Signs are there that this business model is starting to show its limits. And the new tide may start precisely in the US. If this is confirmed, the profitability of the model will be strongly endangered. This is the real threat for Apple."

It is amazing!!! Some posters here - lead by Tomi - just post their wishful thinking for validation. For years, and years, and years, it is the same thing. Apple only sells in the US. Apple is doomed because subsidies will end. Apple is doomed because they don't target the enterprise. Apple is doomed because they don't have physical keyboards, or NFC, or removable SD, or whatever.

When in reality....

The business model is healthier than ever. Apple, each quarter is less and less dependent on the US market. More and more operators and caving in to the subsidy model - including DoCoMo, China Mobile, Reliance, Magafon - in Japan, China, India, Russia. We saw the iTunes/AppStore business generate nearly as much net revenues (excluding payment to content providers) as Mac gross revenues.

There is ZERO indication - ZERO - of any problems in the business model.

Apple has one major popular area to cover in smartphones - the 5" class screen size - and it has about 200 mobile operators to conquer.

Simple as that. Apple is not deviating from its plan. Methodical conquering of operators to distribute/subsidize the iPhone, and methodical, feature/capability introduction. We spent 4 years in the 3.5" iPhone era. Now we are in the combined 3.5" and 4.0" iPhone era. By year end we will be in the 4.0" and 4.8" (or so) era.

And then we will see the natural Samsung vs Apple market share at the top end. 2,272 x 1,280 resolution will require 64-bit to manipulate though. Ah, wait. Apple already has that :)

Henrik Nergård

@Baron--9-5

About Apple/iPhone. They have a good business model of course, but Tomi write about their marketshare. It will go down in time.
For a reason they have no budget model like Moto G, Nokia Lumia 520 and so on.


In markets where people buy the smartphone and the real price is not "hidden" in a long term contract this things matters.
Even the iPhone 5C is to expensive there.

Earendil Star

"There is ZERO indication - ZERO - of any problems in the business model."

Ehm, actually indications abound. And by the way, no business model is always failproof. Especially in mobile, companies must constantly adapt to succeed.

Anyway, there's no reason to freak out. We're just trying to reason on possible future outcomes and scenarios. No crystal ball here. So stop the hysteria and try coming out with statements backed by facts, not just propaganda, as usual.

RottenApple

"There is ZERO indication - ZERO - of any problems in the business model."

This way of thinking is the first step to failure. You can bet that nobody at Apple dares to be this arrogant.

AndThisWillBeToo

Most sold phone for DNA Finland in January was iPhone 5S. Jolla dropped off from the list.
http://www.arvopaperi.fi/uutisarkisto/huippuiphone+dnan+myydyin+puhelin+tammikuussa+jolla+tippui+listalta/a964475

John Fischer

It is amazing!!! Some posters here - lead by Tomi - just post their wishful thinking for validation. Baron-9

I am wondering if there is no objectivity in this blog anylonger, look, apple reported and hours later Tomi was on fire demolishing a company that grew in units sold in every segment

Weeks later not a coment about Samsumg peaking or collapsing profitability, related directly marketshare growth in cheap phones and loss to apple in high end

Samsumg mobile unit clearly is becoming the new Compaq ( remember them ? ) , i worked for one of the big 3 distributors back them, and Compaq obsession with market share led them to sell as many units as possible and Microsoft was so happy...and in the end...IBM, Compac, HP...etc are history with huge marketshare...

Samsumg = Compaq
Android = Microsoft


The absurdity lies in the fact that microsoft was king with around a billion PCs outhere but apple will collapse approaching that number, i rather have 700 million clients that pay $$$ than 2 billion that buy prepaid cards just to sms or call using 99$ phones.

RottenApple

Ugh...

Some people just can't read. And it's clearly the Apple Fanbois.

So, please tell me, where did anyone say that Apple is on the road to trouble?

Fact is : They DID perform below expectations. Yes, they grew a bit, but they missed the mark quite strongly.
Remember, back in 2010 Nokia also grew, they were also reporting record sales, so all was great, right? Fast forward only 3 months and all of that went poof.

So, one conclusion here has to be: If the entire industry - including Nokia, Samsung and Apple is performing below expectations, I'd say it's a clear warning sign for potential trouble ahead. Apple will certainly be less affected by such development but they WILL be affected in some way. They can't sell their stuff forever at such overpriced levels if the high end market slowly dries out. And current numbers suggest it's starting to happen.


