My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media

Subscribe


Blog powered by Typepad

« Trump Debates part 2: Now we know 2 of the 4 finalists in 2016 election (spoiler: both are women) | Main | The Trump Debates Round 2: Now the polls are in, who lost, who gained »

September 23, 2015

Comments

abdul muis

@Tomi, You're the man.

I'm looking forward for your article on (is it good/bad) subject of Apple financing. And should samsung follow that road.

abdul muis

(and PS: you were wrong about Sony. Sony just launch the Z5. Thus, sony is NOT on 1 year cycle, but STILL on 6 month cycle)

Paul

@Tomi

You got it very well!

Now I guess he question is will Apple be able to do it again now that Jobs is not here? Will Apple be able to break into new markets (e.g. TVs, cars)? Apple already kind of failed with iWatch (under Cook's supervision). I can see how Apple might improve best user experience for TVs and it might even succeed on long term but I find it challenging to see how Apple can do it for cars.

abdul muis

@Baron95

"It is very simple. Ask the average person on the street who invented the smartphone, and the vast majority will say Apple.

What came before was irrelevant."

WOW.... Another Astroturfer mind bending word after being disciplined by Tomi????

America is NOT the universe.... If you ask American (2.8% world population) who were lack of knowledge/information (not all were ignorant or lack of information) he might say APPLE. But ask the same to the rest of the world, and you will be educated!!

abdul muis

@Paul

Seeing that Apple lack of quality (bad iOS update under Cook), and lack of imagination / bold design change by the design team (Johny Ive and friend) I think Apple time already passed.

Winter

"It is very simple. Ask the average person on the street who invented the smartphone, and the vast majority will say Apple. What came before was irrelevant."

Ask the average person what OS he uses, and he will say Word.Ask him who invented the PC, and he will will say Bill Gates. Some even think Bill Gates invented the computer.

The average person in a (US) street might not even know where Australia lies on a map:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0TK_vk-XDM

2:20 minutes.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi abdul, Paul Winter

abdul - thanks. On the Apple corporation financial situation haha, that won't happen. But I think you meant the new purchase payment option, to do the contract with Apple instead of the operator/carrier. Yes, that is a big step by Apple and it is rubbing the carriers/operators very badly and when we combine it with the virtual SIM card, it all speaks of Apple's enormous hunger to try to circumvent the operators/carriers and disintermediate them while grabbing those profits in the basic cellular telecoms business without buying expensive cellular licences or building enormously expensive cellular networks.. I am monitoring that space and will be writing about it yes.

On Sony flagship Xperia launch cycle. Yes, it has now reverted back to the 6 month cycle while Sony promised for a while they were quitting that and going to a 12 month cycle. I can only report what is in the news. I did say at the time that a 6 month cycle was more competitive and allowed Sony more maneuvrability to react to market changes and customer demand, that going to 12 months was not a good move by Sony while it would save them some money. As Sony's market share has fallen, I think Sony came to the same conclusion, hence they went back to the 6 month cycle.

Paul - (thanks) yeah, it is the big question about Apple. Is there a life after Steve Jobs. Can Apple continue to reinvent industries and find 'new market spaces' like we wrote in the book Communities Dominate Brands when we did our case study about the iPod and iTunes. Music industry was seen as a stagnant industry past its prime, yet Apple reinvented it (with Steve Jobs). The thing is, there was - now obvious with hind sight - a big problem with the music consumer experience of the 1990s and the tech as used back then, ie you could only fit a dozen or two dozen songs onto a cassette or CD Rom etc and thus taking along 'all your music' was not feasible with the technologies then in use. Apple was very smart to notice they can reinvent the music experience by using new tech - Apple WAS the first PC maker to put a CD Rom reader onto a desktop computer, they had been studying this mass storage world for quite a while. Still it was a big gamble. And it worked out.

