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


Blog powered by Typepad

« Revised Early Estimate of Nokia HMD Smartphone Unit Sales Year 2017 - Based on survey of carrier support and various data points (updated) | Main | Q3 Smartphone Market Shares and Prelim Estimate of Full Year 2017 Top 5 (plus installed base as always) »

November 03, 2017




"Commentary: An AT&T salesman tells me it's quite obvious why Samsung's large phone is better than Apple's future of the smartphone."

Even though I'm not an Apple fan I have to say that I question that salesman's qualification - and quite seriously.


I see a new Apple shill has arrived...

"About the iOS security. Read the FTs take on that..."

The reports about Apple's security are widely exaggerated. Android isn't really that bad considering that it requires the user's explicit intervention to get some malware onto the phone.
On the other hand: Look at the steep price that warm feeling of security comes with: It's not YOU who decides what your phone may do but Apple. Thank you, but no, thank you. I stick with a device that's under MY control.


@Jim Glue

"In my experience, Samsung CAN'T hold on to their retail price very long after introduction."

All right, I quickly checked the evolution of the prices for the Samsung Note 8 64GB and the Apple iPhone X 64GB since their introduction (prices in CHF).

Note 8

2017-08-24 949.05
2017-11-19 939.00

iPhone X

2017-09-14 1199.00
2017-11-19 1169.00

Notice that there have been peaks and throughs as well -- there has not been a monotonous decline in prices for either products.

Actually, the price of the Note 8 _increased_ after its launch, and very briefly reached a peak of 998.90, and very briefly falling to 899.10, but mostly hovering at around 959.00.

The price for iPhone X hovered at its initial price during the entire pre-order period, and fell to its current price upon official availability -- but went very briefly as low as 1149.00 during the pre-order period and to 1079.10 after official availability.

The Swiss market seems to be more dynamic than expected (and it is one of those "Apple countries"!) -- you have to grab the opportunities for nice deals when they briefly pop up.

The period examined is short, but the conclusion is that the price differential is inherent, not an artefact of high prices for Samsung devices comparable to, but eroding much faster than Apple ones.

Once again, the actual price of the iPhone X in the USA cannot be elicited from the offers on the Apple or operators' WWW sites.

Those offers bind the phone to a telecom contract, and hence part of the device cost is hidden behind whatever price plan is attached to the iPhone X. This peculiarity of the US market has been in place for ever.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

FYI on Apple Watch and other smart watches and the wearables sector. A fascinating observation by a true mobilista (and friend) Antoine RJ Wright over at where he is talking of his experiment to go mobile-less with the Apple Watch 3, his 3rd smart watch and second Apple branded one. Not long read, very worthwhile

It hit me that a valid option 'for the affluent' in their near-future digital worlds is either to remain with the 'all-in-one' device ie mobile, which then is by necessity a compromise; or to go into a 'multiple digital devices' lifestyle, which could be centered around the watch (abandoning mobile completely from daily use, and mobile becomes 'just another optional secondary digital device' like a tablet, PC, digital camera, or any other such device).

I think we all knew that this is at least a plausible alternate path vs carrying one or two mobile phones (if two, makes sense to then somewhat optimize those, like one with phablet screen, the other with small screen or whatever). What ARJ's article showcases (at least to me as a revellation) is the type of choices that then forces the consumer to make - if he/she doesn't HAVE the camera with him/her daily, how will that impact photo generation? Will activities of frequent writing (Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp etc) be significantly reduced (from arguably a silly level of usage by some, haha).

Worth a read and may ignite some smart discussion.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


"On the other hand: Look at the steep price that warm feeling of security comes with: It's not YOU who decides what your phone may do but Apple. Thank you, but no, thank you. I stick with a device that's under MY control."

You are dillusional. You do not have any control over what you have in your Android phone. First you should know exactly what kind of code the apps that you install in it have. You don´t know that. Then you need the skills to control the data traffic what your phone gets in and out. Then you need hours of time everyday to monitor all of this. That is for starters. So you have no control over your device what so ever. So you do not know how to do it and the rest of the 2 Billion Android users are also out of luck. Also the whole thing is fantastic waste of time. If every Android user would use an hour every week to try to understand what is going on with their phones it would be massive 104 Billion hours (11872146 years) wasted every year. It simply isn´t in any way economical. It is actually stupendous waste of time.

Second. Apple does not deside what is in my iPhone so do not continue that lie. They currate the AppStore and they use the best knowledge that they have and that is excellent. It is a learning process though and they can´t stand still. They do deside what is in the AppStore and they get better and better with that. If I want to install something outside the AppStore it is completaly possible. Apple even gives you the tools to do it for free.

What comes to the price. I gladly pay $50-$100 extra for Apple knowing that next 4-5 years I get security and other upgrades from them. Samsung Galaxy Note8 still comes with an over a year old operating system. Note 8 is cheaper yes and that shows. The support literally sucks.

