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« The Convergence of Megatrends? When All Roads Lead to 'Mobile' | Main | Tomi Is The Social Media Slut - My 3 Fave Xmas Presents includes named most influential in mobile by Forbes »

January 04, 2012



I went from Symbian to iPhone back to Symbian, although Symbian feels clunky compared to iOS I couldn't live with the missing functionality of the iPhone. I suspect that is the difference between a user with a history of smartphones and a new user to the market, the new user wont miss functionality they never had.

As a Symbian user it seems to me, as a result of Elop's actions, the only way forward for me is Android. iOS and WP7 are still too far behind in the functionality stakes and now MeeGo is a dead-end.

gzost commented above:
"And, as any software developer will tell you, the mantra of 'write once, run anywhere' has never translated to any real-world successes."

As a software developer I have two words to say to gzost: "the Internet"
Being able to run HTML/JavaScript anywhere has been such a great success it has changed the world.

I also use Python a lot - on Linux, Windows, Mac, Android and of course Symbian. Code portability rocks!

Less than a year ago, in my view, NOKIA were the coolest large corporation on the planet. They had open sourced Symbian, they had bought Qt and released it to very grateful developers under the LGPL, they had created QML/QtQuick which was a very interesting project and they were sponsoring the creation of Pyside - Python bindings to run everywhere Qt would. All the most exciting stuff for the near future of mobile development was going to come from NOKIA. Many developers loved NOKIA then and were eager to get started developing for MeeGo and a new improved Symbian.

If you asked those same developers what they think of NOKIA now many of them would feel let down because just as all that work reached the level of maturity that it could start bearing fruit, just as the fabulous MeeGo started to appear on the Horizon what happens? Elop throws it all away and Lumbers NOKIA with a low-functioning, single-tasking, proven failure of an OS that is incompatible with it all.

I'm not an activist or even a political person but on the day Elop made his announcement concerning the killing of Symbian I wrote a letter to the competition department of the EU expressing my fear that this was a deliberate ploy to destroy the market value of NOKIA so M$ could pick up NOKIA's IPR at a fraction of its true value. Unbridled corporate greed - stuff NOKIA, stuff Finland's economy, stuff the livelihood of thousands of Europeans, it's all just money in Ballmer's and Elop's pockets. To have NOKIA's patents to bash Google and Apple with because M$ can't compete on merit.

If some of the submissions in the Barnes & Noble v Microsoft case are correct it seems Elop has already transferred thousands of NOKIA's patents into a third party Canadian company where they are now being used to the benefit of M$.


@weave - Well, "the internet", or, better to be specific here: the WWW.
Only this doesn't exist in the abstract, but as rendered by different browsers, on different platforms, across different screen sizes, and using different interaction models. Anything beyond the most basic markup and functionality needs to take these factors into consideration, and requires testing.
The toolset to address all of the variants is the same, and there lies great value in that. Graceful degradation, progressive enhancement, responsive design and many other principles and mechanisms are there to cope with the fact that there's no one size fits all solution.
This is the point I wanted to make about Qt: it was a great vision, the best grand strategy in all of mobile, but it would never have been as easy as just having run a Qt application written and tested on one platform work satisfactorily on all other platforms.



If operators want wp7 as third os then why it still has around 2 % after more than year? What you are ignoring is that ms wants to have total control over the wp platform and reduce operators to providers of dumb wireless pipes. So even if operators want to have third option, they would be foolish to the maximum to promote anything from ms.



It's a different issue whether telcos are actively promoting something, or if they are indifferent or if they are hostile. I'm not buying this hostility argument, that was my main point. From telcos point of view I assume that each of the three parties are as scary but in different ways. The more there are choices the better for them.

WP has been slow to ramp up. I guess quite many reasons for that like it has been a sidejob for other Android-manufacturers, OS has been only catching up to Android and iOs, lack of apps etc. Now with Nokia it will be get at least both manufacturer priority and volume for the first time. Which may engage other manufacturers and create a positive loop around WP. I hope this happens but who knows ? It's for sure that MS is not going to give up easily, their very existence is threatened if they don't become relevant in mobile.


@n900lover "ms wants to have total control over the wp platform and reduce operators to providers of dumb wireless pipes"

MS is trying to duplicate its desktop os strategy, but it lacks the advantage it had of being the os of first IBM, and then a thousand PC clones.


@Earendil Star Yeah, well. Figured as much.

And,btw, I did read Tomi's post. Few times actually.

