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« iPhone Q2 and IDC and Strategy Analytics Top 5 Smartphone Numbers. | Main | Q2 Smartphone Market Top 10 Numbers »

August 14, 2017



There are no news about outsiders either (Jolla, Fairphone), and the noise about the Pixel has almost completely receded.

As for the promising Google Tango technology, the single successor to the initial Lenovo Phab2 Pro has been the Asus Zenfone AR ZS571KL (about which the technosphere seems to have been silent). Another Google dud (after so very many of them?)

"Rumors say Note 8 will have 3x optical zoom."

High-quality, high-factor zoom is still a major issue that leading cameraphone manufacturers will continue to tackle with a variety of approaches.

"all rumors of the new [iPhone] specs seem to suggest nothing spectacular at all"

which is nothing out of the ordinary. Apple tends to introduce major changes in its mobile phones only in a two-year rhythm. The iPhone 7 brought significant changes already -- in the interface (e.g. home button, ditching the 3.5 jack) and camera.

"this proves finally and conclusively that even APPLE admits, that Nokia was the leader that they stole from."

There were supposed to be 32 patents in question, but I could only find out the details about 18 of them (the Landgerichte Mannheim, Düsseldorf and München do not seem to have an electronic docket where one could peruse the claimants' documentation).

6 of them deal with video coding, 2 with subpixel interpolation (relevant for Pureview?), 1 with automatic translation of natural language into database queries, 1 about the design of smartphone chassis, 1 about remote device management.

There are furthermore 7 patents dealing with wireless (1 about dealing with unreliable RF signal, 3 with optimizations of implementation of RF subsystem, 2 about optimizing power management, 1 antenna design).

That the patents Apple was infringing deal with image processing and especially wireless -- bolster my contention regarding the actual core competencies of Apple, and that I exposed in other comments elsewhere.

Wayne Borean


You forgot to mention that Windows Phone is dead.

Fifteen years ago everyone in North American tech was terrified of Microsoft. Now everyone ignores them.

The mighty have fallen, and no one cares.

But it was fun to watch.


Hmm. Let's try this again, and see if my profile pic shows.


Ah. You have to sign in with Twitter before commenting!

Abdul Muis


Please grow up.
You're not successful in intimidating Tomi
But you're successful in making you look unintelligent.

Abdul Muis

@E. Casais

"Another Google dud (after so very many of them?)"

If you're affraid of failure. You already failed.
This is what makes Google a Google now.

Jim Glue

3x zoom....because more is better. Is that "regular" and "3x" the iPhone 7+ has regular and 2x? If, that's a mistake. How so Jim, please tell us.

Ok, glad you asked. The longer the lens the dimmer (smaller aperture). To get long and bright, you get heavy and big. So I don't expect Samsung to have invented an amazing leap in optics. They are going with longer and dimmer. The iPhone 2x lens is dimmer as well...and so it's slower to focus and needs good light for best effect.

Already you have to have a decent amount of room to use the 2x to take a shot of a person. 3x and you won't be using it very much as a portrait lens. Perhaps taking pictures of birds is something Samsung customers do more of than photos of people.

Will it have optical image stabilization? It better. The iPhone doesn't on it's 2x lens. The longer the more camera shake is an issue.

But hey, I'm sure Samsung would NEVER just put out "more x" without thinking these things through. I'm sure it's 3x with a nice wide aperture and optical image stabilization. Take THAT Apple.


"If you're affraid of failure. You already failed."

I am not sure about your message, but clearly Google has often launched promising technologies, in which it invested quite a lot, and made a big initial splash, only to seem to lose interest in them very soon thereafter.

I mean, not redefining them after experience with the initial and relaunching a V2.0, but simply letting them die on the vine without any effort at improvement or reformulation.

Google glasses is a prominent example. I was quite impressed by Tango initially. Now it seems to be handled in a "stepmotherly way" as Germans say (only two devices in 9 months, no prominent services, no promotion).


"Perhaps taking pictures of birds is something Samsung customers do more of than photos of people."

Yes, photographing animals is a very nice use case. Although 3x is probably insufficient for birds.

"To get long and bright, you get heavy and big."

There is no eschewing the laws of physics.

Whether relying upon monster sensors+optics like Nokia did in the 808, or clever optics like the ASUS Zenfone Zoom, sacrificing the ultra-slim phone body is unavoidable. Personally, I do not mind handling a bulkier frame. These are no bulkier than what most phones were 7 years ago, anyway, so I wonder why marketing people seem to think it is such a big deal. A monster like the Samsung K Zoom, on the other hand, clearly oversteps the usability boundaries.

Jim Glue

Hi EC,

I hear you. I just can't help but see the 3x as a "we can beat Apple by putting 1 more x" and "damn the consequences". I don't think that the user is even in their mind. I can only imagine what Samsung could do if they every really learned from Apple about how to approach a product. Horses for courses. The Note has a stylus and for sure that has use cases that I would like and can't get from Apple.

Oh...while we are on the topic of "feature envy". I must say I have ZERO interest in wireless charging. How hard is it to plug your phone into the charger? How MANY of these charging bases would I have to buy to have wireless charging everywhere I currently charge my phone? How many times will your or another person or your cat knock your phone off it's charging pad?

