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February 04, 2014


Tomi T Ahonen

No LeeBase

I was not comparing Lumia to 'pre iPhone Nokia'. I very explicitly talked about year 2010 Nokia performance just before the Elop Effect and the iPhone was launched in 2007. This is well post-iPhone Nokia we are looking at. And you KNOW the FACTS on the year. In 2010 Apple grew by adding 19 million new iPhone users that year. Nokia crushed Apple in 2010 growing by 36 million new smartphone users. Apple was nowhere near closing the gap - Nokia was pulling away picking up nearly twice the number of new customers than what Apple was able to do.

You are correct that the iPhone demolished Palm of the platforms and Motorola of the phone brands. HTC, RIM and Nokia were not significantly hit by Apple. HTC was a clear victim of Android - ironically by offering Android smartphones so in reality HTC was a victim of Samsung joining Android. RIM didn't die due to Android - most Android phones didn't compete in the enterprise space where Nokia's E-Series was its primary rival. Blackberry died due to a massive management mistake - you know this you've been here on this blog seeing it happen - when they took the eye off the ball, suddenly rushing to release a tablet that failed comprehensively in the market but stole the marketing afforts, drained profits and in its aftermath forced the new Blackberry OS to be severely delayed. That was not caused by the iPhone by any stretch of the imagination as their market segments were literally the furthest from each other - Apple offering no QWERTY variants and until the Z10 OS, Blackberry had no pure touch-screen versions. No, Blackberry collapsed due to a self-induced wound not because of competitors. Nokia died because of the Elop Effect, also a self-induced wound. Nokia totally dominated over Apple, Blackberry and Samsung so enormously in 2010 that Toyota and GM have never enjoyed such a massive market lead in cars; HP, IBM and Lenovo have never experienced such great market supremacy in PCs. Not for one year of any of their history as Nokia held in 2010 in smartphones.

You know this, you could probably site the facts and stats by heart. Why do you post such nonsense now?

On the boycott. Its not 100% of all countries and all operators and all models of handsets. It varies by country and the relevant impact of Nokia's brand to that market. The countries you mentioned are ones where Nokia had over 50% market shares with Symbian or even more. That they now manage 10% is pitiful. And that does not hide the fact that Nokia global market share which was 35% in 2010 is 3% now. If its 10% in Italy it then must be 1% in four other countries of roughly the same smartphone market size.. The math is irrefutable. For every 10% you can show, there will be utter total collapse such as the very same Kantar reported out of China for WP - as you know - and China alone is more than twice the USA and all of Western Europe smartphone markets - combined!

The Skype boycott is a ridiculous argument when Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop said talking to his bosses, the Nokia shareholders in the annual shareholder meeting that the operators so disliked the fact that Microsoft owned Skype - when Skype was not even on Windows based phones at the time but WAS on rival Androids - some operators had gone so far as to refuse to sell ANY Windows Phone based smartphones by any brand. Your opinion on this point, LeeBase, is just as irrelevant as mine, when Elop has explained in great detail - with actual video and transcript - that it is the OWNERSHIP of Skype that causes some carriers to refuse Windows Phone. That is the definition of Boycott, go check your dictionary.

I do agree with you that the new CEO has tons of resources and Microsoft is one of the richest companies in the tech industry and at least at this point in time they cannot be seen to give up on mobile. They will fight definitely for years and replace the 'Nokia' division head a couple of times before they start to wonder can it ever succeed. I ask you LeeBase, out of my predictions of Nokia and Windows (and iPhone and Samsung and Motorola) do I have the credibility that my forecast has a good chance of coming true, based on my deep insights into the handset industry and in particular the role of the carriers and distribution channel? I agree Microsoft can put in the time. I still say its a futile attempt and towards the end of this decade as Windows lingers in the low single digits, and is a perennial drain to profits, the demands will come to let the Nokia/Lumia unit go the way of the Zune and Kin...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

So Vatar

Microsoft is not a dead parrot. WP and handset business, yes, that is dying.

