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January 25, 2013


Sander van der Wal

How is the average of 43 million and 63.9 million 63.45 million? should't that be 53.5 million?


Must be another typo. Analysts have said 63.0 and 63.9?


I don't understand these numbers:

"if Samsung is at or near 63.5 million for Q4, it means - up from 13% from Q3. Market share at 28% down from 32% in Q3."

Can you clarify a bit?



Samsung's 63.5 M in Q4 is 13% up from Samsung's Q3.

Samsung's global market share is down to 28% in Q4, was 32% in Q3.

Jouko Ahvenainen

If Samsung and Apple lose share, and also Windows loses share, is someone really winning or is the growth slower than expected (i.e. the market share is calculated from too high expected total market). Or maybe it is all those other Asian Android vendors who now take the market? Samsung also warned the prices of smart phones can go down. I think the development of the current smart phones start to become a mature phase (sales still grow fast, but the phones come quite similar) and maybe we cannot expect much more new exciting news from that market until we see some really new innovations. I think Samsung and Apple (and maybe others like Microsoft too) now put also a lot of effort to make other devices to the same ecosystem.



Good point, if Samsung and Apple are losing market share (a healthy way to lose market share, since they still increase the total sales) ... it sound very clear to me that Sony, Motorola, HTC, Huawei and tons of other Android producer are gaining some market share.
Make an Android smartphone now it is cheap and easy ... so ... I think big company have a problem to keep and edge on it.

Android is looking everyday like Microsoft DOS or Windows in the old days ... lot of OEM supporting the OS ... mass market ... and only one serious competitor left in the market ... again Apple ... the one that did "invent" the market ... since PC has been invented by Apple ... like smartphone with touch screen ... have been "invented" by Apple ... perfect parallel here

What can be compared Nokia now from the DOS days ? ... maybe like Commodore ;-) .. or better the Osborne PC ... LOL


"What can be compared Nokia now from the DOS days ?"

IBM, DEC, Sun?


Gentlemen:.... (any Women follow this blog?)

It's all about the "s"-curve. Apple's iphone is reaching the top of it's "s"-curve plateau and will start to drop off the top of the curve. Sammy has followed the "nokia way" with multiple patforms, form, factors, price points so they have multiple "s"-curves going on at at time, they also benefit for Android beling a later entrant into the bloodbath so it is not as far up the curve as iOS.

Now the real question is who is going - actually the question is who has, since the "s"-curve theory states that the new entrant comes in and dips before they start to crawl back up from the hole- to catch the tail of the next "s"-curve? Android has about 18 months before it climbs close to the plateau. Tiezen does not look that good for the very reason that it is HTML5 focused and the HTML5 "s"-curve is in the low point to the curve now. BB10? I think it will be Palm-esque. Ubuntu way way way to young. Jolla... they are the only group that I see going up on the "s"-curve.

Earendil Star

Come on, talking about Windows 8 is off topic and moot.

Off topic because this is a blog on mobile.

Moot, because WINDOWS 8 IS A FRANKEN-P-OS.

What should have been two separate OSs was crammed into one inconsistent absurd monster that drives users crazy. Furthermore, it costs way too much and tries to impose a useless App Store à la Apple. It's not selling, despite super low initial offering prices and MS monopolistic hold on the market.

Furthermore, this story of the commonality between PC, tablet and phone is plain propaganda.
Whatever phone you have, be it an iPhone or Android, you can connect it to your PC as you wish.
Same for tablets.

Yet, never underestimate MS.
They are ruthless, unfair, loaded with cash, bullying and blackmailing.
Yes, their monopoly is finally starting to show some cracks.
But it's still too early to call.

Wayne Borean


Incorrect. Datapoint invented the Personal Computer market, even though they were not the first PC manufacturer. The first PC was the Kenban-1, however it sold less than 50 units even though it was priced at $750.00 US back in 1971.

Datapoint it should be mentioned had no intention of inventing the PC market. They did it accidentally by providing too powerful a product (it was meant to be a mainframe terminal only when designed).

Datapoint also gets the blame for Intel's X86/AMD64 architecture. Datapoint designed the basic architecture, and approached Intel and TI to manufacture it. TI declined, and Intel failed to produce, forcing the first Datapoint devices to use discrete chips. Later devices did use Intel chips, when Intel was able to bring them into production.

As to why Intel failed, I don't know. It could have been Datapoint not allowing enough setup time, or Intel underestimating the amount of work required.

@Earendil Star

That assumes that Microsoft has enough leverage to push adoption of Windows Phone and Surface products. Based on my personal evaluation, they do not. Tomi's numbers back my evaluation, else Windows Phone would have a higher market share in mobile.

If Microsoft attempts to force adoption, we end up with the Princess Leia scenario:

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Fiction is useful. Virtually everything you find in fiction will have a historical antecedent, because anyone writing fiction mines the past for ideas. Yes, I write fiction too.


Sander van der Wal

If having a single OS core is detrimental to one's mobile succes, then both Apple and Google should have failed too with their Darwin and Linux based mobile OS'es core.

But look, iOS and Android are massive successes. That is impossible.

Smartphones are as powerfull as desktop computers from a couple of years ago, and that has at least been the case since Psion made the Series 5 in 1995. The only thing that was different was power usage, and that is now fixed too, as far as the market is concerned.

