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« Ok, a Few Words About Microsoft Under Satya Nadella | Main | Sony Q4 Results in Smartphone Wars - We now have all rankings for Top 10 for 2013 - and some tidbits »

February 06, 2014



Although Canalys did not write anything that is incorrect, but I do realize how some people could be misled. But I think these people probably have lesser knowledge of the reality in the industry to begin with. I mean, anyone should be smart enough to realize that growth from selling 1 device to 2 is 100% growth rate! ;-)

Wayne Borean


So you think Canalsys should be able to shade the truth, and trick Consumers?



Why, Wayne, do you often find yourself buying phones just because Canalsys said that specific OS your phones use is growing fast in usage?


Let's not forget that WP's pathetic growth rate was achieved by selling the Lumia 520 at loss. Just this one model account for 40% of WP sales now. At US$130 with no contract it can only be a loss for Nokia. Sales of high end Lumia are not enough to subsidize the low end. That's why Nokia's smartphone division makes a loss every quarter.

Tomi, what is your comment on the Android powered Nokia Normandy? Will Microsoft allow this to the released? If the Normandy is released at less than US$200 it will decimate Lumia 520 sales overnight.

Tomi T Ahonen

Dipankar - yeah. I did state on the top that technically Canalys was telling the truth, only it is deliberately selecing a statistic that will be almost always misunderstood if they don't give the total growth facts alongside it. The 'anyone should be smart enough..' - come on, Dipankar - did you SEE the coverage this past weekend? EVERY single article with Canalys numbers leads with that same silly misunderstanding. They knew what they were doing and we can't expect journalists - verbally talented people - to have wanted to study statistics at university..

Wayne - haha

NokiaLove - hey don't tease my man Wayne. I always buy the phone that Canalys talks most about. Thats why I have drawers full of useless Lumias.

Kenny - good point about L520. Hey, Project Montainview ie MView the Android phone by Nokia. Yeah. That was the rush job that Elop didn't want to do but I believe it was the Board that insisted he develop as it became obvious that Lumia had failed by about Q1 of last year yes 2013. So then they started the rush job of Mountainview so that it would be the backup plan and first Android phones for Nokia could be released this year. The gossip suggests first model was actually port of Meego based N9 which shouldn't be too hard as Meego was cousin of Android both being Linux based. The phone was leaked so that Microsoft heard about it - that is why Microsoft suddenly improved its offer and Nokia could sign the deal to sell the handset division. So thats the history. Now what next..

We'd all love to see it. We'd all go buy it. A 'real' Nokia powered by Android. That would be a killer definitely. But it will never be released. Because if Microsoft allowed now a 'Nokia' ie Microsoft phone with Android on it, every one with half a brain would read that Windows on the desktop will die soon... Microsoft will be the last company to join Android after they have squeezed every last ounce out of the dying breath of Windows. Its like when Sony finally threw the towel on Betamax and went VHS in the video cassette recorder wars... that is you last move. They will most definitely never allow MView or any other Android phone (nor any other Android gadget) to be sold by their Nokia handset unit. Sorry. Won't happen..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Nobody Special

For illustrative purposes, you mention the Olympic sport of "speed scating". That's something I'd like to see. Do you know whether the event will be broadcast by NBC or RedTube?

Tomi T Ahonen

Nobody - haha gosh. I plead... I'm a goddamn foreigner not a native speaker.. (so being a debate coach for several years in America coaching kids to use the English language more efficently to win arguments in competitive speech contests would disqualify that excuse? No it wouldn't. yes it would!. No it wouldn't. Wouldwouldwouldwoulddddd)

Thanks. I'll go un-invent the funniest winter olypic event and lets make it back to skating.. Besides, what would we Finns know about ice skating anyway only all our lakes freeze at winter as does the seas to Sweden, Russia and Estonia..

Tomi Ahonen :-)


And you're being a bit duplicitous by not mentioning that Nokia smartphones were already in steep decline when they switched to Windows Phone. And that the primary reason for the switch was Nokia's lack of competitive app store and developers tools.
They weren't hoodwinked into the switch, and didn't sacrifice their success for it. They were going down the drain fast and needed Microsoft's expertise in building a third party app ecosystem before they ended up floating in the sewer weighed down by unprofitable feature phones.


While what you say is true, that "never in a million years can Windows Phone catch up to Android if Android keeps growing TWENTY TIMES more than Windows Phone", that is also not a misleading way to look at the data. You took the change in total unit sales and turned it into a rate over time. This is like saying:

"A toddler increased his weight from 20 lbs to 25 lbs in one year. His teenage brother increased his weight from 130 to 150 pounds in the same year. The toddler will never in a million years catch up to his big brother if the the big brother keeps growing FOUR TIMES more than his sibling."

Of course that is true. But that is also misleading. The baby is growing at a much faster RATE than than his brother and any reasonable person would use RATE of growth to project the future, not raw pounds gained nor unit sales.

WP actually WILL pass Android since it is growing at such a faster rate. Because if this holds up, in the year 2038, WP will sell 296 trillion phones and Android will only muster a paltry 276 trillion :-)

Of course this is only jest. But I wonder why you rail so vehemently about this report. I did as you suggested and googled it. They include right there on the page the exact same thing as the 3rd graph you posted here as the "real" "truth", (except it also included the other platforms iOS, BB, and "Others"). It's right there, the truth you're saying they're obscuring, on the Canalys website. The. Same. Graph.

You imply in this post that Canalys is "reporting the opposite of what is the truth", that they have implied that WP is somehow winning or catching up to Android. But right there, in the lead paragraph, it states "Android's dominance grew." It also points out, right there in the opening paragraph, that "Microsoft saw a percentage point share rise to 3%".

And you call for the analyst to be fired. You call his name out and call him a moron. Jingwen Wang. The man who pointed out Microsoft's soft end to the year, and is quoted in the Canalys release as saying, "Nokia and Microsoft failed to stimulate sufficient demand for the latest Lumia products to deliver a seasonal sales boost," and "Microsoft has much to do if it is to continue carving out a growing share of the smart phone market." Yes. Shame on this man. Clearly this man is a corrupt moron and should be fired.

Interested to know

The current generation of people in their 20's don't seem to make distinctions between marketing propaganda and journalism. Really, they don't even seem to care as long as they get paid by someone.

The Nokia Android phone seems like the old Microsoft idea of "embrace, extend, extinguish". The old MS would probably feel that once you've bought a junky MS Android phone slathered in MS Bing/Office services they can upsell you on a true MS Windows phone with even better services on top. Once you're converted to a pure Windows phone then MS's monopoly is safe again.

Tomi T Ahonen

Mark - no you are totally wrong. Nokia smartphone sales GREW from 77 million in 2009 to 103 million in 2010. That is not 'steep decline'. That is not decline. That is not just growth - that is STEEP GROWTH. Nokia grew MUCH MORE than Apple's iPhone in 2010 !!!! Please check the numbers, Nokia Quaterly results are on their website for anyone to see.

Matches - ROTFL - that was brilliant year 2036. I really literally laughed out loud! Thanks!

Interested to know - yeah that really looks like it was it..

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Hey Tomi.

I wish you fixed your article a bit: like choose which order of derivative you really want to talk about, remove the comment about basic math (because a) its not basic and b) its not about the math, it is about boundary conditions. Just like Matches said math suggests WP will eventually win provided same growth rate stays long enough).

Next up I really did not like comparison of market share and speed; that one's misleading into belief that market share is first order derivative of something.

That said, WP was not sold for the full year 2010, was it? So part of your nice graphs are a bit misleading, too. I know that here you followed Canalys numbers, but still think it should be fixed.

Too bad it ain't gonna happen now.



"Just like Matches said math suggests WP will eventually win provided same growth rate stays long enough"

But it won't! The more the system grows the more the growth rate will decline.
Anyway, math also suggests that in order to catch up to Android, WP needs to grow more in absolute numbers, not just relative to previous results.

The entire thing is truly hilarious. They celebrate that their sales have increased from next to nothing to double of next to nothing. Quite an achievement.

Compared to how Android performed, the WP growth is mere noise.



"But it won't! The more the system grows the more the growth rate will decline.
Anyway, math also suggests that in order to catch up to Android, WP needs to grow more in absolute numbers, not just relative to previous results."

Won't happen in real life? Yeah, quite so.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hey guys.. at least I TRIED to make our most boring topic possible - statistics of telecoms 'funny' and I TRIED to use different analogies. The one I was wracking my brain about forever was that skating one, I just couldn't find anything that could work but then thought that would be similar. If you can give me another please do...

But yeah, haha, I knew we'd get the math-dawgs out with this posting haha.. Let me take those suggestions under advisement haha..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Another ex-Nokian

Just wondering, if smartphones below $130 are sold at a loss (as someone said above) what would Nokia's market share of smartphones above $130?

Tomi T Ahonen

Another - we could do some estimates if Nokia had given us the usual breakdown like their regional sales and revenues but they stopped doing that now in Q4. They didn't even give enough data for us to count the ASP accurately for Lumia vs dumbphones..

It is pretty obvious what the reason is, as Lumia sales tanked but featurephones grew, it means big Christmas for Asha which woulda been very embarrassing for Microsoft that Asha is outselling the hottest latest Lumias now.. so Nokia just said 'lets call all the Microsoft stuff discontinued business' and let MS worry about it from April

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Tomi, could you please clarify one thing. You make hell of a noise Canalys playing with numbers. I agree with you, with small volumes %ages naturally twist the facts and story looks a bit weird.

However, I feel you do the same - you choose something that serves your purposes and if so, I'd like to know why.

"Nokia smartphone sales GREW from 77 million in 2009 to 103 million in 2010. That is not 'steep decline'. That is not decline. That is not just growth - that is STEEP GROWTH."

I agree with this one too. However, now you have decided to talk about absolute volumes instead of those market share figures you typically use. In 2008, Nokia's smartphone market share was 52.4%, in 2009 it was down to 46.9% and in 2010 down to 32.9%. 2011, to 15.6%. That, I guess you agree with me, is not steep growth.

These figures from Nokia, Tekes, Gartner and IDC - so pretty credible players I'd say.

A very nice interactive chart still available in here:

For non-Finnish speaking: Älypuhelinten markkinaosuus = Smartphone market share

Tomi T Ahonen

CN - yeah totally valid point and completely true. I have those on my blog too haha as you should know..

Nokia's smrtphone market share held rather stable through 2008 after which they fell modestly each year to 2010 - this as the number of global giant rivals tripled in the smartphone space so obviously the guy who had started with 100% and was biggest would see erosion. But the rate of modest annual decline roughly one in ten points per year while the growth in absolute numbers simultaneously was at rate of four in ten.. and growing more than anyone else in the industry so pulling away from all rivals.. I know. That modest decline in market share then turned catastrophic in 2011 setting a world record in fall. If you remember about this time last year I drew the comparative pictures vs Palm, Motorola, Siemens, Blackberry etc.. Nokia's world record fall - in market share - for 2011 then was followed by even greater fall. As in the numbers you listed Nokia's market share fell to half in one year. No market leader in any global industry of Fortune 500 sized players has EVER seen their market share fall by half in one year - not even New Coke or Toyota with its brakes etc.. And that world record fall was then followed by even worse fall in market share - a fall of two thirds going from 2011 to 2012... So Elop took his own world record for failure and managed to top that with an even more disasterous world record.

I have this all on the blog and discussed it ad nauseum..


Tomi Ahonen :-)



Why are you comparing unit sales in your numbers and not revenue?

Why are the unit sales better than revenue? I don't remember you addressing this on your blog.

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