As I wrote in an earlier comment to another of Tomi's blog posts there is tons of business out there for MS in the business software and services area (cloud). MS will milk Windows and Office for many years to come and will still make tons of profits there, no growth but a very nice income stream. MS will buy other technologies in the business software and services area. Heck, they might even go for SAP again (as they tried years ago).

Okay, I placed a bet that the new CEO might walk away from buying the Nokia handset business. I still think this would be a smart move for MS as there is only money to be lost in the handset business. I also think that it would bankrupt (the rest of) Nokia if MS would walk away. But I do admit that the initial remarks by Satya Nadella suggest that MS will close the deal and buy Nokia's handset business. So, I might have been wrong short term. But Tomi and I agree that there is no future for MS in the mobile segment other than connecting to devices running the successful systems (iOS, Android).

Microsoft will be less sexy and not relevant for the topics of this blog, but they are and will stay a powerhouse in IT: Business software and services.

Mao Nixon


Microsoft is holding Balmer position way too long. Windows is almost dead, in the same position when OPK left nokia, in the same position when the co-CEO clown of RIM left RIM.

Here's an info for you..........

One in five notebooks sold is now a Chromebok, Microsoft appears desperate to beat Google back

Seemingly out of nowhere Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Chrome OS -- a Linux-kernel based personal computer operating system -- has emerged as a dominant force in the PC market.
(

Chromebooks' success punches Microsoft in the gut

Chromebooks had a very good year, according to retailer and industry analysts. And that's bad news for Microsoft.

(read more at )

Mao Nixon

@So Vatar.

Chromebook manage to snag 20% of US notebook market share IN JUST 1 YEAR. and Balmer launching the anti-chromebook (smear) campaign to counter chromebook success.

I think we're seeing what iOS disruption (on greater level - with google power) on mobile in Desktop/Notebook level by Google Chromebook, and I think this is the start of the end of Windows OS.

So Vatar

@Mao Nixon,

Maybe Chromebooks sell well here in the US. Yes, Android and iOS eat into classic Windows areas, especially in the consumer segment. In the business segment these devices need to be connected to other business class systems (and legacy systems). Microsft will play there. Maybe Windows license sales are stagnant. I agree that Windows and Office will not be growth generators for MS anymore, but there is so much left in that segment that Microsoft can milk it for many years to come. They will not be so stupid to kill the goose that delivers the eggs before it is time to say good bye, maybe in a decade or so, maybe even later.

Microsoft will not grow in the WP or handset business either, that train left the station and MS failed to jump on the train. They are left behind, with or without the purchase of Nokia's handset business.

However, MS will be able to grow in the business SW and services areas, developing their own products and purchasing technologies and markets. They are already competing there, their new CEO comes from this segment. There there are competing and cooperating with the likes of Oracle, SAP, Salesforce, and many other multi billion Dollar companies.

Of course none of the above is set in stone, as leaders are able to change trajectories and turn a loser into a winner (Steve Jobs did it with Apple in a positive way, Elop did it with Nokia just into the opposite direction).


First an honest question, why carriers hate Skype but allow iMessage/Facetime/FaceTime Audio? iPhone market share is huge in US/Japan (you mentioned them as countries with huge carrier's influence.

Why Apple don't suffer the same kind of ban as M$?

Second an honest comment, your ego is becoming really annoying. Slow down with the self publicity.

Mao Nixon

@So Vatar

That because Google only sell Chromebook in limited country as of now. Just FYI, google silently sell the Chromebook in Malaysia. Malaysia school is 100% towards chromebook. Singapore is running a test with Chromebook in several selected school since mid 2013. It would not be surprised if Singapore will fall for chromebook too.

As for bussiness market, the change from the small and medium size company to chromebook is starting to happened. If you join/follow the chromebook news/group, you'll see the the LOWER TCO & easy management that chromebook have is really helping small/medium company to convert to chromebook. As for big company, I really have not much information. With chromebook news appearing very often, and with Google brand behind it, don't be surprised if the move to chromebook happened sooner than you thought.

Yes, microsoft can still milked the Windows platform, the Office platform, but I think the game will change FAST very SOON.