A good user interface for small screens can look a bit like a desktop ui (again, look at Psion's Series 5 user interface, which has a number of typical desktop things arranged optimally for small screen usage, amd which looks S80 has copied), but it can also look quite different, as UIQ, S60 and iOS has shown.

One of the technical mobile dreams of a few years ago (Nokia comes to mind) was a single device that could act both as a desktop on a big screen, and as a smartphone on a small screen. Microsoft clearly has hold on to that dream, but its implementation falls far short of it. Not surprisingly, as such things are very hard to create "ex nihilo".

And for a company like Microsoft, the pull of the desktop is politically incredibly hard to resist.

Nokia fans however have very little right to point the finger at Microsoft, as Nokia tried this too and they failed even harder.

Tomi T Ahonen

To Jouko and all in the thread

Excellent comment Jouko, and you spotted the exact same problem I have with this number and these results. If the big boys all have their market share shrinking, then yes, either the total number is too big, or else we have new players growing strongly (or both, to a lesser degree).

We know the Apple number is solid. We don't know the Samsung number would be. So part of the problem may be that IDC and Strategy Analytics have been too conservative in their Samsung total number. A 70+ Million Samsung sales number would be consistent with 30% or better market share, that would be more in line what the news stories about Samsung growing in markets around the world, would support.

The other options are, that the total is too high. If we calculate the total smartphone market not at 230 million but say 200 million or 190 million in Q4, it would still have strong growth from Q3 but Apple and Samsung would be closer to maintaining their market share

Or else, like you said Jouko - the new often Chinese smartphone vendors who are now aggressively pursuing expansion plans, not just Huawei and ZTE, but second tier Chinese rivals like Lenovo and Yulong (ie Coolpad) and tons of others. Lenovo only expanded out from the Chinese domestic market in Q3, and Yulong started to reach abroad in Q4. These could be the reason why Samsung is suddenly seeing challengers nipping at its market, in particular at the bottom end of the price range - pretty much exactly what we saw with Nokia's growth years haha..

Thanks Jouko, for putting into succinct words what I was thinking (once again. For those who didn't know, Jouko Ahvenainen, the author and guru in mobile, was once my team-mate at Nokia in the 1990s and we co-authored documents and did tons of presentations following one another, etc. We were a kind of duet-act at the time and Jouko has the uncanny ability to kind of read my mind, and put in shaper words what was troubling me.)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Sander van der Wal

If Samsung does not publish their smartphone sales, then all figures regarding Samsung sales are suspect. Tales that their markert share is rising are a way to plant the idea that Samsung is winning in people's mind. It is part of the strategy of winning in the market share race, with the ultimate goal to start making real money after they own the market.

A familiar strategy that was and is being followed by lots of tech companies all over the world.

And yes, Microsoft and Nokia are following exactly the same strategy. Not as succesfully as Samsung right now, but following a strategy doesn't mean you will automatically win, with everybody else apart from Apple following the same strategy.

And therefore it is very important to look at as many metrics as possible when a single metric, market share, is known to be unreliable.


There is an audacious silence about the latest statistics on daily Android activations. After the September 1.3M per day number, Google has never disclosed an update.

The suspicion is that this number was a maximum, and that the number of daily activations has declined since then:


The first sentence in the article shows us how much of a clue the author has: "Android device growth probably took a hit due to Apple's gains in US market share in Q4."
That is obviously BS as Android growth is mainly happening in emerging markets and at price points where Apple doesn't sell.


The number probably did decline. Don't forget, there hasn't been any new high end Android phone in the last 2 quarters.

Of course with the cluelessness of certain 'experts' reporting any such numbers could have negative consequences if the entire press tells that 'Android has peaked'. The wiser course of action is to keep quiet and wait until the release of the next 'must have' phone when sales will obviously increase again.


According to Strategy Analytics' numbers that were just published, in Q4 Android had 152M sales (70.1% share). That means more than 1.6M per day. Sales are not activations of course, but a decline cannot be inferred from these numbers.


If the 1.6M per day would have been Google activations, that would mean that the daily activation rate would grow with 100K per month (1.3->1.6 since September). It used to be between 30-60K increase per month.

That sounds as too much to me. I assume they also counted phones not activated with Google.

newbie reader

So, in Q4 2012 Android has gained healthy 30 millions units of sales, compared to Q3. From 120m+ in Q3 to 150m+ in Q4.

Although it looks like it was below the market growth, that's not as bad as some iFans think :)

newbie reader

// 'Android has peaked'

Well, that small decline in marketshare% does not look exactly "peaked", as we see here 30m+ unit growth :) Even this decline could be due to underestimating chinese sales number. Remember, BOTH western 'analysts' and chinese vendors are interested in such underestimate.

I took 217m total units and 151m Android units for Q4, and other numbers are from wikipedia.

2012 Android sales
Q1 81m
Q2 98m, 21% Q/Q growth
Q3 122m, 24%
Q4 151m, 24%

Steady growth pattern.

If we moderately estimate the iSheeps Q4 'overhead' wave to be some 10m of 47m, and substract this from total smartphones in Q4, then Android marketshare actually even grew a bit.

We will see the truth next quarter

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