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« Preliminary Top 10 Smartphone Makers in Q3 - Samsung on top, Nokia tumbles to 10th | Main | Smartphones Q3 Final Numbers, Top 10 biggest manufacturers, operating systems, installed base etc »

November 12, 2012



Excellent - I haven't heard this elsewhere.

The GOP usually relies on the "grass roots" to do the ground work, knocking on doors and making phone calls. At the convention, Romney basically burned the bridges to traditional values conservatives and to the fairly large Ron Paul contingent, but didn't need to - Romney had the delegate count, but decided to play dirty tricks and to insult Ron Paul's supporters - many who went door-to-door for Paul. He could have reached out (even disingenuously), the Romney and Paul campaigns had fairly cordial relations before the convention. Instead the feeling left was so bad that the Paul supporters and conservatives didn't even hold their nose and vote for Romney, they just stayed home, and didn't man the phones.

It was a series of errors on Romney's part, but overall I think it was Hubris. "Who else will they vote for?". "Unemployment and prices are high?". "Obama's approval rating is low". So he assumed he didn't have to fight, nor did he need his base, or much of anything after getting the nomination locked up during the primaries.

This happened before to Congress just after Clinton was impeached and the GOP house members (led by Gingrich) ran on nothing - "we're not Clinton" - and actually lost seats which almost never happens in the mid-term. (The margin was mostly conservative democrats replacing liberal republicans!).


It's more an example of the power of incumbency. Obama's margin of victory is similar to George W. Bush's in 2004 (another contest between an unpopular incumbent and an even less popular challenger from Massachusetts who was seen as out of touch). I think you exaggerate some stats. I find it highly doubtful that the percentage of non-voters called was 0%. I, for one, continued to get e-mails all throughout the race (and the last 4 years and doubtless the next 4) based on a single contribution to his primary campaign in early 2008.

Orca was an ambitious attempt, but in the game of elections you have only once chance to get it right. That said, the RNC would be wise not to scuttle it entirely, but to build upon it. The GOP did manage to get something of a ground game up and running in Wisconsin, though it is less meaningful there since voter participation is traditionally very high in that state (60% voted in this year's recall elections, which tops what most states get in presidential elections).

2016 is an open election, which makes it less predictable unless something drastic happens (as in 2008). If the economy improves, it could be like 2000, when the "challenger" party eked out a win. There is no obvious heir to Obama (at least not yet). We could see Hillary Clinton, or Andrew Cuomo, or (longshot) Rahm Emanuel, or a successful governor emerge on the Democratic side. On the GOP it could be any number of people who sat out this election (e.g. Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie), or a rising star like Marco Rubio or Susana Martinez (especially since the immigration issue cost them Florida). The thing to keep in mind is that the GOP is only a few states away. Flip Florida (which Rubio might have done in 2012 as VP), Virginia, and Ohio (in 2016 the bailout will be less of an issue), and it takes just one more state, such as Colorado or New Hampshire, to get to 270. Colorado had a marijuana legalization measure on the ballot, which probably boosted Obama's numbers. New Hampshire "flips" quite regularly, though it last went GOP in 2000.


I see the Orca failures as another example of the main question that haunts those living outside the USA:

Can anyone explain to us why Romney could have been even a passable president?

He was unable to organize his own campaign. He could not get up a complex "ground" system. Was unable to rally his own supporters. Was unable to discover basic facts up front of an important debate (he even believed the faux news of Fox). Lied when he did not have to. Despised half the electorate, when a president cannot just fire compatriots he does not like.

And finally, was never able to tell his voters what he actually wanted to do. Except, that he was not Obama.

We know where this will lead to. The GOP will now build a copy of Narwhal for the next elections. But the Democrats will try to think of something new. My guess as an outsider would be for the Democrats to exploit the demographics. To lean heavily on states that suppress Democratic voters. And to get out the Hispanic vote out big next time.

As comments above show, the Republicans did not learn anything from this disaster. (Watching Fox News is great fun currently)


I'd say that people like KilroyWasHere 2 posts above were one major reason the GOP lost the election.

How do you want to win over the internet-savvy generation if you come across as a complete and utter moron?


"I'd say that people like KilroyWasHere 2 posts above were one major reason the GOP lost the election."

That is nothing, what about this example of reaching out to moderate Democratic voters:

Apparently Romney Lost the All-Important ‘Sl* Vote’

You could not make this up.


Wow! That's really something.

But it's a manifeststation the same problem, namely that the hardcore right wing is so out of touch with reality that everything they say and do makes them look stupid.

They are still relatively strong because the older non-internet generation never gets wind of these antics. But this will inevitably change over the next years and unless the GOP finds a way to modernize itself, like many conservative parties in Europe did. If not - sooner or later it will mean 'bye-bye'.