Just wanted to make sure you mindlessly follow what Tomi states. Without even bothering to check anything as long is it lines up with what you think must be true. If he says so - it must be true, isn't it? Especially where hard numbers and hard facts are concerned.

Well, sorry to burst your bubble but Tomi can be wrong too. As when he was predicting that HTC will pass Nokia in smartphone sales this Q weeks after HTC already issued profit warning. Or even without bothering to check HTC's own guidance for Q4 (13M units) issued almost 2 mnths before his post, which was below even Tomi's own Nokia's overly pessimistic estimates of 14M for Nokia. Or as he is wrong about that 60% worldwide smart phone market growth number now. It will be 50% +- 2% at best this year. There's a good chance it will be even lower then that/

And that conveniently ignores the fact that we are not comparing full year 2010 to full year 2011 growth. We are comparing only Q4 of 2010 to 2011 (well, actually half of that, byut I digress). The smartphone growth in quarters fell from 75% in Q2 to 42% in Q3 2011. And is likely to fall even lower, unless we get a huge upside surprise from Apple and Samsung.

Then we get down to the boring details like where that growth is coming from. Which is SE Asia, China and U.S. While Lumia launched only for half a Q and only in Western Europe, and ~3 weeks to sell in some some Asian markets and Russia. And in Europe the smartphone growth was way slower then everywhere else already in Q3. And probably had an even bigger slowdown in Q4 due to that Euro/debt crap:

Yep, sure, despite all of that, the benchmark for Lumia is 7 Mil. Sure

As for Tomi's commenting over the last few months. Especially on his Nokia related posts. Don't even get me started. Just go through his posts and see how much he replied to



Well, you just declared that operators want third ecosystem and implied it is wp, without any explanation why. Ms is quite clear that they are on the path to cut operators profits to the ground, controlling skype is obvious part of that strategy and probably the greatest danger to operators. So again, what advantage is for operators to have ms in the mobile bussiness? And please, don't say "more competition", that's ms pr blurb. Explain in detail what positives ms brings to the operators table.

What level of hostility should operators show toward ms/wp to satisfy you? Obviously they don't need to issue death threats to mr. Ballmer on press conferences, they "just" don't promote wp phones enough and that is apparently sufficient to kill it and later allows them to say it wasn't their fault (we had lumia directly in our stores, what more do you want???).



MS is not any worse to telcos than Apple or Google. Dam was broken already years ago and it's been trickling water ever since on an increasing rate (skype, whatapps, ...). They can only try to slow down the inevitable development. Actively boycotting MS/WP would not change any of that, it would make only Apple and/or Google stronger and the result would be worse, an oligopoly of two.

There is excellent discussion around theses issues in comments to

ps. randomly browsing at some European operator pages I see recently lauched Nokia Lumia 800 with good visibility (and even decent selling/popularity). Does not prove anything but does not look like a boycott to me either.



So no example of tangible benefit to operators from ms gaining traction in mobile plus at least confirmation they can try to slow down the race. Well, there you have one of your reasons why ms in mobile is disaster and will be in future.


@m900lover Ha. Yep no tangible benefits to operators, getting MS/Nokia into a fight except for one. Getting one more player in the fight is all beneficial to them- having one more to play against others.

But if they would be happy to leave it all to Google and Apple, and all other shops close down. Carriers are screwed up for real. Remember Googles fight against carriers over some addition spectrum? Witness the latest WZV fight over Gslaxy Nexus Google Wallet. THey've won in the end - Google did not put Wallet on VZW Galaxy Nexus. Mainly because they still could have good enough Gingerber phones for Chsritmas flagsips. But what if Google Mandated that Wallet is a must on all ICS phones. To keep that from happening they can they still had dying BB to fall and promising WP platform to fight with.

THe moment those fail- it is a duopoly. Apple is already running rings around carriers. And as soon as Android wins - Google will turn on them too. With Google Wallet and other stuff as mantadory,

And MIcrosoft, probably under an influence from Nokia, is already starting to show signs of carrier bendower by removing that update site. And not having Skype on WP7.5 7 months after acquisition announcement

Not sure how skype will eventually get into WP. But now that it is under msft control - it may suddenly become much more carier friendly. With Carrier shared monetization opportunities and other stuff


Your problem is that you think android is some sort of closed monolithic platform ruled by google with iron fist. In fact this is ms pr fantasy and operators know it's lie. Android is open platform with open source code, so even if google "demands" their wallet, operators and manufacturers can add own money solutions or do whatever they want. Suggesting that ms would somehow change this situation for operator's benefit is laughable. If it wasn't for wp7 current share, ms would force their money solution down to world throat completely ignoring operators or hw manufacturers (or users, for that matter), due to the locked nature of wp nobody could do anything about it without ms permission, like at least adding competing solution.

