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« Seems Like My Work Is Done: As We Shift From 'Hunters' in Mobile Industry to 'Farmers' - Most of the cool stuff is done and dusted | Main | Samsung Shock Number is Official from Investor Relations »

July 31, 2014



I don't think your suggestion will work.

Apple has in its favor:
* An incredible mindshare as "secure"
* Very interesting new tools for the enterprise under iOS 8
* Very strong MDM tools (from IBM, Oracle, HP, etc)
* Very easy to adopt BYOD policies
* A very competent enterprise deployment tool
* Minimum support requirements.
* An official MS Office app far better than the one included on Windows Phone
* A new agreement with IBM (don't know at this time what will bring to the table)

Also Google is making a good progress with Android L focusing more on the enterprise.

Additionally (IMO) nobody wants a 12cm deep slider brick in the pocket, I'm with you that a lot of people want a physical keyboard, I know a lot of people that carry a corporate Blackberry an other phone, imagine them carring your desire brick but also a 5 inch phone (because still will need an android/iPhone for apps, friends interaction, etc).

It won't happen.


Tomi, you talk about

"What is the one area where Microsoft rules over Apple? The Enterprise PC market "

But you fail to mention the alliance Apple - IBM for enterprise, that brings 100 thousand consultants and sales from IBM to push iPhone/iPad as mobile first strategy, plus adopting swift ASAP and develop enterprise mobile solutions.
This is a marriage of equals that complement each other, IBM has chosen iOS and apple hardware to push its mobile strategy in enterprise. Reasons abound but one to which I am directly exposed to is security, android's achilles heals. Mac keeps gaining Market share, your favourite measure stick in corporate, it outgrew the industry and it's the top of the corporation, the decision makers that are bringing apple into it. We used to talk a lot to CIO//CTO, no more, discussions and decisions are at a different level at least for my company and those enterprise decision makers are asking for apple and their employees too.   

Funny to think about this, but apple could even acquire IBM at current valuation  and swallow blackberry for pocket change, there is a lot more to this alliance that we don't know about, but Cook spent 10 years at IBM and 10 with Jobs, it seems to me that your predictions for the  rest of the decade will miss the Mark, starting with samsung and their compaq race to the bottom strategy ...

Apple has a lot to gain with the IBM alliance and a HUGE, and I mean HUGE Market where to grow and keep on growing, the 97% that belongs to Microsoft, it's not the other way around

Tomi T Ahonen

JMM and Gonzo

Thanks for the quick comments haha...

Let me say one thing off the top. A great phone has nothing to do with success in the large enterprise space. They don't go by one phone model. They go by the platform and make decisions that impact years and even decades. These decisions are made with very many considerations that all come to the platform. Apple has NOTHING to offer there even with IBM, when it comes to the IT platforms used in the enterprise (large corporations and government departments) that have 10,000 to 100,000 employees. (Apple with the exception of advertising/marketing/media). That IT manager has Windows there. And he/she couldn't care less what nice phone comes along or nice Mac from Apple. He won't throw out years of IT integration across dozens of IT systems because of some nice new toy.

That being said, the IBM alliance is interesting more for IBM than Apple. Apple has little to offer to enterprise because it is so expensive and so limited. Most enterprise software is OF COURSE not available on iPhones (except Advertising/Marketing/Media) because the devices are just too expensive. Try to find major banking or CRM or whatever corporate solutions that run on the iPhone - and I mean enterprise-size so able to support 100,000 people size organizations. They don't exist. Apple's iPhone in enterprise story is a pure myth. Look at the numbers. The Mac. If the Mac was succeeding in the enterprise to any scale, it would have to have AT LEAST 30% of desktop and laptop sales. Mac has what, 8%. It is a consumer product. Too expensive for the enterprise. Same for iPhone. Its a myth.

