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« Some Symbian Sanity - why Nokia will not join Google Android or Microsoft Phone 7 | Main | Great Analysis by Michael Mace, yet is Completely Not Relevant to RIM ie Blackberry »

December 13, 2010



Funny thing. I read about all those how iOS and Android are great. All geeks around are buying GalaxyS but in Poland Nokia is entrenched at the same point as year(s) ago. Prices? Symbian and Android the same. Percentage of web users by device? Nokia 40%, Samsung not even on radar.

Looks like reality (as in naked numbers, similarly to Tomi) has strong Nokia bias.


Toni, Nokia is still a great company that is able to build fantastic phones - so I have big respect to your enthusiasm. But you guys have a serious problem.
I can't hear the meme that Nokia has 40+% market share anymore. These are just unit numbers! Just compare the revenue numbers and the situation looks even worth for Nokia. And no app- or web-developer I know even tries to spend time on supporting Nokia devices.
Without accepting the situation you can't change it - and that's what Scoble tries to say. Good luck with that - Europe needs such innovative companys like Nokia.

Oleg Pridiuk

Tomi, if you're stating that Nokia is healthy and performing well, please list markets and/or industries where Nokia managed to grow this year.

I would argue against Asia as Chinese and Indian cheap phone makers are gainig a momentum and next year may leave the long tail and become noticeable.

Also I can get no point remembering who was the first to put some tech into a device, except for patent wars purposes.

Tomi Ahonen

Ok more replies, these are to comments on Dec 13 & 14

Hi Mark, Tim, pk, Fernando, James

Mark - no, the stats are clearly the opposite, world's biggest app store by number of apps and downloads currently is still Apple, then Getjar, then Ovi. Android is growing but not nearly at those levels yet.

Tim - thanks. Good point about the pitches. Let me add this thought, its far easier to develop an app for the iPhone because you can in most cases do only one version (no fragmentation) but on Symbian its a huge headache and even Android is splintering quite badly already. And the programmers I talk to seem to all agree that its easier to make an app for the iPhone than Symbian and Android may be even faster/easier. Therefore, if you have a cool idea, it makese SENSE to first develop your new idea (prototype it, if you will) on the iPhone or Android, before tackling the more complex and older OS's like Symbian, RIM, WinMo etc. So it also 'makes sense' that developers today would show Scoble something NEW programmed on the iPhone or Android, and essentially never on Symbian. I would suggest even if he visited Finland, that is what would happen (not forgetting Apple's most successful paid downloaded app is Angry Birds the game by Rovio, a Finnish developer, haha)

pk - you are making the classic mistake of comparing Nokia to Apple. Like I explain, again and again, they are not in the same race. Apple leads its race - by a mile - among PC makers shifting to the pocket PC world of smartphones. But Nokia DOES lead the traditional dumbphone makers - by a mile - in their migration from dumbphones to smartphones - and compared to ALL of the classic Big 5 rivals, Motorola, SonyEricsson, Samsung and LG - Nokia is FAR more profitable than those four, and yes, leading hugely in innovation too (where is Apple's near field, where is the Apple Money, who did the ad platform first, etc). The PROPORTION of profit is hugely different (today) but that is ficle. Motorola had a hit phone with the Razr, and generated huge profits. It then went into losses. Apple generated many quarters of losses just some years ago. Nokia has never generated a quarterly loss in its handset unit, as long as its been a Top 3 handset maker (I wasnt analyzing the industry prior to that time haha). The moment Apple is generating huge profits in a competitive industry - is not long-term sustainable, any business economics professor will tell you that. So enjoy these quarters as long as you can, what goes up, will come down. but observe Nokia, they plug along every single quarter their handsets generate a profit - something no other rival who has been in the business for 5 years or longer has managed to do. Who is executing well?

Fernando - thanks.

James - good points and yes, the battle is getting ever harder for all players. I said at the start of this year, that this was to be the bloodbath of smartphones (year 2010) and we've seen many giants fall from Palm to Google to Microsoft. But next year is now looking to be EVEN bloodier still, haha. We've seen many new entrants into the game this year, latest is Intel just this month (as a smartphone manufacturer next, not just OS maker) and Sharp for example is signalling a big push into mobile. Google is returning with the next Nexus. Sony is to release a PSP phone, and so forth. The battle is getting even bloodier in 2011 than it was in 2010. So it will not get any easier for Nokia haha..

Ok, more replies coming later, keep the comments coming

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Tomi, thanks for this posting as well as the initial one I read just before this response.

I know you know the growth numbers, but since you did not mention those for Ovi Store, I would like to list the Ovi Store growth numbers: In last 8 months, the Ovi Store growth has risen from about 12% MoM into over 25% (November) per month (over previous month). In less than 8 months, Ovi Store daily downloads have risen +250% (3,5 times as many downloads per day than in late April 2010). With current growth, the Ovi Store would have 15 (!) times as many daily downloads in 12 months than currently. There is likely NOTHING that grows as fast currently. And the growth has been accelerating all the time.

So as you wrote Tomi, the Ovi Store will get more and more downloads until those represent the share of Nokia devices currently in use Globally (S40, Symbian, MeeGo). And then there will be new solutions boosting the store (like Terminal Mode for Symbian and MeeGo). Then it will be by far the biggest, and it will be the biggest already in 2011.

@"pk de cville": I will give two fast points what you should remember: Nokia´s Q3 had no significant new models in more expensive lineup (now replaced in Q4 and rest in Q1/2011). Still they got ASP going UP to 65€ (+6,6% over Q2) and the growth was limited in scaling the production up fast enough. Unit shipments were up +60% compared to 2009 and for Nokia that INCREASE ALONE is more than any competitor sold in the same period. It is easier to grow +80% or +150% YoY in units, when you start from 5% market share than it is if you have about 35% market share. Next year, 2011, they will be able to boost higher growth again for various reasons. You will see.


@"Baron95": You asked "3 - Why have *ALL* the Symbian handset partners abandoned Symbian? Are they stupid and Nokia is the only one that is right and sees a future for Symbian?"

1. Not all have abandoned Symbian, you have somehow missed that Sharp and Fujitsu launched 11 new Symbian models in Oktober 2010.

2. Currently the other manufacturers that have used Symbian in the past, are not planning new Symbian models currently. There have been misquotes in press, but I have seeked the actual statements and those have been "we have no new models coming currently", not "we have abandoned Symbian for ever". And there are many reasons why it made sense for them to at least have a pause:
- Nokia was able to launch new Symbian^3 devices at the end of September 2010. The generic version of ^3 will be ready for the smaller Symbian using manufacturers some time in early 2011. The next version was supposed to be called Symbian^4 and was to be coming in Q2/2011. So this means that Samsung, Sony-Ericsson etc. would have had the version 3 devices shipping at about the same time when Nokia would have shipped the version 4 devices. The version 3 has completely rewritten code, but mostly old user interface. The version 4 was to be replacing the user interface. This means, that the version 4 with new UI would have shipped from Nokia 1-2 months later than the rest could have shipped S^3 (AFAIK). If I was in the shoes of Samsung or Sony-Ericsson, I would have done just the same. In that kind of fast cycle, Nokia has too big advantage.
- Now things have changed. There will be no Symbian^4, since there is currently only Symbian that will constantly evolve. Instead of the version 4 in Q2/2011 there will be multiple (likely 4 or even 5) updates to the system. The first one will have 50 new or more advanced features, and then the UI will be replaced (earlier intended for S^4). So it might be that once the new fresh look is there, and the update strategy has changed, some of the manufacturers will come back. I would not really be surprised if that is the case, but it depends obviously how well the Bada and WP7 will sell in Samsung´s lineup and what Sony-Ericsson later decides.

So AFAIK there have been schedule reasons for using something else while the transition is going, and in the end we will see if there will be again more Symbian manufacturers than currently.

For Nokia, this has been very good progress, since now they are able to move forward much faster than with the Symbian Foundation in control (Nokia had only one seat in a 12 member board). Now updates can be announced when ready, no need to wait until the next big update (that was previously twice a year only).

white iphone 4

récapitulation des Grands, je ne peux même pas croire que vous avez pu écrire that.I eu tant d'inquiétude en train de regarder cela et je pensais que j'étais le seul qui avait la rage contre nature / haine pour Kelly, heureux je ne suis pas le seul, comme je me concerne. Ces femmes montrent que vous pouvez l'age sans m?rir.

Alexander Manu

Nokia Strategy?

Funny noises lately – December 10, 2010 and afterwards – about something called a “strategy” coming from Nokia execs and their supporting cast. They are talking about numbers, percentages and sentiment: the numbers are in relationship to sets sold and user base; the percentages are about “market share” and the sentiment is that Nokia is on the right track as far as a smart phone strategy is concerned. Yet, no strategy is being offered. Instead, what we get is an ideology: there is “no dominant operating system for smart phones yet” (belief), “we are just at the beginning of the game” (and the very suspect analogy between the state of the smart phone market and that of the automotive industry at the beginning of the century…) and when lost for other arguments, we are treated to a full frontal attack on Apple. And an otherwise very smart man talks about the iPhone’s “terribly constrained” beauty….To whom it may concern: one of the essential characteristics of something considered “beautiful” is the very presence of constraining elements. In the absence of constraining elements, music is just noise and the Mona Lisa a bunch of random painted surfaces on a piece of fabric.
I don’t want to call this the “Espoo Distortion Field”, but anytime the conversation is about ideology, I fear it hides the real numbers a business should be talking about. And here they are, as of December 22, 2010. (I don't want to graph these numbers as they will look really embarrassing in any competitive analysis):

Share Price NOK $10.26 APPL $325
Market Cap NOK 38.10 Billion APPL 298 Billion
Revenue NOK 58 Billion APPL 65 Billion
Net Income NOK 373 Million APPL 14 Billion
Net Tangible Assets NOK 7.3 Billion APPL 46.7 Billion
Cash and Equivalents NOK 542 Million APPL 5.9 Billion

The numbers for Nokia are from December 31, 2009, while Apple’s are from September 26, 2010, their respective financial years.
Now, do you think that Nokia’s December 31 2010 numbers will beat Apple’s? Or is this just another “distortion field”? Even if we account for reporting discrepancies and accounting methods, when one company is reporting a net income 38 times higher than the other (yes, multiply Nokia’s income by 38 and you get to Apple’s) then we are getting a real distortion field.

Get serious people! In light of these real numbers, ideology and hubris (which are not strategy) does very little to change things. One can not talk about a “game” or “an inning” when one’s team is not even on the field. Sorry about that. We are not talking technology here. We are talking business.

Henry Peise

I want iphone 4 white as my christmas present!

white iphone 4

White iphone 4 Conversion Kit with impressive figure can easily be the focus of the crowd. I really want to get one!

Phil W

At Alexander Manu, I think its you who need a reality check. Yes it's business and Nokia's business and focus is on maintaining its market share and improving its financials, so the yard stick is has it improved its financials sufficiently this year compared to last year. Not some financial pissing contest with Apple.

Nokia's business model is different to Apple's and cannot deliver the same level of profits, so it is pointless comparing them. Using your analogy Apple is actually playing Hockey, whilst Nokia and the rest of the established mobile companies are playing soccer, so it's not the same field, but it's not the same game either.

And if Nokia were to change tactic and follow Apple's strategy, the chances are that it would be disastrous, just look at Motorola, as that appears to be what it is trying to do. It was a company that once rivalled and beat Nokia in the mobile field, now it is an also ran, that is struggling to stay in business.


@Alexander Manu

Oh dear, another finance bore.

Quick question, Alexander: What do you think would have happened to Nokia if they had looked at the excellent sales results of the N95 and decided to abandon everything except premium smartphones?

Where do you think they would be now?

I don't think you even know what strategy means.

white iphone 4

Salut, où avez-vous obtenu cette information peut vous s'il vous pla?t appuyer ce avec une certaine preuve ou vous pouvez dire quelques bonnes références que moi et d'autres apprécieront vraiment. Cette information est vraiment bon et je vais dire sera toujours utile si nous essayer sans risques. Donc, si vous pouvez le sauvegarder. Cela nous aidera vraiment à tous. Et cela pourrait apporter un peu de bonne réputation pour vous.

red bull hats

Hi Tomi,
Thanks for your post,and you have teached a lot,thanks.

iphone cases

Oh mon Dieu, vous êtes une personne génie et un bon photographe i comme votre grace images.

Nokia SmartPhones

Robert has mentioned many real and Interesting things..I agree with you Robert


Nokia has a smartphone on the market? That's news to me. If so, perhaps they would do better (in the U.S. anyway) if they actually told someone about it. Nokia smartphone adverts on TV, in the paper: zero. Nokia devices in the carriers' stores' "Smartphone" sections: zero. General knowledge that smartphones other than Apple, Android, and Microsoft exist among my friends and family: zero. Heck, a few of them will even mention Palm (who I also consider on death's door), but Nokia? Not a peep. The U.S. may not be your only or biggest market, but it's one that from my perspective is woefully being not only ignored, but shunned.

Phil W

Hi Steven, Nokia is not ignoring the US, but it finds it a very challenging market. Nokia does sell its smartphones unlocked in the US, but most Americans won't buy phones that way. It is more expensive because you don't get the carrier subsidy and then you have to pay the data plan on top.

So the only viable way to sell to the majority of Americans is via the carriers. The problem for Nokia is that the carrier subsidy allied to the single tier data plan means that only smartphones that are perceived to be as good as the iphone and Android offerings can sell. Nokia's current smartphone range based on Symbian are perceived (rightly or wrongly) to be inferior, so the carriers won't take them. Difficult for Nokia to do anything about that.

The best chance for Nokia in the US is with the upcoming Meego smartphones which will be much more likely to garner carrier support, but they aren't ready yet.

These problems don't exist to the same extend outside of the US, because the US model of carrier support is unique to the US (AFAIK).


Clearly, the US carriers see no need to carry or subsidize Nokia smartphones because
1. the carriers' customers are not asking for Nokia phones,
2. the carriers' product/marketing/sales teams don't see anything in the Nokia phones that would bring in new customers/retain current customers through marketing/promotions and
3. Nokia's proposition (selling price and quantities and whatever else) is too much for the carriers.

Contrast this with Apple's position in 2007. All the same reasons applied except AT&T was willing, sight unseen, to bet on 2.

Contrast it again with Apple's position in 2010. Verizon claims 1 is true, and believes 2 to be true, so they'll sell iPhones despite not liking 3 at all.

Back to Nokia. What does this say about Nokia smartphones and Nokia's proposition to the carriers? So even though the 12mp/lense camera might be super-duper incredible, the carriers (not customers) just don't perceive that as being enough to overcome its other deficiencies, even through intense marketing. And Nokia (which can do something about it) must be refusing or unable to lower its prices or quantities or make other concessions to where the carriers are willing to take a chance. Or is there another explanation?


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