It's official, folks: Windows 8 is a catastrophic failure.

***Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft***


The big mistake Sinofsky made was to push Windows 8 to conventional PCs and laptops.

Ballmer probably recognized the mistake, and decided to extend Windows 7 lifecycle for PCs and laptops, against Sinofsky's will.

Now, Microsoft will probably split engineering efforts between Windows 7 (which will continue to be the most important OS) and 8 (which will be responsible for a much smaller part of the revenues).

This will probably make Windows Phone 8 less atractive, which is terrible news to Stephen Elop -- who bet the company in Windows. Perhaps he is the next to be axed?


***Shocked by exit of Microsoft's Sinofsky? You shouldn't be***

Sinofsky battled with executives, alienated workers in groups outside his Windows empire, and created a toxic environment, according to sources. His departure shouldn't surprise anyone.


My comment:

If Windows 8 was a huge success, Sinofsky would be seen as Steve Jobs 2.0 -- a difficult man to work with, but a genius who would eventually become the next Microsoft CEO.

Unfortunately Windows 8 became a catastrophic failure, similar to Vista. Not bad technically, but in terms of usability.

The product, and not politics, sealed his destiny.


Another interesting comment about Sinofsky's leave:

It is surprising to see a departure of someone at this level in charge of so many products with such immediacy, with no transition in place. Microsoft is going to enter another period of management transition.

About Sinofsky's successor, Ms. Larson-Green:

She led the team that overhauled the design of Windows 8, and, before that, she remade the look of Microsoft’s Office software for businesses by switching from drop-down menus to a bar across the top called the ribbon.

I'd say she was responsible for the two biggest UI failures in Microsoft history... and now she'll lead Windows. Yay!

(Just curiosity -- the other big UI failure, the infamous Microsoft Bob, was committed by Melinda Gates. It seems that making huge UI mistakes is a sure way to advance your career at Microsoft.)


Tomi ....

Please ... election is over ... I could not care less ... but you are free to blog what you want.

But, now ... please ... come back to the mobile world ;-)

Do you still valid your original forecast for 5m of Lumia sold by Nokia for Q4 2012 ?




In this country, those type of shenanigans are simply illegal - you can't even tell someone who you voted for on voting day, least it influence their vote. The only advertising allowed is the small posters left strapped to stobie poles and people handing out how to vote cards within a few metres of the polling booth entrance.

But as voting is compulsory anyway (on penalty of modest fine), and held on the weekend so everyone can easily vote, it removes the need for this sort of nonsense to start with.

On Orca, it seems they completely stuffed up - but then again, when you have a greedy bunch of arseholes whose only aim in life is to screw everyone else over, is it surprising they can't work together for any common goal? I mean, how "communist" would that be! Funny isn't it how people actually have to work together to solve problems.

Of course, doing no field testing and launching by definition an alpha-quality product (there's this little thing called beta testing, where you open it to outside testing), they only got what they deserved. Ars seemed to think 7 months was a 'lightning development' - but that sounds like ample time to get such a simple application working, tested, documented, and in use given the amount of technology and expertise now available. Then again I suspect those used to milking their customers for all their worth by using shitty microsoft solutions would tend to think otherwise.


Oh another Orca major stuff up: no native mobile apps? Just a shitty web page?

I mean come on.


Great article, Tomi, and I write as a US-obsessed Brit, who has studied/worked twice in the US.

Have not read anything like this anywhere else! It is amazing how a battle that looked so close in the media, really was won by Obama well in advance! Interesting that Romney's team thought he had won at 4pm on election day!

tz - one person's bad experience with orca

Tomi T Ahonen

Ok guys

I removed the utterly ridiculous 'Obama is a Marxist' stuff. I come from Finland. We had not one, but TWO true-blooded Communist Parties, plus a big Socialist Democraat party in our Parliament and due to the Parliamentary system (when I lived in Finland we had 14 active parties, its shrunk a bit in recent years) there were lots of years when at least one of the two Communist parties was part of government, in a governing coalition, and most years, the Socialist Democrats were in power at least partially.

I know some good-willing Americans want to think they see evidence of 'Marxism' in Obama. I have SEEN true Marxists Communism in government. Obama is nowhere there, nowhere near there, NONE of his actions come close to the most left-leaning of the Finnish parties ie the Marxists Communist party. Not even the second from left, Communist party. Not even the Socialist Democrat party of Finland. Obama's actions and words and all his history would align him somewhere near the Finnish Centrist party or the primary right wing party ie Finnish conservatives. I am not having any completely delusional comments posted on this blog wasting my readers time, by some who believe in utterly counter-factual positions.

