Then I made an unfortunate limitation to the contest, I decided that only one entry per market share number is allowed, on a first-come, first-served basis. This seemed like a sensible idea to me at the time, but I didn't anticipate how big the contest would become, I should have just allowed multiple guesses of the same number, it would have been more indicative of what people really felt. Now obviously for those who entered the race late, they would find their preferred number likely was taken, and they would have to go far smaller, or far higher, in their number to find the first percentage that was not yet taken. I set the accuracy to one tenth of one percent. You can see all entries here Crowdsourcing a Forecast through Twitter for Windows Phone.
We had over 150 entries, most of them (even after no duplicates were allowed) settled between 6% and 14% market share for Windows Phone for Q4, 2012. That was very mightly optimistic there, the reality was far more harsh for the Microsoftians. We have all four analyst houses (Gartner, IDC, Strategy Analytics and Canalys) reporting their total market sizes and three of the four (Canalys, IDC, Gartner) reporting a Windows Phone sales number for Q4. The highest Windows Phone sales number by the three was by Gartner, at 6.2 Million Windows based smartphones sold in Q4. The lowest total market size of the big four was also by Gartner, at only 207.6 Million total smartphones sold globally in Q4 of 2012. So the very ''best case' statistic you can hope to find, says Windows scored 2.99% market share, under half of the lower end of the popular guesses in our contest.
But thats not how we calculated the winner. We took the total market size as the average of the four (Gartner 207.6 million, IDC 219.4 million, Canalys 216.5 million and Strategy Analytics 217.0 million) and their average therefore for Q4 was 215.1 million total smartphones sold. And then as I wrote my final Q4 and end-of-year 2012 smartphone results blog, I took the then-published market share numbers for Windows - by that time it was only 2 of the 4 analyst houses who had given us that number, Canalys said 5.1 million for Windows, and Gartner said 6.2 million. The average of those two is 5.65 million. That in turns is 2.63% of 215.1 million smartphones sold. We have a winning score. Whoever said 2.6% is the winner, and the two nearest to it one above and one below, are the runners-up.
As it happens, we have exactly 2.6 million as an entry, by @simplyanand (sorry for having your handle wrong originally and in the contest entry) - who, get this, actually predicted the score to two decimal points, saying it will be... 2.63% !!!! Wow. I'd like to borrow your crystal ball @simplyanand some day if I may haha.. That is perfection !! And Simplyanand will of course win the grand prize of three of my ebooks of his/her choice.
By this result the two finalists are Jonathan MacDonald @jmacdonald who picked the next number down, at 2.1%, and Eldar Murtazin @eldarmurtazin who picked the next number up, at 2.7%. They both one ebook each.
And I was just about ready to publish this blog, when I saw that IDC was releasing a revised number for their Q4 total market size, AND they were releaseing a number for Windows Phone. Hold the horses...
IDC revised upwards their total number for smartphones sold in Q4 from 219.4 million to 227.8 million. And they gave us a Windows Phone number as well, at 6.0 million. The math is now adjusted just slightly, so that Windows Phone market share now becomes .. 2.655% ie rounded off to 2.7%. By merely one half of one tenth, of one percent, Eldar Murtazin's 2.7% prediction turns out the most accurate and Simplyanand's forecast is off by a tiny fraction.
Of course I have to award Eldar with the win, he was most accurate, now that all houses were in. But IDC issued two numbers. By their first number, and by the time all four houses had reported in, the most accurate was Simplyanand, so I am going to make a jury's decision, to award two winners, both Simplyanand and Eldar Murtazin will be winners in this contest and win the grand prize of three ebooks of their choice from my ebooks. And then still Jonathan MacDonald is a runner-up, and I will also award Steve D ie @starlo777 a runner-up award for picking the next number above Eldar's at 2.9%. The runners-up will get to pick one of my ebooks of their choice.
So congratulations to all the winners. I will contact you all via Twitter and we'll process the ebooks to you. And we have a new Twittercontest running now, guess when Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will be fired or leaves office. The entries to that contest have already closed, but I will have more Twittercontests coming from time to time for my followers so you may want to follow me on Twitter, where I am @tomiahonen.