What is wrong with the wristwatch situation, is that there is no 'inherent problem' with telling time on the wrist. A battery-operated modern digital watch will keep perfect time for a year, the wrist-appearance is well accepted and if you just want to see the time, doing it now on an Apple Watch or any other smart watch is no better. No inherent gain. But compare to the time-keeping on the mobile phone. There we get tons of benefits a normal 'dumb watch' on the wrist can't match, starting from calendar, touch-screen, multiple alarms, and going to network-time ie if you travel across time zones, the smartphone can update correct local time as you land, etc. The smartphone can do BETTER time-keeping than the traditional wristwatch. THEN you get the contest not on can we make the wrist-device smarter (obviously it can be done) but can it be as good as the phablet in our pocket. Here is where the smartwatch utterly loses the battle. It was a losing proposition, and I am certain Steve Jobs would never have allowed the Apple Watch out to the market if he was alive, because it was not good enough, it did not change the world, and thus it was not 'Apple-ish' enough. It was not a Mac or iPod or iTunes or iPhone or iPad. It was just another smart watch that never would change the world. It was a bad step by Apple that brings it back to being closer to 'just another tech company'.

I say the next Apple iProduct is now the key. The next thing HAS to change the world in a similar way to how the iPhone changed mobile phones or the Mac changed PCs. It can't be just another digital TV play or another electrical car or whatnot. It has to be 'Apple'. And I think that both the TV and car experience are not in such a stage that Apple could achieve that 'Macintosh moment' with those industries. Tesla yes, I think Tesla has now done enough to electric cars to be seen as the revolution for the car industry (and helped now with the Volkswagen diesel crisis). Is there 'space' to be revolutionary in that space now? I don't think so. What of TV? That is all about the content, and the cable TV industry is in all sorts of trouble. Can Apple revolutionize that? Again, I am very skeptical because of all the free content that exists online and then the 400-channel cable/satellite systems that try to compete with those. Its not at all like the music industry was in the 1990s when we really were constrained in what music could be listened to at any one point, not just portable but also at home (play one album, or one CD, or one cassette at a time).

I wrote on this blog that the camera industry is ripe for an Apple revolution. Here the strengths of Apple fit perfectly, the cellular industry/mobile gains are enormous compared to stand-alone camera use, and the legacy players are all struggling in the onslaught of cheap cameraphones. A premium Apple camera play into premium but not quite professional cameras (with iPhone-fully-integrated) would seem like a great opportunity to skim tons of profits and see the future and do an Apple play to that industry.

Money, payments is another that is very broken in terms of cumbersome systems that don't talk to each other and are either very technically old or then modern but incompatible. Here Apple has the problem it doesn't have the scale. This sits as the natural domain for Google and arguably also for Samsung, rather than Apple. And Apple has already started its play here, obviously so its no more 'new thing' for Apple to do.

Not every industry is now in a 'music player' situation. For the truly 'Apple-ish' revolution like the Mac, like iPod, like the iPhone, we need an industry in that kind of crisis (PCs without a mouse, trying to do it all with the keyboard, music players with cassettes and CD Roms, smartphones trying to do it all with the tiny keypad and dozens of little buttons rather than touch screen). There probably are such industries but I can't think of others than cameras. Cars and TVs are not in that category and clearly neither was the wristwatch industry.

Winter and abdul - haha yeah, the average person even globally is pretty ignorant and Americans unfortunately nowadays even more so. But we try to keep the truth alive here on this blog haha. And if you don't study the past, you are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past.. (says Tomi the wannabe History professor)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

abdul muis

@Tomi

Yes, I mean that. And should samsung follow apple on that one? I heard that samsung also preparing to offer the same financing.

Lullz

The next big question is if Apple is going to be closer to 10% or 20% market share in 2020. My opinion is that iOS will be closer to 20% market share of smartphones sold. I'm also estimating that perhaps 85-90% of the phones sold will be smartphones by 2020. This is because today it looks like the growth of the smartphone sales are slowing down and people seem to have some uses for dumphones. Some even prefer dumphones by default since there are too few smartphones with keyboards.

Winter

@Lullz
"This is because today it looks like the growth of the smartphone sales are slowing down and people seem to have some uses for dumphones."