Now. Will Apple give the enterprise a QWERTY iPhone? No. Even if your points were 100% true, there is a SIGNIFICANT segment of the enterprise market who prefer QWERTY based smartphones. Even if your points were true and valid - they do not in any way touch my thesis - that these 2 phones go EXACTLY where Apple refuses to go, and where IBM left years ago (laptops with full keyboards obviously when IBM sold that business to Lenovo)

Is the enterprise market shifting, yes it is. Is there a market today for enterprise-optimized smartphones, of course there is. Will Apple (or IBM) give us a smartphone that is optimized for enterprise - absolutely not. There won't be an enterprise-iPhone simply because that segment is too small for Apple. But a company like Blackberry or Hewlett-Packard now in its return to smartphones, or Lenovo - or Microsoft/Lumia - can target the enterprise with smartphones that were never intended to be consumer devices. It is the only way for Microsoft to keep this unit alive as the consumer market is burned.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Timo M.

My much loved Nokia foldable keyboard died a while ago. I wanted to buy another one and what did I find? Foldable keyboards are pretty much gone from the market. After looking extensively for a pro-quality foldable I finally bought the small keyboard made by Apple. It does not fold but unlike all other portable keyboards I tried it is good enough to work on and still fits my bag. Good quality portable keyboards are tough to find these days! Keyboards for phones pretty much no longer exist. The shelves are filled with keyboards for tablets which dual function as covers. I think this is crazy.

Please remember that I need a Finnish keyboard which has more characters than, say, an English one. To be able to work I need the proper layout. It is devilishly difficult to find one which is also small enough to carry in a pocket.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

Tomi, you say WinPhone market share of new sales for Q2 is 2.7%, isn't that an increase of market share by 0.5% units? Or are you referring to total installed base (which went from 3% to 2.7% in that case)? A bit confused right now as you can see... :)


The Strategy Analytics numbers show a decline of market share from 3.8% in 2013Q2 to 2.7% in 2014Q2, along with a decline in unit sales.

The press release does not talk about installed base, maybe you can enlighten us what your installed base numbers are based on.


I like the idea, because it plays to MS's strengths and could with a bit of imagination serve as a credible alternative app ecosystem and whatnot. (Hey, maybe selling apps to enterprises for $10 per seat is more satisfying than the usual "$0.99 in the app store, lost from view 3 days after launch".)

Drawback: If the enterprise market is dominated by Blackberry, how much will winning it move the needle?

PS. Why on earth is there a "session" associated with reading a bleeding blog? It only shows up to tell you it has expired and you need to reload the page when you try to comment. But in the larger scheme of things, perhaps this is a good example of plodding enterprise tech -- no upgrades unless the supplier goes out of business, right?


These days I'm thinking of Elop's reign as Mr Toad's wild ride from Wind in the Willows.


Tomi, I don´t agree, I cannot tell because NDAs but I work for a >300K company and we have a couple of certified devices from our IT, iPhone (5S, 5C and 5) and Galaxy 2/3 (very funny not S4 or S5).

Let me tell you that yes, there are very competent and complex corporate solutions that we use daily available for both iOS and Android based on WIN/UNIX servers that are not available for windows phone (or even Win8/8.1)

Again sorry for this, I know that you know very well this business but me too (I spent my last 18 years in IT department of >100K people corporations), I will tell you this again, Windows Phone in the enterprise will not happen. I know that the cost of an iPhone is very high as an initial investment, but when you make our ROIs the up front price of the device is only a smart part of the equation, support, deployment, life span, etc are very important parts too.

Apple has proven an excellent life span support, in my company the average life of an iPhone is 3 years vs. 2 of a Galaxy S3, we already made a business case of Windows Phone as a platform and was ditched.

You mentioned HP and Lenovo, just tell me how many Windows Phone devices HP released HP in its come back to mobility...the number is ZERO, all devices released by HP (mobility) are based on Android, HP is also betting big on Chromebooks and other Chrome devices...Windows for mobility = NADA.

Lenovo also realized and announced that they will discontinue they small based Windows tablets, again Lenovo strategy for mobility is Android.

Sorry again, but your idea for Windows Phone in the enterprise, will not work, I tell you more, is not working.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

chithan: Ah, sorry, my mistake, I was comparing Q1 2014 with Q2 2014, not Q2 2013 with Q2 2014. Tomi has listed WinPhone total installed base as 3.0% and 2.2% market share (e.g. new phones sold) for Q1 2014.

I guess it's hard to keep track of all turns in this industry eh? :)


A QWERTY keyboard as a winning strategy. I had to calm down from laughing so hard. So here's the deal, a keyboard doesn't work well when it's so tiny that it fits onto a smartphone. That's why smartphones abandoned them for something worse but more flexible: a touchscreen. If you want to enter text more easily in the future, don't look to technologies of the past. The future technology for text entry is obvious: voice recognition.

Aryan Ameri


Your strategy was the perfect strategy for Microsoft/Nokia in say, 2011. Even in 2012 perhaps it would have worked.

The ship has passed. iPhone is the new blackberry of enterprise. Sure, enterprise would still love to have its hardware QWERTY keyboard back, but mostly it's given up on it.

iOS 8 has many enterprise-focused features. Android is catching up fast as well, and while this is a market that Google has traditionally overlooked, I get the distinct feeling that it's now getting serious about it. With the upstreaming of Samsung's KNOX features into Android L, Android L is also looking like a very appealing candidate for the enterprise.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if in a year or so, an Asian manufacturer (Samsung most probably but could also be Lenovo, their Thinkpad heritage gives them great entry into Enterprise) make a great Android L device with a QWERTY keyboard and goes specifically after that market.

John A

I guess Windows Phone have some sales at the low end. Nokia Lumia 520/521 have sold fine in some markets unlocked etc.
In US by WalMart and HSN Home Shopping Network it went pretty good. A cheap device with no contract.
Apple/iPhone not compete in that field.

Now HSN promoting the Nokia Lumia 635:

I think the new Nokia Lumia 530 can be a similar story, the launch price for that device will be even lower than the Nokia 520 when it was released. And I think the price it will drop even more before the end of this year and go below the 520 series.

You can think what you want about Windows Phone 8.1 but one thing its do fine it runs fine at low budget devices with no lagging as some of the Android devices in the same price range. Not the Samung Galaxy S5 and similar devices of course but the very low end Android devices.


Tomi, I think Microsoft will not heed your advice.

Microsoft is a cash machine. The meaning of its existence is to siphon off money from corporations. It needs 80% margins to live. They are willing to spend billions to protect their Windows/Office monopoly because that is where they obtain their money.

Your strategy does nothing to protect or increase their income. Their phone division would have to compete on merit, i.e., at low margins, without getting a monopoly nor protecting their other monopolies, Windows and Office. Without a large section of the SMB and consumer market, MS will not be able to block competing Office and OS products from getting traction and depressing their margin.

So, I think that MS will drop WP and will eventually give up on Windows to concentrate on their Office monopoly. Although they will know perfectly well that without an OS monopoly, they will ultimately lose their Office monopoly too.


@John A.:

That price for the Lumia 635 is already too high. The market is getting flooded with sub $100 Chinese phones that have similar specs. And with Android being the more attractive platform by default I don't see how Microsoft can hold their ground in that market segment. They'd have to sell below cost.


"So, I think that MS will drop WP and will eventually give up on Windows to concentrate on their Office monopoly. Although they will know perfectly well that without an OS monopoly, they will ultimately lose their Office monopoly too."

If there was one other strategy that's guaranteed to fail it's giving up on Windows on Desktop. Yes, Office may be their major source of revenue, but that's already under serious attack from all sides. It will eventually crumble.

Windows, on the other hand, is still the default OS for desktops, and that market is not going to disappear any time soon, despite some people believing that everything will go mobile. Well, that's not going to happen. Mobile will replace those desktops that were bought due to lack of a more appropriate alternative, but never those used for serious work. And this is the only market Microsoft still has under control, it'd be foolish to give that up. If they did, Office would go right down the drain along with it. And Windows has one huge thing going for it: There's absolutely no serious competition. Apple doesn't count because their OS is tied to their computers, so no custom built machines for special purposes and other money saving measures. You get what Apple gives you, and if they don't want to give you what you need - bad luck! As for Linux, that market is far too fragmented (and far too mired in its Open Source ideals) to be a threat any time soon. So why give that up?

So, what should they do? If you ask me, they are bound for major shrinkage, no matter how things develop. The company is just way too large and way too spread out to be able to survive. Eventually they have to realize what their profitable core businesses are and concentrate on them. I think we all agree on that. If they don't they won't last long. That means, that first they need to end their 'me, too' attitude and compete in every market segment that exists in computing. As for mobile, it's too late - even for corporate. They fumbled around for far too long and nothing they have and/or could do will change that.

The big problem right now is that nobody dares to say the truth. They seem to feel if they give up on mobile it will be detrimental to their shareholders and to avoid that keep going forward with a doomed buisiness (or to be more precise, with several of them.)

John A

@rotten Apple

The price for Nokia Lumia 635 probably will drop in time as the Lumia 520/521 did.
(A example Nokia Lumia 520 GoPhone (AT&T)$49.95)

But the very cheap device will be the Lumia 530.

A new factor is that the license cost for the Windows Phone OS is gone now.

So they are more equal to Android in that perspective. If it help I dont know. But I dont think Microft will give up on smartphones for a long time.


@John A.:

"A new factor is that the license cost for the Windows Phone OS is gone now."

No, it isn't. It would be if other manufacturers would do Windows Phone, but nobody does.

" But I dont think Microft will give up on smartphones for a long time."

Yeah, me neither. What we have here is a classic case where management considers the right move to 'show weakness'. So they rather burn their money to avoid that impression. If you ask me, that's a classic case of 'maximizing shareholder value' by ruining the economic basis of the company.


"And Windows has one huge thing going for it: There's absolutely no serious competition. "

Do you know how much effort MS are spending getting LiMux (München, Germany) and LinEx (Extremadura, Spain) shut down?

Both projects show that there is serious competition to Windows. The level of MS lobbying (and FUD) around these projects is phenomenal. For an US example, see the fate of Peter Quinn in Massachusetts and his efforts to get open standards introduced in his state.


"Windows, on the other hand, is still the default OS for desktops, and that market is not going to disappear any time soon, despite some people believing that everything will go mobile."

IT is clear that technological monopolies are only broken when the underlying technology becomes obsolete. Windows will remain the king of the office desktop. But as everything is becoming a network service in the "cloud", the OS will become irrelevant and people will want to move to the interface they are used to: Android.

Linux already won the Internet server war, the Cloud war, and the Mobile war.



"Both projects show that there is serious competition to Windows"

Serious competition - where? If any Linux project was serious competition, it'd have more than 1% market share. These may all well be honest efforts to get away from Microsoft, but so far it hasn't mattered much - and that's not due to MSFT lobbying, that's mostly because the vast majority of customers has no interest in these things. Otherwise MSFT could spend all the money they like - and things would still end up like they did in mobile.

Tell me what you want, but these Linux things will never EVER become mainstream on the desktop. For that you do not need some idealists, you need one thing: MONEY! A lot of it. You'd have to do the same fight Microsoft tried in Mobile and failed. It's never going to work if you try to attack an opponent where it is strongest - especially an opponent who likes to burn money itself. Imagine what they'd do if they really got threatened by such developments!

As for clouds, sure. The cloud is everything. God lives in the cloud. The thing is just: For many things the cloud is impracticable. The world doesn't just consist of text documents and spreadsheets that can be edited online.
No matter what will happen, there will always be things that need to be done locally. Many of these require old custom software. And much of this software cannot just be migrated to another OS.
To be honest, I am sick and tired of everyone preaching the virtue of The Cloud. You can't just offload all the computing to server farms somewhere else in the world and expect it to work.

No, the desktop world belongs to Microsoft and it'd require a major scale earthquake to change that.

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    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

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