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« In Forecasting Racket, you win some, you lose some - Talouselama in Finland mocks me for my 'Nokia to be sold within weeks' comment | Main | Brief Notes from Smartphone Bloodbath Battlefield in Year Three: Digital Jamboree »

December 07, 2012


John Waclawsky

@tester Cash will always be around IMHO - there is always the underground economy which I do not see going away any time soon (which is huge and keeps many people feed etc.)


One mistake in the post:

"So Android is selling more than Windows - and the gap is growing not shrinking - so when will Android pass Windows in installed base? "

I think you meant the "gap is shrinking, not growing". Because it doesn't make sense the other way around.


georgev: it's the gap in sales rates, not installed base.

so how do you buy stuff with this e-shit if you don't have or want a mobile phone?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hey, guys...

I love the discussion. But this blog was about how Google will become massively more significant in our lives, and one of the ways is through mobile money. This blog was NOT about mobile money taking over the world and replacing cash.

I understand, that for many who come from markets where mobile money is not yet widely adopted, that may come as a shock, but this issue has been DECIDED already. Go read what Visa says about the future of money. I did yes, write the first book on mobile money, but since then this issue is DECIDED. Turkey is NOT the only country about to eliminate cash in our lifetimes, your PERSONAL shock and disbelief is amusing, but is irrelevant to THIS BLOG article.

I am ending the discussion about 'will there be mobile money'.

You CAN go have that argument in comments of old blog postings on this blog from years past. I will not waste the time of my readers entertaining that argument in this blog comments section now. Its as futile as arguing now whether cameraphones will exceed stand-alone cameras, or whether people will listen to music on their mobile phones. (we've had those arguments in the history of this blog too, and I won't tolerate those historical arguments either, anymore now, when the matter is settled).

Sorry Tester that you are so shocked, but at least I believe with this blog posting, I helped open your eyes to the inevitable future. This part of the discussion is ended. All comments that doubt in any way 'will there be mobile money' in the future, will be deleted. That was NOT the topic of this blog and the issue has been already decided. When many governments announce they will end cash, it will end. Don't bitch about it on this blog now.

Sorry, my blog, my rules. We are not wasting the time of my readers with luddites and their sob stories

Now, please resume the debate and discussion about how Android will prevail (or not) and where Google will be taking this power in this decade and beyond..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Chris Vail

When 25% of humans use Google money, they will be part of the biggest nation on the planet. Does this mean the end of war? Will Pax America be succeeded by Pax Google instead of Pax China?

Chris Vail

It seems that December 21, 2012, is the beginning of the end for Microsoft...



You are too shortsighted. Sure, Apple currently makes the most profit. But don't forget how they make it: By tightly controlling their systems. That inevitably means they will remain in a niche. They will never be able to control much beyond their niche.

Google on the other hand works differently. They are planning for the future.

Google aims much higher and much further ahead. Sure, right now they don't make much profit, but they are slowly building their influence (and not coincidentally in some countries the first laws to keep them in check are popping up)

It's a completely different business philosophy that (obviously) doesn't connect with anyone stuck to conventional business logic.

John Waclawsky

Would you trust your money on a Microsoft Windows Phone? Think about the history of windows security, etc. ... Yeah, I know NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE ....this is just a hypothetical question. :-)

I expect the banks will be looking at Microsoft products just like the mobile operators look at windows today and they will run the other way. I think that the money train has left the station WITHOUT windows. The Microsoft dinosaur won't realize it ...but it will be fun to watch them struggle there too...

The key may be to look at the business models between Google and microsoft (you can throw in apple too) and who will the banks see as the best partner or least threat.



Not sure if the banks will side with google considering all the recent open internet banter they have been posting...