Huber

@ John Fischer: >> Weeks later not a coment about Samsumg peaking or collapsing profitability, related directly marketshare growth in cheap phones and loss to apple in high end

This is not true. Directly on the front page, you can find this statement from Tomi:

"Oh and Samsung is doing its smartphone sales very profitably - don't be fooled by the one-time cost item now in Q4 that was the surprise bonuses the CEO paid to the handset folks for achieving Samsung's dream of becoming the world's biggest handset maker. Without that one-time bonus payment the Samsung quarter was totally on par with its high profit smartphone business as per usual."

And of course cheaper smartphones gain market share - this is the current TREND in the market. A Huawei phone for €120 without contract can almost compete with a high-end phone from 2011 like the SGS2. Go figure.

Regarding Apple, focusing on profit share is dangerous, as history shows. Apple will not necessarily go bankrupt, but the strategy can be dangerous. As market share seems to decrease, we'll see what will happen. Note that Q4 usually is Apple's strongest quarter.

Simon

@AtTheBottomOfTheHilton:
"There is an app for my bank on my phone but I don't use it because the browser on my phone is good enough to handle the full desktop version."

You can take pictures of checks (cheques) with that desktop website running on your phone and deposit them without going near a bank or ATM? Because that's what people in the USA have now with their banking apps.

RottenApple

@Simon:

"You can take pictures of checks (cheques) with that desktop website running on your phone and deposit them without going near a bank or ATM? Because that's what people in the USA have now with their banking apps. "


Actually, no. But that's because Europeans mostly don't use such ancient means of payment like cheques anymore. They are mostly extinct here so we do not need such weird use cases. And even if we did I'd suspect that some laws would prohibit it.

@Huber:

Thanks for this quote. I completely missed it in the article:

"don't be fooled by the one-time cost item now in Q4 that was the surprise bonuses the CEO paid to the handset folks for achieving Samsung's dream of becoming the world's biggest handset maker."

Interesting how this gets conveniently left out when Samsung is being discussed in the press. Let's talk about manipulation again...

Baron--9-5

Why is the iPad the #1 Tablet in unit share, when it is the most expensive? As much as 10x the price of some Android tablets.

Why is the iPod the #1 music player, when it is the most expensive? As much as 100x (that is right) 100 times the price of some mp3 players (which are disposable.

Why is the Mac gaining unit market share when it is by far the most expensive? The cheapest "non-integrated-with screen" Mac is $3,000.00 in the US. That is 10x the cheapest well equipped PC tower.

Why is iTunes the #1 music store, when it charges more (as much as 2x)?

There is a perceived value premium that end-users are willing to pay. And for all the products above, only the iPhone has ANY meaningful impact from subsidies.

Yes, the Tomi huggers, keep on harping about that the iPhone only supports high prices because of subsidies.

Well, how come iPad, iPod, Mac, iTunes, support high prices with no subsidies.

The answer is that there is a lot more than subsidies at play. Starts with the shopping experience at an Apple retail store or a dedicated area (e.g. BestBuy, AT&T) inside a store and ends with the comprehensive ecosystem integration (iMessage and FaceTime and iCloud to iPads and iPods and Macs, etc).

The "if it were not for the subsidy" line is used over and over here. Yet it ignores the price premium that exists on ALL Apple products that are not subsidized in anyway.

It is a totally bankrupt, idea. Pure wishful thinking. Tomi is trying to convince himself that Apple was inconsequential to the fall of Nokia and RIM. When it was the one-two Apple/Android punch that doomed both. Apple took away the profit margin and desirability/coolness factor, Android took away the volumes.

Simon

@RottenApple
"Actually, no. But that's because Europeans mostly don't use such ancient means of payment like cheques anymore"

But millions of Americans do rely on that capability. Many Americans do not ever send checks (cheques), but they still receive them. That's why banking apps are so important in the USA.

Baron--9-5

This is an absurd discussion.

On the subject of Web Site vs App customers have spoken loudly and clearly. They want a native app. Period.

Even the very best attempts (Facebook for instance) of having HTML/HTML5 pseudo apps failed, and mobile Facebook usage took off once they released the updated native apps.