Do not come here to post about what is Marxism either. This blog was not about Marxism, it was about DATA MINING in the 2012 US Presidential election. If you want to go argue Obama is a Marxist, there are plenty of right-leaning extremist Tea Party blogs who will welcome your comments. Any further comments discussing or even MENTIONING Marxism will be deleted. You guys do not know what Marxism is, I saw it or 23 years of my youth, first hand, often actually part of our government. Don't even try that on this blog.

Tomi Ahonen (a life-long Non-Marxist) :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

To KilroyWasHere

Hey, keep on bitching about my rules, and I'll delete your comments, its way easier for me to do that on one click than for you to go on writing them.

This is not a public discussion forum, this is my private blog. I do this for fun, not for a living, there are no ads on this blog and no registration.

I have been here for 8 years and we've had over 3 million visits and over 25,000 commments posted on this blog. I have strict rules about comments and one of them is, you gotta stick to the topic. So if you are that clueless, that you read the above 9,000 words, and still missed the point, that I discuss the rare topic of statistics and forecasting and targeting in US presidential elections, and you cannot grasp, that it is the topic, too bad for you. If you have a desire to pollute my blog with your vitriol about your personal misguided views of the US political system, you may truly try, but I will delete all such comments without mercy. This blog was not entitled, lets talk whats wrong with the US politics.

If you want to come here and bitch about my policies, those comments will also be deleted, like I said, this is my blog, my rules, and you play nice, or you don't play. If you have something to contribute ABOUT THE STATISTICS and targeting and get-out-the-vote and forecasting of the election, post your comment. If that comment veers one inch into the clown show, I will delete it, no matter how eloquently you made some other points. You have been warned.

Tomi Ahonen


I found these rediculous and now deleted comments fit in the discussio. But then as illustrations of the mind-set of Romney's campaign, and much of the Republican party. Reportedly, they kept believing, sincerely, that they could ignore the statistics of the polls and that Romney would win.

This KilroyWasHere illustrated the complete disconnect with reality and society that plagues the likes of Paul Ryan. Because they populate Fox News and say the same nonsense. And they actually believe it.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter

Yeah definitely. But that goes totally against this blog's comments policies. I have a regular large readership and the comments section is a major reason why they come here. I remove all commercial comments (spam) and the astroturfing trolls and force the discussions to be on-topic. Also I remove the hostile crude comments that become too personal. Thus often the value of a given blog is far more in the comment thread than my original posting.

I do agree totally, that there is a worryingly large portion of the US voting population, who now are becoming convinced of the Fox News and right wing blogosphere and talk radio alternate reality, of massive conspiracies like what was that nonsense with McCain the past week about Libya, that he then misses the closed-doors Senate hearing about Libya but has to have his press conference about it. I mean, the reality avoidance ie 'delusion' is frighteningly serious, if a couple of the most leading Republican Senators like Graham and McCain etc will hold that kind of press conference utterly oblivious to reality happening in the same building - for THEIR committee !!

Still, while KilroyWasHere illustrated the silliness, I can't have that kind of comments stand on this blog, else it would invite such silliness also elsewhere. But you make a good point, it is 100% illustrative of the problems the Republicans, Conservatives and Tea Party have right now. But also, listening to the post-Romney comments especially from the Republican Governor's Meeting led by Bobby Jindal, there is some degree of a 'lets return to reality' mentality happening at the GOP. That would only be good for the USA.

At the moment there IS a problem with the Republican Party, they lost a nearly 'slam dunk' presidency capture, they lost seats in the Senate when they were expected to win seats, and they lost seats in the Congress. This was a drubbing. This was a disaster for the Republican party. The sooner they deal with reality, and stop with the excuses - Hurricane Sandy and Governor Christie had nothing to do with Mourdock losing in Indiana or Akin losing in Missouri - both SOLID Republican states that Romney won by nearly double digits. The sooner the GOP deals with reality, the sooner it can start to find ways to fix what is wrong. But if they go on with the denials - like Romney's last press conference haha, the longer they will keep losing elections like this past one. The demographics are playing against the Republicans, so their losses 'staying the course' will become only worse in 2014, 2016, and beyond

Tomi Ahonen :-)


"I remove all commercial comments (spam) and the astroturfing trolls and force the discussions to be on-topic."

I support all your comment policies, even if that involves my own comments ;-) (I occasionally make mistakes too)

And for the rest of the comment: My thoughts completely.

Although I disagree with almost everything their electorate endorses, I feel the GOP should represent the electorate of the USA. Now, they obviously do not even represent their voters.


Here is a view into the Obama side of the equation:

When the Nerds Go Marching In
How a dream team of engineers from Facebook, Twitter, and Google built the software that drove Barack Obama's reelection

The technological and cultural difference between recruiting Google, Facebook, and Twitter versus Microsoft and Accenture tell it all.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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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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