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« Migration of Digital Services to Mobile: in Gaming, mobile becomes largest sector this year | Main | We Can Now Estimate Global Android Forked Installed Base ie AOSP Devices vs 'full Google' Android »

May 03, 2017



Chipmaker Qualcomm is planning to ask a U.S. agency to ban the import of iPhones to the U.S. This is said to be in retaliation for Apple's recent decision in late April to stop licensing payments to Qualcomm.


Qualcomm will ask for it but wont get it

Gul Dukat


Apple = No God
Apple = Bad Man
If United State = Good, Qualcom = Win, iPhone = block to US

iPhone = big bezel
big bezel = not premium
Apple 8 = bad look = not premium now



"The fact that Apple is sitting on a enormous pile of cash actually is a big disadvantage for them because it will make Apple lazy and obese"

That's actually something I never thought of before but indeed may be a genuine danger. Wasn't this part of what made Microsoft tumble in recent years? They also got too much money and became complacent - just taking their place at the top of the foodchain for granted. The signs have been on the wall for quite some time for Apple, but so fat they never made the fatal misstep, at least not with iPhones. I see bigger trouble brewing with macOS gradually abandoning industry standard APIs like OpenGL which by now is already several years behind and actually hopelessly outdated.

"Chipmaker Qualcomm is planning to ask a U.S. agency to ban the import of iPhones to the U.S."

In this case I side with Apple. They may be abusive, but compared to Qualcomm they can be actually considered friendly. But if those two did each other in, it'd be good news for everybody.

Wayne Brady

Looks like the Apple Watch flopped itself to the number one wearable in the world this qtr (according to strategy Analytics) with 3.5M watches sold. Not that I agree with lumping fitbits with smart watches in the first place.

If it's smart watch vs smart watch - then there is no comoetition at all.

Any while they "Apple is doomed" folks are still posting - consider these Apple Watches sell at near twice the price of the average Android smartphone.


You still do not comprehend why some people here are predicting Apple's eventual downfall, do you?

It's not because they are making money right now.
The problem some people see with Apple is that their products are getting dull, predictable and pedestrian. That's a toxic combination for a company which thrives off being a fashion brand.

And by 'toxic' I mean long-term effect. When this shit hits the fan it'll bee too late to react.


Apple taking a beating in Chinese market shows something besides that Chinese are being patriotic and buying domestic phones. The real reason is that China market is where the Android manufacturers are currently most competitive, due to the strong presence of Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi. Besides the aging fashion statement that iphone brings you, what does it actually do otherwise? People in China figured out that iphone actually does nothing better than a mid range Android phones costing much less from likes of Huawei and are leaving Apple camp in flocks. The danger for Apple is that if Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi can become equally competitive everywhere, there will be even faster downfall for Apple iphone market share globally. So China can be seen as preview of the future of smart phone market unfolding.

Wayne Brady

Apple isn't doomed because they simply aren't doomed. They have the strongest business by far in the industry. Claims that Apple's products are "dull" are perennial. There has never been a time when the anti-Apple folks here have EVER said "you know, this year's iPhone is really nice". Never. Not once. The iPhone can only every "have been good" so as to say "this year's iPhone is crap, iPhones are not good ANYMORE". But they were NEVER considered good.

I think, 9 years in, we should FINALLY be able to recognize that Apple is not selling the same product everyone else is. The iPhone has done just exactly what the Mac did....only far better. Same with the iPod. Same with the iPad. And now, same with the Apple Watch and Apple AirPods. Apple can make a product, integrate vertically with hardware, software and services in such a way that a certain very lucrative part of the market will choose them DESPITE the existence of cheaper commodity competition.

Remember when iPhones weren't supposed to sell well outside the US because the rest of the world was smart and sophisticated about mobile phones and the Americans were complete idiots? Remember when the Japanese were hailed as the savviest of smartphone consumers? Remember when China was a place the iPhone was never going to succeed? I do.