Now wireless charging where my phone stays in my pocket but gets charged because it's in the same room as my charger...that would be cool. Short of that...I'm happy to have wireless charging be an Android exclusive.

Quick charging on the other hand....I really appreciate having that in my AirPods and would love to have it in my iPhone. Not at the expense of exploding phones...but must manufacturers apparently can use quick charging and not have their phones blow up.

I am looking forward to the new iPhone. I will probably get it...even though I just got the 7+. I just want that big screen in a smaller format. The question will be if my carrier will have it's act together for me to be able to preOrder the moment one can. If not, that phone will be impossible to get before next year.


'I just can't help but see the 3x as a "we can beat Apple by putting 1 more x" and "damn the consequences".'

Nokia 808, Asus Zenfone Zoom already provided 3x, so it would not even be a first.

On the other hand, we should remember this is just a rumour, so there is little point in getting over-excited about it (for or against).


Hi Tommy. Any insights about Huawei? Looks that it is quickly grabing ground from Samsung.



Nokia 808 provided about 2x zoom for 8MP images. Maybe just slightly more but nowhere close to 3x.

The iPhone 7 Plus has 5.6x lossless zoom for 1080p video while Nokia 808 has about 5x lossless zoom for 1080p videos.

About Apple paying Nokia 1.7 Billion.

Apple paying 2 Billion to Nokia is lost of money, but may be much or it's not that much depending on for what time period that money is paid for. In 2008 decade Nokia paid even more to Qualcomm in a similar situation. Now Apple paid 1.7 Billion while in 2008 Nokia paid Qualcomm 2.3 Billion.

Now I wouldn't be that sure that Apple paying Nokia 1.7 Billion would mean Nokia is the leader or Apple stole from Nokia. I wouldn't also be sure that Nokia would have been stealing from Qualcomm in 2008 or that Qualcomm would have been the leader in some way even while Nokia had to pay Qualcomm 2.3 Billion for using Qualcomm patents without licensing them. Pretty much the same Apple did now.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Paulo

Welcome to the blog. Nobody can possibly 'grab ground quickly' in the Top 3 of mobile phones (unless the top dog is doing something stupid like Nokia announcing a switch to Windows). The mobile market is different from other consumer electronics where there is a 'gatekeeper' in the market space - the mobile operators. They get to put their fingers on the scale, to either help someone into the market or more likely - to prevent someone from growing too quickly. See how long it took best mobile company in history to get into the Top 3 (Apple). The carriers/operators were the gatekeepers.

So same is true of Huawei vs Samsung. Huawei IS doing VERY well (compared to say pretender Xiaomi who briefly popped into the Top 3 and then fast fizzled even out of the Top 10). But H is growing steadily, building on its base (China, Africa) and then gradually growing into other areas (rest of Asia, Europe, now Americas). They build their carrier relationships powered in great part by their sales of ALSO the network hardware (like Nokia and Ericsson used to do). So please ignore this quarter's momentary glory (and that of Q3). In ANNUAL sales, Huawei has shown steady growth last 5 years: 2011: 4%, 2012 4.5%, 2013 5%, 2014 6%, 2015 7%, 2016 9% (and currently annual share is about 10% for 2017). This is not anything like 'grab ground quickly' haha.. This is STEADY methodical meticulous marketing work, done deliberately to become a sustainable Top 3 and to start to challenge Apple NEXT YEAR and beyond. H will pass A around year 2019 or 2020 in annual market share...

To understand why sudden temporary phenomena like Xiaomi could come and mess up the picture - that was China, when China became the largest smartphone market, and China was in hypergrowth stage - then if you were the most sold smartphone of China (that quarter) you'd pop temporarily into the Top 3. But that is not sustainable as China isn't large enough and now India is growing faster and has become the second largest market, so it isn't even if you do 'China and USA'...

So for a brief moment it was possible to become temporarily a 'major player' simply because you had the 'hit phone' of the moment in China. Even that is now fading, and if you have a hit phone in today's China, that means you're only a Top 10 player, not Top 3. But Huawei, it is genuinely the world's (not just China's) third-bestselling phone and they are building that market systematically. They are here to stay.

Now why was Huawei so close to Apple? That is because Apple has its launch pattern where they do their big phone in the Autumn. That means their big sales jump in any year is for Christmas. And obviously, for the rest of the year, their sales then fall, until the next jump for the next Christmas. So Apple is now at its 'annual bottom' which is not the real market situation, only that Apple has an unusual sales pattern. If you look at annual sales, Apple is steady at approx 15% range, well above Huawei (and far below Samsung) ie past few years Apple has had market shares of 2013 16%, 2014 15%, 2015 16%, 2016 15%, this year probably 14%). The momentary moment of glory for Huawei is an illusion this year, they are not really that close to Apple, it is only because this is Apple's lowest point in their annual sales pattern.