Baron--9-5

DoCoMo is now a dumb pipe. Samsung is now a dumb screen.

The WSJ just reported that all carriers - DoCoMo, Orange, Telefonica, Sprint - that had signed up as Tizen members either abandoned the partnership or were on record saying they have NO PLANS to launch a Tizen device.

Bada (AKA Tomi's darling #1) = dead.

Tizen (AKA Tomi's darling #2) = stillborn

Apple is raking in $5B/quarter in net (after paying developers/content owners) iTunes/AppStore revenue.

Google may be raking in $1-$2B/quarter.

Microsoft maybe $250M/quarter (I haven't looked).

Samsung?

Zero.

Samsung the #1 dumb screen provider in the world. Congrats.

RottenApple

@Simon:

"But millions of Americans do rely on that capability. Many Americans do not ever send checks (cheques), but they still receive them. That's why banking apps are so important in the USA. "

Yeah, the American banking system is really, really outdated. Europeans normally just transfer the money directly to the receiver's account without such hassles. Checques are just a waste of productivity.

@Baron95:

"Even the very best attempts (Facebook for instance) of having HTML/HTML5 pseudo apps failed"

I can't say I'm surprised. HTML5 ist a textbook example of a design-by-committee failure, going for the lowest common denominator. But this doesn't mean that the next attempt at standardization won't be good enough to replace native apps. Don't pretend that the infrastructure as we know it is safe. These things tend to change faster than anyone might expect.

I think anybody with even half a brain has realized by now that platform fragmentation is bad for everybody except those who depend on this kind of customer lock-in (and that'd be only Apple right now.)

I think the current system of having a dedicated app for every service is a very undesirable outcome, no matter how much current alternatives suck. But if the situation is undesirable (remember: every shitty service provider currently has to support 2 or 3 different platforms, depending on where they set their boundaries) expect something to be done about it.

And that doesn't even consider those services that offer an intentionally degraded mobile experience just to sell their apps which allow them to gather more information about their users etc.


"Samsung? Zero."

You do realize that Samsung has its own Android app store, right? So while it may be low it's certainly not zero!

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi gang..

I've been on vacation, am now back. I'll do a few replies here now. Regulars please don't worry, I'll go clean out the garbage over the next few days. I have some big blogs coming and wrote on today's Nadella announcement already as the shortest blog entry evah on this blog haha

A few quick replies

John Fisher - I'll do the Samsung analysis when we have the final data for the Q4 and full year 2013 performance (we have 3 of the four analyst houses already reported, waiting on Gartner to finalize their count)

So Vatar - I would love to have some hope to agree with you, but no. That will never happen. Microsoft knows now it is losing the future to Google, Apple and Samsung. The foundation on which Microsoft was built is disappearing on desktops and laptops - consumers shifting wholesale to tablets and the vast new market is smartphones. If Microsoft is forced to live off what will remain in the big enterprise market for some desktop, server and Windows licenses they go the way of the Dodo bird. Microsoft desperately needs to claw its way back into the game and the game is mobile. That is why no matter how much some silly - but uncannily accurate pest - analyst Ahonen is claiming that Microsoft can't win with Nokia in mobile, they have to put their best effort into it. And there is enough arroance in Bill Gates, (Steve Ballmer) and the rest of the gang at Microsoft to delude themselves that with only enough time and effort, they can do it. I think my regular readers know the evidence is overwhelming that the global carrier community will support ANY other tech brand ahead of Microsoft. Even with Billions upon Billions thrown at Windows it wasn't even able to sustain 1 to 1 transition from 'obsolete' Symbian under the Nokia brand. Now that Nokia is no more and its pure 'Evil Empire' Microsoft Lumia phones - the damage will only be worse. As Tero Kuittinen wrote on Forbes, the US analysts misanalyze Nokia and its customers and this latest Q4 shows to alarming degree how poisonous the Microsoft brand is alone, without Nokia to mitigate against it.....

