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« Next Four Years in Mobile - Highlights from my brand new forecast | Main | Quick posts 1: Nokia Acquires Alcatel-Lucent »

April 08, 2015


Wayne Borean

Playing with numbers is fun. Actually hitting within 50% (at least from my viewpoint as a salesman) is excellent.

As to your forecasts...

Half of all Smartphones has touch screens in 2014. I personally thought it would have been closer to 75%, but I see the Canadian and American markets mostly. I assume that keyboard units were mostly sold in Asia/Africa?

I'm surprised by the number of phones that don't have WIFI, but again I'm not familiar with the Asian and African markets.

Just curious - do you have any idea of the breakdowns on these things by continent (assume Antarctica is zero across the board...)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne

Haha I wish... no, mostly the best we can hope for continental or regional splits is smartphone vs non, or perhaps average price of handsets (or smartphones) sold. At the deeper level like features by continent, no I really don't see that anywhere in the public domain so you'd need to fork up a couple of thuosand dollars for one of the big fancy reports (and if so, please do pick one of the more reputable houses haha)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen


No. You know the rules here. I am not about to start any response with 'if you read the blog'. Your comment is of course deleted. Feel free to post comments that add value to our readers

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Got it. You have made clear what adds value to your readers.


I know this blog must be a lot of work for you. But you can tell your love of the subject matter drives you to excellence. So, congrats for the outstanding results. And my sincere thanks for sharing not only the statistics but your insightful analysis.

Wayne Borean


That's too bad. The additional information would be useful (and no, I don't have the cash to pay for stats).

Partially I'm curious because of costing. Back when the iPhone and that LG touch screen model (can't remember the name of it) came out, touch screens were new, and costly. With the increase in touch screen models on the market, the demand for keyboards from the keyboard OEMs may have dropped, pushing costs up. Of course it also may not have, because the total market for smartphones has increased, so keyboard sales may have gone up, even while keyboard models have lost market share.

That's why I was wondering about numbers. Same scenario comes into play for WiFi and WiFi free chipsets, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth free chipsets, etc.


"I said in 2012 that half of all new phones sold in 2014 will have touch screens. That was a rather easy one as global smartphone sales went from 990 million to 1.3 Billion into 2014 and nearly all smartphones have touch screens. So this was a 100% accurate forecast (while not necessarily very 'bold' one haha)."

if the total phone sales (smart and feature) is around 1.9-2.0 billion in 2014 and smartphones sold 1.3B units (almost all touch screen) isn't that much more than half? Forecast is 50% and actual is 60-65% - that's not so accurate?

"Half" was an easy forecast but actual was not very close - you rate the forecast "100%" but it is not.


You got that wrong: not all smartphones are touch screen - in 2012 only 40% of the smartphones sold had touch screen:

And I assume that the percentage hasn't jumped to 100% since.


Don' t think you are understanding Tomi's tweet. In 2012 only 40% of Mobile phones were Smart. (Most of them touch)


If I'm not completely lost with it: 80% of all phones sold (smart and dumb) were non-touch. In addition to that, 40% of smartphones were touch-screen.

You are correct about rough smartphone sales percentage out of all phones. But those two apply together if we assume 6% of dumbphones have touch (e.g. touch screen Ashas).
There has to be some dumbphones with touch.
There can't be more dumbphones with touch or the 80% non-touch of all phones drops percentage of touch screen smartphones even lower than 40%.

Per "wertigon" Ekström


The biggest reason why profits aren't focused on as much, is that profits tend to follow performance, and not the other way around.

E.g. a company with huge profits reaps those profits due to a stellar performance, but a company with huge profits will not neccessarily do a stellar performance the next quarter. When discussing the bloodbath, it doesn't matter if Apple makes a bazillion dollars and Samsung only makes a tenth of that.

This blog focuses on the long term viability of the different brands, and from that point of view market share matters quite a lot, while profits are fickle and doesn't matter as much.


Would you care to explain why Samsung profits started falling before their market share? Samsung market share is now at 20%. It used to be moving between 29% and 34% for 2 years - 8 quarters - but has been declining for 3 consecutive quarters now (profits have declined for 4 quarters).
I have no doubt market share will be down (or flat) again this quarter as Samsung already reported profit drop.

There just is no viable business if you buy market share with low or nonexistent profits.



"This blog focuses on the long term viability of the different brands, and from that point of view market share matters quite a lot, while profits are fickle and doesn't matter as much."