By 2020, any "dumbphones" sold will be simple smartphones. At some point, it will be uneconomical to keep alive a production line for dumbphones. People who only need/want a dumbphone will have to buy a cheap, bare bones smartphone.

@Lullz
"The next big question is if Apple is going to be closer to 10% or 20% market share in 2020. My opinion is that iOS will be closer to 20% market share of smartphones sold. "

How many smartphones do you think will be sold in 2020? I would guess that in 2020, 7B humans will have a smartphone and around 2 billion smartphones will be sold. 20% of sales would mean around 20% of installed base. 20 % of 7 billion smartphones means an installed base of 1.4B iPhones.

But Apple does not price their phones to be reachable by 20% of humanity. They price the iPhone as a luxury article being affordable by ~5% of humanity. So, unless Apple drop their prices dramatically, they will end up at far below 10% of market share.

Lullz

@abdul muis

It's a very hard question about who invented what. Can you answer few of these? I really would like to hear your answers.

Who invented the first home computer with a general purpose 8 bit cpu?

Who invented the first 16 bit consumer oriented computer?

Who invented the first 32 bit game console?

Who invented the first 64 bit smartphone?

All these innovations were needed for the latest and greatest mobile phones since they pretty much have all that tech inside. Despite that very few people know or even agree about the answers for those questions.

Winter

@Lullz
"It's a very hard question about who invented what."

The questions are wrong. Because there is an inherent ambiguity in your use of "Invented". Do you mean "Designed" or "Build"?

It is clear there were people who invented the semiconductor transistor and the integrated circuit. But the first "home computer" was not invented, it was build based on concepts that had been floating around for years. There were "inventions" involved in making it a real product. But the concepts of a home computer or mobile communicator were already depicted in old stories like Star Trek.

Likewise, a 64 bit smartphone had not to be invented after there was a 32 bit smartphone. People were just waiting for the right components to become economical. The idea of a 64 bit smartphone and how you would need to build it were written down long before these components were available. And there is no single person or company that can be pointed out as having "invented" the 64 bit smartphone.

Lullz

@Winter

"By 2020, any "dumbphones" sold will be simple smartphones. At some point, it will be uneconomical to keep alive a production line for dumbphones. People who only need/want a dumbphone will have to buy a cheap, bare bones smartphone."

I'm aware of this forecast and it may happen like that. However I disagree about this and suggest that there will be dumphones left in 2020 for some purposes. The production cost shouldn't be a problem since today it's incredibly cheap to produce even small batches of products and since the dumphones are alredy designed, the small changes they will need will be also quite cheap to design. We need to wait for few years to see what will actually happen. No forecast is destined to happen no matter how good it is, don't you agree about that?

"How many smartphones do you think will be sold in 2020?"

I would go with 2B or possibly even less if the trend continues and smartphones will have a longer life with second hand users. Also notice that I said Apple would be closer to 20% than to 10%. This means I'm betting for more than 15% and even 15.1% would do that. This means Apple would need to sell 300 million or more phones. I have given my estimations for iPhone sales earlier this year and I'm not changing that. However I'm simply saying that 250 million phones for 2015 might be doable. That would leave Apple with more than 16% market share for 2015. I don't see why that should change since iPhones are probably becoming at least slightly cheaper in the low end and the world population is getting wealthier.

"But Apple does not price their phones to be reachable by 20% of humanity."

Assuming that Apple sold less than 50% of the phones in the price category for the cheapest iPhone to the most expensive one in 2014, I would say that 400 million phones were purchased in that category. Also not that 20% of the population is not needed for 20% market share since not everyone buys a new phone every year. Actually about only one phone for 3 persons were sold in 2014. If there were 2B smartphone buyers in 2020 it would take less than 6% of the population to get a 20% market share and little more than 4% for getting more than 15% market share.

Paul

@Tommi

That's the longest reply I have ever gotten from you!

I agree with you that iWatch would have never been launched as a product under Jobs for the obvious reasons which you have stated.

Regarding camera and phones, I didn't mention it on purpose (maybe Apple reads it and gets ideas hahaha) but I agree with you.

