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« Smartphone Markets Shares in 2012, some relevant illustrations to understand the Bloodbath | Main | Quick Thoughts on Nokia as Takeover Target (Samsung, Facebook, Microsoft and others) »

June 07, 2012


Reinhard Haberfellner

Its really a shame like IDC , a former leader of trends and statistics is making itself ridiculous just because of some MS money .


Small correction: Nosimo had 43 exclusive Nokia shops, not 400.

But of course Nokia continues to lose partners. Nosimo was not the only partner in Russia. re:Store also has some Nokia shops (not many: re:Store is primarily Apple reseller) and there are probably more. Now, re:Store and other partners don't make loud statements and do not promise to close ALL Nokia shops tomorrow, but... pictures speak louder then words:


1) Do you have any prove that IDC has been paid from MSFT or NOK?
2) If they are unprofessional (one side opinion), why care so much then?


It has always been IDC's business model to sell favourable data to whomever wants to pay for it. The only thing surprising is that they made the numbers so unrealistic.

The middle managers buying data from IDC don't even care because they're not buying the data to make decisions, they're buying pre-made decisions to avoid the responsibility themselves. It doesn't even really matter what these reports say as it doesn't change this fact.

M$, oracle, etc, these are IDCs real customers. The sooner the rest of the industry realise it (and ignore it appropriately), the better off we'll all be.


As I've said I have no evidence that IDC is publishing this articles because Microsoft paid for them, but this hypothesis explains everything quite nicely.

Microsoft will want to see the date when it'll pass Apple again (to justify the infamous Ballmer's line "But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get") and IDC desperately tries to imagine scenario when this magic point happens realistically.

They can say that Windows Phone will outsell iPhone in year 2100, but this is not something Microsoft wants to hear, thus the compromise: 2016. And if you have a ready-made decision that in year 2016 Windows Phone passes iPhone then the other numbers can be easily calculated. iPhone users are fiercely loyal thus we can not realistically project in 2016 less then Apple have today, which means that Windows Phone needs at least as much which means that Android should lose some users...


Tomi asks why Android is peaking up. I have no clue, but here's something that defends this thinking. No, reasons why it's happening are not given, but only some data that AT THIS MOMENT, it is indeed happening.

Things change so rapidly, that I'll be chicken (or wise?) enough not to place any personal forecasts. All this aggressiveness in this blog about what's going to happen, looks hilarious indeed. I enjoy this a lot!


"Imagine how out of date the iPhone 3G will be in a few months, nobody will want one as they start to anticipate the next iPhone for June 2009"

This actually turned out to be completely true, and still happens today - Apple's sales drop dramatically the quarter before the next device hits...

Tomi is wrong about considering smartphones as just appliance that depending on marketing/supply chains though - the software is incredibly important. In terms of 'winners' and 'qualifiers' theory - where a qualifier is something the phone must have to be bought, and then you compare the 'winners' - the software is a qualifier. For a device that can't compete on software, it's not a decision of which device would the consumer rather buy. The consumer simply has no choice but to buy a device that has the software they need. No amount of faster or prettier hardware changes it - if the software doesn't do the job it can't be bought.

This is where that previous iPhone prediction went wrong (and why IDC's windows prediction went wrong, etc). When iPhone upped the level of software, it made itself the only possible choice for people who needed that kind of software. Android has now caught up and offers similar software. The rest of the market has fallen behind now and isn't even an option. Windows Phone isn't an option as it has too many feature limits, etc.

However if Windows Phone can up their software game, then they can knock the rest out of the market too. IMO zero chance of this without a major new innovation which MS simply isn't capable of (too many years popping up 'are you sure?' dialogs and working with enterprise to keep users in line...)

This is still the reason that smartphone predictions can't be like car predictions. You buy a car because you like it - all cars can drive fine on the road. You can't buy a smartphone because you like it - it has to have the software to do the job - and currently that is only Apple + Android - and if nothing changes then it's going to be Apple + Android with more and more of the market, not less like most predictions are currently showing... Safest bet currently is something like Android 65%, iPhone 25% and the rest fighting for the last 10%. If MS or RIM can make their software up to the same ever increasing level, then they can have a share too. But safest bet is to assume the current status quo and bank on Apple + Android with most of the market.

Tomi non-fan

@Tomifan seems to try to make some point, but it's not clear. is it that Tomi has made wrong predictions in the past? Every forecaster has been wrong at some point (if there was at least one always-perfect clairvoyant, life would be unbearably boring). But the chosen quotation is NOT proof of wrong predictions:

- The first sentence is not a prediction at all, but a post-factum statement of reality. Are you saying it is wrong? Where are your alternative 'correct' numbers for the period?
- The next 2 sentences are also no predictions but an opinion about product strategy. There are different product strategies and more than one of those can be successful.
- The only element of 'prediction' is in the last ('Imagine...') sentence. That, as others pointed, has been proven to be true, every year since then.

What was your point again?

I feel uncomfortable appearing to 'defend' one party as, unlike the poster in question, I am NOT a Tomi fan. All I am interested in are facts, and not pointless critique with quotes that prove nothing.


Ha, ha - I accept the language (even like it) but, Tomi - perhaps not in the same piece where 'professional' (or otherwise) is mentioned.