So your alleged benefit is actually nice example of why having ms in mobiles is change for worse. No doubt operators would like to have third (fourth, ...) platform, but it would have to be like android or better and not another apple. Not to mention that ms is even worse than apple...

Yeah, if ms completely changes strategy, allows wp7 customization, add shared revenues from voip and other things, that would be interesting to operators. The problem is that for now ms wants the exact opposite: run operators and manufacturers (hello nokia) into irrelevance and retain all profits and control in redmond.


Previous comment is reaction to karlim...



I'm not sure you understand how Android works. Yes Android OS itself is opensource, and the versions which Google opensources can be modified anyway by anyone. Btw - it does not do that for every version - e.g Honeycomb was never opensourced and will most likely never be.

But the Google Apps - Android market, search, maps, GTAlk, G+ - most of the stuff that makes a good Android phone - are closed and completely owned by Google. As is Android name itself. If anyone wants to release an Android phone (and use Android name), with Android market and any other Google apps - they have to get certified by Google, and Google wields all the power here. If they don't like something, like manufacturer putting some app they think is a threat, and Google thinks they can get away with it - they will screw the manufacturer by delaying the device launch, or even stopping the sales of devices that are already shipping. They already did it a least once that we know of - with Samsung Galaxy S and Moto's Droid X over Skyhook Wi-Fi location app. In the recent Verzion Galaxy Nexus spat over Google Wallet - the one who got screwed the most was Samsung - it didn't get it's Galaxy S2 on Verizon, and missed most of the Holiday season with Nexus.

So unless a vendor is ready to completely fork Android, forgo Android MArket and all other Google Apps and go its own way - committing the necessary resources to further development of its own Android fork - the whole openness thing is a myth. And, btw, with the requirement of shipping of native ICS theme on Android 4 devices - all those vendor customizations like Sense, TouchWiz or Blur - become just another app (or set of apps) on Android 4 smartphone.

So yes - everyone is free to add new services and stuff to Android - as an app. Just as they are free to do so on Windows Phone.

Tomi T Ahonen

Second set of replies

Hi Carlos, KPOM and gzost

Carlos - thanks. I didn't know that about Qt, I do remember it was explained as its intention and road map, and I thought I heard some programmers say that it works already with S40, but it doesn't yet?

On Skype - yes its possible carriers may treat it differently per country, but I would suggest that it is highly unlikely. The carriers don't mind Skype (or any other internet service) if they can sell it at a premium. But if Skype comes in without any premium payment, and uses the cellular network (so I am not talking of WiFi usage) then carriers do hate Skype as a 'free-loader' only creating traffic load but no revenues. I wrote a long article on this blog last summer, you may want to go read that, it explains the full Skype drama haha..

On Lumia - very interesting points of view from a developer and expert angle. The alarm clock is very damaging and I am sure it will be one of the biggest causes of returns. And from the developer side those deficiencies are quite severe, especially for anyone familiar with Nokia in the past.

KPOM - good point, yes Nokia could switch to Android but that would not happen this year 2012 where if Nokia abandons WP7 it would only go back to MeeGo because Nokia has two MeeGo devices currently in production (N9 and N950). And if Android came onboard in 2014, the damage to Nokia would be so severe that one of the previous 4 scenarios will have happened..

gzost - haha, little left but to pray. On Symbian S^3, it was 'competitive' but not better than the iPhone or Android. It WAS significantly better than other rivals on the market at the time like Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm etc. I never claimed S^3 was on par or better than the iPhone or Android.

On European replacement cycle. You are TOTALLY wrong. The replacement cycle for mobile phones has not been as long as 2 years for the past DECADE. It was between 17 - 19 months during the past several years globally. For consumer-oriented smartphones it has been significantly shorter. I calculated on this blog that the worldwide smartphone average replacement rate was 11.5 months. The US market Blackberries as enterprise smartphones they were replaced less often than the average. The USA overall was lagging the world. Europeans led in smartphones and Europeans had far higher consumer rate of smartphones. You do the math, the average European was in 2011 on his or her 5th smartphone, vs US consumer was on his 2nd. If you want to claim different, please supply some evidence.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Tomi, you have constantly:
-claimed AT&T deal (X7) was a success
-demanded exclusive operator deal for some (high-end) product
-said that operators would never support WP7
-praised N9
-complained that Lumia 800 does not have forward-facing camera and has too small display
Now at CES they announced at&t will sell Lumia 900 - N9 form factor, large display, fw camera, at&t exclusively
PLEASE once again explain how OPK sales team was better than Elop's and how this will all fail. Stage is yours.

