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« Obviously my forecast was totally wrong on US Midterms. What happened to Democrats?GOTV sy | Main | So What Do We Learn From the Nokia N1 Tablet on Android? »

November 07, 2014



Those tables mention Q1. Wasn't it supposed to be Q2 instead?

Wayne Borean

Fascinating. Tomi, could you post the top 20? I have to admit a lot of curiousity about the smaller players.



Excellent numbers! One question though: could you explain what is the definition of "a smartphone" in these statistics? Are AOSP Androids being excluded? I'm just curious as Microsoft reported 9.3 million Lumia sales (which you have there) but they also had sales of the "Nokia X" AOSP smartphone lineup that they did not report separately. Now we all know Microsoft has announced that they will ship the existing models of X-lineup but won't develop any new models. Nevertheless last of the line - Nokia X2 - was launched as late as in June and lineup was not put to ramp-down until July so I would expect noticeable X-series sales in Q3 too. Especially as they have shown to be more popular than Lumias in e.g. Russia.

So could you do a favor to us (i.e. your readers) and add to your text the definition of a smartphone used here that causes Nokia X lineup to be excluded as a whole? I would like to use your manufacturer numbers (with proper credits of course!) but as in my books it seems clear that Microsoft made it past Sony when all smartphones are accounted for, I need to know the exclusions that apply to the numbers in your list so that I can try to adjust these numbers accordingly.

Also: I plan to show the second quarter numbers as a comparison and the same issue comes up again as Nokia X was still being shipped at full speed and it wasn't until Q3 when Microsoft put the lineup to maintenance mode.
Counterpoint Research already counted Microsoft Q2 sales at 9.9M units consisting of almost 8 million Lumias and 2 million Nokia X smartphones (their data is here: ) whereas from your numbers I can't find Q2 number for Microsoft, I can find only Windows Phone OS number. This makes things difficult as I cannot ignore a manufacturer with around 10M sales from the Q2 numbers. After your reply I can try to estimate Microsoft from Windows Phone market share and whatever exclusions applied to your numbers but it would be easier if you had also Q2 Microsoft number in here.

Thanks in advance!



Why no Q2 numbers for Microsoft?
If you look closer: They weren't in the top ten last quarter, so getting last quarter's numbers from a top 10 list, it simply wasn't there, that's the whole story.

The Q1 is most likely just a typo.


Tomi, you have Lenovo with 5.3% market share underneath Xiaomi with 5.2% market share. Rounding error?

Daniel Ahmad

Hi Tomi.

I'm keen to understand how you worked out that Sony and Microsoft were 9 and 10.
Sony sold in a total of 9.9m units in Q3 whilst TCL/Alcatel sold in a total of 10.9m units. Therefore TCL should be 9 and Sony should be 10.

Phil W

I must be one of that 27m Symbian as I still don't feel the need to retire my 4 year old Nokia N8. Of course I have had to install custom firmware and nurse it a little to keep it working properly in 2014, but as long as it does none of the current alternative offerings particularly excite me. Thanks for the effort you put into this blog, as being retired from Nokia, I still retain an interest in what's happening in the industry and I find most of your analysis and conclusions coincide with my own views.


@Daniel Ahmad
TCL-Alcatel shipped 3.2M smartphones in July, 3.6M in August and 4.1M in September. October was even higher. That makes them just rounding error away from being #8 and makes me hope Tomi would just finally get over Nokia/Microsoft.

Daniel Ahmad

You guys can read my summary report here if you want which covers what Tomi posted above but in a bit more detail and with a wider range of stats


We see Android nearing 3M "activations" a day.

"One question though: could you explain what is the definition of "a smartphone" in these statistics?"

We can argue about this until the cows come home. However, I think this is basically phones running Android, iOS, WP, Blackberry, and Symbian. That is the easy part. Anything running a Linux derivative (Bada, Maemo, Sailfish) would qualify too.

As usual, when you are trying to make hard boundaries between categories there will be a lot of heat but little light. In this case, it does not matter whether a contender is considered a smartphone or not. Hardware is becoming so cheap that it will become uneconomical to include limited functionality. It will become cheaper to simply add a computer to the phone and install an OS.

Anyhow. The current statistics are only used to keep compatible with previous numbers. The really relevant numbers are total mobile phones. But as the total number of mobile phones in the world does not grow anymore, just tabulating smartphones under any definition will do.

"Are AOSP Androids being excluded?"

No, as far as I know these are included. Excluding them would exclude the biggest market for mobile phones, China.

adi purbakala

6 out of 10 is from china.

Daniel Ahmad

Thanks for the update Tomi but you've still got the number slightly wrong.

TCL shipped 10.9m in Q3. Not 12.7m, what you accidentally did was add Aug, Sep, Oct together instead of Jul, Aug, Sep. So it should be 10.9m and not 12.7m


I think we need to break down these numbers in respective region (Asia, Europe, Americas ...) in the future. What we see now is how cheaper Chinese manufacturers are competing out the established brands like Sony, Samsung and HTC, especially in China because they offer the same specs for less. Because it's China it quickly gets up in ridiculous numbers and shouts out the market shares in other regions. In Europe for example Sony and Samsung are still doing pretty well with their high end models.

We are already seeing the established brands pulling out from the budget segment because the profitability is poor and they are not better than the Chinese competitors. I even expect Samsung to release fewer budget phones in the future as even Samsung will have difficulties to compete in this segment. Right now I seldom see brands like Huawei or Xiaomi in Europe but I expect this to change pretty soon and we will see the same effect as in China now.

What would be interesting to see is a breakdown in sales revenue as well but I guess these numbers are more difficult to obtain. With a sales revenue chart we would see a completely different picture.



Why don't you keep your Apple propaganda to yourself? You are deliberately misrepresenting so much stuff that all you say is ludicrous garbage.

Especially the bullshit you say about innovation of PCs. PCs always have been machines that were assembled from separate parts - and it's those parts where the innovations have been: Graphics cards that implement newer technologies, multi core CPUs, SSDs instead of HDDs, and even operating system features.

The end manufacturer couldn't really do anything beyond assembling the parts into a box, because the basic hardware has matured to a point where very little can be done by now.

And you again mix up the draw of real innovation with herd mentality that permeates Apple's customers.
These people would buy anything if it was just presented in the right way to them, regardless how innovative it really is, all they need is some artificial buzz.
Apple is hardly innovative at all, they are just like Samsung: They copy well. But without the iReligion they'd be nothing.

Overall, the smartphone businesss is getting ever closer to how the PC business works, i.e. there is little innovation left, all what's currently happening is increasing performance as a good way to sell more stuff to the same people - and even that is levelling out.


That's how things work. If company A buys company B and merges the two businesses together they of course increase their market share, there's nothing sneaky about it.

adi purbakala


In india xiaomi phone has BOTH Google and xiaomi store.

I think aaple bad. They got most profit, they steal only, no giving back.

Imagine all company apple like. Say apple, orange, banana, mellon. If mellon make FIRST 3D GPU. If banana make touch screen, if orange make great battery. And all stubborn do not corporate. You will have hard time choice between them.

Also remember. We are here now because each company compete. Imagine if Seagate made hard drive got all profit. No other make hard drive because Seagate will sue them. Will do any good to us? Or only 1 cpu company, only 1 lcd company?

Apple bad. If apple gone, innovative will be faster because other companies will have profitable they deserve.


... and the astroturfing continues.

Apple is the worst thing that can happen to innovation - because they try to keep everything to themselves, just have a look at that ridiculous patent lawsuit against Samsung. Since they got the court in their pocket they can practically do whatever they like to block any serious competitor in the US.
Apple also steals stuff from everywhere and then just subverts it enough that they can profit from others work but won't have to give anything back in return.

Yes, of course, if you employ gangster tactics you make a lot of money - just like the Mafia. What's sad here is that everyone is gawking at them in awe instead of realizing what really goes on.

I can respect the products Apple makes, but the company as a whole and their business tactics in particular only get my utter disgust - which gets especially ridiculous when people start to babble about Microsoft, the Evil Empire and cite Apple as a counterexample. No, sorry, these companies both have perfected the Mafia way - just a little bit different.


>>Next quarter Apple will likely take 90% of the industry profits. All of these chorus of "at some point Apple's declining marketshare has to matter". Maybe. How can it not be true that at some point making more 84% of the profits has to matter.

Current Apple is clearly about profits and nothing more. Apple used to be also about customer satifaction. I have used Apple products almost 30 years and biggest dissatisfaction feelings I have had in the latest years.
Example: In our family we have two iPhone 4s 8GB models. I tried to upgrade to iOS 8.1, because iOS 7 have serious security problems (and no update). Neither of the phones could not be upgarded using iTunes. Upgrade process took a long time and then failed. Only way was to first reset them, then update and then restore backup. iTunes could not handle free storage of the phones. Phones did have 1 to 0,5GB of free storage, but according to iTunes number were 0 ang 2GB.

For iPhone 8GB of storage is way too low, even Apples own management software (iTunes) can't work with that. New iPhone 6 costs 699€ and have 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. These both are serious limitations, If we consider about the price. Storage have not been upgraded since iPhone 3GS (!) and RAM since the original iPhone 5.



"Current Apple is clearly about profits and nothing more. "

How true, how true.
And seeing the iFans rant about nothing but profits just confirms this.


Making profit matters to Apple's investors but nobody else. That profit doesn't do anything about making an Apple user more valuable - nothing at all! The reason why Apple is still important has nothing whatsoever to do with Apple's profitability.

But what happens, if, as some predict, the ASP of Android phones will fall to a level that it's no longer economical to own an Apple phone? You just cannot ignore that scenario. Apple surely won't loose the hard core of its users but if owning an iPhone becomes a liability, the 'less valuable' users may jump ship. And now the number crunching starts: These users represent market share that currently keeps Apple in two-digit regions. This is a major point that keeps Apple on the playing field. Now, if this kind of user really switches gears, the image this projects would be disastrous. With a market share of, let's say, 8%, Apple would no longer be considered 'relevant' as a mass market product - and this could start a chain reaction of lowered third party support, more customers leaving, rinse and repeat.

That's why Tomi says that Apple needs to play some of the market share game as well to remain relevant, not just profitable. In the long run, no company with profit maximization as their single goal can withstand the power of the market, not even Apple.



>> @Pekka - 8g 4S...have you tried upgrading the low end 2011 Galaxy SII to the latest Android 5.0?

There is no doubt that Android 5.0 will be available for the SGS2 shortly.

Not from Samsung, but from CM/ OMNI/ PA.

Of course you will now claim that the average user is too stupid to install an OS which does not arrive per OTA from the manufacturer, but this does not change the fact that such devices are upgeadable to the newest Android version.

People who are unable to install an OS on a device get what they deserve in my opinion.

Heck, I run Android 4.4 on my original Samsung Galaxy Tab from 2010 - just try to update the original iPad to some newer OS like iOS7 or iOS8!

>> And iOS7 is more secure than any Android version.

Yes, as the newest 'WireLurker' malware for iOS clearly shows, Apple is superiour here.

Again: You do not get viruses on Android as long as you do not act stupid. Show me one instance where somebody got Android malware without acting stupid (e.g. following the instructions of an obviously faked SMS while ignoring three warning-popups from the OS)!

Also, I would gladly revert to an SGSII before using this locked down Apple-crap. On a SGSII, at least I can install what I want, not what the manufacturer allows me.

Timo M.

The comments quickly started revolving wildly around the central problem of Android market share and Apple profit share. There is nothing wrong with either but surely Apple is quickly approaching the point where one should worry about developers going Android first.

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