Tomi T Ahonen

Rotten Apple

I of course immediately deleted your comment. I warned you. I understand your shock and disbelief. But this blog IS about the technology of TODAY and TOMORROW not historical arguments about yesteryear. I am way too old to re-fight old battles. Its as pointless as arguing 'will every landline owner ever get a mobile phone' - arguments I had two decades ago. We won't have it here. Feel free to go through the hassle of adding another comment, it is a pain on the blog, not my fault, it is Typepad's system. For you to know, I can delete your comment on one click at my end. Feel free to vent your frustrations but if you comment here about if or should mobile money become reality, those comments will be deleted. That train has left the station. You shoulda been here two years ago to debate that issue. But as you are a newcomer to this blog, I wanted to comment just to let you know, why your comment was deleted. don't bring that topic up here. Go onto some 'I want to save cash' website to cry..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Tester - you had a good comment that then deteriorated into whether mobile money can happen. It IS happening. If you please re-post the early part of your comments about who can do it and why, I'll happily let that be as your response to John Waclawsky but don't step across the line of doubting mobile money - as I said, ANY such comments are deleted without mercy, no matter how good your other points might be. This train left the station. More than a dozen countries have announced intentions to eliminate cash - all saying it will be replaced by mobile money. That argument is MOOT. (this is EXACTLY like the iPod vs musicphone argument or the cameraphones/cameras or PDAs vs smartphones.. EXACTLY the same. Arghh. I've SEEN this movie so many times and its a BORING movie to begin with)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Tester> This is a future I do not want to be part of.

Buy a Windows phone, then you won't be part of the future; your phone will become incompatible with Windows 9 long before Windows can get any surveillance up and running..

Tomi's future does look bleak in terms of privacy, but this: "lets upload everything to the cloud" thing is pretty shaky; once info starts to leak, which it will; people can become skeptics overnight. Hopefully the public wakes up soon in terms of what information companies are getting their hands on.

Baron95> I'm sorry but how much money has Android "won"?

I think that was the whole point of the blog entry; if things pan out the way Tomi (and quite a few others think), Google have gained control of the most important piece of software on the planet, i.e. the de facto standard for software development for the foreseeable future. This has real value, just like Windows used to have real value when they controlled the OS of choice; now they are struggling naturally since: NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE/TABLET/ZUNE-PLAYER/SILVERLIGHT/ELOP-CEO :-)


Regarding on how to diminish the value of a Twitter recommendation, Oprah gave a demonstration by praising Surface RT tablets using the iPad Twitter app.

Regarding the Tizen partnership between Samsung and Intel, this is a very one-sided partnership which is dominated by Samsung, and Intel folks usually receive the short end of the stick. I understand that Tizen is based on code that was developed internally at Samsung, and occasionally there is a code drop which integrates well or not so well (read: squashes) other parties' developments.

Intel is very desperate to get into the mobile phone business (Qualcomm recently surpassed Intel's market cap), so they put up with that. But it is not the sign of a healthy relationship, certainly nothing like the Open Handset Alliance.

Tomi T Ahonen

Roy - good question. Several good reasons for it. First, those metrics are advertising-industry oriented measurements usually by the mobile ad agencies (Millenial, Google ie Admob etc). They are US centric where iPhone dominates and for example severely under-count Japan (domestic proprietary systems) or China (most ads served within service providers like QQ) etc.

Secondly, the truly heavy mobile internet users were early drawn to the iPhone because of its large screen and easy navigation at the time. There is heavy user bias here. Thirdly, most iPhones are sold with 'all you can eat' dataplans of some kind, while many more other smartphones are not, ie include prepaid non-contract handsets that have higher data tariffs which diminish heavy usage.

The iPhone measurements include the iPod Touch - which is a media player/PDA, not a smartphone but accounts for about one third of installed base of 'iPhones'. And very often iPhone traffic is heavily WiFi based, which still serves the same mobile ads, which means that WiFi based traffic is counted, while for most mobile web users, they use most of the time cellular data (3G or in Emerging World countries, still 2G data) which is more expensive and slow.

Beyond that, some smartphones especially Blackberries and Nokia E-Series on Symbian but also many Androids - are offered as employee phones with often employee-set restrictions on surfing to leisure-oriented pages (which have the ads) meaning, they are used as smartphones - but they are not served that many ads.

With all that, there is a considerable overcounting of iPhone and undercounting of Android. That helps explain why the lag. Over time it is inevitable - inevitable - that when handsets are very similar in ability, price and network connectedness (and apps) - that platform with the most devices/users will have the most traffic. It is inevitable. Apple is only riding its history now, the end is in sight. In fact, some stats out this week from the USA were showing the switchover from iOS to Android in web browsing, it may have been in Mary Meeker's new data but am not sure, I just saw it earlier but didn't bother to save it, as that to me was no longer relevant news, I had seen that coming as inevitable.