I tweeted about the report immediately as it was released. I don't have the statistical baggage to prove it wrong number-by-number, but it's such obvious wishful thinking that it raises eyebrows even among dilettantes like myself.

The scenario is, in fact, possible - if one (or ideally all) of several theoretically possible things actually happen in the near future: (a)Unbeatable killer virus plagues iOS beyond repair, (b)Earthquakes destroy all Apple offices and partner factories, (c)Apple are caught running a side business supplying McDonalds with mince meat from third-world children...

Everything is possible - stop beating poor IDC, give them a break! :)


The thing that mostly surprises me is why would Microsoft fund such an obviously fake/paid-for forecast..?

I just can't see how does it help them. Are the big operators going to believe such a report and all of a sudden give WP devices a push? Software companies are going to believe that and start spending money on a WP version of their applications..?

Anybody with just a little brain will see this to be totally false. The only thing it does is that it damages IDC's credibility and makes Microsoft look desperate. But if somebody has better insight I am curious to hear it.

Buttface Elop


Operators don't sell WP7 phones because people don't ask them for WP7 devices. It's as simple as that. Skype isn't the problem because it can't be used anyway with WP7 devices since they don't run in the background. I don't know why Elop tells us bullshit stories like that.

Why would MS pay for such a forecast? For sure not to address operators but the journalists that put it in their news. People will read that and start to remember Windows phone as a brand and that someone said it'll be a successful OS in the future.

Microsoft is desperate. They're lost and try EVERYTHING to make Windows phone publicly known. If you ask normal people about the brand, they don't know it unless they're really interested in mobile tech. Time is running against Microsoft. And it's running faster every day. So I wouldn't wonder if Microsoft would give away vouchers with the upcoming Win 8 computers so people can get a Windows phone for very little money. Maybe they even bundle Windows phones with notebooks.

Maybe one out of 100 people using Win 7 like the new Metro UI of Win8. The other 99% dislike it. I predict a very tough future for Microsoft. They're going a risky way that will prove to be the wrong one.

Mark my words!


Absolutely great article, Tomi!!

You need to do a graph showing the ramp-up of production MS has to do to reach the 350m units in 2016. And overlay it with the iPhone ramp-up. It is so blindingly obvious a lie from the desperate MS!


Here is what I would ask IDC: "For how many more years would your next-year WP sales estimates turn out to be wildly inaccurate before you decide that you were wrong and WP is not going to be a monster success? To put it another way, what is the cut-off date for WP to start succeeding? 2013? 2014? 2015? 2016? Or will you keep predicting eventual success no matter how many years it keeps failiing?"



Because Microsoft is afraid of Google.

Right now Google OS (Android) can compete with Microsoft in PC, and the line between phone and computer were starting to blur.

Google were toying with the idea of creating an OS for PC using their popularity in mobile devices. For example, an Android in USB thumb drive size that cost bellow US$ 90 that plug into your HDMI in monitor/tv.

Microsoft quickly understand, if Google could get enough momentum, their dominance in PC would end, and if it did, they'll crash like Blackberry. Because Google OS were free, while Microsoft were depending on the sales of the OS.

In other world, Microsoft is bloated (as a company). They were a Godzilla that will extinct, and they know that they need to play rough to stay alive.


correction to my post...

the number of sales of Google Android OS in phone can compete with Microsoft in PC...



I like it! ;-)

This is the type of journalistic analysis I was missing yesterday when various tech sites simply echoed IDC's fantasy story. Any longterm forecast predicting marketshare with purported decimal place accuracy (19.2% in 2016 ???? - Yeah, right!!) should be considered as highly unprofessional.


iPhone is the most powerful smartphone and everyday Apple are creating new app or gadget for iPhone. when a new technology come out i make sure to try it but i can't leave my iPhone away and i still need it for my social media work. it's not now that Microsoft will past iPhone in term of smartphone.


I feel most of the people here have somewhat narrow minded thinking on why things will or will not happen. Downplaying any forecasts, and claiming your forecast is better than the others, does not make sense a lot. During a period of five years so much can - and will - happen that only looking back in 2010, reading your own statements, you look like a fool. Not always, but in this business, quite often. I'm one of them.

John Furrier from SiliconAngle is presenting his view on MS/WP in Forbes article. To me, he seems to have few valid points on why it is possible that WP will succeed and why IDC might be right. He considers the entire ecosystem while I feel most people in here are focusing on Mobile OS only.

Have a look at the statement regarding developers. Do they look at only Mobile OS or maybe take a wider view to think that Mobile OS is eventually riding on these bigger waves?


Tomi, you're not completely fair to IDC - I can easily think one way for WP to outpace iOS by 2016., or even sooner: get Elop to replace Tim Cook at Apple. That would give WP more than a fighting chance. After his job is done there, he can move on to replace Larry Page in Google - and shortly after WP would be the same success as its desktop brethren with 90% de-facto monopoly - the only game Microsoft knows how to play.

Maybe IDC knows something we don't *whistle*

ashok pai

IDC's role has to be highlighted here. players like IDC who sponsor 'paid' studies like these are illegal - but not with the law of course, which is why they keep doing it. it's a part of strategies of companies like orace and microsoft. they need to be exposed and rallied against.

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