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

« Prepping for Q4 and Full Year Smartphone Stats. Some things to look out for | Main | Nokia HMD Comeback? First Year Finishes with 8.7 Million Smartphones Shipped and 1.0% Market Share by Year-End (Updated) »

February 01, 2018


Jim Glue

The article says nothing about what people are buying or intending to buy. Only FOR THE FIRST TIME, Apple didn't come in at #1 in a particular magazine's survey of satisfaction. There was nothing about "and so these customers are abandoning Apple".

Apple's sales of Macbooks continue to grow...and that article is almost a year old.

Per "wertigon" Ekström


I did not claim Apple were losing customers.

I claimed they *will* have to either be the best or start losing customers because premium implies quality, and if Apple cannot deliver on quality then they will start losing customers.

And they are slipping in quality.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

Hmm, the US dollar is weakening. That might have a silver lining for Apple since the iPhone will be cheaper to acquire abroad.


"Hmm, the US dollar is weakening. That might have a silver lining for Apple since the iPhone will be cheaper to acquire abroad."

Yeah. The up goes down and down goes up.

Abdul Muis


I think for those who want iPhone, price is NOT the real issue.
The main consideration of getting iPhone is, "Will iPhone increase my social status".



Apple has 1,3 Billion users. In 2 years it has gone up 300 million. That is 30%. Very good crowth.
There is 7,6 Billion people.
That 1,3 Billion is 17,1% of the population. Not bad.

Abdul Muis


Perhaps you're new here. Tomi forbid the use of fake data, such as 1.3 billion user.

Jim Glue

That's 1.3 billion active devices....not users. Apple's iPhone user base is around 550M per Tomi, but he hasn't updated that number in awhile. I'm thinking we are north of 600M users now.

Would be nice if someone published numbers on the iPhone resale market. Between resales and longer time of use, iPhone % of the install base remains an astounding 20%. And if that wasn't already's WHICH 20% of the market that really tells the tale. The type of customers that allowed Apple to make hugely profitable businesses out of tablets, smart watches, completely wireless headphones and starting tomorrow, music oriented smart speakers. The kind of customers that outspend on apps more than 2 to 1 despite having a mere 1/4th of the app downloads.

With an install base 4 times the size of iPhone, Android makers could not make a going business out of smart watches...even though they arrived more than a year ahead of the Apple Watch.

While no one was looking, the iPhone has been in business longer than Symbian phones were.

But no, Apple does not have 1.3 Billion users. Apple does have 800M (or some number very close to that) credit card backed iTunes accounts (that covers people who buy music for their iPods, apps for their iPhones, subscriptions to Apple music, Macs etc.).

Cook also said Apple now has 250 million (or so) subscriptions (Apple Music and the like)

Abdul Muis

Most popular screen size

The largest screen sizes are most popular in emerging markets. Countries with the largest share of 5.7-inch devices include Malaysia, Egypt, and Russia.

5.5-inch phones are the most used in India, Malaysia, and Nigeria with a significant share at 26-24%. For many users in these countries, smartphones may be the main way to access the Internet which makes a large screen a good choice.


iOS just became open source like Android:

The 'biggest leak in history': Secret Apple source code is posted online prompting fears it could lead to major breach in iPhone security

Abdul Muis

The fear of major breach would happened is just a reason why open source is more secure than close source.

Jim Glue

It's a theory that open source is more secure, but there have been plenty of major breaches like the bug over SSL. Turned out, that while the source code was open, nobody but one guy in Germany was actually maintaining the code.



Free/Open Source Software is more secure. It gets patched far faster than Closed Source systems. Take the Meltdown/Spectre cpu flaws, where Linux patches rolled out in October, while Apple and Microsoft took till January.

It isn’t perfect. Nothing is. But with security any advantage is a win.

Per "wertigon" Ekström


Patching is one thing, and yes, all other things being equal (e.g. same algorithms and level of security in software) then bugs will be found and corrected faster in Open Source software.

However, OSS have plenty of bug-ridden and poorly designed software, too. Remember BIND, the DNS server that had more holes than swiss cheese?

I do agree with you that it is better to keep the code open, but open source does not magically create a secure software.

Ordinary boy

Apple have also been about the high end of the market which it has owned since it entered the arena. They are just not interested in the low end of the market for obvious reasons, and not just the ridiculously lower profit margins on the handsets, but also the much limited value in added services from the lower end customers who just don’t spend money and invest in the eco system.

So naturally as the market expands (and reaches satuaration), apple’s overal market share in terms of proportion of handsets will reduce because the growth is occurring at the low end.

What does matter is that they are able to hold and own the high end of the market, and from the looks of it they are doing so, with extremely loyal customer base.

So I’m not really understanding the obsession of looking solely at global market share and number of handsets sold etc.

Surely what matters in terms of the success of a platform is
-mindshare, the types of users of the platform and their behaviours
-ecosystem, value added services

Now in terms of users, I think it’s fair to say that apart from having the most high profile users including world leaders, politicians, celebrities, etc., the majority of its users spend a lot of money on the platform in terms of the App Store, music subscriptions, iCloud subscriptions, Apple Pay etc. They are ‘invested’ in the platform.

Things like the Apple Watch and iPad are also important, because a lot of these invested users have these devices which all work together on a common secure platform

I guess to summarise, I feel it is important to look at a platform in its entirety and not just simply number of mobile handsets sold.
After all handsets themselves are slowly just becoming commodities and as they do the manufacturers at the low end are going to find it increasingly difficult to survive with lower and lower margins, unless they can find a way of creating a compelling eco system around their products to monetise effectively. Something which I think is going to be difficult as google controls that.

The overal quality of the platform is absolutely imperative. If you take just the iOS App Store for instance, on its own it would have a market cap of one of the largest companies in the world and would be in the Fortune 500. (In terms of how much Apple and developers make combined)

As the handset market saturates, it is going to be increasingly important to make money from the platform ecosystem. And it is these numbers which are becoming much more important in terms of tracking and analysing market share than simply who sells the most handsets.

It’s too simplistic to say ‘Apple makes more money than sense’ and I’m not interested in that.


@Ordinary boy: We had this discussion here already multiple times:

The problem with a market share which is too small is that eventually Apps will start to disappear, just look at Windows Phone in 2012.

The reason is simple: Most apps are not made to make a profit on the app itself. Instead, they are developed to support another product or service. Think of banking apps, Netflix, remote control apps for receivers or speaker systems or about apps for product promotions.

Such apps are only created when there is some ROI.

Look at iPhone's 3% market share in India. When you don't get all the local apps you want on iOS, those Galaxies and Pixels look like the superior models.

Of course this depends on the market, iOS is very big e.g. in the US and Japan. I don't see iOS having problems here during the next time, but in some other markets Apple's miniscule market share is a problem for them.

As the market faces commodization, prices will further go down. Apple can follow this trend, or the iPhone sooner or later falls of the cliff.

Jim Glu

It's not market share that gets too small...but MARKET. As long as there is a market for Apple products where people can make money...they will continue to support Apple's ecosystem. That Apple's ecosystem is where the MOST money is being made...just turns this whole "market share" notion upside down. It's an aberration for sure, but a long ongoing one.


No, Jim, you are dead wrong with that analysis. In the rich nations, Apple's market share is high enough to justify the development of service apps.

But let's not delude ourselves: Let's take banking for example.What about a market where Apple has 3% of the market share, which are all rich people. Now we get a strange anomaly: Most services will be totally incompatible with such a select target audience. Services are interested in revenue, but for most of them a customer is a customer and the income hardly matters.

Will those services go out of their way to get that millionaire customers when for the same effort they can get maybe 100 less affluent ones that ultimately bring in more revenue? Once that question gets answered with 'no', then is when Apple's trouble will start.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

One more interesting aspect about the Apple market share in rich countries: Is it growing, or falling?

If the latter, and I suspect it's going to fall even in rich countries, then yes we will see Apple get more and more trouble as time goes on. The less market share the more Apple needs to have a world-class platform to fall back on, with solid, secure and bug-free releases. Evidence is mounting they are releasing more buggy and unpolished releases for each new version of iOS:

Tick-tock. :)


"We will see Apple get more and more trouble as time goes on"

More and more trouble??

The only trouble Apple has is how the hell they are going to use the money that they get. >:(
Apple has the most satisfied customers in the world and they will buy more products from Apple because they absolutely love what Apple is doing.

Read this so you understand what the hell is going on:

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