Winter - I see those rumors. It will never happen. If Microsoft were to allow a Nokia Android phone, that would spell the end of all Windows including desktop because Microsoft itself was now going Android. Its exactly like when Sony released its first VHS video recorder. That day Betamax died. Microsoft are not that stupid.

eduardo m - I wish I knew haha.. But its reasonable to assume that the Nokia-Microsoft original partnership deal included some exit clause by which Microsoft had the right to buy the Lumia unit if Nokia wished to get rid of it (and have some kind of exclusivity that for example Nokia was not allowed to pursue bids on it from rivals or something like that). I would find it extraordinarily weird if Nokia agreed to a contract that forbid all Nokia handset business sales to rivals. Ie dumbphone sales and Symbian/MeeGo/Maemo/Meltemi smartphone unit sales... but judging by the Elop bonus clause and that the Chairman initially forgot it even existed - a clause that is OBVIOUS overriding conflict-of-interest vs Nokia CEO fiduciary responsiblity - the Nokia Board seemed capable of some massive blunders especially in contracts...

I'll post these and do more replies

Keep the discussions going!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Leebase

Very good comment and good calls you've made often as we both know. Its while I don't always agree with you, I often agree with you and I very often learn from you both here and on TW. Now to a few of your points

Google/Sammy coming to terms.. maybe maybe but maybe not quite. We have to see what becomes of Tizen. The delay/non-launch notices are very damaging especially NTT DoCoMo but Tizen isn't dead yet. If Sammy had really kissed and made up with G, they would have ended pouring tons of funds into Tizen. Instead we see the first Tizen phone already in the press. So yeah, it might be that Tizen will quietly be killed. If so, then this Google sale of Motorola is probably the defining moment. But Samsung are Korean they are competitive and very very smart. They know this industry probably as well as Nokia knew it and definitely better than Google know it. I am pretty certain Samsung will play the Tizen card for a long-term play and as long as they get some support from some carriers and get some rival handset makers onboard, Tizen may well still be the strongest of the pretenders/contenders. Like they say, the jury is out on this one. We'll know when either Tizen ships or is quietly shut down. Up to then its anyone's guess.

About Lenovo and Moto. You say no synergies. Actually I think massive synergies. Lenovo is huge in China (Moto nowhere). Lenovo has already gone into India Russia and some other Asian countries. Moto is biggest in the USA (Lenovo nowhere). Moto also strong in LatAm (where Lenovo isn't even aiming yet). Lenovo has very good high-end devices but lacks the distribution. Motorola of old had strong distribution and still has remnants of it plus a brand that is well thought of even in Europe. These two have very little overlap and strong complementary parts. The patents shifting over are also very good for Lenovo otherwise still a whippersnapper kid in the big boy's game of mobile. Finally the IBM purchase says Lenovo understands US management and can make it work with Chinese leadership...

on the 'never 10%' happening in many countries. Yes. That is cannibalizing HUGE Nokia market share for modest Microsoft market share, to terrible blood-letting on Nokia's behalf. It will keep on shrinking, not growing, on an annual basis as the last remnants of Nokia loyalty are lost and its pure Microsoft Lumia... Read Tero Kuittinen's Forbes article for the way US analysts misanalyze Nokia and its loyalty and how poisonous Microsoft has been...

Keep writing and thinking Leebase your comments are always among my faves on this blog! Happy new year my friend!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Leebase

Oh one more. Back to Sammy and the Goog. We heard a little while ago that the original Tizen phone was delayed (might mean cancelled with replacement coming). If we eventually see a Tizen flagship from Samsung that is 'amazingly' good then trust this to have been a Steve Jobs'esque moment by Kwon Oh Hyun... If you remember Steve Jobs saw the original Apple iPod-phone prototype and killed it, saying it wasn't Apple-esque enough. That was a phone that looked like it came from Nokia or Motorola with buttons etc. Then they went back to redesign the phone from scratch and more than a year after that Jobs finally showed us the astonishing iPhone. I am hoping this is what happend at Samsung. That the first Tizen phone was to bland, a pale copy of what already exists in the Android world. Then the CEO knew it would be very much a revitalizing opportunity to truly shake the industry but he had one chance of it only, so he said 'not good enough' and sent the boys back to do a total redesign into something awesomely amazing.. Its me obviously hoping against hope that Tizen ain't dead haha... but it may be. That could explain the NTT DoCoMo rejection etc. That they know something far better is possible but they really have only once chance to do a big splash and the first attempt wasn't good enough (incidentially what Elop should have done obviously with the Lumia 800 haha)

Yeah. Speculation but we may find out the truth eventually - assuming Tizen isn't killed.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