And now Apple lost 15% yoy sales in the same time, Samsung lost 65% of it's unit sales in China. I'd say that shows Apple has done REMARKABLY well in China against the toughest competition in the world. Oh, remember when Nokia, Blackberry, Motorola, Sony-Erricson were the toughest competition in the world that Apple had no chance against? Remember when China Mobile, Docomo and Verizon and the rest of the Telco's had "all the power" that Apple would be helpless against?

Remember phones with keyboards, flip phones, candy bar phones, slider phones were all the rage and "nobody but Apple fanboys" would buy a phone without a keyboard? Remember how teens were addicted to the BB messenger and businesses to Blackberry mail?

Remember how Apple has NEVER been innovative? Remember that the LG Chocolate phone was supposed to be the phone that Apple copied from? Remember how the iPhone's camera was terrible and years behind everyone else's? Remember when the iPhone was 2G when 3G was the norm....then 3G when LTE had already arrived....then remained with small screens while Samsung and the rest offered large screens?

Sure you do. Saying "Apple is no longer innovative" is the same shit you guys have been saying all along. You didn't understand what people liked about the iPhone then and you still don't. You console yourselves by watching the marketshare of the iPhone fall and turn a blind eye to the growing share of ALL mobile phones and the huge and still growing install base. You completely ignore the astonishing ASP, one that's still going up more than three years after the complete collapse of the Android ASP.

None of these things means Apple will be successful forever. But there is no current sign WHATSOEVER that Apple's business is anything but a juggernaut going from strength to strength. The Apple Watch is an iPhone ACCESSORY that brings in more business than any Android phone business does save Samsung.

Sure, people are holding onto their iPhones longer than they used to....that's a sign of a maturing market, not a weak product. Google's premium (iPhone priced) Pixel phone only comes with 2 years of promised OS upgrade support. Two years. And that's THE BEST to be had in Android land and only comes with the SAME price you'd pay to get an iPhone where you get 5 or more years of OS upgrades that your device can still run. So yeah, Apple customers can hold onto their phones longer because they are great phones supported well. That's how you get a 10% increase in installed base in the same qtr where yoy unit sales were down 1%.

And that huge and growing install base buys apps, storage, movies, music and other services such that Apple's service business ALONE is better than any other Android PHONE business (save Samsung). And the trajectory is such that the service business alone will eclipse Samsung's smartphone profits.

All this time, the best "innovation" that the Android community has to win against the iPhone is cheapness. The average ASP of an Android phone is LESS than 1/3rd of the iPhone's. And the MEDIAN is lower than that. Android is winning in unit market share by far ONLY by having VASTLY cheaper phones...not better phones.

Wayne Brady

About Apple's cash hoard. Stepping very carefully and in full respect of "this is a marketshare blog"...

Tomi's "Apple has more money than God" statement is his recognition of, and decision not to discuss...of this issue.

So I don't write this to Tomi, but to those who just opined that having so much money is actually a BAD SIGN for Apple. Really? No...REALLY?

Well...folks who report the cash balance don't report "but $$$B have been borrowed in the US". Yep, Apple is spending this money already, has been for years. It's just that Apple would be subject to something like 35% tax if they brought that cash to the US. So they use the cash for all of their needs outside the US. Things like buying up RAM and other premium components far in advance....investing in their suppliers giving THEM the money to ramp up exclusively for Apple and the like. And they do things like buy the company that gave them Sire and the Israeli company that had all those chip engineers that helped Apple hit the 64bit market a year and a half ahead of all the competition....and so on.

But they also spend that money in the US by borrowing money. I'm not sure what the net is of Cash minus debt, but it's tens of billions less than the headline $xxxB.

Apple funds all the research and development that it wants to undertake. Apple buys whatever business they desire to buy. Apple buys all the components they need to buy. Apple simply continues to make many more billions than they need to do all they desire to do. Even after over paying for energy so they can say they run completely on renewable energy.



Indeed Apple is going down slowly. Because of Apple's cash pile, Apple is more likely to solve its problems and challenges by throwing money than to innovate thru hard work. Innovation and shopping for a solution with a pile of money are different things.