I hope this helped. Keep monitoring the stats. If I am right, over time the gap between them will close, and Android usage will pass. If I am wrong, the gap will stay or increase in Apple's favor. If so, come back and confront me with the facts, we'll have a new discussion then, ok?


Tomi Ahonen :-)

Eyes Open

I agree that Google wins for the foreseeable future, but with a couple of questions/issues. First, what about the possibility of application compatibility layers becoming popular, so that ecosystem walls become meaningless? Second, why did M$/Nokia perform so poorly at converting Nokia customers? Their approach was so idiotic. I would have allowed existing customers to dual-boot the new platform to get them familiar, but without giving up the familiar. People like easy transitions, and it would built good feelings while protecting marketshare. (we're phasing out Symbian, but here, take this Symbian/WP transition update, so you'll be comfortable with your next Nokia Lumia . . .)


Tomi: The one criticisms I have regarding all of this is that you use Google and Android interchangeably/synonymously. I believe there are many reasons why Android success does not automatically equal Google success. Millions, likely 10's of millions, of Android devices are sold with with most or all Google hooks removed, or are bought by users who will not access Google services. If mobile money comes to China, where Android is growing extremely fast, Google is unlikely to benefit. On top of that, Google could lose control of Android, the likelihood of which will probably grow as Android expands its reach.

That is not to say Google will not benefit from Android's success. I just think you need to me more careful about which benefits you think will accrue to Google.


I love Android, but as an App developer for large publishing and retail clients it is well known people just don't spend on this platform.

For large brands, Android is supported as a Lost Leader and only for Brand Recognition, typically where the iOS App is used to earn the real money and to recoup the costs of Android development.


Wonderful again Tomi, as always.

A little point to ponder: Elop's destroying Nokia's customer base, chasing away 11 of 12 Symbian customers was bad enough. But that is only half the failure story. He didn't just chase them away. He gave them to Google mostly, and Apple a little less - instead of bringing them to Windows Phone. He hand delivered his army into the enemy's camp, gift wrapped. They will be impossible to claw back from there.

So not only did he destroy his own business, he also destroyed Windows Phone by trying to move the Symbian customers to a product they could never accept - and before an alternative was ready. He's actually responsible for much of the growth of Android. This redoubles the level of failure. And now there are scant few legacy platforms for Windows Phone to scratch its customers from.



Google and Android are interchangeable currently as Google controls Android. There is no sign yet that Google will lose control of Android, and as seen with a number of incidents, Google has no problem threatening others to make sure they stick to Google. They forced Cyanogenmod to not include new features, they have forced manufacturers to not 'fragment' Android. Google controls the 'link' between Android devices in their legal control of Google Play, Gmail accounts (that all android devices must sign up for), and the very important Maps functionality (just see Apple's currently problems in how difficult it was to change default maps providers, and Apple is in the best positition with their fan base to make that change, while Samsung would simply not be able to make that change and retain customers).

In the future (5+ years), this may switch to new issues - but it has always been Google's business focus to compete on a 'semi-level' playing field. Anybody has been able to compete with them on search - but nobody has been able to beat them. Same for internet email, and likely to be the same for Android control.

So while Google can lose control of Android (same way Google can lose control of Web Search, or lose control of Adwords), it is currently unlikely and so Google and Android can be interchanged in the same way that Google and Web Search are currently interchanged.

@Eyes Open

Application compatibility with Android as OSS is incredibly interesting and unprecedented. Unlike with Windows where you required Windows to run your Windows-only software, any other platform can create a dalkvik VM to run the software. I personally have no idea what this means for the future (can Google shut down this through the legal avenue and with Google Play control? Will consumers prefer 'genuine Android' as other platforms like to have compatibility issues or inconveniences?), but I'm very hopeful!

At the minimum, it means enthusiasts will always have an avenue to get around Google. The real question is whether the mass market will care to do this with legal threats and customer demands - I don't believe they will - even enthusiast Cyanogenmod has bowed to those threats...


Microsoft is not complaining, doesn't it make about $10-$15/android device sold where as Google makes only $3? It's just a cycle, Microsoft dominated, Adnroid is dominating, something else will come up in the future. Google better make money of off Android quick. Because it's the phone manufacturers that are getting richer.

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