Mao Nixon


in Apple, carrier hate apple greediness, but still need the iphone.
in Microsoft, carrier hate the MS, and WP is a shit.

Mao Nixon

@So vatar

About MS competing in SW and services, I don't think MS can do that. The failure of Hotmail, MSN compared to competitor tell us that MS bussiness practice / corporate culture is not suitable in current era.

Tomi T Ahonen

So Vatar - haha yeah ok. The Monty Python sketch was yes premature. I plead... return from vacation so am not yet in full mode haha...

I saw your oomment - actually I think I've seen it a couple of times, haven't I? that you thought MS might decide not to go through with the Nokia purchase. We've now seen whatshisname-Nutella.. gosh gotta learn that name fast. What was it - Nadella - has spoken so strongly about mobile and Nokia in his first memo so yeah, no chance of that happening. I did think it was an extreme long-shot in any case. Microsoft has wanted Nokia in whatever form in whatever way possible for more than a decade already. They would not walk away from that purchase now especially as the Lenovo Motorola purchase illustrates how much the far more valuable Nokia property was indeed a steal by Microsoft. Only trouble is.. we know that will never work out. I am pretty sure that Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Stephen Elop all believed that by buying Nokia they could turn this around. Doing it 'the Microsoft way' as opposed to the wimpy Finnish Nokia way haha...

Mao Nixon - (great nickname BTW haha for us old enough to remember both leaders seen on TV back then...) hey thanks for the great links. Yeah the Chromebooks are taking rapid gains in the market. Partly its because Chrome and Google's insights into operating systems have matured much since the first launch of Android. It helps that its more difficult to design for small devices than large ones so the learning curve over at the Googleplex mastering Android has brought more competence than similar effort put say on the desktop would have been at Microsoft and attempting to convert that then onto the small devices. There is certainly a strong dislike and mistrust of Microsoft that helps Chromebooks and various Android tablets and all the surging Mac and iPad sales steal sales from Windows based PCs and tablets. I know I can't wait to get rid of the last Microsoft software I am dealing with and hoping that this current fabulous Samsung ultrabook I am using will be my last ever Windows device and I'll go back to my beloved Macs.. but I'd take Android or Chrome ahead of Windows in a second if I didn't have to go buy new liceneses of my various Windows-compatible software I've been accumulating over the years onto the PC...

So Vatar - on the business vs residential PC use remember that of the 300M or so annual sales of PCs when tablets (and smartphones) are not included, more than half are sold to residential users and less than half into business use. So even if Microsoft were to be able to somehow innoculate its business customer market from the invasions of the rival PC operating systems, they are likely going to see an erosion of more than half of their market dwindling to trivial Microsoft share... Its all bad news into the future..

Tomi Ahonen :-)


@Mao Nixon
What "failure of Hotmail"? If having second largest free email service on the planet is a failure, let me fail as bad as Microsoft.

Tomi T Ahonen

JMM - ok.. that is a fair question and unfortunately the answer is long and detailed. I have written several times on this blog the full story why. Here is a recent version that addresses that very specific point why Skype is different to any other OTT service:

I hate to do that and very VERY rarely refuse to answer by giving a lame link instead but seriously.. it is a long answer and I just can't take the time to write at least 2,000 words for you in a series of replies here this afternoon. Sorry. The answer if you want it is at that link. After you have read it completely, feel free to return here if you still have some question. Illustrate in your question that you've read the blog article but after reading it x is still on your mind. I will address that x if you have the basic understanding out of that blog. Ok?

