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January 27, 2015


Wayne Borean


Did you write this while in Colorado? 😄

Seriously though, I could see Apple doing this. It does make sense. Of course they may have something else that they think is better...


Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Baron and Wayne

Baron, good points. I am not as up to speed on where cutting edge is on video, I am far more a pictures-guy myself haha.. But yes, obviously it should be very amazing on video as well. The GoPro concept is a niche and not big enough for Apple. No, my point - and I didn't necessarily make that clearly - is that the big market is cameraphones. Smartphones. But if Apple did the 'Camera iPhone' and made it as ugly as it would need to be to fulfill the specs similar to what I outlined, that 'ugly iPhone' would suffer. The trick is to introduce a totally new iCategry. iCamera. Of course a proper camera has something of a hump, nobody has a problem with that. Just like how an iPad does not have a keyboard or mouse (even as it is a computer). It couldn't be a Mac Tablet. It had to be a new product category and have its own iName. That is how Apple could have a cameraphone-oriented-iPhone and yet not have it blamed for being so ugly haha...

Wayne - haha, well, lets say it was mostly in the thin air of an airplane cabin, boosted with some fine single malt whisky. As to Apple doing better than this, yes, I would certainly hope so. I am not a consumer electronics designer so if this is what I can think of, most certainly the Apple folks can do 'the world's best pocketable camera' concept even more iMagical than what I described here. But this concept I think is a good starting point. And boy yes, I would so buy this iCamera at almost any price haha

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Robert Atkins

*At this moment, Cook is demanding to know who leaked details of their new iProduct to Tomi*


Nice idea but very geeky... Personally i would love it if i could load apps onto my nikon dslr and connect it transparently to the Internet. Bit, For mass market the camera phones are good enough, already better than compact cameras of years ago. Enthusiasts and hobbyists would purchase and carry a dedicated camera, but why would the average Joe ? I don't think my wife would know of care about pixels or optical zoom if her phone can take good enough photos ant post them straight to facebook.


Also the i devices are gateways to enable apple to sell high margin digital products. With a camera what would be the follow up sales? Physical prints of one form or another, but that does not have the same instant gratification and unlimited accumulation characteristics of digital products.

Nikon and canon should be taking note of your ideas because as the camera phones get better and better they will become good enough for more and more people until there is no mass market left for dedicated cameras.


Such a long post for such a loony idea!

Good pocket-sized consumer cameras with decent lenses, physical zoom, xenon flash with good metering and IR sensitivity (even if it isn't utilised) are already commodity items. And camera phones are still beating them to a pulp, and why not? They are a great 80+% solution for 90+% of uses.

I would think physics gets in the way of simply increasing the density of sensors since for example you end up with proportionally more dead area in relation to the sensor area. And there are just some hard physical limits based on wavelength and a small lens' ability to resolve details. For colour low-light you don't need IR (unless you're creepy, or like strange ghostly photos) you need big sensors (and lenses) because there just aren't enough photons to distinguish signal from noise fast enough, and that makes it too bulky for a pocket.

The biggest hope for this idea is if a radical new sensor technology was discovered/developed which improves light capture and colour accuracy/fringing and with a better noise floor - something that significantly advances the whole area of digital photography. Then once all the risk has been taken and the costs spent and there's a commercial-grade chip apple can slap it into a shiny box, claim it was all their idea, and can go and make their obscene margins.

Or some radical new lens technology like a super flat one which could be directly paired with a sensor of any size to make tiny cameras with massive light capture and resolving power.

I suppose another possible angle is to load up on digital image processing so the camera can take better or improved pics. Apple's margins would let them put a higher-flop processor inside and spend more time and money on the software so they could come up with something better than inaccurate face detection and slow panorama stitching. TBH this would play to apple's strengths on their software side from low to high level (from opencl to interfaces), and really the software on existing cameras isn't much to write home about. But even if it isn't great cameras already do this so it's probably not enough on it's own.

So maybe not so loony - but I still don't see it happening. No synergy with itunes for photos though. I'm not sure a "taken with my icamera" text overlaying every photo sent to facebook would cut it. Already phone camera photographs exceed our ability to view them properly so better quality isn't going to be noticed.

But I guess stranger things have happened so we'll just have to wait and see.

