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May 25, 2017



I think the move to touchscreen would have happened regardless of Apple's involvement.

Even before the iPhone, touchscreen devices got better and more usable, the biggest factor holding them back were those inferior resistive screens that made them a hassle to use.

The actual game changer was not Apple but the capacitive touchscreen. This finally made them usable by the common public. What Apple did was to combine a modern functional touchscreen with a good UI that fully exploited its capabilities.

Symbian always has been criticized for its obtuse UI, especially that the paradigm seemed to change from phone to phone so I do not really believe that this kind of UI would have prevailed.

The mere notion of improving what is there would have inevitably led to a similar design sooner or later.

Actually, the biggest thing Apple did was the app store and taking away control from the carriers. In the old scheme of things the carriers were able to block all and any innovation to software design for smartphones, because they had erected inane restrictions and requirements to get the apps into their 'stores'. It was nearly impossible to create good software for high end phones because to get something sold it also had to be available for the low end crap hardware and for many devices that could be programmed natively, most stores still only wanted Java Mobile which was a crappy programming platform and incapable of exploiting a good phone's capabilities even remotely.

I still remember the times when my former boss had endless discussions with those stores' operators about Windows Mobile software. Because it was natively programmed half the stores didn't want it because they were just incapable of delivering non-Java apps. Same for native Symbian. We could have done that but nobody wanted it and so for the most programmable devices of their time the software was of the same quality as for some basic dumbphone that cost a fraction of them.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Wayne, now you're just talking crazy. :)

"Nokia never had a chance to compete against real computer operating systems, they didn't have the talent -- even though they foresaw every development that was to come before anyone else."

Microsoft didn't have the talent either. Look at Windows 1.0 and compare it with MacOS - it was laughable. By the time 3.11 came around it was barely usable. And by the time Windows 95 came around... Well, you know the rest.

So, if Microsoft managed to get better and better at software with each iteration -
why not Nokia? There are no guarantees that Nokia would win though.

"Money matters. Apple has completely debunked your "marketshare is everything" nonsense."

So, why is it that they now are stagnating and losing ever more market share? Money isn't useless, and noone said it would be, but it's but one factor of many.

If I had to choose between piles of cash and over 20 percent market share, I'd go for the market share, because I know I'll make more piles of cash with those 20% than I'd ever have now.

Market share is the key deciding factor for platforms. It's that simple. And the Apple platform is slowly eroding the market share ever since.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Wayne: That's just like saying electricity would've never been invented without Benjamin Frankling. That's only true if you ignore Nikolai Tesla.

And you're missing my point. Talent, or the lack of it, isn't a skill one is born with. It's acquired. When opportunity meets preparation, that's when you get lucky. But it has very little to do with talent, and everything to do with preparation.

Noone is destined for anything, in the sense that they won't get there without a lot of hard work and dedication. But some people will get more opportunities than others, and even different kind of opportunities.

Now, would things look a whole lot *different* without Apple? Yes. Maybe we'd see more slider-style smartphones, with a hybrid touch/keyboard design. Maybe some other UI-paradigm would be the norm. Maybe the convergence thing actually happened instead of being a "Wouldn't it be nice if..." thought. And so on.

Per "wertigon" Ekström


I am acknowledging that Apple had a very huge impact on the current smartphone factor.

Just as they had a very huge impact in how desktop UI works. They've set the standard in both cases.

But, Apple is rapidly losing the smartphone market. It's not evident yet, or for years to come, but it is slipping outside their grasp, and once they hit 10% market share, that's when we'll see the slip gradually accelerating...

Per "wertigon" Ekström


You keep believing that. You'll see. Another down quarter YoY, and then finally christmas quarter... will be down... YoY... And then...

I don't see any way Apple can turn this around any more. India isn't developed enough to save Apple in the short term, and the rest of the world is simply too poor. By the time they lower prices it will be too little, too late.

Then, it's just a matter of how much cash Apple can burn through as they slowly fall. They will fall like a feather, but fall they will - atleast in Mobile. By then a self-driving car might save the company though... :)


@Wayne Brady
> Turn what around? Apple is STILL generating far more cash than they need

If they are profitable, this just means that they will still be around in some form.
As I wrote before, Android will be relevant to the future of mobile, while Apple will be relevant to their shareholders instead.

> The falling iPhone market share has been meaningless for years already. All that's going on is the dumbphone to smartphone transition amount the poorest customers.

iPhone sales are also falling in absolute numbers.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Wayne: No, Q1 this year was again DOWN, YoY. So no, it's starting to become a trend.

Just as I predicted. :)


Apple are moving into AI, notably, autonomous systems. It seems Tim Cook does not have the audacity of Jobs to simply enter a new market heads on with hardware and all. They are going the software-only route.

“We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects,” the CEO of Apple states in an interview with Bloomberg. “We’re not really saying from a product point of view, what we will be doing but we are being straightforward that it’s a core technology that we view as very important.”