Earendil Star

@ karlim

Actually Google released Honeycomb's source code when it released the ICS source code. Go and check the facts.

The other things you state are simply contradicted by what Amazon did with its Kindle Fire. If you have a compelling offering, nothing stops you from bundling it with Android, even without Google's proprietary products (which, in any case, come for free... as opposed to those coming from Apple or MS).

Regarding MS and its attitude toward its partners, well, just Google a bit and check what happened to a hoard of them... no wonder carriers are very cautious when dealing with MS. Only injecting a MS employee as CEO makes it possible for this cautionary approach to disappear, as was the case for Nokia.

I know, you knew it already, but it's worth repeating for other readers to learn.

On the Lumia 800, I see you finally realized what I had quoted. No need to disguise your blunder with the additional comments you made.
But anyway, the Lumia 800, as Tomi said, is an underwhelming phone, marketed just to keep interest alive, while keeping the promise of delivering a Nokia WP in 2011.
This way THT Elop earned his bonus with MS, as he achieved what was planned.

But now the game has shifted already: here comes the Lumia 900 on AT&T... they finally managed to do a quasi N9 replica running WP.
This is where things really start to become interesting. We'll finally see if Nokia is able to make any significant inroads in the market.
No doubt AT&T must have been well paid for this, but it will be interesting to see how much they will actually push the phone.
In any case, it will be a revolutionary phone: THT Elop on a (certainly paid for) Fortune video stated that these are the innovative features unique to the Lumia 900:
1) LTE (!?)
2) WP tiled interface (!?).
This guy is a joke, and the reporter conducting this fake interview is a disgrace.

Finally, a last remark: please note that just repeating nonsense does not alter its nature: it remains nonsense.


Back-of-the-enevelope calculation for the replacement cycles (2009 numbers from your Almanach):
~ 4 billion phones in use
18 month replacement cycle (all 4 billion phones replaced) = 2.6 billion phones replaced within a year
total sales for 2009: 1.3 billion
(This also squares with some simple reality check considerations: with so many people still in contract phones, replacement cycles for them are unlikely to be lower than contract length + add the developing world where the purchase of a phone is a huge investment and it is used until it fail.)
I remember reading in a recent post of yours (can't find it at the moment) that you take the average replacement cycle as half the replacement cycle (which would work with the above numbers). If this is really the case, then I am at a loss as to why this should be done (but I'd be glad for an explanation, of course).

Regarding the average European & smartphones:
As your own (very informative) post on the topic from Dec 12 shows, the average European is still using a feature phone.


> I remember reading in a
> recent post of yours (can't
> find it at the moment)


Earendil Star

Interesting to see the first press reviews on the Nokia announcement at the CES 2012.

I see that Ballmer is now always on stage whenever a significant Nokia announcement is taking place, overshadowing THT Elop.
Looking at the photos, you clearly see who's the boss and who's the puppet.

The stage is set with the Nokia logo overwhelmed by huge coloured squares, ehm, windows, looming in the background and taking up the whole scene.

Lots of propaganda on "war of ecosystems", clearly a lot at stake for MS.

As far as the phone is concerned, and as I already mentioned, it offers less than many other smartphones already in the market:
larger screen but lower resolution (lower than N9)
8 Mp camera and finally also front camera (but only 1 Mp)
Only 512 Mb RAM and 16 Gb Flash memory (lower than N9)
Smallest OS & ecosystem penetration so far (by the way, many H/W shortcomings are in fact due to WP limits...)

The real question is: will all the MS propaganda and marketing muscle manage to force feed this average device down the customers' throat?
Much will depend on how much AT&T will push it, and on how much subsidy it will receive, all of which is inevitably linked to MS money.
We'll see!


Earendil Star,

good comparisons.

nfc is also not supported in lumia 900 due to WP OS restriction.

while n9 has already implemented nfc at least 8 months ago.

I agree with tomi, fire the clown Elop is the number 1 task for new board chairman to do.

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