"Indeed Apple is going down slowly."

Actually Apple was not down. They were flat. The unit sales went up 300000 year over year.

Samsungs sales went down massivly and even worse the average price per unit of $232 USD, representing a 19.5% decrease from a year earlier. Apple recorded a 7% increase in the average price of its smartphones throughout 2016, up to $645 per unit sold and flat unit sales (up less than 1%)

This gives you the clearer picture how bad things are for the Apple competition.

You shouldn´t worry about the Apples cash pile because Apple knows what it is doing with it. You don´t. We who have been following Apple for long time do know what is happening with it and it is stroke of genius and we thank Tim Cook for it. He is the wizard behind the Apple Manufacturing System.



>Actually Apple was not down. They were flat. The unit sales went up 300000 year over year.

According to Tomi, Apple is going down. Tomi wrote: "Apple reported 50.8 million units of iPhones in calendar quarter 1 ie January-March quarter. That is down 1% vs same quarter a year ago."


"According to Tomi, Apple is going down."

Yes he should correct his mistake and next time listen to what Tim Cook says.

Though Tomi always corrects his mistakes.

Wayne Brady

Flat (if you look at sell through) or down 1%, the story doesn't change. Apple had a rough quarter in China, it's second most important market. How should that be interpreted?

15% down, and that means Apple's iPhone is no longer desirable, and Oppo/Vivo will finally do what Huawei and Xioami have promised to do but haven't (so far)?

15% down but compared to the only global peer Apple has (Samsung), who was down 65% in the same quarter -- the iPhone held up very well.

15% down in China, and perhaps China is the bell weather for the rest of the world portending bad things for the iPhone?

15% down in China who's players have STILL not gone on to make a significant play in the rest of the world after all these years, Apple is doing just fine.

The qtr unit sales all by itself doesn't tell you what you'd need to know to pick which of the narratives is really at play.


"macOS gradually abandoning industry standard APIs like OpenGL"

Apple is not the only one who has abandoned OpenGL. You can ad to the list everybody plus Microsoft. The support just isn't going to be there anymore.

Apple really does not care what "everybody" else are doing. If they consider something to be legacy stuff they will throw it out. Same whining we had with the case of Flash.
Apple wont wait for others to start the committee meetings. They do their own and much faster. This is the case with the A-series processors where they were first let down by Intel and then screwed by Samsung. We remember what happened with Motorola and IBM. You can bet that in the first possibility Apple will do things by themself and now it is Metal. Countdown for Intel has already started and it is only matter of time when Apple will ditch Intel from their supply chain. Intel has been ignoring Apples needs for too long now.

Qualcomm is not a threat to Apple. Apple can buy Qualcomm with the money that Tim Cook has in his jeans pocket.

Gul Dukat


"That's actually something I never thought of before but indeed may be a genuine danger. Wasn't this part of what made Microsoft tumble in recent years? They also got too much money and became complacent - just taking their place at the top of the foodchain for granted. The signs have been on the wall for quite some time for Apple, but so fat they never made the fatal misstep, at least not with iPhones. I see bigger trouble brewing with macOS gradually abandoning industry standard APIs like OpenGL which by now is already several years behind and actually hopelessly outdated."

Not right.
Google = Have BIG money = good = iinovate.
Apple = Have BIG money = bad = not iinovate.
Reason, Apple CEO = bad CEO = not smart
Same, Microsoft old CEO = bad CEO = not smart.

Gul Dukat


"The problem some people see with Apple is that their products are getting dull, predictable and pedestrian. That's a toxic combination for a company which thrives off being a fashion brand."

Use Mercedes Benz = expensive and best
Use iPhone = expensive and not best

old time
iPhone = dumb person = fashion only
android = smart person

now time
Galaxy S8 = beautiful = fashion
iPhone = no fashion. no sell. dumb*2 person

Gul Dukat


"The danger for Apple is that if Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi can become equally competitive everywhere, there will be even faster downfall for Apple iphone market share globally. So China can be seen as preview of the future of smart phone market unfolding."

Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi = sell good
Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi = rich
rich = more store = more country

Huawi, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi = more sell good = more rich
Apple = will down more country

Gul Dukat

@Wayne Brady

Apple = no pay tax = you happy?
you happy = you iddiot!!
no pay tax = all usa lost!!

Gul Dukat


I question you.
Galaxy S8 = fashion = beautiful
How apple fight?
Apple no fashion now.
Apple lost



It's clear that you completely missed the point.

Yes, OpenGL may be nearing the end of its life as a state-of-the-art graphics API.
But here's the catch: The lastest version is 4.5. Apple supports 4.1 (or 4.2, not sure) but on both Linux and Windows the implementation is OPEN, i.e. it's not the OS vendor which decides what it can and can not do but the graphics driver developers. And both systems are at 4.5, fully supporting all recent features. This is strike #1 against Apple: OpenGL is even more a dead end on macOS than the other platforms.
Strike #2 is Vulkan: Microsoft never added one bit of support to implement Vulkan, yet the system is open enough that the graphics hardware vendors were able to provide support on their own. Same on Linux. Not so much on macOS. The totally botched situation right now is that you can target both Windows and Linux with an industry standard, forward looking high performance graphics API. To support Apple, well, bad luck: You have to use a proprietary API with a somewhat different philosophy.
Why is this bad? Because unlike OpenGL, Vulkan works great on Windows and both NVidia and AMD are fully behind it. The question now is: Will the software developers do all the extra work for a minority platform with notoriously shitty graphics hardware? I consider it mostly unlikely. Microsoft could afford their own API for two reasons: They were a) the majority platform and b) the competing API simply was not good.

The simple fact is that the small mistakes on Apple's account are increasing, and if they continue to make cross-platform software development a hassle, they will lose. They are not Microsoft which at their best commanded 95% of their market. Apple is at less than 20% in smartphones and less than 5% in PCs. The main issue with these mistakes is that at first they won't register as fatal.
But taking OpenGL as an example again, until now this wasn't something that would seriously affect software making decisions. But Vulkan is an entirely new game. It has a good chance to become the de-factor 3D standard, it will be available on all platforms, including Android, but not Apple. This will increase costs for Apple software development because the platform loses one major point of synergy with the rest of the computing world, and once this results in business decisions that leave Apple on the side, it will be too late.


I don't think that the beginning decline of Apple already shows in their balance sheet. But I see a growing trend that people are less enthusiastic about Apple.

I hear diehard Apple fans saying that things went downhill after Steve Jobs left. That their new iMac had problems synchronizing the data with their old Mac, which never happened in the past. That they would have prefered a Mac Pro instead anyways, but the Mac Pro is so ridiculous that the iMac was the saner choice.

I hear people saying that the days of "it just works" are gone.

I see people sticking to their old Macbook because they don't like the USB Type C hell Apple wants them to go (and buy a bag full of dongles).

This is a change in the general mood, and it is currently compensated by people still buying Apple, albeit more and more with less and less enthusiasm.

If Apple continues this way, they will fall of a cliff in a few years. Of course, Apple can still reverse course. But I don't think Tim Cook is capable of this, so let's see.


"But I don't think Tim Cook is capable of this, so let's see"

Do you realize that you are talking about worlds best CEO that knows Apple better than anybody in the world. He has worked in the Apple over 23 years. He is the one who greated the machine that is Apple today and in the future. He also made us filthy rich.,

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

Ok, we're back to this 'Apple is doomed' debate. And its time to bring in 'Good Cop' version of me. I love Apple...

Apple is Not Gonna Darned Die. It isn't about to lose its crown as the most profitable company in human history. Listen to that. Apple is not about to lose its position as the most successful company ever. Apple is SAFE to remain the most successful company of any industry, of all time, into the FORESEEABLE FUTURE. For many many years.