This pretty much confirms what many had speculated or reports had alluded to, that Apple deep-sixed their effort to produce an autonomous car and instead are stepping back and dealing with the software only. Up until recently they had more than 1,000 engineers working on Project Titan.

Tomi T Ahonen

To all

So he lasted two years (almost to the day) this time, now all gone. He was quite prolific in that time, so that probably stings. I'm sure he (or she) will come back again, under yet another name. Lets see if he/she learns to be more respectful of our community and obey the rules.

As to all our regulars - ignore the trolls, don't celebrate past lunatics, lets move on and forget about that one weirdo. Plenty to discuss...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

PS Gul

Thanks! Feeling strongly shared :-)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

To all in this thread

I know you all obsess about the stats nearly as much as I do (some of you, haha, if that is possible - even MORE than I do). So here a VERY rare gem.

Last year's Top 14 smartphone makers, down to all who sold 20M or more in the year. Enjoy:

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Abdul Muis


Thanks, good info. I was wondering if all the indians brand (i.e micromax, lava, karbonn) are going south after their initial success?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Abdul

That is somewhat strange. I can fully understand that a few foreign but STRONG established brands can do well (at more the top end of price pyramid). Nokia Samsuing Motorola Lenovo. Also a few STRONG Chinese 'new brands' would make some sense in a global expansion distribution plan say Huawei and ZTE. what is bizarre that total newcomer brands like Vivo Oppo Xiaomi etc able to stal so much share from India domestic (strongly entrenched) brands like Micromax Karbonn etc.

Tomi Ahonen


"I don't see any way Apple can turn this around any more."

You are in for a huge suprise then. (Well at least it will be suprise for you, but not for us.) So hold on to your seat very tightly so you don´t fall off.

Apple just had their dup dup dc and they just kicked the competition out off the arena.
(ARKit, VR with Metal 2, MLKit, ProMotion etc...)



So great. Another proprietary library is supposed to be Apple's savior.
I can outright tell you where this goes: There will be open competitors that are platform independent long before this stuff reaches critical mass and the playing field will be levelled again.
The main problem is the same as always: Developers have to reinvent the wheel to support both iOS and Android. And in the long run Apple will lose that game because their market share will slowly but surely decline.


Last time I checked this site, apps were supposed to be a dead end.

So how can providing new capabilities to apps help Apple? It's all worthless if it cannot be integrated into websites!

Abdul Muis

This year at VidCon, YouTube shared some new metrics that really drive home how much it’s dominating mobile video usage and how quickly its service is gaining viewers on TVs.

The highlight was the fact that there are now 1.5 billion logged-in users visiting the site every month. The distinction is important as there are undoubtedly still quite a few folks hopping on YouTube that aren’t necessarily using Google Accounts to do so.

The site announced it hit 1 billion monthly active users in 2013, though that number assumedly related to all visitors, logged-in and not.

Logged-in users spend an average of more than one hour per day watching YouTube just on mobile devices, a pretty daunting number that showcases just how pervasive video has gotten on the mobile web.

“When we compare that [metric] to TV, people — in some countries like the U.S. — watch up to four hours per day, so we think there’s lots of room to get people to watch even more YouTube,” CEO Susan Wojcicki said onstage.

On that note, the company said that the TV screen was their fastest growing medium of consumption, noting that the category was growing 90 percent year-over-year, something that the company’s new YouTube TV service is undoubtedly going to add to. The company didn’t have any new details to share on desktop video viewing habits.


@Abdul Muis:

"Logged-in users spend an average of more than one hour per day watching YouTube just on mobile devices, a pretty daunting number that showcases just how pervasive video has gotten on the mobile web."

I wonder how many of them are just watching music videos as a free means to listen to music. I do that a lot, actually.




I say the same as in my last post.
Apple is not doing themselves any favor here by using a proprietary API on a minority platform.
This already led many game developers to abandon the Mac as a target platform for games because it does not warrant writing another backend for it.

Many developers are actually quite angry that they are pulling a Microsoft stunt and instead of supporting open standards they do their own incompatible thing now.

Microsoft could do it with Direct3D because they had the market power and the competition (i.e. OpenGL) was weak and quite broken. But Apple has to compete against Vulkan which doesn't suffer from all those problems and works great on Windows, Linux and soon also on Android. So all they'll achive is to cause friction and that's not good.

One of the reasons Apple got to where they are is that their software was always good at implementing standard APIs so that the costly backend development could be shared between platforms. This was quite conductive towards getting broad support.

But with Tim Cook the only mission objective these days seems to be to separate themselves from mainstream software development. And this WILL hurt - sooner on macOS but ultimately also on iOS.


> Last time I checked this site, apps were supposed to be a dead end.

That is not what Tomi writes. He says that the app economy (trying to make money off selling apps) provides no viable income for almost all participants, except the store owners and a select few individuals.

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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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