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February 19, 2015


Wayne Borean

Close as I'm horseshoes, hand grenades, and tactical nuclear weapons.

Seriously though, that was Damned good estimating. When I was still working sales, I'd run estimates of the market as a whole, and of the various target customers in that market. If I was within 10% I was pretty happy. One customer I estimated at 2,200 units per year, turned out they were 3,000 units per year. Close enough, and it was a nice bit of business when I took them away from the competition.

For that sort of estimation I used Securities and Exchange Commission filings, which worked pretty well since most of my targets were North American only. For those outside North America, well, coming up with a good estimate was witchcraft.

abdul muis


I'm very curious about some fact/statement made by other fellow reader on numerous occasion. I think it was baron or leebase that repeatedly said that Apple sold the MOST 4G phone in China. Is that statement/data right?

Thank you.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne and abdul

Wayne - haha yeah, I remember those (SEC filings), done some of that analysis too back in the day. And the lucky windfall if you estimated a market for 2.2K and that was apparently a good number, then the real market was 3K, that is awesome good luck. i hope you had some bonus windfall from the extra sales haha...

But witchcraft, what a good metaphor. When we - Nokia's 3G Consulting Department that I ran - had to pitch stories to the press about why the 3G future would become real - this was when many rival experts were peddling stories as far apart as WiFi is from satellite data services - we had almost no data and we had to build very accurate models of mobile industry 'outside' the mobile data side, into which we then plugged the very rare SMS and WAP and iMode type of early mobile data points, to get some insights. Then it helped that Nokia was the richest company in mobile, we could also afford to run actual consumer surveys across a dozen countries and over 50,000 consumers over several years, asking them about their mobile habits and desires haha.. The econometric model was called MDF and it used parts of Nokia's network cellular dimensioning engine on its foundation (ie you needed to be a cellular telecoms engineer even to understand how it worked) and it was the most sophisticated econometric model of the telecoms indsutry that many other consultancies, regulators and telecoms operators used to calibrate their own models of far less complexity. Still we had no real data about consumption that couldn't be collected because that 3G world had not yet been built. Turns out our models and forecasts were remarkably good and I've kind of ridden that reputation ever since haha and had plenty of those insights built into my far simpler econometric model of the global mobile industry. The Nokia MDF tool was a multidimensional spreadsheet that literally needed two 'drivers' (highly trained statisticians and network engineers) just to generate a result. That was from tons of inputs and several days of model generation by the two operator-team per 3G model created per customer per scenario. Then there were several derivative tools from that work including Nokia's Arbitrave/Equilibrium telecoms competition simulator/training tool etc.. Ah, those were the days...

abdul - yeah I've heard those claims but haven't seen enough data that I'd trust to validate it, if I did, you know I'd be posting the info and the source. It may be true but we don't know. Its more likely to be true only for Q4 than the full year but really, I don't know.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Wayne Borean

Heh. I may be disabled now, but I can still read. I do SEC report evaluations for articles. Most people don't know about the SEC reports, and even fewer can read one without going sleep!

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