Today it looks like Apple will be the most viable smartphone manufacturer in 2018 and 2020 as far as profitability is concerned. However this probably shouldn't be discussed here since this blog focuses on unit sales and not making money. This is not a financial blog. My guess for iOS market share in 2018 was 17%.



If I'm not completely lost with it: 80% of all phones sold (smart and dumb) were non-touch

Suggest that you check out Tomi's figures for 2012

Smartphones were 40% of ALL phones. Nearly 700M sold in 2012

Android: 65%
iPhone: 20%
Blackberry: 5%

There is no way that 60% (420M) of Smartphones were NON-touch.

Reading between the lines of Tomi's tweet I am sure he meant that the vast majority os smartphones were touch... and by the time you added a few million Dumb touch phones.... you ended up with approximately 40% of ALL phones.

Whatever the final % of touch phones in the smartphone market was back in 2012... I am sure that it is even higher now. See Blackberry's current market share!

PS. Canalys was saying that touch phones were over 50% of the smartphone market....way back in 2010.


I found it:

"We know that only 38% of all smartphones sold now are touch-screen smartphones (which includes hybrids), according to latest Q2 stats by Deloitte. So 62% of smartphones are non-touch screen smartphones (includes non-touch screen style QWERTY based smartphones like say a Blackberry or basic keypad smartphones)."
-September 5, 2012.

According to Tomi 62% of smartphones sold then did not have touch screen of any kind. Smartphones, not "all phones". Word smartphones was used several times.

I'm not making this stuff up, I'm merely quoting Tomi. If you have problem with the numbers, complain to the owner of this blog.


And also: didn't Canalys make some wild Windows Phone forecasts back in 2011? I suppose we should take Tomi's numbers before theirs. The reliability of Tomi's numbers is clear from the touch screen data already.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@AndThis: Ah, but Market Share isn't the only thing that guarantees a long-term strategy. See e.g. Nokia, we all know how that went. :)

However, a large market share is a much better leverage point than a large profit share. Not saying profits aren't important - but profits can disappear in a single quarter. Apple could turn red next quarter if they did a big investment/purchase that made them bleed money, or designed a flop. Market shares are much less fickle, though not the be-all-end-all.

@Lullz: Your faith in your profits is yours. :)

TI 2012 40% of smart phones had touch screen BUT Tomi was talking about 2014!

So what was the touch screen share of all phones in 2014? Tom said 50% and says that he got that number spot on... but I'm saying the actual number was 60-65% so Tomi was over 20% off.

Simply put: Total sales 1.9-2.0B, smart phones 1.3B. And Tomi says "nearly all" of smart phones are touch screen which means the actual touch screen percentage is 60-65%

If "nearly all" is 73% (950M of 1.3B were touch screen) then Tomi is right but his "nearly all" is miserably wrong. Which one is it?



"Your faith in your profits is yours. :)"

No comment on profits really. This blog is about talking about market shares and staying above the red. If you are interested about financial discussion, you should probably look elsewhere.

Soon we are probably going to see peak market share for Android. At least for Android as we know it. It's easy to disagree when you are not specific what you disagree about.



"According to Tomi 62% of smartphones sold then did not have touch screen of any kind. Smartphones, not "all phones". Word smartphones was used several times"

AndThis.... mate, There comes a time when even a anonymous internet commenter has to actually think for himself. Now is that time!

I pointed you to Tomi's own market share figures for 2012. I do this with a level of confidence because Tomi has always said that he averages out the major mobile analyst's numbers.
To recap. Apple's touch screen only iPhone 20%. Android (touch enabled OS) powered phones... 65%. Blackberry (the most likely non-touch OEM... a mere 5%. Everybody else.... Windows, Symbian, Bada and others 10%.

Just use a little common sense. Do you really think it's feasible that most of those phones (and that means most of the Android phones) were non-touchscreen? It's very likely that most Blackberrys were... but they only account for < 5%. Windows phone, all touch. Bada, all touch. Which OEM's were selling hardware keyboard phones ONLY?

Tomi is a mine of facts and stats. God bless him! But that doesn't mean that those figures are ALL 100% accurate. He has a habit of spitting out the latest research figures... as soon as they are released and then using them at a later date to back up any of his latest theories. Where is that Deloitte data?

Since the dawn of the iPhone in 2007 Tomi has been trying to impress upon Apple the need for them to release a phone with a hardware keyboard. Apple didn't hear him. This year more than than 1.5 billion smartphones will be sold to consumers. The vast majority will be touchscreen only. Seems like no one else is listening either.

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