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November 19, 2010


Sameer Shah

as usual great analysis. Vintage Tomi. @tomi, why do you call this a bloodbath, when all the players are reaping profits with improved smart phone sales.

Nokia - showed profitability.
Apple - best quarter ever.
HTC - Awesome growth in profitability
Samsung - good show
Moto - back in black.

Tomi Ahonen

Hi Sameer

Great question. But its because of all the devastating losses and blood by the not-winners in the bloodbath. Remember the start of the year with the superphone? Google is gone. And the world's biggest baddest strongest IT software company, Microsoft, who launched their own phones? Kin died within days. And once upon a time there was a global giant smartphone maker named Palm. They be dead now. And LG? Fired their CEO. One could say Nokia's year in smartphones has been anything but peachy, as they fired their CEO. Lenovo? Crying bitterly how expensive it is to launch into smartphones. So for the good news, there is plenty of bloodletting haha..

Thanks for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)


What actual phone models from Nokia are considered "smartphones"?

I personally would only really classify E-series + N8; maybe a few other N-series ones, but definitely not all of them.

Any others?

Phil W

@ SN, a smartphone is a converged device that is capable of running third party apps natively and all symbian phones from Nokia can do that.

You may not like that and want to change the definition to suit your preferred vendor and you are entitled to that view, but be careful what you wish for, because there will be plenty of other people who will want to redefine the smartphone definition in such a way that it may exclude your favourite.


I love nokia phone buti hate the symbian os system its slow and useless. I use the n97 mini and i wish tha i could change the system but its not possible so i may switch to htc or motorolla with wm or android cause those sytems are way faster.

can you guys give me a good advice please?!

greets Chat



If you look at latest Nokia portfolio, the 4 devices (N8, E7, C7 and C6) share the same HW and SW platform, so if N8 is in all others are.

On the previous generation, 5800 and N97 share the same platform as weel with nothing differentiating on device from an other on capabilities - delta is on memory, camera, GPS, WiFi, Cellular access - but the computing platform is the same.

And on non touch devices, the same story applies. i.e. the N96, 6788i, C5-01 and X5-00 are sharing a lot even if they are targeting different markets.


As a developer, I disagree with the statement - "The real story for most of our readers is the smartphone operating system platform war, as that has a direct impact to any developers out there reading the blog."

OS market share just for cell phones is the least important to mobile developers.

What is important is....

1. How likely are the users of said platform likely to buy products?
2. How large is the mobile OS platform in question
3. How much of an ROI can I expect -- i.e. development cost compared to sells.


1. I don't know about Nokia, but Android users are anywhere from 33% - 66% less likely to buy apps than iOS users depending on which source you read. You have admitted yourself that iOS users have more disposable income.

2. I could care less whether the user is running the OS on a phone or not. In that case you have to consider the entire iOS platform -- iPhone's and iPod Touches (and to a lesser extent iPads).

3. Both Netflix and Rovio (Angry Birds) have come out recently saying how much harder it is to support Android devices because of fragmentation. So you're combining more resources with fewer willing customers to pay.


Tomi, I has one basic question that I have not seen answered anywhere. What in your estimation is Android's market share outside the US? Most Android detractors point to Android's sales being largely in the US. Do we have any hard numbers breaking up Android sales across regions?


PS - Google and Microsoft have suffered setbacks but are not out. As best as I can tell, there will be a Nexus 2 and Microsoft is re-launching the Kin phones on Verizon pretty soon.

Brian S Hall

Thanks. Best review of the core Q3 numbers.

Frank White

Nice to see that you leaving Nokia. Nokia can´t innovate, its an old hardware company, there are confused with software, damm apple what have you done.

Android will rule the world, but thats not all. As a app developer i say iOS is for now much better. You make much more money, there is no fragmentation und the Apple User´s spend more money.
For the long run Android will be the first choice, for consumers and develovers.


Loistavaa taas Tomi!
Thx again for the post and summary of the situation. Have you thought about posting the figures as charts? It would be great to be able to visualize how shares are changing over time


Quarter after quarter everyone discounts Nokia, and yet they are ALWAYS at the top. Have you used Ovi lately on the new Symbian^3 devices? Have you used Symbian^3? I have an iPhone, BB, E72, N8, and Samsung Galaxy (I test software for a living). I have to say, the new Symbian will give the others a very good run for their money. It is far more usable than iOS or Android. Nokia had by far the biggest ship to turn around, and that ship is now pointing in the right direction.

I think it is very misleading to group all 'Android' devices into the same group. Some of these Android OS's have been very customized, like Linux on PC's. As pointed out above, we have found that supporting Android across these various devices is very expensive, and not realistic in many cases. Android has a big challenge: how do you allow for customization, but keep application performance and behavior the same across platforms? If the device manufactures cannot customize as much, they will be relegated to their basic hardware capabilities, which will be a very low margin business. I would say that these Android based devices are fighting a losing battle to the bottom of profitability, unless they can come up with some serious differentiation. This is why BlackBerry, Apple, and Nokia have (wisely) decided to keep their proprietary combinations of hardware and software.

Android is a great OS, and good for end users, but I wonder how good it will be for manufactures longer term. I believe they will need to customize the OS and hardware even further, and in doing so, will make 'Android' more splintered.

Plastic Cards

When Google made a foray into this industry, one knew there must be a definitive reasoning behind it. SmartPhones are here to stay and multiply.

Toby Treacher

Tomi, great stats many thanks for the analysis. I have been working with some operators at the sharp end of smartphones and we are starting to see some pretty alarming implications for customer services. The numbers will go even more nuts next year, but the newer customers are going to need even more help... Have you come across any research on this?

Post here:

business legal advice

nice posting i eally inspired your article thanks for sharing us.


Tomi, would you like to give some comment on recent Nielsen research on what teens (13+) want in US. It suprised me that they found intent in non-iPhone smartphone is considerably bigger than that for iPhone (19% vs 13%). So I though it'd be interesting what kind of spin you give to this.


Red Bull Hats

I support nokia. I think this is a good choice

cool gadgets

Someday i missed her so much ,but i know that we can not come back.

Shoes Wholesalers

It is quite important for all of us Americans to think about our budget and spend as negligence of these things have caused worst times for us in recession.I would love to bookmark your blog as there are very interesting and encouraging articles!

new era hat

I think developers would be wise to go where the action is. Most people avoid app downloads for fear of screwing up their mobile; NOT on an iPhone.

And that, my friends, is why the iPhone will dominate.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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