John Fisher

About the 18% profit drop. I hope you saw that Samsung clarified that this was not structural, it was a one-off based on the enormous surprise bonuses the company paid to celebrate Samsung's rise to biggest in world. I agree that declines in profitability should be obseved and considered. This blog is not a finanacial analyst or Wall Street type blog about share evaluations etc. This is a tech blog about the digital and mobile industries and here what matters is the platform. As long as a platform player is profitable (at ANY rate) it is still viable to continue and then market size trumps profits - for the ecosystem (not for investors who I mostly forbid discussions about share prices here. Obviously the level of profits is of big importance to investors but like I said that topic is forbidden on this blog). As long as the player is profitable, that is good enough to be sustainable, and the bigger the profits are no longer a factor. We note that Apple makes currently the biggest profits in tech but they would be equally viable with a fraction of the profits. In the long run, a company could trade excessive profits for better market performance and for my readers - mostly industry people like developers - they want to know what platforms are succeeding to guide their strategies on where to invest their R&D resources...

So yeah, I hear you that Sammy announced 18% drop in profits. It is of big interest to investors, not to readers of this blog. I then note that this was a one-off that caused the drop so it won't really matter either in Samsung's own viablity into its future. The handset unit profits should - if that was the only real reason - rebound strongly in Q1... But like I said, no discussion of share prices etc here!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Baron 9-5

the 'clear' number 3 for Lenovo is simply on clear numbers. The distance between rankings 4 through 7 is only measured in fractions of one percent. The distance from 4 Huawei to 3 Lenovo is more than 1 whole percentage point. That is 'clear'. The future is not clear as you say, its now up to how Lenovo executes. Please read my earlier reply on that, the signs are exceptionally good that Lenovo will use this to grow, not shrink its market share in the short to mid term.

AtTheBottomOfTheHilton - its not how Lenovo comes. It is that the moment they finish the purchase the ARE number 3. Its when these two are added together. What you talk about is future execution yes that remains to be seen. But I provided guidance here - I believe first in the world - of the size of the new smartphone maker when Lenovo and Google-Motorola are added together. One other analyst house, I think Strategy Analytics or IDC, has also now stated the 6% number but I said it first haha...

Henrik Hergard - I undestand how you are arriving at you optimism. Now a dose of reality. That above 10% that you see in Kantar. Go back 2 years and you'll find Nokia at over 30% and as high as 60% in those markets using Symbian. Windows global market share is 3% not 10%. It is not growing it is DECLINING now after the Nokia brand effect is removed and all that is left is the Evil Empire also known as Microsoft. Microsoft may have a good brand in PCs, but it is a poisoned deadly brand in mobile. It will not get better with Microsoft it will only get worse. Mark my words Windows Phone or Microsoft-Nokia-Lumia will never reach 10% in market share no matter how man more billions they throw into the endless void that is smartphone marketing. The only short time span that Microsoft can report over 10% market share in mobile industry is when they count the Nokia Asha and dumbphones into their slice of the global handset pie - not the smartphone pie. And that party is going to end before this year is done. Even counting all dumphones and Ashas that Microsoft-Nokia sells, that market share is under the 10% level (was 15%) by Q4 of 2014. Take it from the most accurate forecaster of the mobile industry...

PS if you are new to the blog go back a couple of months where I wrote the big blog about Nokia sold to Microsoft where I also discuss the chances of Microsoft making it work (there are none, I explain the reasons why, with evidence)

WonTheLottery - thanks, great comment. And while it may not seem so for many of the past months, this blog is much more than just smartphones - only the Nokia saga and the overall smartphone bloodbath has been a very exciting multifaceted story the past few years. I do talk about Augmented Reality and Social Media and the mobile industry outside of handsets etc. Only they dont' get as much attention now as the smartphone wars have raged so hot. I hope to return the balance more. I wrote the book Digital Korea which was totally about the South Korean digital miracle covering all those areas from the intelligent cars to robotics to virtual reality worlds to digital money etc...

