My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media


Blog powered by Typepad

« Preview of Full Year 2013 Smartphone Final Market Shares - We know a lot by now | Main | There Are Some Early AR Numbers - All Looking VERY Good for Augmented Reality »

January 04, 2014



Whoa. You actually wrote more about Nokia past than actual year 2014.

Antoine RJ Wright

You mention that MS should be a 3rd platform/ecosystem in play here. But, I'm not so sure. MS will continue to have influence because of how they are playing across channels (TV, enterprise PC, etc.), but until they make themselves compelling in mobile/tablet, I don't know that they will be more than a bird on the back of an elephant (Samsung).

I'm seeing that the 3rd ecosystem is Android minus Google. From a high/profitable end, Amazon. Chinese, Brazilian, and sub-Sarahan Africian groups at the bottom end and moving up. What Jolla is doing in this respect is smart; leverage the ecosystem, but not its enabler. That's kind of the route. And when the bottom matures - probably following a model like Amazon's (get to a 3rd iteration and make it your own), then we'll see that #3 player as Android-minus-Google take shape.

Am still waiting for someone to point out how fast mobile will plateau (market saturation is such a low-heard topic). Makers will be effected by this - less Apple than others. And service providers won't adjust fast enough and so there's going to be more consolidation. I don't have numbers to support this. Just kind of a feeling I have. A bloodbath of a larger sort might ensue with such conditions.


So what's your take on 10%+ market share of WP in Q4 2013 in EU? Is that cherry picking? Do you thik WP has more of a future in EU than elsewhere?

Also, what do you think brought down HTC? It used to hava e bigger market share, right?



The quick reaction of the rest of the market, starting with Samsung and then moving to Qualcomm, to Apple's completely unexpected move to 64-bit ARM v8 shows that you are wrong when you say that Apple will be a tech laggard, and that Samsung doesn't see it as a threat. The rest of the world was planning to move to 64-bit ARM v8... in late 2015, maybe. Now they'll be on 64-bit ARM v8 by the end of H1-14.

Samsung may sell 3 phones for every 1 Apple does, but it makes most of its profits in the same segment where Apple makes its profits. They are absolutely concerned about what Apple does. The brand new Note 3 is outsold by the iPhone 5c (essentially a rebadged 2012 phone). Rumor is also that Samsung is pushing the S5 release up in order to stem the tide.

Plus, if Apple does enter the big phone market in 2014 (or 2015), it threatens Samsung's margins, as well. No, no one is going to be challenging Samsung in market share, and in your narrow market-share-trumps-all view of the world, Samsung is likely to be on top for a while. They also are likely to be the only profitable Android OEM for a while, but as you point out, they will face more competition from the Chinese manufacturers at the low end. And Apple and maybe even Google/Moto and Amazon will provide competition at the high end.

Meanwhile, you do seem to have missed that Windows Phone actually is getting some traction in Europe and emerging markets.


"Windows Phone actually is getting some traction in Europe and emerging markets."

Nope, it's just Microsoft throwing in so much money that all the operators commit a suicide and forget their Skype boycott.


Thanks Tomi for a good initial 2014 forecast! People are getting bored by the current offering of mobile operatings systems! There is only black or white and their closed "wall-gardens" (I don't count Windows Phone since it's not any real offering) and this has gone quite long ... too long that 2014 will be the year of the bursting pipe. Business students learn from the "Blue Ocean Strategy" which in short describes a situation of an uncontested market situation and this cannot consist in an very much growing market such as mobile (and yeah Apple is drifting to it's niche... so basically only Android left at the moment). Also the winning Chinese vendors will figure out that there is no differentiation using Android. Real innovation has been asked and the last years of mobile world congress have been extremly boring. At some point, I believe during 2014, the market will turn into "Red Ocean". Think about it, Cyanogenmod for Android has been extremely popular to make Android a bit more accessible and flexible but it's not a way to really differentiate.


