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« World Has 5.8 Billion Mobile Phone Handsets used by 5.0 Billion unique human beings, out of 7.4 Billion people alive | Main | iPhone Q4 Numbers? A good quarter in a bad year. Q4 unit sales up 5% but full year 2016 sales down 7% vs 2015 »

January 31, 2017

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Peter F. Mayer

Please Tomi, let us know your views about the Nokia 6, it's success in China and possible upcoming smartphones.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Peter

Good early reception, is promising for the roll-out this Spring to most of markets where Nokia traditionally was/is strong brand. I am waiting to see the first full line-up of the first smartphones, which we should see in Barcelona in a few weeks. Then I'll have a far better understanding of what they're up to at HMD and can give some guidance. This first Nokia 6 was obviously their fastest-to-market rush-job just in time for Chinese New Year's sales last week. They had very nice initial success with that. I'd expect a relatively rapid roll-out of that model into wide sales from India to Africa etc.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Darwinphish

Technically Deloitte did not "count" 120M used smartphones sold. Their report was a prediction.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

Regarding Apple unit numbers:

So, 78.29M. Now, given 400M-ish global units, Apple moving average market share has grown to 14.8%. That is impressive... Until you look at the context.

Apples main rival, Samsung, had to recall their top-of-the-line smartphone due to exploding batteries. We knew Apple would get a big boost out of this. So it makes sense. It seems like for every time Apple needs the competition to stumble, they stumble. Every single time.

So, congrats Apple for yet another easy year. I look forward to the day when Samsung or any other high-end Android manufacturer hits a homerun and then DOESN'T trip while running... :)

Tester

@Wayne:

"But iPhone marketshare globally continues to fall."


At least you notice that. Don't delude yourself. This is a clear indicator that the only markets where Apple can play out their strength is the ones where they have been the top brand before.
We will see where this goes. Apple is and remains strongest in markets with broken competition where high costs are hidden in obtuse pricing models. But the fact is, if you go out on the streets here in Germany, you very, very rarely see iPhones. They are simply not mainstream enough. Most people carry medium priced Androids.

"And this was achieved with a strong US dollar making the iPhone even more expensive everywhere else."

It's just that this argument is 100% bogus. It didn't make the iPhone more expensive everywhere else, economics do not work like that that prices are adjusted to currency exchange rates. This only hit Apple's profit line, nothing else.


And Per is right: A large part of Apple's success in the last quarter was due to Samsung being a virtual no-show and some customers switching to Apple as a result.

About the Apple Watch: It's nice that there's no numbers, it probably means just that Apple sold double of virtually nothing - it's still an irrelevant market segment, the population at large has no interest in smartwatches and that won't change.

You know what will really become interesting? Watching the app market implode and the transition to web apps. That would kill the biggest lock-in factor Apple still has and that development is inevitable. The cost of a native app is 10-20x that of making a web app - most of that money is lost in the submission bureaucracy, btw. We already know that making apps to generate revenue is a failed business model, and that the only way for developers to get some money is contract work. Well, think again! We developers rarely see customers who are willing to acknowledge that high cost, they think they can have it for cheap, just like a web app where they can pay some fixed sum and afterward to some casual maintenance. Native apps are a cost driving factor that gets massively underestimated by many service providers. It's inevitable that this part of the market won't last long, as soon as web apps are 'good enough' the game will be over. But what if the smartphone just becomes a dumb terminal for web services? I wonder how that will affect the market, as it'd eliminate the biggest reason for sticking to one 'ecosystem'.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Wayne: "Apple became the world's largest smartphone maker by unit volume. THAT is due to the exploding Samsung phone debacle and won't stand."

Eh, no? Even with the exploding note, Samsung has sold how many units compared to Apple? Why are you telling lies Wayne? :)

Furthermore, there is heavy consolidation coming along in the chinese brands which Tomi will probably report on in the next quarterly report / 2016 summary. So, Apple is not just #2 currently - they are #3! Possibly even Samsung could be #2 if that consolidation is taken into account.

Sadly, I have lost hope for Sony to recover, ever. Great phones still - but their marketing is such stupid fucktards, that Sony can never gain much of traction. I'll keep buying as long as they produce, but fortunately I always have the option of switching to Nexus or any other high-end Android brand.

If you go Apple... You're stuck with Apple. For better and worse. :)

Huber

@Per: "Sadly, I have lost hope for Sony to recover, ever. Great phones still - but their marketing is such stupid fucktards, that Sony can never gain much of traction."

True. I think we can add HTC and LG to this list.

Both the HTC 10 and the LG G5 were good phones. But both LG and HTC had no marketing to speak of, and LG topped it all by sending faulty pre-production LG G5s to reviewers last year, probably just to make sure to get bad reviews. What a bunch of morons.

And now in 2017, the LG G6 will come - DRUMROLL - with a non-removable battery and the outdated Snapdragon 821 SoC. Just when you think that things cannot get worse, the idiots in charge find new ways to alienate their customers!

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Wayne:

There is more to a market than profits. Apple is betting heavily on profits, margins and apps.

All three are fleeting, unforgiving things that will turn on Apple eventually.

Apple is like Cersei Lannister right now - all their assets right now will run out, the question is only when.

Android, meanwhile, is like Daenarys Targaryen - came from nowhere, grew strong elsewhere, and swallowed the land whole eventually.

John Phamlore

I, who have no inside information, have an unfailing crystal ball that I have been using to unfailingly predict who will continue to sell well in the smartphone business. And I have been sharing it for over 5 years.

Who has their own ARM SoC? That alone determines who will be the longterm winners and who will be the also-rans.

A company that doesn't have their own ARM SoC isn't a true smartphone maker, they are merely a reseller of Android and Qualcomm or MediaTek.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Wayne:

Again. Apple is Cersei Lannister. Noone playing the Game of Thrones seriously take Cersei seriously, because they all know her power will fade soon.

What's left are the fools blinded by her beauty and/or afraid of her wrath. Not good things to base your kingdom on. Fast forward five years, and let's see what happens then... :)

As for things like Apple pay - doesn't matter if 90% of consumers cannot use it. Apple Music - Inaccessible to 90% of the general populace. Airpods - Inaccessible. Apple Watch - Inaccessible.

Apple has painted themselves into a corner with their 500M iPhone users, and that base will start shrinking soon-ish. It is inevitable.

Web apps - Safari is the new IE6 [1], holding the technology back, but sooner or later killer apps will appear that require more modern browsers, and that will hopefully happen sooner this time. And if Safari does fix the stuff they should, then there will be little reason to choose Apple over Android.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12051267

Winter

@Per
"Web apps - Safari is the new IE6 [1], holding the technology back, "

I can agree with that.

I know of at least one client side JS Web App that runs on ALL PC OS', Linux, OSX, and Windows and also in Android. It runs on Firefox, Edge, and Google Chrome and all its derivatives. It is marvelous to see the same code run inside a browser on every PC or Android appliance. And the whole app will store locally in the browser and can run offline. It really works on an Android phone without an internet connection.

Alas, it really needs WebRTC sound. So, everything works on Safari, except for the sound and the offline part (I think), and it does not run at all on iOS. That does bring me back to the old IE6 days where your website JS would work on IE6 or on other browsers, but not both. Except, that this will not work in ANY way on iOS.

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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 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

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