On your intro you seemed to forget that ibm wasn't the only personal computer in the 80s and apple's machines were always over priced and niche products (particularly outside usa). wintel might've 'won' by the 90s but they had to resort to criminality, and it could be argued sinclair and commodore have more to do with where we are now than apple does (an engineer doesn't need dtp which was all a b&w mac was useful for). The apple ii and mac were both poorly specced already-commodity hardware wrapped in a thick case, high cost, and massive marketing to appear desirable. Hell even the plastic was made cheap. Their sales reflected the reality though.



Some interesting ideas on the technology side, but your business case argument is very week. Apple is not going to release a new product unless they think it will significantly add to its user base or if it will be more profitable than existing products.

Regarding profits, using your back if the envelope math you have the iCamera costing about $200 more than it costs Apple to make the 6S. However, you price it at only $50 more than the top of the line 6S. Apple is not going to risk the very high margins of the 6S to attract a few more new iPhone users. This is especially true if Apple can make the camera on the iPhone a little better without adding a lot of costs. For an iCamera like you describe to make business sense for Apple they would have to charge well over $1200, probably closer to $1500.

Regarding expanding the user base, how much additional demand is there for such a camera phone? Apple is not going to launch a new device to go after the millions of people who currently buy $1000 cameras. That is too small a market. What they would need to do is come up with a product that gets 10's of millions of people to spend a lot more on a camera. But, they already do this with the current lineup of iPhones and I doubt what you propose will not expand that market significantly.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all

It took a while haha, but we did get to the discussion too. Thanks. I was looking greatly forward to the comments to this blog posting where I think we had for once a chance to explore plenty of new ground, rather than repeat the same debate about market share vs profits we have on most smartphone related postings on this blog... I'll reply to each of you now, individually

Robert - haha, thanks! And I really really hope there is a 'skunk works' project already underway at Cupertino into the rough direction of my iDream. As I've said, if Apple launched what they call the best pocketable camera and it also was an iPhone, that would become my primary cameraphone instantly it is released.

Armando - true and valid point. The way I describe the iDream is geeky and specs-oriented. The way Apple does all its new gadgets is to make them incredibly easy-to-use and non-technical and non-geeky. So please consider the above as the 'skeleton' and an early draft. But then imagine yes Steve Jobs and what kind of product he would approve and show to the world (and how). It would be the simplest camera ever made, that just happened to be loaded with awesome tech. The original Mac, wow what a technical leap, but it was ALSO the easiest PC to use by a mile. The first iPhone was radical in its looks and blasted the current expectation of screen size (for most markets) but boy was it easy to use. A kid who hasn't learned to read knows instinctively how to use an iPhone. Grandparents know how to use an iPhone. A flagship Nokia proper smartphone from 2007 would have been a nightmare haha. So yeah, could you re-imagine this article by adding an 'Apple-izing' filter. So yes, with all this technical excellence, it would still be the easiest camera to use, ever. Only Apple could do that.

Armando on your second point. Yes the ultimate aim is further Apple sales yes. And I am not suggesting a big ecosystem built upon the 'camera' side of the iCamera (although there would be some gadgets as I outlined). It would first of all, be a STRONG justification for the Apple Watch. A new use case for those who may be reluctant to buy one or who bought one and are struggling to find uses for their fave wristwear iToy. More importantly, there are MANY Apple fans - like me - who prioritize the camera above other functions of the phone. I am sorry we haven't had any global consumer preference surveys recently about what are the top priorities people have when buying a new phone. But the ones from a couple of years ago would always have camera near the top (but not usually tops). Nokia's loyal returning customer survey from I think 2012, said that for Nokia brand, the camera ranked as their top criterion. At that time (ie full year 2011 stats) Nokia still held a market share essentially the same as what iPhone has now. So there is potentially an addressable market close in size to what total global iPhone market is today - that has a 'camera priority' preference. That is not fully convertible to Apple even if Apple did the iCamera, as the Nokia return customers in 2012 included plenty of smartphone buyers in the 200 dollar price bracket, low-end Symbian smartphones - but that illustrates that this is a SIGNIFICANT market segment. And if the camera is the top priority, then that buyer will not buy an iPhone currently. It is not good enough - for its CAMERA. And those for whom cameras are the priority, they will know these issues and decide by them.

So THAT is why. The iCamera is in reality 'iPhone Camera'. But by categorizing it not as another iPhone, Apple has a chance to break into new ground. Because it is a total full iPhone, it means that the 'rules of smartphones' market economics apply from carrier support to retail presence to handset subsidies. The scale of the opportunity is vastly bigger than for a 'camera'. But for a consumer who really bought the 808 Pureview or Lumia 1020 because they won the caemraphone tests (handily) or selected the Xperia Z2 ahead of the iPhone 5S because of the camera not because of the waterproofing haha - that type of premium product customer will be drawn into the iEcosystem by the iCamera. If the camera is the primary criterion, for those customers the iCamera is instantly their favorite gadget and if they carry two phones, the iCamera becomes instantly their preferred phone too. This is why carriers will love it, its a tool to steal customers from rivals (exactly how other iPhones have been in the past). It being an iPhone, customer having to be rich, being on 4G full data plans, these iCameras will rapidly overload the photo sharing sites and populate all major social media picture collections. Why? Because visually-oriented artistic people LOVE Apple but have no current top camera from Apple to use. Even with its deficiencies, the iPhone cameras are used totally disproportionately compared to their scale, in pictures shared on social media and photography sites. Imagine that usage exploding...

So yes, the product should boost Apple business. The Apple Watch almost by definition cannot do that, as it can only be sold to EXISTING iPhone owners. But the iCamera? While yes, camera-geekish iPhone users will love it, that is not by self-selection the majority of the 'target market' for the iCamera. Those who already prefer a top camera on their phone, tend very strongly to NOT buy the iPhone. They have an HTC or Sony or Samsung or Lumia or whatnot. THAT is who Apple would be targeting, bringing the CREAM from those customers haha, even more of the most affluent customers on the planet, who had somehow avoided the iTrap - into the iReligion. Then next up, a Macbook Air and iPad and Apple Watch and then the phablet upgrade of iPhone 7Plus etc.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi notzed

Good points. But there is a fundamental issue here - that I did not explain clearly in the article, I kind of assumed my readers knew it from past discussion and it is not clear, so my bad. Standalone point-and-shoot cameras are losing the market to cameraphones because of the compelling power of the mobile phone. It is the same battle that we've seen over and over in the tech industry. Stand-alone PDAs lost to smartphones. Musicplayers like the iPod lost to musicphones - this is in fact the reason Apple launched the iPhone, their 'world conquerring' iPod sales had stalled and the big rival was the rapidly winning musicphones led by Sony's Walkman musicphones. Same thing now happening just at the end of 2014, with tablets losing out to 'phablets' the smartphones with large screens.

A stand-alone gadget that does not include a 'phone' or full mobile functionality (and WiFi is not enough) does not satisfy the 'ringing in the pocket test' meaning, that if there is an emergency at your daughter's school and the school principal is trying to desperately reach you, they will call your mobile phone - everyone now carries their mobile everywhere including bedroom and toilet. So, no matter how addicted we are to our music collection on the iPod or the Playstation Portable or wonderful Leica pocket camera, we do not take those things everywhere. The mobile goes everywhere. So mobile always wins. And then - haha - whenever the mobile(phone) adds a new functionality, that always also wins. Like the wristwatch vs clock on the phone. Mobile wins. Like in Japan NFC payments. The phone makers added NFC (like Apple Pay now 10 years later in the USA) to their phones and the NFC payments shifted to mobile. Mobile always wins.

But notzed, I did not explain that in the blog. So with the iCamera idea - I am not trying to fight traditional cameramakers like Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, Nikon, Sony Cybershot etc with a 'slightly better' version of what they do. Apple did not introduce a better cassette player to fight the Walkman. They revolutionized the industry with the ridiculously expensive but incredibly capable iPad of near-magical ability. No more need to carry extra cassettes and to flip the cassettes over, and listen to the songs in the order they are on the cassette (and always fast-forward past that one song you hate). No, iPod utterly revolutionized the walkman business (and built a far larger market in the process too).

Exactly because iCamera IS an iPhone, a full iPhone, and would be used to make regular phone calls and send SMS text messages and access the web and go to Facebook and follow Twitter etc, and yes, download apps too, because iCamera is of course a cameraPHONE ie a smartphone, it is in the 'winner class' where any stand-alone digital pocketable gadget is in the loser class. Cameraphones were invented in 2001, today cameraphones outsell stand-alone cameras by about 15 to 1. THAT is why these specs would blow the contenders in any camerastore away. Not because these specs can't be done or haven't been done by the rivals. Its because Nikon and Olympus are not in the mobile phone HANDSET stores in every town and every smallest shopping mall that doesn't have a dedicated camera store.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen


Sorry, I missed your last point. Yes, Nikon and Canon etc... They should yeah, read the above and consider how to take the best parts of that and get into the cameraphone business yes. Cameraphones are devastating their industry and they've seen many of their biggest rivals already fall to the wayside like Minolta and Konica. But this iCamera idea in its entirity is not really commercially feasible for anyone who doesn't have that scale (so only Samsung or Apple or if you push it, maybe still Nokia ie Microsoft when we count their dumbphone business as well as the Lumia business). Then the costs go out of whack and the gadget may be a favorite of the camera geeks but won't have the world domination ability. The power that only Apple has is the unprecedented free publicity that the iCamera would yield, because as I said, the artistic professions are infested with iSheep. TV, magazines, movies, advertising, etc etc etc - Mac users, Mac users, Apple fanatics. And they are secretly praying for a great camera on their next iPhone. This iCamera would have the biggest free media attention any device ever had, and that is a tall order if you still remember 2007 and how massive the global attention was to the iPhone before it launched.

As to what specifically a cameramaker like Canon or Nikon should do to enter the cameraphone market, yes, I have thought about that too and it is the 'part 3' in this trilogy of blog postings. I got interrupted by the Apple Q4 results, but don't worry Armando, I will give you a full blog posting of what everyone who is not Apple should take out of this idea. We should get lots of opportunities for innovation in cameras and cameraphones and at least one of the traditional cameramakers should actually survive the mobile revolution and be part of this path and haha, in a bigger role than Carl Zeiss...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen


Good points, very good points. First, ok, if the device costs 1,200 dollars instead of 999 dollars, I'm ok with that. I don't see a 999 dollar level as any inherent ceiling as obviously there are even stand-alone cameras that cost twice the level of 1,200 dollars. If Apple sells in the USA iPhones that seem to cost 199 dollar (with subsidy) and introduce a new iPhone with top camera suddenly costing a thousand dollars or more, that would be sticker shock. If Apple talks about a totally new product category for Apple, iCamera, going into a market where regular cameras in camerastores cost several thousands of dollars, and the iCamera 'only' costs 1,200 dollars and offers breathtaking specs in its performance - AND adds the full iPhone functionality, then yes, 1,200 dollars is not obscenely expensive. I bet they could sell 5 million in the first year even if the iCamera was priced at 1,499 dollars haha. The key is, with the iCamera, the iPhone product line gets a price boost significantly up into the premium/luxury price end so that when NEXT iPhone models get their upgrades, and tidbits from the evolution of the iCamera (especially on the software side of course) then they TOO can see a modest bump up in their prices...

So I am not married to the 999 number, but its a far higher level than 750 dollars for the iPhone 6 Plus or the 600 dollar level where iPhones used to be just a little while ago.

On adding 'significantly' to the base, see what I just wrote to Armando's second point in my first response to him in the above. There are millions, maybe hundreds of millions, definitely many many dozens of millions of smartphone customers who do prioritize the camera ability over anything else, and will thus not buy an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. But they will all be drawn to the iCamera like bees to honey.

I do think that now that the phablet screen size segment has been addressed with the 6 Plus, the largest remaining luxury price customer segment that iPhone is underperforming in, is the camera oriented customer. That is not as big as the phablet size segment was - but observe how far Apple is now grabbing those customers even when BIGGER screens exist from rivals. Now imagine same phenomenon on camera-preference but where the Lumia 1020 is the only globally-available rival - on the hated Windows OS, and Samsung's Galaxy K Zoom is almost deliberately hidden from view by Samsung's marketing. The iCamera would run away with this category. Thats before we add in the bias in favor of Apple brand by all visually-oriented artists who will sing the praises of the iCamera in all media.

Again, I don't have current stats on consumer preference but you remember I wrote the blog that 'screen size trumps everything' so yes, the largest single factor deciding smartphone purchases now is the screen size. That doesn't mean the camera has disappered and it could be as much as 15% of all smartphone customers. Now, those all can't afford an iCamera. And obviously after Apple relaesed it, the rivals would rush to bring in cheaper clones like Creative Labs etc did iPod clones of MP3 players. Nothing wrong with that. But for about a year or 18 months, the iCamera as I specified it, would be unassailable at the top, and then the next iteration of Galaxy J Zoom would come with similar specs, but on the Samsung brand to try to muscle in on that market. But because of the scale of market, even a Sony could not afford to try to cram all that into a super Xperia Cybershot, they can't sell 40 million Xperias profitably today, they couldn't afford to target a 10 million production run to go against the iCamera.

And if Apple sells 190 million smartphones now and 250 million in 2015, all costing over 500 dollars, would there be 10% of those who would fall in love with the iCamera and pay twice the money to get that added functionality (all now bonus profit for Apple out of the same customrs buying a more expensive product)? And then, if FROM WITHIN the Apple client base we can find 25 million iCamera customers per year, wouldn't there then DEFINITELY be another 25 milliom outside Apple who will also buy their first iGadget because finally the Apple iPhone camera is as good as - or better - than the cameras they are used to on their long history with Nokia 'cameraphone of the year' winning cameraphones, and rivals from HTC, Samsung, Sony, LG etc. Yes iCamera market - in 3 years - to be 50 million units including a cheaper 'nano' version in the about 700 dollar price bracket. And half of that market would be first-time Apple users who never owned an iPhone before. So this would be a DRAMATIC increase in Apple user base - at the top end of the price range - stealing premium customers from rival brands into the Apple religion.

Like so often I write, and Apple in its actions years later VINDICATES me - Apple is leaving money on the table by not pursuing an OBVIOUS and measurable market segment that fits PERFECTLY with the existing Apple iStrategy for iOS. This would expand the iOS active user base and these are so rich customers - who can afford a 1,000 dollar cameraphone - that they will easily buy more iGadgets in the future, starting with the Apple Watch - which is USELESS to those 25 milliom iCamera buyers who never had an Apple product before.

So what do you think? Make sense? Can you see this as a customer-acquisition strategy - and of the remaining customer segments in the premium end, isn't this the easiest for Apple to catch - not to mention the heritage of Apple itself, the Apple Quicktake 100 digital camera haha.

Tomi Ahonen :-)



I see your points but I still remain skeptical for two reasons. One, I don't know if there really are 25M users out there who are choosing something other than an iPhone only because of the camera. Two, if there are than many, I suspect Apple could grab a significant proportion of them with just an incremental improvement to the camera on the 6/6s.

I also think you are short-selling the option of an iCamera that is not also a phone. As Apple, and other, start focusing more on high end niche markets they two options: specialty phones or phone accessories. Apple is going the accessory route with the watch and could do the same with a dedicated camera. I know your view of this, but from a business point of view, it might be easier or less risky to try to sell 10-20M accessories to existing customers than trying to acquire 10-20M new users with a new device.

Paul Ionescu

There are several constraints which need to be taken into consideration for phone cameras but the major one is that it is to be flat (or as thin as possible). Soon the phone camera technology will hit a wall because of this (e.g. amount of lenses and mechannics one can put in) and the only way to move forward will be to get more cameras instead of one camera. The equivalent of this in CPU world would be a CPU with several cores instead of one core.

More precisely I envisage that soon the iPhone will have four (or 8?) same cameras (of 8Mp each) instead of one on the back. By fusing the images from all these four cameras one would get an image with super-resolution of 36Mp (64Mp?) and much better low-light characteristics. The algorithms are available already for this (see: ). It would be very cheap to increase the cameras from one to four on a phone.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Darwin & Paul

Darwin - yeah I hear you. The problem is that we don't have recent data on it. My gut says its far bigger than that but its a market niche that is poorly served by current offering. Lumia 1020, gosh, everybody says that if Nokia had put that camera on an Android smartphone it would have been a huge seller. Now it suffers because nobody wants a Windows Phone smartphone. And meanwhile Samsung? Whats with hiding the Galaxy K Zoom and not even selling it in major countries like the USA? Madness.

But camera usage is exploding globally. All camera users upgrade their cameras eagerly with the next generations of their smartphones and those who were reluctant to use 1mp or 2mp cameras early on, are now converted with the current offerings in the 20mp class and so forth. So I am certain there is a large enough market - before the iMagic happens whenever Apple decides to launch a new product. If Apple did launch an iCamera (that also was an iPhone) at even partly the specs I mention, it would be the biggest buzz in tech news for 3 months with all late night comedians making jokes about cameras, selfies, iCameras etc, ensuring it has the biggest publicity of any tech product since the original iPhone.

Now accessory? Why not, but that would be modest market and never 10M. And it would not gain any new customers. But think about the smarthpone market. It is going down-stream in price. Sub 100 dollar smartphones. Apple doesn't want to follow the market down that pit of despair. So where else are there potentially tens of millions of smartphone users that can be targeted, who would NOT consider the current iPhone? Blackberry haha? Not that many. Only cameras are left, I think. Until Apple do teleportation or time travel haha...

Paul - great points. Yeah, the opportunity to achieve the functionality with radical tech, is also Apple's DNA. Like touchs-screens when they added multi-touch. Totally changed the touch-screen from the failures of the past to the standard by which all smartphones now are operated haha. Yeah, I like your ideas so technically, 'how' that super camera was achieved, that I don't care about. I show that from tech specs and existing products points-of-view, an iCamera is conceptually possible now in 2015. It could and indeed SHOULD have some real Apple iMagic too.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Paul Ionescu

Morro Tomi!

here it is just a continuation of my idea/guess.

- putting more cameras on phone will look ugly BUT I am sure that Apple could make it very beautiful;
- translating the same super-resolution and better characteristics of still images to video also (most likely requires a extra/dedicated chip)

- given enough number of cameras (e.g. 16?) this would challenge and cannibalize even the low (medium?) level DLSR cameras
- it will be kind of "magic" which fits Apple's DNA

Pro arguments:
- all the technology pieces necessary for this are available and all what is needed would be some "glue" (Apple can do that);
- many pro photographers are processing their photos on Apple's platforms already;
- already Apple is working on this (see: [1] Apple's patent on "social camera flash" which from algorithmic point-of-view is not that different from my idea/guess, and [2] Apple has already employees with research background on "image fusion" as the previous patent suggests)

The only companies which I see that might pull this off are: Apple, Nokia (classic), and Sony (if it does not sell its phone division). It might be that some Chinese company (Xiaomi?) could pull it off too but I most likely it would be something which would _not_ work that well/easy in real life for _normal_ users (i.e. it will put the users off).

Paul Ionescu

In my previous post I had a typo:

instead of:

- already Apple is working on this (see: [1] Apple's patent on "social camera flash" which from algorithmic point-of-view is not that different from my idea/guess, and [2] Apple has already employees with research background on "image fusion" as the previous patent suggests)

it should be:

- already Apple is working on this (see: [1] Apple's patent on "social camera flash" which show that Apple is thinking about fusing several cameras/flashes, and [2] Apple has already employees with research background on "image fusion")

Tomi T Ahonen


Really appreciate it, thanks! And totally agree. This would be 'the Apple way' to do it (or part of it) and there are promising signs that Apple may be indeed pursuing or at least considering something like an iCamera

Here is my biggest worry - that they do it like iPod Touch or iPad, not as a proper iPhone but as a pure stand-alone gadget, to sell through traditional electronics channels and without SIM card slot and as a smartphone. Then it would be nerdy cool iTech but not the next global iSuccess... I hope they do go the iPhone proper smartphone route. A parallel model without the smartphone could of course also be sold, to just expand iOS reach further into camerageeks and for some who don't want/can't have another phone but want the camera goodies of iCamera haha

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Paul Ionescu

Morjens Tomi!

I totally agree with you. I would say that Apple starts to look more and more like a "pharma" company (i.e. high reliance on branded product and less motivation to innovate). I guess that this has to do with psychology and in plain words is "getting lazy". Anyway, now the trend in pharma industry is to out-source as much as possible of research and innovation. Few of them even have out-sourced 100% of their research/innovation centers and rely only and only on buy-outs of start-ups or of smaller companies and they are doing pretty well.


Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Paul

Wow I didn't think of that comparison. I often think of comparing mobile industry to petroleum (and cars), airlines (and airplanes) and PC industry. But didn't think of the analogy with the pharma industry. Hmmm... Could be very insightful and yeah, we do have that trend haha, even Apple who outsourced all their production (and much of the phone internal technical design) to Foxconn haha

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Paul Ionescu

Moikka Tommi!

I guess that Apple has more similarities with pharma than petroleum, airliners, and PC industry. The iPhone, iPad would be called "blockbusters" in pharma world. From:

"...generates annual sales of at least $1 billion for the company that creates it.."
"A blockbuster ... can be a major factor in a ... company's success."
"... blockbuster ... eventually expires and then it faces competition from less expensive ... equivalents."

"Blockbusters ... are an addiction for Big Pharma" from here: and here:

Anyway, this analogy applies only and only to Apple. I guess that Apple will need sooner or later an iCamera!


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  • 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.

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