In TV/cable industry Apple might be able to twist some hands and push forward using brute force its way thru but I do not see how this would work in money-payments area. I am also skeptical regarding Apple succeeding in TV area but I think that the probability of succeeding is higher than in money payment area.

Lullz

@Winter

Impressing. You actually got my point. Inventing something is not that easy as it sounds like. Or actually defining who invented what.

I have no problem giving Nokia credit for inventing the smartphone. That however was also based on some concepts and earlier designs. Some people even dare to say that IBM Simon was the first smartphone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Simon

"The Simon Personal Communicator was the first cellular phone to include telephone and PDA features in one device."

It was even possible to load applications on that phone. Some are saying it was a phone like iPhone 3G was in 2008 because there is a touch screen.

So, what's your opinion about who invented the smartphone?

Lullz

@Paul

"I agree with you that iWatch would have never been launched as a product under Jobs for the obvious reasons which you have stated."

Jobs did launch some ill-fated products like the original Apple TV and Ping. Those were not that great success stories but they were valuable lessons for Apple. The first one actually has evolved into the latest Apple TV we will see in few months. The watch is a new product category and I see how there is some need for a product like that. There are occasions where taking the phone out of the pocket is not that acceptable but quickly looking at your watch just might be. That's a niche but as long as it's a profitable one, I see no problem going there. It definitely seems to be profitable for Apple.

"I am also skeptical regarding Apple succeeding in TV area but I think that the probability of succeeding is higher than in money payment area."

Apps on Apple TV might be huge. People like to play some games on the big screen where everyone can see it without holding a device. This won't be as huge as iPhone but most likely a very profitable venture for Apple. I'm not going to talk more about the profits because that's out of the scope of this blog. Apple may also learn from the new Apple TV since there may be some interesting synergies with the iPhone and with the watch.

Paul

@Lulz

> Jobs did launch some ill-fated products like the original Apple TV and Ping.

Yes, he did that BUT still Jobs would have not launched a product like iWatch.

> Those were not that great success stories but they were valuable lessons for Apple.
> The first one actually has evolved into the latest Apple TV we will see in few months.

> The watch is a new product category and I see how there is some need for a product
> like that. There are occasions where taking the phone out of the pocket is not
> that acceptable but quickly looking at your watch just might be. That's a niche

That is super-slim niche! Still Jobs would have not done it!

> but as long as it's a profitable one, I see no problem going there. It definitely seems to be profitable for Apple.

Also selling bread loafs and flowers would be profitable for Apple but Apple does not do those because is below the threshold of profitability which Apple has set for itself(20%?) and Apple cannot improve the user experience for those. I really do not see how the iWatch improves the user experience for someone who already has an iPhone (maybe I am thick but still for both I need to raise my hand to look at them and push something).


Winter

@Lullz
"I'm aware of this forecast and it may happen like that. However I disagree about this and suggest that there will be dumphones left in 2020 for some purposes. The production cost shouldn't be a problem since today it's incredibly cheap to produce even small batches of products and since the dumphones are alredy designed, the small changes they will need will be also quite cheap to design."

The problem is in the chips, e.g., the CPU and hardware controllers. By 2020, it might be cheaper to use a 2019 64 bit ARM SoC than to go for some obsolete 2010 processor design. Most likely, it will be cheaper to use OTS prints and parts to make a cheap smartphone than to try to re-create a dumbphone.

Lullz

@Winter

Are you going to define a smartphone with some kind of hardware based definition or what are you saying? Is it possible to turn a dumphone or a feature phone into a smartphone?

What's your opinion on this one. Does a 2007 iPhone with iOS 2.x qualify as a smartphone? Do you consider the original iPhone with iPhone OS 1.x a smartphone? Tomi says it's not one.

Paul

@Lulz

> Apps on Apple TV might be huge.

There have been apps on Apple TV for a very long time. For example, YouTube on Apple TV is an app.
Also, ChromeCast has had apps for years. Therefore Apple is really late in this area and it is more of a reaction to the competition than anything else.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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