The control that Apple has over the iPhone is good for me as a user. Apple is responsible for everything in it so if I have a problem they will take care of me. If they don´t I buy my next phone from somewhere else. This is the status quo and it is good for me and for Apple. Apple wants to keep me happy and I like that.


And there is a huge problem with the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular. >:(
It is still not available where I live. Come on Apple! I want one now! (Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3 GPS + Cellular Space Gray 42 mm Aluminum Case with Black/Pure Platinum Nike Sport Loop. $429).

What is it with the operators? They really move slowly.


"The Swiss market seems to be more dynamic than expected"

Or you have to check the currency fluctuations. Apple does change the prices if the currency changes.

Jim Glue

Hi E,

They are already doing Buy One, Get One free offers on the Note 8 here in the states.

Jim Glue

On the Apple Watch...

For me it is definitely a companion to my iPhone. Kind of like having a remote control. When driving, the turns come up on my wrist. When walking/running I can control the music/podcasts from my wrist. At home if I get a call and my phone is sitting on my desk and I am in my kitchen, I can answer the call on my wrist (the use case that inspired me to buy an Apple Watch in the first place).

Notifications on my wrist allow a more discreet check when in meetings at work.

It's also a watch. I know...silly...but I hadn't worn a watch in decades.

Activity tracking...including sleep tracking which I find very useful.

I don't use the AW like it's a phone...or a personal computer. I don't run apps on it that aren't essentially extensions of apps from my phone. I don't watch movies etc. I could listen to music and podcasts...but frankly, I still wan't my phone with me so I just operate the music controls on my watch.

It's nice. It's a luxury. It is not a necessity. For now. Still looking forward to medical uses.



"Or you have to check the currency fluctuations."

They play a role, but a minor one. Those spikes towards significantly lower prices are actually special offers -- they last only one or two days before prices return to very small oscillations around a normal level.

Writing this, I realize I have not been very clear. The figures I gave are for the lowest market price -- median prices are generally higher. Here, again in CHF:

Note 8 (Midnight black)

64 GB
Min: 939.00
Med: 1000.00
Max: 1199.95

128 GB
Min: 1039.00
Med: 1049.00
Max: 1049.00

256 GB
Min: 1149.00
Med: 1149.00
Max: 1149.00

There are just a few offers for the 128/256 GB versions.

iPhone X (silver)

64 GB
Min: 1169.00
Med: 1199.00
Max: 1360.00

256 GB
Min: 1339.00
Med: 1389.00
Max: 1599.00

CHF and USD are approximately at parity, so you can get a direct idea of how expensive those devices are (Samsung: very expensive, Apple: filthily expensive).

"Buy One, Get One free"

I never see that kind of promotion here. Anyway, there must be some kind of strings attached to it.

Jim Glue

I'm bummed the HomePod is being delayed till next year. Was going to be my Christmas present to myself :(



> Apple wants to keep me happy and I like that.

No, think that Apple wants to keep you happy but actually Apple wants your money by you paying the iTax.

Apple 5 years ago had over 22% of worldwide phone market share and now it has around 14% and it is on second place behind Samsung. In another 5 years from now Apple will have around 6% of worldwide market share. Have fun paying the iTax while you still can.


"No, think that Apple wants to keep you happy but actually Apple wants your money by you paying the iTax."

There is no such thing. iTax exists only as your imaginary friend.
Apple can only keep their prices because people are ready to pay for the whole package that is Apple products. Living with Apple products saves you money in the long run. and You get a headache free living. You get better quality all the way. If Apple fails this then people do not buy their products and that includes me too. That is not going to happen though because Apple is looking the customer satisfaction numbers closer than any other company.

IBM is changing all this computers to Macs because the TCO per computer compared to PC is $543 less. When you have hundreds of thousands of computers you save a ton of money with Macs. Same thing applies to iPhones and everything that Apple makes.


(Or is it that when you pay this imaginary "iTax" you get more back in the tax refunds? xD)


"They are already doing Buy One, Get One free offers on the Note 8 here in the states."

Wow. They are cleaning the warehouse already? They could not wait after the Xmas? xD

Jim Glue

Lies, damned lies, and market share.

Apple is selling far more phones at 14% "new sales market share" than they were at 22%. The market is always 100%. The unit sales that market consists of has grown substantially.

New sales market share is only about sales, while Apple has 20% of the install base.

Apple's install base is already larger than Nokia's smartphone market ever was. Even Nokia at it's height did not sell as many smartphones as Apple does today.

So who do you want to be? The market leader of a small market....or Apple, the #2 market leader of a MUCH larger market?

Only 1 company sells more smartphones than Apple. It's only by comparing Apple to the total market of smartphones that you get the notion that Apple has a small market share. Everybody else's market share is smaller, except Samsung.

