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« Previewing Nokia Q3 Results later this month? Kantar confirms disasterous smartphone collapse - REVISED & CORRECTED | Main | Introducing the TomiAhonen Phone Book 2012, my statistical volume on the handset industry, totally updated for 2012 data »

October 04, 2012



Awesome data, do you have any data around Tablets? Tablets I think starting range is 7" Display size and up!?

Steven Hoober

I'd also like to know if subscriptions parses out non-phone use of mobile networks. Data devices, mobile (vs. WiFi) tablets, cars, trucks and busses, industrial and monitoring systems, etc.

The mobile M2M networked world promises to be huge, but I can get no sense of scale /today/, whether it's 10% of subs or 0.1% of them?


Tomi, How are you categorizing S40 as an OS (smart OS or feature OS), considering judgements from IDC and GfK?


Nokia is in a really bad place right now.

Their initial bid for a turnaround with first generation of Lumia Windows Phones failed. Microsoft is pissed at them, and might be working on their own smartphone. Symbian smartphone sales fell off the cliff and are rapidly approaching zero. By giving up on Meltemi and “Qt for the next billion” Nokia abandoned the most important part of their low end strategy, and now has to resort to marketing S40 Asha feature phones as smartphones. Credit agencies are openly contemplating company break-up scenarios. And a consensus is forming in tech media that the second generation Lumia 920/820 Windows Phone 8 devices won’t be a hit Nokia needs.

It’s gloom and doom all around. Well deserved due to the mess Nokia made of the whole transition, the negativity is palpable.


Tomi, would you kindly mark the references that you have used when creating this blog entry. It is crucial in order for us readers to analyze the validity of data you offer us. It can't be so that you only refer to anonymous "analyst houses" and your own book as a source.

As it is, this blog entry is like a plagiarized school paper with no point at all. I value the effort you have done in writing it and I would like to use some of the information to my own benefit, but at the moment your blog is a worthless reference, nor does it give the reader any means to dig deeper.



You wrote: "By giving up on Meltemi and “Qt for the next billion” Nokia abandoned the most important part of their low end strategy, and now has to resort to marketing S40 Asha feature phones as smartphones."

And then Nokia reported Q2 like this:

Mobile Phones Q2 volumes increased quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year to 73 million units.

And from the press: "The results indicated that, thanks to the successful roll out of its Asha range and dual SIM devices, Nokia has been able to successfully defend its position in the mobile phone space, with the increased device volumes an impressive performance in the context of a shrinking overall market (as more feature phone owners switch to smartphones)."

So, it doesn't necessarily take "Qt for the next billion", would you agree?

And please don't try to create an impression that Nokia started calling low end devices as smartphones. That is not true and I guess you know it.



You must be new here.. ;-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Eki

Good question, you probably didn't know that I run one of the most trusted mobile industry research analyst houses, my own consultancy, TomiAhonen Consulting, which reports on various industry stats regularly, including many exclusive ones. I am the father of many of the mobile industry's unique statistics and phenomena starting with the multiple subscription, and I publish an annual statistical volume called the TomiAhonen Almanac - referenced in countless sources - and also this related TomiAhonen Phone Book, now released every two years.

There is no other source. I use all the 'normal' publically available data like the ITU, GSM Association etc, plus operator public data, handset maker public data, and various industry analyst public data - but only as inputs and as sanity checks. All the numbers I publish under my company name, are generated by proprietary statistical and forecasting tools I have developed over more than a decade, many date back from when I was the Global Head of Consulting for Nokia, some pre-date my Nokia employment period even.

Sorry, this is NOT some kind of 'report' of other peoples' research where I could point you to sources. The source is.. TomiAhonen Consulting. If you don't like that source, please don't use it. Almost all of the Fortune 500 sized giants who are in mobile quote my stats, often quite regularly haha..

PS - CN - thanks haha..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

John Waclawsky

@foo "microsoft is pissed at them" So its all Nokia's fault, LOL. I don't think so. The reality is that Nokia should pissed at Microsoft. The main problem is NOBODY wants windoze..... Your not a Microsoft astroturfer are you?


Hi Tomi,

Thanks for the data; much appreciated. Can you clarify a couple of points?

On the handset price pyramid 2012 chart, is that just the price breakout for phone purchases made in 2012? In other words, it is NOT the price breakout for the whole 2012 installed base (which includes purchases in 2011 and 2010 and before).

Also, does the price pyramid 2012 chart account for resales? In other words, does it include the sale of a used iPhone 4 that was sold back into the market when its former owner bought an iPhone 5? Do you have an estimate for the percentage of phones (or smartphones) resold in 2012?

thanks again,



Thanks for your comment. Appreciate it a lot.

I am aware of that you are an analyst yourself, one that is often quoted and well recognized within the industry. One agenda why I'm reading this blog (on top of those hilarious "fire Elop now" outbreaks, that do have entertainment value) is that I am looking for solid quantitative data for me to utilize later on. But I simply can't refer to a guy like you, no matter how well recognized an analyst you are. It eventually comes to the fact that how was the information collected. This is what remains unclear, maybe you were interviewing 50 million people and made notes to a notepad with a pencil, who knows. Re-phrasing other people's data without a single reference is just plain wrong.


This does not mean I don't like it. Will definitely stop by regularly having a look again. But for me your statistics is useless. And I wonder why so many publish your figures in the media. I guess the copy-paste generation has invaded the newsrooms too, they are just surfing online all day long, making up stories the easiest way they possible can. A pity.

Tomi T Ahonen

kevin - its all new sales yes, not installed base haha.. and no, it doesn't include second hand market. I do have the percentage of the total handset market second hand phones in the actual Phone Book but it doesn't separate that between smartphones and dumbphones, just out of the total installed base, how many are second hand phones in use today, if you want to pay for the 9.99 Euros haha. I'm sorry I cant really give all of the data out into the open, this blog has already tons that is not available anywhere else..

Tomi Ahonen :-)


I do not understand you. The numbers presented in Tomi's phone book, and here, are predictions for "31 December".

Predictions are not data but opinions. I am not used to requiring references for predictions.



Predictions are always based on to something. It is a combination of existing situation, plus a thorough analysis of the trends to come during the next few months/years.

This industry changes so rapidly that it is extremely hard to make an accurate prediction even if you had 100% correct data of today's data. Within six months the tide may have turned, or gaps in market shares may have grown bigger - who knows.

It is your opinion that no references are needed. I reckon that it is crucial. In Tomi's point of view it is understandable that some of the good sources shall be kept a secret,, however there is no excuse to present some of the sources (publicly available anyway usually) to back up the point, from which he started building his prediction. Any prediction of upcoming numbers he can pull up his ass, we can all agree on that one.



Eki, you are just another Finn who thinks everything is "extremely hard to predict", "extremely hard to do", "extremely hard to ANYTHING" 'cause you are lazy and its a cool sounding excuse just to sit on your arse. You fucking Finns just cannot compete in the global industries. That's why Nokia is now sinking like a STONE. For the Silicon Valley guys difficult is easy and impossible just takes some time!!! You Finns never get to that level!


All your arguments come down to the fact tha prediction == opinion. Because a prediction = history * model. And a model of the future is not falsifyable.

Whatever Tomi writes about the future cannot be tested until that future has arrived. He could try to convince you with his historical (trend) data and his models. But in the end there will be so many guesstimates and model fiddling that it will boil down to: Dot I trust Tomi or not.


Eki, Tomi has been pretty good at guessing Nokia's Elop-collapse. Whilst I do not agree with Tomi's conspiracy theory about Elop (I believe Nokia's board did the best they could, but have been too slow, and have been wrong-footed by Apple and Google's speed), and his posts can be entertaining reading, it is clear that Tomi gets the larger picture as to what is happening.

His industry figures are usually close to what the big consultancy houses predict (IDC, Gartner, etc.). Tomi was wrong about Apple a couple of years ago, but now he accepts that mobile computing is here to stay and even praises Apple once in a while. Read this blog and Horace Deidu at, and then you do not really need to read other sites to understand what is going on!

Mr Eric Wu


> And please don't try to create an impression that Nokia started calling low end devices as smartphones. That is not true and I guess you know it.

Nokia (with some help from GfK) decided to create a new category of Smartphone-Lite. This is not a smartphone, but a phone which is certainly smarter than other feature phones. Asha is the prime example, and Nokia refers to Asha as a Smartphone-Lite.

The issue comes as to how the phone is then reported. In the financials there is no such Smartphone-Lite division to report sales. Smartphones are reported. Mobile Phones are reported. The honest CEO would never report Smartphone-Lite phones in the Smartphone category. However, many people believe the CEO is not so honest and the figures he says are truthful only in the Microsoft sense...

I personally thought the invention of a new category just to improve Nokia's PR was fairly stupid and a waste of other peoples time.


I am not certain if Nokia would do better without MS, or if it went with Android. I do however think that marriage with Microsoft is a recipe for a disaster. Microsoft is not well prepared to survive in the post PC era, the era which it ruled due to its monopolistic position. Take the PC away and MS has nothing to fall back on.

Great analysis can be read here:


@Eric Wu
There is no industry standard definition of what makes a smartphone either, IDC have their own definition, Gartner have theirs, etc... and they don't necessarily agree.

I love it when Apple fantasysts talk about 'mobile computing' in the context of the iPhone, it really is very amusing.

Incidentally, Apple did not negatively impact NOKIA at all, from the time the iPhone was introduced to the point Elop publicly executed Symbian NOKIA's sales of smart devices had nearly doubled.

Since Elop killed Symbian/MeeGo NOKIA have plummeted and Samsung have rocketed, that's no coincidence. The whole Apple story line is a red herring.

By killing Meltemi/Qt Elop has abandoned the 'next billion', they will soon have very cheap Androids from ZTE, Huawei, Micromax, Karbonn, etc... instead.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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