On the self-promotion, I hear you. You are not alone and your impression is accurate that I do a lot of arrogant and smug self-promotion all the time on this blog. Here's the full picture to that. This blog is free. No subscription and no tricks. I don't give you previews of the story but forcing you to buy the rest of the story, or limit you to a few free pages then start to charge. There is no advertising on this blog - did you notice that. No banners nothing. I don't collect your contact data and don't ask you to sign up and I don't spam you on a newsletter or any such slimy stuff. (Typepad forces you to include you email in leaving a comment. i don't collect those either). This blog still is as pure 'honest' non-professional site, that is truly an amateur hobby web log, a blog as originally conceived where I come to share my thoughts about our industry when I have time. I stopped counting when my words on this blog passed 3 million. 100,000 is a good-sized hardcover book. So the content here would span a good-sized SHELF of hardcover books on a bookcase. In essence reading the full blog every article would provide you with a Master's degree level of insights into the mobile (and digital) industries. Remember I lecture on mobile at Oxford University's courses on telecoms. All of this blog is for free and all accessable to the start of the blog 9 years ago. We have a huge following and are nearing the 5 millionth individual visit to this site. There are more than 30,000 comments left on this blog and something like 10,000 replies.

I would suggest that of blogs that have lived for more than 5 years and are still in operation, but which are not surviving to make money, this Communities Dominate blog must be among the most read blogs on the planet in that 'honest amateur' category where blogs of far smaller readership would typically go commercial and do ads or go to subscriptions etc. More than the size of the readership or the amount of text or comments or duration of the blog is the content. This blog is the largest single collection of mobile industry stats anywhere. I have many exclusive stats reported from TomiAhonen Consultancy here. Free. I have many types of stats where this blog gives more detail than anyone else. For free. This blog has the widest range of stats in the mobile industry from hardware to services and from global to regional to local stats. For free. All the historical data I've ever covered is here. For free. And probably more than any other blog or website I report and link to essentially every truly relevant new statistic that is reported by my peers of the analysts of this industry. And all that is done free. As my hobby because I love this industry and my fans on this blog appreciate what I do.

The price for all that free content is that you have to put up with my personal peculiarities including my huge ego, my rants, my arrogant and at times even abrasive style. My weird sense of humor. My silly hobbies like James Bond and Formula 1. My smugness. And the constant self-promotion that I have done naturally since I was a kid. After almost five million visits and a fiercely loyal base of daily visits in the several thousands, if I were to suddenly change my style to fit YOUR wishes that would be a disservice to all my loyal past fans and readers.

If you can't appreciate all that, then I have a good suggestion to you. Go buy my books and you'll get the clean version of my text that has the egoistical self-promotion all removed by my editors. Or else enjoy what you get here and don't plucking complain about my style. There is NOWHERE you will find for free the information that I volunteer to come and share out on this blog year out and year in. Oh. And some will appreciate the time value of insight. This blog is BY A WIDE MARGIN the fastest source of breaking stats for the mobile industry often literally the worlds' first source and always among the first ever to report on every significant new stats while also keeping the nonsense non-news out. I am in fact considered the stats police of the mobile industry keeping the crazy stats in line - pointing out when truly silly stuff comes out - and why that given number is utterly out of the realm of plausibility (when that happens a couple of times per year). So consider the value of what is on this blog and if you can't take my writing style there is an easy solution - don't come back.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


About that OTT post...
This data may be outdated as it is from last year, but Skype has 280M active monthly users (active, not amount of accounts) whereas WhatsApp has 300M active monthly users.
The biggest instant messaging service by far is Facebook that (at the time) had 1.1 BILLION active monthly users. Facebook also offers video calls.

Is there a reason you did not cover these two services that by all definition should be larger threat to traditional services than Skype?


Tomi T Ahonen

AndThisWillBeToo - yeah the numbers are here and there.. Skype is the biggest threat on three particular reasons. It is by far the largest VOIP provider of voice on mobile alone, excluding the desktop. Infonetics last year counted 256 million mobile users of Skype. Add to that reason number 2 - the PC installed base where total Skype subscriber count - active and inactive users is way past a Billion. That brings in metcalfe's law and reed's law (networking effect and social media effect) utterly trumping any possible rival on voice - where carriers find 60% of their revenue and 50% of their profits. Then comes messaging. Skype is one of the rare providers that is commonly used by its members both on voice and messaging. Most OTT services find their success in only one or the other. Yes FB is now bigger on the messaging side but FB is nowhere on voice calls. Messaging is where about 20% of operator revenues and 40% of the profits are. These two alone, voice and messaging, would kill a telecoms business if they are cannibalized together as Skype does. And much as Microsoft tries to hide from its massive growth,t he numbers are out there. Telegeography reported last year that since Microsoft took over as Skype's owner, Skype's total share of interniational voice minutes had grown by 44% and Skype was the world's largest international telecoms voice provider. That is where the majority of voice profits are ( with the ridiculously priced operator roaming charges etc). Lastly is part 3, the future of mobile comms ie videocalls. Skype is the only real triple threat being also the world's largest video calling provider. So thats why it still is the big gorilla in the room. Carriers are very nervous about Facebook too but FB is nowhere as filthy-rich as Microsoft so Skype can play very dirty with its plans to ruin the traditional telecoms market.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Tomi, good analogy of the "Good cop,Bad cop" routine with the operators :-)

I dont quite agree to this, though

"Certainly Windows Phone by version 8 was better than the outgoing Symbian."

I'm using a WP8 device, and it's frustratingly bad to use. Yes, it's really good design, and gets appreciative comments when I take it out, but the WP8 OS is an absolute pain to live with. I wont go into details, but overall, I think it has pretty much as many shortcomings as Symbian did, with the added downside that the battery hardly lasts a day (how I miss the Symbian battery life)!
Which is why, even in an operator-uncontrolled country like India, Nokia's Lumia devices have only single digit shares (down from somewhere near 70% during Symbian days).

Jouko Ahvenainen

Many interesting points from Tomi, thanks. I also wrote some thoughts myself I think, one key question is how mobile can support the main strategy of MS, and how they do with cloud and enterprise services. It is risky to count on WP only. Now the financials of mobile looks bad, Nokia hasn't been effective, if you compare to MS or other mobile companies (of course Apple and Samsung are difficult to compare, when their different activities are so linked to each other). I believe (and read from analysts too) that re-organizing and cost cutting will happen to ex Nokia, how much, it is a strategic choice. And the new CEO must think the future, not how things and organizations used to be. Investors have a lot of expectations.


"And the constant self-promotion that I have done naturally since I was a kid."

I always understood this trait is not career limiting in your line of work?

And I do not mind at all. I have always been given the advice that "If you do not promote yourself, no one else will".


@Tomi: what about this project:

Will it see lights? To some extent - replacing S40 Asha platform - it makes sense even under Microsoft...


Tomi, i read the following today (bellow *), I constantly read about market share in your blog and adoption rate and so on, so if it applies to MS let's see how you can explain it for Android, and here is my comment

Android for all its hurrah market share is loosing quite a lot looking forward, logically all market share attributed to devices using anything bellow 4.0 is obsolete or becoming obsolete, as we move towards a pocket PC/smartphone world.

So Android is left with KitKat with just bellow 2% market share, as reported by google, and older versions of it. Not that impressive and worrisome I would say, so if we compare MS, IOS and Android in THEIR current, actual and future looking releases, android market share is a different matter, will they stay behind? after a few months no adoption of Kit Kat, a bit odd, can they build their future in old versions? Foe how long?

*Today, Google has confirmed that no less than 60.7% of the devices accessing the Play Store were running a version of Android Jelly Bean operating system. Here are the raw numbers: Android 4.1.x (35.5%), Android 4.2.x (16.3%), Android 4.3 (8.9%).

Unfortunately, the distribution of Android 4.4 KitKat platform on current devices is extremely slow as the numbers show. If things continue this way, Google might announce the next version of Android before KitKat could reach 50% of the market share.

Last month, the search giant reported that around 1.4% of the devices accessing Google Play Store were running Android 4.4 KitKat operating system.


" logically all market share attributed to devices using anything bellow 4.0 is obsolete or becoming obsolete, as we move towards a pocket PC/smartphone world."

Logically, people would not upgrade older hardware. Those who sell "older" hardware, will also sell older releases of Android.

Obviously, only newer, state-of-the-art handsets will run the latest release. And they are, indeed, sold with newer releases. Unless there are other reasons not to use the latest version, for technical or economic reasons.

So, what is your point?

The comments to this entry are closed.

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