About Huawei vs Lenovo - you make good points and I do see Huawei and LG the strongest challengers to Lenovo's position at number 3. But this industry is not about who makes the best phone, it is about the carrier relationships and retail channel support as we see time and again and again and again. In that race without the Moto legacy of massive global reach while Huawei sells in most markets and Lenovo did most of its business only in China, Lenovo was able to almost match Huawei (would have been number 4 without Moto). Now with Moto that already-very-competitive Lenovo gains the world. I think they enter this race as the clear favorite to hold onto that number 3 ranking and grow more in 2014 than either Huawei or LG.

duke - haha yeah but lets be honest. Windows Phone IS the number 3 platform now albeit that it only has 3% market share haha.. That is because Samsung abandoned bada while it was growing very strong to focus on the now-delayed Tizen; and as Blackberry fell so fast it would have set the world record for collapse were it not for a crazy Canadian taking control of Nokia.. (PS my new Windows 8.1 on this fantastically great Samsung Ultrabook - is the RUINING aspect of it. I long for my old heavy slow Fujitsu every single day wishing I could have the older Windows XP on this fantastic Samsung machine.... Every day I find yet another annoying thing about the software! I HATE MICROSOFT !!!)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

John Fischer - hey, that was a low blow and you know it.. If you've been reading this blog for many quarters with the end-of-quarter analysis you know very well that I don't report on speculation of market performance when I do the quarterly updates. I only report on those manufacturers who actually publish their unit numbers, or who have an executive quoting it in the press. Samsung very rarely gives us their number as for example HTC also doesn't. For them I totally ignore their other quarterly results info until we get the next best data point - the average number as reported by the big four analyst houses - Gartner, IDC, Strategy Analytics and Canalys. So my Samsung number has to wait until we hear from all four (three have reported already but we await Gartner). Only then do I comment on the missing top 10 players. So my treatment of Samsung now - that once again they refused to give us their precise number of smartphones shipped in Q4 - forces me to ignore them until I get to calculate the average as estimated by the four big analyst houses to have a reasonably close proxy as our 'official' number. Then - and only then - will I discuss Samsung's performance. As almost every quarter in the past years... No change at all here in my treatment of the Samster..

As to 'hours later' that is my usual speed of giving the market share analysis of EVERY top 10 smartphone maker that reports a number when they release their quarterly results. Nokia, Apple, LG, HUawei whoever.. if we get the number I am often within minutes on Twitter and then within an hour up here on the blog. Nothing different with Apple this time. The only times I can't be that fast is if I am on a plane or otherwise out of internet coverage. I schedule my sleep so that I am awake when the results of major players come as they are on different time zones mostly from where I live here in Hong Kong haha... I tend to be the fastest in the world to give a company-specific market share count in smartphones on a quarterly and annual basis.. If that is not of value to you, please stop reading this blog. I mentioned Apple grew unit sales but that is in an industry that is in hypergrowth. The relevant metric here IS market share which I emphasize, as this is not an investor blog this is a mobile industry blog where the profits don't matter or unit sales growth (that would matter to investors) but the actual addressable market - ie market share - matters to the developers. That the iPhone market share is seriously shrinking - is indeed the big news of relevance to my readers - and many Wall Street analysts note it too by the way.

Tomi T Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

I removed some comments that were about the stock market or evaluations etc

Tomi the nasty blog policeman who keeps this blog always on the topic and not on the irrelevant nonsense. If your investment advice comes from commenters on blogs you really need to reconsider your investment strategy :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Baron 9-5

I've warned you before. Don't post lies about what I write. There are many bloggers and experts and some in the comments here who talk about the handset subsidy artificially maintaining Apple market share. I never said so. I have said that handset subsidies are an anachronism and they distort the markets and I sometimes use the exmaples from markets like the US where consumers are misled to think the real price of an iPhone is 199 vs some other handset at say 99 dollars when the real cost of an iPhone is well above 600 dollars. But I have never said that Apple's current position is upheld by the archaic practise of handset subsidies. That the iPhone sells about as well in industrialized markets where there are no or minimal handset subsidies like Italy, Belgium, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as markets of extreme or total subsidies as Japan, USA and the UK, says that the iPhone market success is not dependent on subsidies. Please do not suggest that of my writing else point to the date on this blog that I posted such a thing (and then I'll go add a correction to that blog as it would be stupid of me to suggest that and I don't want even my older blogs to contain obiously false info).

I tolerate your contributions here Baron 9-5 inspite of your very severe views and at times belligerent tone but you know you are on a tight leash. Don't suggest I said something you know I didn't say.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    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

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati