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« Apple Q3 Results, major milestones reached by iPhone... and Apple the Computer Maker too | Main | Recognizing How Significant is Apple's Achievement with iPhone making it a Top 5 handset maker »

October 29, 2010


Mikko Lehtovirta

Yep. Thanks a lot again! For Nokia smartphones, the Q3 was indeed with the old fleet i.e. clamped to N97.. Q4 should really be something else.


Thanks for updating us with smart news.


Apple is really stupid here because it could really capitalize on Nokia's misfortune at the moment while they are pulling their sh* together. They should just release a cheaper iPhone light (same internals just made out of plastic, smaller cam, no internal memory just supply 2GB sd card) for the masses and one with a sliding keyboard. Apple could easily sell 30 million handsets/q and be the No. 1 smartphone maker in the world.


"Apple is really stupid here because it could really capitalize on Nokia's misfortune at the moment while they are pulling their sh* together."

Apple grew 90% year over year last quarter Nokia grew 1.8%.

Apple also makes more on phones than the top 3 cell phone makers combined.

Jussi Hagman

What is alarming, is that Nokia smartphone ASP has fallen about 30% in a year, at the same time Apple’s has been constant and RIM’s fallen about 9%. Nokia is still growing below market average.

@Don, Apple is not stupid. They capitalize on the market every second. Making a cheap iPhone would not only grow iPhone sales, it would also fragment the platform and devalue Apple’s brand. Apple does not want to be #1 smartphone maker, with unit sales, no matter the cost. They want to make “best phones”, keep the platform as uniform as possible and make lots of money. Also, at the moment Apple is selling every phone they can make, would the cheaper model mean they have more manufacturing capacity?

And BTW, Apple *is* the #1 smartphone maker, when measured by revenue, even more so when measured by earnings. Apple’s smartphone revenue was about 70% bigger than Nokia’s. Sure when dumbphones are in the mix Nokia is still 17% ahead. Keep in mind Apple is doing this with two models on the market, it is just unbelievable.

Tomi, ASP of N8 is near 430e, not 500e as you claim. About the same as Apple’s ASP was during the previous quarter.

Phil W


Woah, not so fast. The 1.8% figure was for all phones. In Smartphones Nokia increased sales by 61% YOY, which is still less than Apple percentage wise but not neatly as shabby as you were trying to portray.

Also if you translate those percentages into numbers of handsets, Apple increased its unit smartphone sales by about 6.7 million units. No question that this is a very good performance, but Nokia increased its unit smartphone sale by about 10 million units! Again thats pretty impressive when the portfolio is stale.

The overall total phone sales were not so impressive, but that had more to do with the dumbphone side of the business and the lack of dual sim devices in indai for example. That will be addressed.


@Phil W: 61% YOY for Nokia did lag the Canalys estimate of 95% global smartphone market growth by quite a lot. Canalys also estimated that Nokia already has a dominating 65% of the India smartphone market with over 200% growth, fueled largely by the low-priced 523x smartphones.

I think the main issues for Nokia are not dumbphones or lack of dual sims in India, but really the lack of an attractive and popular high-end offering. The N8 is probably still not enough.

Phil W

Thanks Kevin,

Yes I did know Nokia didn't match the market smartphone growth YOY, the figure I saw was from Strategy Analytics and was 77%. Are you sure about the 95%?

So in percentage terms Apple outgrew the market and Nokia under performed. By adding the unit figures I was just trying to show another aspect to the story.

Clearly this was always going to be a difficult quarter for Nokia with the lack of new products, so I actually think it was a good performance all things considered. I agree one of Nokia's problems has been a lack of high-end offering, but that will change.

Going forward, I think the N8 and its sisters will do very well and will lift the profits next quarter. Your comment on whether it is enough depends on your perspective. I believe in the majority of the world the N8 will sell very well and will lift Nokia ASP and therefore its profits. It may well help to gain back some or all of the lost market share. What I don't think it will do is make a huge impact in the US, but I think Nokia is focusing on the Meego products next year to try to address that. Whether that will succeed is anyone's guess.

Phil W

Oops, the Strategy analytics figure should have been 78%. The 77 figure was million of units shipped.

Tomi Ahonen

Hi All,

I will respond in stages, here the first set of replies

Hi Mikko, Mojanemojan, Don and KDT

Mikko - Yeah, if Nokia grew 10% from Q2 into Q3, while Apple's iPhone 4 was released in most markets and Samsung's Galaxy is the hot phone, now that the N8 is finally out in the open for Q4, this should be a very good Christmas period for Nokia (and a follow-up Q1 period in 2011 with the Chinese Lunar New Year gift-giving season as a bonus).

Mojanemojan - you're welcome. Happy to be of service.

Don - completely agree. Apple is squandering rare opportunities. The gap between Apple's true lead in usability, and any perceived lead in technology, will never be as big in smartphones anymore, as it is in 2010. Next year with the iPhone 5, the competition will be ever more close, just like with the Macintosh, once Microsoft started to reverse-engineer the Mac OS, and refined its Windows. So yes, Apple may be lulled into a false sense of security, thinking they can easily dominate this industry. They should take a very strong lesson out of Samsung (which will pass the iPhone in smartphone unit sales by Q1 of 2011, and then Apple will never catch them because of Samsung's vast product line and far lower cost touch screen phones, on far more carriers globally) - and beware, that the first 3 years they've not seen the full force of Nokia going head-to-head against the iPhone. Now, that Symbian is reasonably well re-engineered to do touch screens reasonably well, and with the N8 as the first test of that - Nokia is the 'sleeping giant' about to awaken. The fight for iPhone's space will be much tougher in 2011 than it was in 2010. And Apple should have now capitalized on its opportunity, not waste it...

Well, they are obviously not listening to me in Cupertino haha..

KDT - haha, thats not fair and you know it. I can take just the previous quarter, and make the exact opposite argument. Apple lost 4% while Nokia grew 11%. Who was smart and who was dumb. As we know on this blog, Apple's peculiar launch pattern means, that only annual data are meaningful, and as I've predicted a year ago, Apple's market share globally in smartphones has peaked. So don't quote the one exceptional quarter performance to try to make a point. We know our basic math here on this blog, KDT. That won't wash.

Thank you all for writing, I will return with more comments to the rest. Keep the comments coming

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Just a comment on this part:

"- and beware, that the first 3 years they've not seen the full force of Nokia going head-to-head against the iPhone. Now, that Symbian is reasonably well re-engineered to do touch screens reasonably well, and with the N8 as the first test of that - Nokia is the 'sleeping giant' about to awaken. The fight for iPhone's space will be much tougher in 2011 than it was in 2010."

Ahh, but I predict we will see strong growth in the smartphone area from Apple next year, as well as Samsung, HTC, Sony-Erricson, and possibly LG, though that's a wildcard. As for Smartphones, Nokias share of the market will stay the same, though probably fall, as I don't see their number of smartphones shipped rise very much, if at all.

The rise in smartphone sales I'm predicting, will partly come from more new users changing their old handset for a new smartphone, as well as the early adopters whose 1 or 2 year contracts are running out next year, and who are out for a replacement.

As for Nokias smartphone sales, I think the giant might not wake up, quite yet.
The new Symbian 3 does touchscreens reasonably well, as you have mentioned, but for Nokia "reasonably well" doesn't cut it anymore. Individual features like a great camera, or a good keyboard or a great screen or HDMI connections don't matter as much as the overall userexperience. The whole handset need to be a joy to use for the user, and here Nokia (or RIM) can't compete with Android or Apple. But what about Nokias loyal users? Well, they have been exposed (or polluted, if you will) to Android and iPhones from friends, early adopters and of course the media. (Though that's mostly relevant for Apple. I'm not talking about blogs or gadget magazines either, but good old newspapers and TV)

My father is an example of what I'm talking about. He's 60 years old and technically speaking he HAD a smartphone, a Nokia, but never thought about it like that before, or been bothered to use it like that, because of well... Symbian S60.
One day, out of the blue, he asked me "what this Android is?" I explained it to him, and he has since invested in one.

So yes: Symbian might be ok, but the whole platform isn't as complete nor as good as the competition. And in this race, it's not enough to be ok. It's the whole experience that counts.


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