But NEXT year the race is real, and Huawei may well pass Apple in one or two quarters, and like I said, I expect H to pass Apple for annual sales around 2019 or 2020. They definitely will (unless their management does something utterly stupid like haha Nokia)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Jim Glue

Thanks for that analysis Tomi. I takes years of sustained effort to become a global brand. It's good to see a Chinese company doing that. I hope that once Huawei truly breaks into the American market that it will be easier for other Chinese companies to do the same.

Of course, it points out just how truly mighty a company Samsung is. I can only wonder where Samsung would be in a world the iPhone was never released. Nokia's fall wasn't gifted to Samsung. Motorola had the pole position with the first truly great Android phone, the Droid. We might disagree on who is most responsible for Nokia and Blackberry falling -- but Motorola? They jumped on Android early. They were also already a mobile powerhouse having popularized the flip phone. Motorola didn't waste time and energy trying to develop and promote it's own "better than the iPhone" OS. So what happened? What did Samsung do that Moto didn't...and was Samsung going to do that anyway against Nokia/Blackberry? We'll never know for sure.

What is truly stunning is Apple. Apple had zero experience in telecom. Zero relationships with carriers. An arrogance that exceeded that of the truly powerful Telco's. Apple doesn't have it's own factories. Despite the success of the iPod and Mac, Apple never had anything like the scale of a hit mobile phone ala Nokia. Apple had to rely on direct competitors for key components of it's product. Apple brought down the price of a premium smartphone (something often over looked), but made it a mass market product without the tried and true "sku for every price tier". In a fast moving market that changed hit phones almost by the month, Apple held to a once-a-year release of a single model (for a long time, but still no truly cheap model).

Apple certainly "did it their way" and succeeded massively even so.


Here you go again. Android, Android, Android...
Shammy model 2110 has feature A...
Zummy model 3300 has that feature B...
Dummy model 11SZQ has that feature C...
Mokia model Milkyway has that feature D...
DingDong model Bong has that feature E...
Kim model Super Giga has that feature F...
DingyWingy model Burn has that feature G...
And the list goes on and on...
Look Android has all these features and before Apple!!!!

The problem is that all those things are not in one phone. They are in the different phones from different companies.

Apple is the only company that takes all the past features and the new things and features to their flagship phone. So when you buy an flagship iPhone you know that it has all the best from the past better and the new features that Apple thinks are ready to be part of the iPhone. Apple iPhone has those things A,B,C,D,E,F...Z in one.

Wireless charging is first of all slow as **i*. I use docks with my iPhone. One is in the office and other one is in the bedroom. Then there is several docks around the house like in the kitchen. Also the cars has docks. Why I like this approach is that the iPhone is in the upright position so I can see what is going on it´s screen. iPhone will have the "wireless" charging" someday. Do I miss it? Absolutely not because "wireless charging" needs gear and is slower than "pluging it in".


"They jumped on Android early. They were also already a mobile powerhouse having popularized the flip phone. [...] So what happened?"

The first Motorola phone running Android seems to have been the Cliq -- but barely one month before the Milestone (called Droid in North America).

Those were released in October and November 2009. At a time when Motorola was already on the ropes -- both as a mobile phone and as a mobile networking manufacturer.

Thus, Motorola was no longer the "mobile powerhouse" of once. Already in mid-2011, it was acquired by Google, just as HTC, LG and Samsung had all overtaken Motorola in the Android market.

What happened? Motorola was probably paying years of inconsistent product strategy, heavily reliant on single-bestseller bets (the RAZR, then the Milestone), the subsequent exploitation thereof (through numerous variations and new editions of the successful original), and the brand degradation due to releasing too many re-boots of the same product with limited innovation.

By that time, Motorola could not have done better with Android than competitors (whether they held to their OS or adopted Android). As an organization, Motorola had already deteriorated too much, and lost quite a lot of good people and skills.

Neither Google nor Lenovo have been able to revive it (Motorola has long disappeared from the top-10 vendors), despite producing some respectable devices since being acquired.


Apple iPhone 7 16.9 million sold (4.7% market share)
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 15.1 million sold (4.2% market share)
Samsung Galaxy S8 10.2 million sold (2.8% market share)
Samsung Galaxy SB+ 9.0 million sold (2.5% market share)
Xiaomi Redmi 4A 5.5 million sold (1.5% market share)

"Steve was looking for only 1% global marketshare in the smartphone space"


"Wireless charging is first of all slow as **i*."

There is only one advantage of note with wireless charging: the phone port does not incur the stress caused by constantly plugging in and out the device for charging -- possibly desoldering the port socket in the long run.


Oh BTW. Apple Watch that "niche product" is doing fine....

"Wear an Apple Watch, reduce health insurance costs

I predicted long ago that as Apple refined the capabilities of the Apple Watch, it would get to a position where insurers would want to provide the device to customers.

One of the first to do this was Vitality, which offered subscribers to its health or life insurance plans a discount Apple Watch. The watch works with the insurer’s tracking systems so that the more healthily active you are, the lower your insurance costs become.

Now it seems we are about to see a similar deal from U.S. health insurance giant Aetna. Aetna already offers Apple smartwatches to 50,000 employees within its corporate wellness scheme. It has allegedly been meeting with Apple and chief medical officers from hospitals to discuss giving an Apple Watch to 23 million health insurance customers...."

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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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