How bad is Apple's smartphone business? While the leading platform, the absolutely dominant platform has seen the ASP fall to below $200...Apple's ASP keeps rising and is above $700. So consider that Android had to drop their prices to less than 1/3rd of the iPhone...heading to 1/4th of the iPhone and in doing so, only managed to drop Apple's market share from 20% to 14%. In what other market can the minority player do so well while not only sustaining but increasing ASP?

Apple's 14% market share is only against the "entire market" even though Apple's cheapest new phone is almost twice the cost of the average Android phone. Every market analysis of every other kind of product includes market segmentation. Nobody reports on BMW's share of the total car market. Ford is compared to Toyota and to GM because they all participate across the price spectrum. BMW is compared to Mercedez and to Lexus because it's foolish to compare BMW sales against Ford.

Apple is increasing it's lead in market share of the $600 and up flagship segment.

All of this and I didn't need to resort to the "p-word".


"Apple is increasing it's lead in market share of the $600 and up flagship segment."

And Apple has 100% of the iOS market in their pocket.

Jim Glue

Winter - absolutely. That's Apple's key to exist. They develop their own platforms and DON'T sell the platform to others to compete against them.

But I realize the point you were trying to make. It goes back to whether you understand the rational between comparing luxury cars to other luxury car sales, and not to "total car market".


@Jim G

> Apple is selling far more phones at 14% "new sales market share" than they were at 22%. The market is always 100%. The unit sales that market consists of has grown substantially.

The fact is that Apple is number 2 and soon it will be number 3 regarding worldwide phone market share. Soon (next year hopefully) even Huawei will be selling more phones that Apple.

> How bad is Apple's smartphone business?

Apple is doing pretty bad in smartphone business. It is barely number 2 and soon will be number 3 regarding worldwide phone market share. 5 years ago Apple had over 22% worlwide market share and now it was barely 14%. HomePod is doing badly as expected (see: ). It is many years behind Google and Amazon. iWatch is a big flop and the proof is that not even Apple releases the exact numbers regarding the sales! How worse than this can it be?

Jim Glue

Again, you are lying with market share.

Apple is selling more know...that's where money is made...actual sales. Apple is selling more phones now than ever....and at higher ASP than ever. That is not doing bad. That is doing terrific.

And you have dropped Apple to fourth place on expectations of the future. That future hasn't arrived. But you've thought Apple has been doing terrible as the 2nd best unit market share holder for almost a decade.

It's a marvel that a company selling a $700 product has any market share at all when selling against a < $200 product. But we all know that it's not REALLY the same market.

Android has put every other platform out of business. Except for Apple's. Apple's platform is SO good, SO desired...that Google themselves pay Apple billions just to be the default search provider on Safari. All of Google's apps are on Apple's platform except those that can't be.

Don't you remember when it was supposed to be a terrible thing that Apple's Watch would only work with iPhones? How terrible a strategic mistake to ignore the "massive Android market". Yet Apple sells far more Watches than all the Android watches combined....because Apple's customers are the most lucrative customers to have.

Apple's services (save for Apple Music) are exclusive to the iPhone. How terrible to limit yourself to such a small niche. Yet Apple is making FAR more money on services for it's smartphone than any other Android manufacturer is making selling smartphones.

Yep, Apple has missed their target launch for the HomePod. Yet look at the difference between Apple's Airpod launch and Google's year-late response. Google has put out a product getting panned everywhere in a rush move to "catch up" to Apple. Meanwhile, Apple is years late with an Echo challenger and is content to continue to wait until they have the product they want to ship.

Apple will sell far fewer HomePods than Amazon's echo family units....but I bet you Apple will make money while Amazon is still giving away it's tech products in hopes to sew up a market. You how the Android smart watches were going to prevent Apple from entering. the entire smartphone market before Apple entered.

A billion iOS devices have been sold and the iPhone active customer base is approaching 650M. 650M with a 95% retention rate. Means another 600M sales are ALREADY in the bag before Apple makes it's next phone or buys it's next ad.



> Apple is selling more phones now than ever...

But Apple's worldwide smartphone market share is going down. 5 years ago it was over 22% and now is barely 14%. Basically, you are saying that a sinking ship now is pumping more water than never while is sinking faster than never.

> Again, you are lying with market share.

You are bullshiting and trolling again. Your posts will be deleted soon.

Jim Glue

It's not trolling. Apple is #2 in market share. Android has absolutely won market share. Samsung is the winner in market share and seems secure for the next few years.

What is NOT true is that Apple is in some kind of trouble due to "falling market share". Tomi is not on the "Apple is doomed" bandwagon. That's just a wet dream some of you regular posters refuse to give up on.

It is true that Apple's market share has fallen. It is most likely true that Apple's market share will fall more.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

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 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