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

« Final 2013 Smartphone Market Share Numbers - Full year and Quarterly Q4 data by Top 10 brands, plus OS shares, plus installed base | Main | What Does It Mean that Nokia Launches 3 Smartphones on Android, Now? It means desperation and that Windows Phone is dead »

February 17, 2014




> THIS IS THE REASON WHY apple were able to milking their brand. iphone is THE CHEAP (less than US$1000) status symbol
> item that have a real usage (compared to expensive bag, expensive clothing). This is the reason why apple can have more
> profit than other company. Because it's not about technology anymore. It's about branding, it's about status symbol.

This is a very good point: the iPhone is a status symbol.

The problem for Apple is that's result of past success. What will happen from now on?

As Android surpasses iOS and competitors start to make better devices, Apple will no longer be seen as "the best".

I think it's already happening. I notice many iPhone users looking at Galaxy Notes with envy. A few inches can make a difference. ;-)


I don't know. I keep telling my wife size doesn't matter ;)



"A tropical fruit that rots on the trees un-appreciated in Brazil, can be a premium delicacy in Paris."


Apple may be considered 'premium' in some markets - but in others it's 'just there'.
Don't view everything from your strictly American (and American-wannabe) perspective where Apple is being put onto a ridiculous pedestal of supposed greatness.

Apple's reputation in Europe is not nearly as great as it is elsewhere (that is, outside of its own users, of course) but I somehow doubt that this will get in to your head. And to be honest, many Apple users I know (not all but the majority) share some very specific traits:
1) they are mostly tech illiterate.
2) they think that any kind of mainstream product is bad by default.
3) they have problems getting along with their money, always running out of month when their money supply ends.
4) they believe they are cool, just by using an iPhone, not realizing how they get ridiculed behind their backs.

In other words: Fools that can be milked. Admittedly, those are great customers for me as a developer but it's hardly something I can respect.

Considering the rest of your blurb:

Plain and sinple advertisement. How much does Apple pay you?


@E.Casais: >> The tone of the discussion has become acrimonious, and the exchange of arguments about "open" vs. "closed" is stuck in a loop.

Well, the problem here simply is that LeeBase has some half-knowledge which he tries to spread around. Since he obviously isn't technically savy, he spreads around his bullshit.

Additionally, he is not able to correct his false claims, instead ignoring corrections.

In his last post he e.g. stated:

>> Not a single contradiction to anything I said. Of course it matters what the carriers do as you get your phone from a CARRIER > And "rooting" your phone will void your phone's warranty. It wouldn't be "rooting" if you were doing something Google designed you to do. It's the same with jailbreaking.

Rooting does not void your warranty per se. This is either a lie or bullshitting, take your pick.

Explanation for people who do not know this:

- When you root your phone using some hack (like iOS-users do when jailbreaking), you do not void warranty

- When you change your bootloader (e.g. by flashing a recovery), you ALWAYS void warranty - which is logical, since now you can overclock your CPU and GPU, play around with voltages, use different Kernels etc. No vendor gives warranty if you run the product out of spec (it's the same with cars - if you flash software to enhance performance, your warranty is voided, too)

- When you use other measures, e.g. CF Auto ROOT, it depends on your device and on your bootloader if warranty is voided or not. Also it depends on your device if you can undo the 'no warranty'-flag - if the OEM cannot prove that you have altered your device you still have warranty, because you will win every lawsuit.

I could go on and on, there are some more points wich are objectively wrong in LeeBases' post, but I think this is enough to prove that he is a bullshitter or a liar without any doubt.

I simply despise simple-minded people who are bullshitting with their half-knowledge. But from my experience, this is what most die-hard Apple fans do (not all, mind you).

If you keep on asking, you'll see that most of these guys don't even know how a transistor works, they don't know the binary system, they don't know the difference between a bootloader, a Kernel, an OS and a custom ROM etcetc.

I would expect such people to listen when they meet somebody with more knowledge, but sadly most of them insist on bullshitting and lying, like LeeBase does.


@Leebase: >>@Huber - yeah...ooh, ouch. That REALLY cleared things up. Folks needing to "root" an Android phone is just, you know...simply like changing a config setting. Except it's not and I provided link to where Motorola put in controls to PREVENT rooting.

You do not learn, and you do not think, right?

Your link, which is from 2011 BTW and hence hoplessly outdated, is also written by in idiot, but you did not recognize it because of your lack of knowledge:

The link states: "Skip Motorola Androids if You're Considering Rooting Your Phone"

But the linked article from AndroidCentral, which your link is based on, states: "Motorola employee confirms locked bootloaders -- and bad attitude"

They are talking about LOCKED BOOTLOADERS, not about PREVENTING ROOTING, which is completely different and not even closely related.

So this moron who wrote the lifehacker-article didn't notice that AndroidCentral talked about another topic, and you did also not notice this because you are a bullshitter without real technical knowledge.

>>And nothing that needs "rooting" is a mass market topic. That's not moving the needle. It does point to ONE of the niche markets Android serves, which is the linux-geek crowd. To which I belong, but I would prefer my phone "just work" and save my "geek time" for my laptop. That's just me...and most other people.

In other words, you are too dumb to spend one hour of your time to root your phone. Hence you declare it being something for the "linux-geek crowd".

This is funny.

I'd say it is a good thing that rooting requires at least a little bit of knowledge, otherwise dumbasses like you would do it, afterwards mess up their phones and blame the OEM.

Also you haven't conceded yet that rooting is a supported feature of Android.Otherwise there would be no official apps in the Playstore which require root.

I know that I am off-topic, but I think it is important to proof that LeeBase is a bullshitter/liar who simply ignores when his claims are refuted.

He just posts them again, declaring them to be the truth. Now I know how to take your posts here - only hot air and words, but nothing behind.

Kevin P

LeeBase: I disagree with your point that "all big-screen phones combined do not outsell the iPhone". Even taking big-screen as phablets (5" or above), recent numbers are all around 20% (IDC said 21% in Q3 2013, Canalys said 22%), which is comfortably higher than iPhone sales. Revise the definition down to 4.5" and you're probably already covering more than half of the market. It's not just a niche.


yes screen size is the no.1 feature for me and if Apple releases a 5 inch or more phone. I will consider an Iphone too. Big screen is a must.

Robert Atkins

The question was "which is the killer feature?"
Which turned into "open-source or not", one screen size being better or not, rooting v. non-rooting, status symbols or not, best camera, 'you're an idiot, no you are', etc., etc..

Doesn't anybody make, you know, phone calls anymore? Never read mention of quality of phone calls. I need 2 iPhones(on ATT & Verizon) just to get good reception everywhere in community of 100,00 +. I'd love to get down to carrying just one phone if I could call contacts from anywhere, and they could call me. With clarity and volume to overcome background noises.

As much as I enjoy my iPhones, the next mobile purchased will have a larger screen; I envy the display on friend's Galaxy S3, which seems much easier on these older eyes.

Satya Nutela


>You can buy McDonalds for $5 or you can buy a premium burger in Malibu watching the sunset for
>$30. I happen to think that the $30 Malibu burger is the bargain of the two.
>The losers here think they got a awesome deal on driving their Corola to get their $5 burger
>and that I'm a loser driving my overpriced Jag to get the overpriced burger in Malibu.

I agree and disagree.

I agree that the experience of US$ 30 burger in Malibu while watching the sunset is not equal to US$ 5 MacDonalds burger.

BUT I DISSAGREE on the term!!!
right now iphone is not $30 malibu burger. It's a $5 McDonalds burger sold as $30 malibu burger. iphone is a RIP OFF!!! It's not better than the android, but it's expensive.

The Samsung Galaxy S4, Note 3, Sony Xperia Z, Z Ultra, Z1, Z1S, LG G2, HTC One, and so on.... it's a US$ 50 malibu burger sold as US$ 30. It's a real bargain.

If you see the demographic of iphone user, it's not Jaguar owner. User of iphone is not what you want us to believe. Such selling kidney for a phone? Really????..... Just like @RottenApple said. Apple user is not the premium Jaguar user. Right now apple user is the beggar, the stupid, the idiot, the poor, the low self esteem.


Well, size does matter, as everybody knows...

But in smartphones it's not the only factor. If the OS is a (P)OS devEloped under Flop, that can be another fundamental factor why phones using it are not having success.

Maybe the problem lies in the company developing it. Contrary to what the Astros repeat, MS is terrible with mobile software. That is why it had to overtake Nokia. To pillage its know how.

Is it only in "phone" mobile OSs that MS sucks? No, also in related fields. This news just came out:

"Ford Motor Co., struggling with in-car technology glitches, will base the next-generation Sync system on BlackBerry’s QNX and no longer use Microsoft Corp.’s Windows, according to people briefed on the matter."

Who's good at mobile sofware? Not MS, for sure.

Henrik Nergård

I like a size around 4.4" to 5" inch. But its good with options of course. And I suppose Apple most respond to it. Their current models are like mini phones now.


I want 5 inch with 16mp camera..


@Tomi: any opinion on these:

Especially if it is really true that mid and high Andro device is in the pipeline, too... having low end device - impenetrable by WP ATM - is one thing, having full Android portfolio is an other one...

(I'm sorry for being off topic but I'm really interested in your opinion...)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi gang...

Great comments, thanks! I'll do a few comments and replies

Vesku - good point. I see similar use cases with a few of my younger relatives who are very active and also known for often breaking their phones, skateboarding or whatever activity... durability and pocketability trumps screen size for them (and likely you) but I'd think just observing my relatives that this is a small subsegment, most will go for the larger screen..

Dan - similar themes in your comment. Can you see the current thought of '5 inches is the limit' as a change from the past, ie two years ago this large a phone would have been impossibly big, and conversely, can you imagine that two years from now even a 6 inch phone could be possible if that has become somewhat a 'norm' and many such devices are common?

Zangolie - ok, brand is an important factor in any consumer goods business. But like we wrote with Alan Moore in our landmark book, Communites Dominate Brands the title book of this blog, branding is no longer the holy grail. If you look at Xiaomi in China for example, a perfect example of community superceding the brand effect. And a strong brand did not save Motorola when the iPhone - on Apple a brand totally new to mobile phones - trumped the oldest brand of mobile handsets, with a far larger screen...

E.Casais - very good point about content needed for the form factor. But that won't supercede screen size, it can only make a smaller screen acceptable, not superior. The standard TV content is produced for home-TV screen sizes of about 30 inches more-or-less for the past two decades. So TV news, reality TV shows, game shows, soap operas, music videos etc are all designed for that relatively small screen home experience (as opposed to Hollywood movies designed for large screens or recent 3D movies designed for specialized 3D cinema theaters). But that hasn't stopped home screens from growing bigger and bigger. Go to any home electronics store and check the biggest screens. Every year the giant screens are even more humongous and the prices of the 'mid range' TVs are ever more affordable - and bigger than they were last year. What was once 26 inches and then 32 inches and then 40 inches is now 50 inches etc... If custom-made content for that form factor fixed the large screen advantage completely there would be no interest in paying for bigger screens. I don't mean it doesn't matter, I mean it doesn't fix the problem completely (for most people). It is important yes but doesn't remove the advantage.

I'll post these and continue. Keep the discussions coming...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Leebase - hey, that was cheating with stats and you know better. You can't take Apple's Q3 to Q4 performance in isolation because Apple only release their new products for that quarter, against any others who release phones throughout the year. By the same measure Apple was dying in the Summer of 2013. No the only way to compare Apple to rivals is year to year. And you know the story. Apple grew only 13% from 2012 to 2013, growing from 136 million to 154 million iPhones. That was pathetic when the industry grew by 42% in the same period. Samsung meanwhile in the same 12 month peariod grew from 215 million to 311 million and a growth rate of 45% which is remarkable for the largest player in the industry. So you know well, inspite of the Christmas sales bump, Apple's 2013 was its worst year in smartphones and Samsung's meanwhile was very good...

The point you make about price is good. I did specify however in the blog that I wanted ceteris paribus conditions, if all other things are the same ie for two devices of the same price, which factor rules. Obviously basic economic theory says that there is the inverse relatioship with price and unit sales, the lower the price the more it will sell... But yeah, price would trump screen size and then it would need to be an even more refined study at what price point does price trump screen size. Is 50 dollars price difference enough. What about 20 dollars. What about 5 dollars. One dollar? At some point price won't matter anymore - but that will also obviously be an individual matter so we'd need statistical distribution of price points..

Satya - good point and I think its what Samsung has been seeing with the Note and the Tab.