As you mentioned Tizen will make a big splash but also Firefox-OS, Ubuntu touch and for sure Sailfish OS will be part of the big fresh steam. It's great to break up this stigma of the OS or the "I belong to this or that club" - it's essential to support Android. Here it comes: e.g. in SailfishOS (Jolla) you just can use Android apps or native apps (the native ones not all yet in the store which btw. have exceed the amount of apps from Windows phone contender). Most people (currently Europeans) which had pre-ordered the Jolla have anyway installed unofficially the PlaySore. Another thing to think about, this market is also steered by the geeks and youngsters but not necessary the ordinary or the advertising industry which currently believes in this black and white thingy because it's convenient to print that PlayStore or AppStore stickers. The youngsters with surely more than one phone in the pocket are less distracted by the advertising industry but more well connected via social media. I fully agree with one thing: communities dominate brands -some of the mobile contenders do have pretty well organized communities!


I think Samsung is more likely to go the forked Android route (at least for some of their product line) than devote significant resources to Tizen, unless somehow they are able to port all of their Samsung APIs over to Tizen seamlessly. They are promoting Galaxy and have never really promoted "Android," but being able to rely on Google to do the heavy lifting in OS development has benefited the company.



I really do appreciate your analyses of the smartphone market. You made a great job indeed calling out the disgrace of the destruction of Nokia by Elop. Its dire consequences -- Especially in Europe. The quick and smart response of Google+Samsung with Android+Galaxy. Thanks a lot for all this -- Including for your piece on aircraft carriers!

But I am confused, to say the least, by your views of Apple, as they fall short to match the fine analysis I am used to read from you.

Like when you write "Apple will do the iThing. They take the cream off the top, offering less than supreme devices, with some very Apple-ish ooh-aah single feature every few years, but lagging in most tech specs from the leaders. But providing uber-desirable sexy iconic iGadgets that every iGeek has to iHave." This picture might have been true when Microostf had 98% of the PC market and the Mac was getting from 2.0 to 2.1 % after several "best years ever" for Apple. A fair number of Apple customer at the time were rabid geeks (and to tell the truth I was one of them). But this was last century, pre-iPod era. This was 1996-2001. But since 2007, I am amazed how quickly and to what extent Apple became mainstream.

In my environment, those that appreciate the most iOS products do not qualify as geeks by any definition. My father, 78, enjoys his iPad. So are my in-laws, 78 and 75, with their iPhone and iPad. And I can go on : 58 and iPad+iPhone, 62 iPad+iPhone, 45 with iPad, 44 with iPhone, etc. Believe me, all those people spend their hard-earned cash or pension with lots of caution. And BTW: all of them but one have cheap PC at their home computer.

If a so called "cult" goes from 1% of followers to 30% in a given population, then it makes no sense anymore to call it a cult and dismiss their members as fools. There must be some intrinsic appeal, some real value, to what is offered. I am puzzled that you seem to fail to see this.



@Christian I can understand your comment about Apples being mainstream! This is exactly the thing that there's a move away from current mainstream. I have also an Ipad at home which I got for free. I'm not willing or wanting to use it because it's rather old and unpleasant to use. It has a home button which annoyes me. Android has it too and that's also annoying
. The most annoying on the Apple-over-mainstreamed I-world is the huge amount of advertisememt especially in free apps. It this productive or entertaining? That's also part of the Google-world, unfortunately. Sorry but I'm not retired, have kids, lack of time and hopefully 30 more years to work before the pension. Apple products aren't for me! I like the speed of things, gestures which make sence and I believe therefore the not yet mainstreamed of Ubuntu touch, Tizen or SailfishOS will will rule the futurefuture! No more home buttons!


Welcome back, Tomi.

Is it true you spent your vacation working in the pit crew of an F1 team?

More on topic: Ben Thompson says both Nokia and Blackberry should have gone with Android:


"...will probably spread the price difference between flagship model (current 5C) and discount models (5S)..."