Why? Because they own the top-end of the premium segment of the most sold technology on the planet. An industry that is still GROWING (smartphones) and will keep on growing for at least the next four years. Even if Apple slowly bleeds some market share - as long as it holds its premium slice - it will SAFELY be ludicrously profitable and obscenely rich. Just getting RICHER.

Now while Apple is the most successful business humankind has ever seen - Apple's OPPORTUNITY was wasted. This astonishing company could have been FAR richer STILL. They sacrificed far more growth and profits for short-term nonsense and for stupid side projects like the Apple Watch. That will NOT KILL the company. But it means Apple squandered huge opportunities. If they played the OBVIOUS low-cost smartphone trend smartly, they'd STILL be the most profitable company in history - but have 20% market share today and FAR FAR FAR more SALES and FAR FAR FAR more total profits and a FAR FAR larger total market for their ecosystem. This is a BLUNDER by stupid management.

The fact Apple is the richest company ever, is not by smart management by Tim Cook. The reason Apple is the richest company ever, is that Steve Jobs returned to teach Apple to pursue only profitable luxury niche markets with outrageously-priced premium products (starting with the iPod music player) and then - completely unrelated to Steve Jobs's brilliance, Apple's revival coincided with the global revolution of smartphones (Apple was VERY late to smartphones, idiots in charge, desperately avoiding obvious opportunities). If Jobs had done the smart thing with smartphones, he would have never bothered with the Motorola Rokr nonsense - back when I was still employed at Nokia - this is year 2001 - we already feared the day Apple would launch its own phones. But idiots at Apple squandered another SIX YEARS before they finally bothered give us the iPhone.

Apple's dominant position is the ruthless relentless pursuit of their Apple iSheep style customers who trust Apple to do it right, with the restricted Apple nonsense of non-conforming non-industry standard and crippled products - designed with a philosphy of simplicity and perfection. If that is your cup of tea - nobody has ANY chance of ever toppling Apple at this game. Nobody will ever take that hard-core 10% who buy Macs, and have iTunes accounts and use both iPhones and iPads. Some of those can be identified by their lumpy and increasingly unfashionable iTags on their wrists.

That market is a GOLD MINE. Because Steve Jobs, THE Steve Jobs, taught Apple management how to feed the iSheep, that company will NOT mess up their local flock. There will be beautiful Macbooks and fabulous iPads and gorgeous iPhones with awesome Apple-ish solutions. For the rest of us, the Apple products are increasingly seen as nerdy and quirky and limiting and stupid and hopelessly overpriced like most of the planet looked at Hummer SUV vehicles as ridiculously overpriced 'only an American could love this' tpe of tech.

Apple has its loyal army that is HUGE and roughly speaking its 10% of the planet. The people who love Apple or aspire to it. That is a niche market.

Now - the relevant point to our discussion is not the 'eminent DEATH' of Apple nor any eminent COLLAPSE of Apple, but the SHATTERING OF THE ILLUSION. There has been an illusion in the USA that somehow because Apple is a big player in mobile and seen as the rival to Samsung, that therefore iOS is an equal rival to Android. That illusion is being shattered as we speak. You've seen how many media brands abandoned their silly iPad media plans. Now we see the EXACT same movie - now there are tons of brands who are abandoning their Apple Watch projects. There is NO MASS MARKET under an Apple brand!

So if you want a niche rich-person market in the USA and the West, feel free to include iOS in your smartphone OS strategy alongside Android. In that part of hte world where 5 out of 6 people alive live, iOS is irrelevant.

This ILLUSION of Apple world-reach is the only thing that is now happening. This will be PAINFUL for Apple fans, because increasingly we will hear stories of disappointments - no longer the glory of Apple greatness. That is painful. It does NOT mean that Apple's new products will lose their appeal. If you go Apple, you never come back. The iCult is a one-way street. But it IS only a niche. A huge and massively profitable niche yes, but it is not a mass market (while as a market it is large. I mean 'mass market' as the business terminology it is used, as taught in MBA schools).

This illusion of Apple somehow being as big in smartphones as say Xbox or Playstation were in videogames - still had lots of believers in the USA. Nobody on this blog - you, my readers, were under any such illusions, as we've had this debate a decade ago. We knew - you guys KNEW that Apple's iPhone will not hold more than about 10% market share once the turbulence of the smartphone wars settle. Apple may be lucky and end up a bit above the 10% range say 11% or 12% but none of you reading this blog are even suggesting Apple could somehow reverse its gradual decline in market share to get back to 20% haha.

So YOU GUYS KNEW THIS. But come on! 'death'? Decline? Ruin? No, there is nothing like that coming to Apple. They are THE most profitable business we have ever seen in corporate governance, and are richer than god. They are DOING ALL THINGS RIGHT to HOLD ONTO THEIR FANS. They are not winning new fans (to any meaningful degree, inspite of Tim Cook's propaganda) but they ARE holding their current fan base. And that means, listen to this carefully - Apple will continue to be the most profitable company in human history.

So there. The Apple fan has spoken :-)

(now please resume the squabbles about Apple's pending demise)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Wayne Brady

Go Tomi Go!

I'm not sure Apple would be making tons more money if they competed across the price range as Nokia did and Samsung does. You can take ALL of the profits made by Android providers and it's NOT that much more than Apple already makes. And that non-Apple profit continues to shrink.

Apple has never been Microsoft. Apple was IBM, Compaq and HP. By controlling the OS, Apple guaranteed that their platform would never be the majority platform. But for a company selling computers....Apple's way was FAR more successful "for Apple" than selling Windows computers was for IBM, Compaq, HP, Dell and certainly none of them selling windows computers today.

10% of the global mobile market is a VAST improvement over 5% of the PC Market....particularly when it's the top end (of both).

The iPhone is a luxury niche product, but one that has north of a half billion customers. Whether that's 550M or 650M, it's a huge market for Apple.

If Apple sold cheaper phones (and it will...but more on that net) it would NOT make more money. Look at Samsung. They make less money selling phones today than they did 3 years ago. When you sell a "good enough" $400 phone, a lot of people will not buy the $650 phone. If you offer a decent $200 phone, lots of people will not buy the $400 phone.

Buy only making the premium phones, Apple ensures all of it's customers have a first rate experience. And because Apple's phones are faster than they even need to be today, means they will still be "fast enough" five years from now.

So clearly Apple could sell more phones by lowering their prices. A LOT more. Most likely more than Android...but we'll never know.

What we do know is that there will be a limit to how much MORE expensive an iPhone can be over a "pretty good phone" and still sell. Look what they did with the iPad. After 3 years of decline Apple FINALLY adjusted the price from $500 to $329. It's still more than a decent Android tablet can be had. Apple will demand (and get) a premium, but what the premium price will be will lower over time.

Apple understands pricing as well as any company does.

I agree with Tomi that Apple is leaving market share on the table for sure, and likely some amount of money. I just don't think it's as much as Tomi appears to think.

Apple does a better job of selling iPhones in China than ANY Chinese company does selling phones outside of China. Just look how much WORSE Samsung faired this past quarter than Apple did, and Samsung sells phones at all price points. Apple is LESS vulnerable in China than Samsung.

Ever since the Galaxy S 7, Samsung has had a phone as pretty (or even more) than an iPhone. Samsung had finally cracked the premium look and feel. It's a work of beauty. But Samsung doesn't control the software or the user experience. They keep trying to get good at software and they keep failing. Samsung wants to out Apple so bad...that they rushed out the Note 7 in anticipation of beating the iPhone 7's that were keeping their look for a third year. It wasn't the move that came from a position of strength despite their larger market share. It was a foolish move that cost them billions due to the exploding batteries. You can be better than an iPhone in a few ways, but to compete toe to toe on every vector of vertically integrated hardware, software and services is task that nobody has risen too yet. Certainly not any of the Chinese.

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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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