RottenApple - I tend to like your comments haha, but this time I disagree with you. Yes, for some there is that dislike of Apple's totalitarian rule of its world. But most consumers are blissfully ignorant of it, years and years after Apple's been doing it. So for most it is a non-factor. What LeeBase said about price and Android is far more relevant than anti-Apple sentiment. For some, I would say 'geeks' - it can be a deciding factor. Almost any major brand that attracts strong loyalty will have its backlash. The Porsche fanatic who would never consider a Ferrari, etc...

LeeBase - on the 'none of it ever mattered' point. Clearly the anti-Apple issues have not prevented a runaway success for the iPhone but you cannot deny that SOME people have feelings like RottenApple and will not buy Apple because of some of those factors. So it has had an impact but we cannot calculate the exact size. It is money Apple has left on the table - on the side of handsets they could have sold more and made more profits that way - but potentially the loyalty built doing things 'the Apple way' guarantees the industry-leading loyalty among the Apple fans.. You win some, you lose some. I think Apple has the balance about right on this, but you can't say there has been no effect. Its just that we can't measure how big that opportunity cost has been...

JMM - I think you're misunderstanding flagship. The Sony flagship wasn't the Z1 Compact. It was the Z1 and now after MWC it is the Z2. The screen size grew not shrunk. Yes there are then lots of lesser devices that fall under the glow of the flagship - and are priced less and tend to have lesser features. Much like how BMW 7 series or Audi A8 or Mercedes S series is the top of the line. Then they have similar-looking but cheaper and somewhat smaller siblings that they do most of their sales, BMW 5 and 3 series, Audi A6 and A4, Mercedes C series etc that are the far more popular cars most people buy when they can't afford the flagship. The flagship is the aspirational top of the line product...

Janne - I love the thought and would hope more handset makers would explore those multiple sweet spots. However, at the moment there seems to be a convergence of thought that the deciding factor is the biggest screen and no manufacturers are daring to offer radical changes from that in their top models...

Huber - great point! Yes while there can be technical squabbles about what exactly is openness or who is most open for consumers the point is about freedom and by that definition, Android is open enough to be seen as totally open... (vs iPhone or Windows Phone which are not)

Matches - ah an honest disagreement on the very premise. Good argumentation and good evidence too. I will grant you that ecosystem matters and I totally agree that user experience the way Apple creates perfection in it, is a very important factor too. But with all that Apple magic why is their market share FALLING ? Apple's iPhone had 20% of the smartphone market in 2012 and only 16% in 2013. This to me suggests there is a niche market - yes a large niche but still only a niche - for whom 'as long as its Apple' is enough. They are the Apple fanatics. They buy any iToy. They will never accept any rivals. But that is not the majority of consumers. So I'd agree with you only to the point that for those who have experienced the Apple religion, there is probably no going back. Thats only a minority of all users. For most of the rest, screen size rules.

LeeBase - on your point 'but large screens have not sold more than iPhones' - that used to be true. We have just new stats from Deloitte that screen sizes larger than 5 inches went from 5% in 2012 to 15% in 2013 (and growing to 25% in 2014). By now smartphones of 5 inch screen size are safely outselling all iPhones. And thats only screens of 5 inch or bigger, not counting screens from 4 to 5 inches... I know you didn't know this, its new and relatively rare stats and I hadn't written about it (yet). Deloitte released the stats on Jan 16. So as the world evolves and the stats with it, we may need to revisit those positions we held, eh?

Satya - haha so true about teenager girls here in Asia and large screen phones!

Tomi Ahonen :-)


THIS will trump everything!

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Everybody

Samsung offers some insights into why screen size is so important. A vague article but on the same theme as my blog originally 4 years ago

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

Fresh IDC numbers tell us that in 2017 a total of 611M phablet-screen smartphones are sold. That is 38% of all smartphones. IDC says it will pass half of all smartphones in a couple of years. Yeah 'screen size trumps everything' was pretty well said years ago.. Here is the story about IDC numbers at Datamation

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Jim Glue

This long after Apple came out with large screen this article relevant? We've already gone through the "bigger is better, even BIGGER is BETTER-ER" even in the Android world. (No one is Rocking a 7" Android phone).

Sony, Samsung and Apple have also put out "top notch small screen" phone models to cater to those folks that just don't want a large screen.

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