Should read?; flagship model (5s) and discount models (5c)..."



"I think Samsung is more likely to go the forked Android route (at least for some of their product line)"

As I understand Google's terms, that's not possible. It's either playing along with Google or lose all access to Google services. Samsung sure can't afford that. If they want to do another product line without Google they have to use a different OS.


Tizen has no chance to succeed in terms of making money for Samsung. The reason is that Google has no need to support it. Put it this way, Tizen requires Google to make it succeed i.e. with Gmail, Google Maps and other Google services. What rationale does Google have to help Tizen along? None.

Tizen will be a flop, just like Bada.

Samsung has zero ability to create a sustainable platform. They will soon be commoditized by the Chinese vendors. They run Android just like Samsung does.

And as for Apple, " lagging in most tech specs from the leaders..." Apple offers superior technology. They don't need to have 3gigs of RAM to run as fast since they can do it with only 1 gig, because they understand that RAM impacts battery. That's technological superiority. Simply having bigger numbers or more of something doesn't mean that they are lagging in anything. It means that they have better technology design in implementation.

It's not as if Apple can't afford to put the biggest processors or more memory or whatever they want in their phones. There is a reason why the A7 is so much faster than comparable processors - that's everything to do with Apple's technological prowess and doing it all in house vs. simply buying an Nvidia commodity part.

Kevin P

@RottenApple: Samsung already make Google-free Android phones, and have done for some time. In China their Android phones have no Play store, no Google Maps, no Google Search, no Gmail, no Chrome or any other Google services - and yes, I'm talking about genuine Samsung models like the Galaxy S4 and Note 3, not some domestic knock-offs. Admittedly China is a special case as certain Google services are blocked, but it shows that the situation is more complex than the "all your phones have Google or none of them do" situation described in some media.

@Tomi: No chance of a Motorola comeback? When I went back to England over Christmas the Moto G seemed to be hugely popular, more than any other phone except Apple or Samsung's flagships. If the same thing is happening in other countries I can easily see Google-Motorola breaking back into the top 10, especially if they can follow through with some more good models in 2014.


@Kevin P.:

" Samsung already make Google-free Android phones, and have done for some time. In China..."

You said yourself that China is a special market and for that reason doesn't fall under Google's terms - otherwise no Android manufacturer could sell there, so it doesn't count.


As Roo44 pointed out:
"difference between flagship model (current 5C) and discount models (5S). " is incorrect. Being as how Apple sells only 3 models at a time, while others sell tens of different models, one would hope that "the most influential expert in mobile" might have been able to get this small fact correct.
However, facts seem not to matter to today's 'experts'. For example, are all these hundreds of millions of Android phones sold last year, and for this coming year, running the current version of Android (4.4)? If so, then great, but prove it. As the chart at shows, 30% are running a 2year old version of Android, with another 45% running even older versions.
If all these Android vendors are really selling new "smartphones", shouldn't the more current version of Android show a much higher share?
If they aren't, then can you really count them as today's version of "smartphone"?

Roberto William Sripalamama


What about Motorola and the AFFORDABLE motoG? It seems to me that moto will make a comeback in 2014. How about the other Chinese manufacture such as Oppo, Meizu? How big are they?

What went wrong with HTC?

BTW tomi, in your (other) post why did you seperate the Windows Mobile and Windows Phone OS user number, but not seperate the BB OS 6-7 and BB OS 10. BB OS 10 and pre-10 is 2 different OS just like WM & WP. Should you seperate their user base as well?

@Kevin P

Samsung did NOT fork android in China. It's still the google android, but wihout app store.


What about Nokia's rumored Normandy:

Will it be released or it was made for forcing M$ buying dumb phone division, only?
According to rumors it was not made in D&S division but in some research project thus remains inside Nokia after finalizing the deal with M$...


@KevinP, Google is starting to aggressively price Motorola phones here in the US, as well. I think Tomi is underselling the possibility of a Moto comeback.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    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

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati