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« Barcelona 2015 is Story of Lost Opportunities: Samsung Galaxy Watergate; and Sony Xperia Blackberry Microsoft Lumia LG HTC Huawei ZTE Lenovo | Main | If You Want My Thoughts on the Apple Watch - This blog from last year is still 100% valid »

March 09, 2015



I agree with you that Samsung will lose market share. But in my case they will lose more than your prediction.
The point though it is from low end of the market, not high end. The galaxy s6 will be a great succes.

Than I had to laugh at your comment about Sonys camera. Every review I seen of the xperia z line rank the camera as garbage.

Z2 tested against several others phone. Dead last in ranking.

Z3 tested in blind camera test, ranked dead last again.

The verge review the z3 phone and said the camera was garbage.
"Maybe I’m just particularly sloppy when taking photos with my phone, but I find myself having to capture multiple shots with the Xperia phones to make sure that one of them will be good. It’s typically an autofocus issue, particularly when shooting close to the subject, or motion blur induced by the movement of my hands."

Second point, every review I seen of xperia z line says the screen is garbage. So sony make garbage screen, garbage camera and Tomi says they are good :)


@Tomi: "Apple has seen the rivals essentially surrender in the race for an iPhone killer" - nononono! Dont' forget the coming new Lumia flagship - featuring killer OS WP10 - killing the iPhone finally. :D :D :D :D :D

Yet an other messiah device coming with yet another messiah version of WP healing all maladies currently they have...
We can hear those promises since WP7.0... :(

Tomi T Ahonen


ok, this is not a TEST of those features. I am talking about normal customers in the store. They take the Xperia Z3 and compare it to the Galaxy S6 - and the screen is NOTICABLY bigger. Side-by-side. And as both have extremely many pixels (past retina display) they will both seem extremely sharp. Not enough to pick one over the other, whatever a test may tell us. Same for camera. The random customer in the store will not shoot pictures on both phones and compare. They will look at the specs, see the Galaxy S6 has a 16mp camera and the Xperia a 20mp camera and will know, the 20mp has more magapixels. More is better seems like logical choice FOR THE CONSUMER in the store. This is before we take the RETURNS by disappointed Galaxy S6 buyers who notice only AT HOME that the new Galaxy no longer has a microSD slot or is no longer waterproof or no longer has a removable battery. As those customers start to RETURN phones, now the sales rep learns his lesson. Don't let them buy Galaxies.

Then the sales rep will start to HIGHLIGHT these differences ALWAYS if the customer wants a Galaxy S6. But did you know that the Galaxy is no longer waterproof and they no longer have the microSD slot. Oh, can I show you this Sony Xperia which is waterproof and has the microSD slot - but also has a bigger screen and better camera, and no, it doesn't cost more...

So yeah, I don't doubt that you find camera reviews who don't rank the Xperia 20mp Sony camera with autofocus etc the best in the market. It is by far not the worst - it was only worst of those few flagships compared and there are PLENTY of far lesser flagship cameras out there that don't even get into tests. Screen? When I had my Xperia Z1, at that time it seemed like an awesome bright and sharp screen but I have not done any tests of it and don't know how well the later models have performed. But in terms of the only thing the consumer notices in the store, when the two phones are side-by-side - is the SIZE. Sony wins.

Now Pekka, do you agree that if a customer is upset at Samsung for abandoning waterproof/microSD and in that condition, is shown a Sony Xperia Z3 (or Z4 presumably even better) - that customer who really liked either waterproof or microSD or both - will find the Xperia compelling and is very easily persuaded that the camera is better too - because megapixels - and the screen is 'better' being bigger. And these are not rubbish tech that fails when you take it home (in the style of HTC often disappointing after the fact) Sony build quality is excellent etc. So the random consumer non-techie customer who actually wanted waterproof and/or microSD and is disappointed that the S6 doesn't have those - will find the Xperia Z3/Z4 the most obvious alternate - and many perhaps most - will not buy a Galaxy S6 if that Sony Xperia Z3/Z4 is shown to them side-by-side (some will however then go see other options and may buy an LG or some other phone, perhaps even make that long-considered jump to try the iPhone)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


I am holding on any predictions, in the past Samsung successfully cloned the iPhone and they did fantastically well, as time passed they added a few features to really be different. It didn't work and they lost the market segment that maters, the message was clear, the phone felt short of sales estimates by 40% ( if this is what samsung reported…. expect more)

So back to square 1 - If it works for Apple if might well work for us too!, and they might be right again following a copycat strategy, the reason is the buyer, those who spend sweet $$$ on a phone are picky and demanding, I have the impression that this phone can do better than the previous one or at last resist the downfall better as people clearly disliked the S5.

Remember when apple eliminated the ….. long list and everyone said that … long list ? Well sales kept rising in unit terms

If you can't beat them… join them. Welcome back Samsung to Apple strategy.


I agree if the customers are disappointed that the galaxy s6 lacked any of those features, they might return the phone and trade it for an LG or Sony phone. Though I say they are very few folks no matter what your opinion polls say. Apple already showed this.

Second about people walking into a store and buying a phone. I'm not a master on this but logical thing says people will always go with design first before specs. Also they probably gotten advice by someone which phone to look at.


If there should be one rule in business it has to be:

Don't let Americans make product decisions for the rest of the world. They will always fail to do it right.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is a prime example of this error in thinking, and so far all opinions here trying to defend this mess also seem to be deadlocked in the American mindset that has been influenced by too many Apples.

Yes, the S6 will definitely find some new customers, but no matter how hard you American ignorants try to deny it, there will be many, many customers for which the change is a killer-criteria. People who won't buy a phone without replaceble battery or people who don't want to endlessly copy data around, or just people whose phone occasionally does get wet.

Long term these people are far more loyal customers than fans of shiny cases. The latter will abandon you as soon as your product doesn't suit their tastes anymore, they can be very fickle - disregarding the fact that most own an iPhone anyway.

But the customers which value actually useful features will return year after year, if your product continues to give them what they want. Now that the product doesn't give them what they want - they leave. I can't say much about Tomi's 24 million but it looks like a good enough number as any. These customers are GONE(!!!), they won't bring Samsung any more money, and no retarded defending of feature removal by some clueless people from the other side of the Atlantic is going to change any of this.


Sony just announced layoffs in Sweden (read: Ericsson handsets remainings). I doubt they'll grow market share.

Tomi T Ahonen


You're still new here. Go re-read the post (completely) you'll see immediately why I deleted your commment.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

zlutor - haha good one

Gonzo - i hear you but Apple is NOT the leader. Samsung smartphone sales are 50% BIGGER than total iPhone. So Samsung would abandon those customers who appreciate what Samsung offers - and only pursue those that are attracted to Apple? That is madness. Its like if in PCs HP abandoned the enteprise PC market and went for the consumer and marketing-oriented/advertising oriented Mac market haha.. FAR smaller, thats lunacy. If Apple was bigger, that would make sense but Samsung is FAR bigger than Apple in smartphones. So this is a 'strategy' that is a guaranteed collapse of sales, don't you agree? But lastly - these are not 'mutually exclusive' issues. Sony has shown you can easily do a premium smartphone flagship that is both waterproof and has microSD slot - while being slim and sexy, with dual glass and metal design. THAT is what Samsung should have done. Add the design sexiness WITHOUT abandoning its EXISTING loyal customers.

Pekka - fair point. I may well be off on my estimate and the damage be smaller. However I stand by my predictions and this is very carefully calculated number, so don't be shocked when in February 2016 we count Samsung sales and find it at 21% market share.... But while we discuss this, consider this. You wrote 'Apple already showed this' that there isn't that big a market who care about those things. Well? Samsung outsells iPhone smartphones by 3 to 2. The market who thinks 'the Samsung way' is 50% BIGGER than those who like the minimalist Apple way of doing things. Isn't that true by the numbers of just these two brands compared (actually far larger difference when we factor all phones, as Apple only has 15% market share in 2014). So 'most' smartphone buyers do not select the minimalist sexiest slimmest smartphone of least features.

Tester - perfect point! Totally agree. This is an American viewpoint that ignores customer needs of the rest of the world where 87% of all smartphones are sold (will be nearly 90% this year 2015).

AndThis - that has NOTHING to do with MARKET success in 2015. That is management reacting to LAST YEAR's sales. Now, it may impact sales yes, but consider that in most stores where Galaxy S6 is sold, a Sony Xperia Z4 will be also sold. And existing loyal customers will notice - or be told - that the S6 no longer is waterproof and doesn't have microSD. And design-wise its double-glass-sandwitch design. Isn't the OBVIOUS first comparison then - for those customers who are disappointed, whether that is 24 million or 2 million or 100 million Samsung users - the first choice in that store - to compare - will be the Xperia. As the Xperia Z4 also has a bigger screen and better camera (in terms of megapixels) this will result in more Sony sales - than what Sony had EXPECTED this year, based on their current market evaluation - before they saw the Galaxy S6. If Sony was expecting to sell 45M or 50M Xperia smartphones in 2015 - this year WILL be better. By how much depends partly on the specs and price of Z4 and partly on how well they can keep those in the stores worldwide (Sony doesn't sell in all markets anymore). I do expect LG to take the lion's share of the Galaxy customer give-away but Sony to be second best in that bonanza. Do you see AndThis that the layoffs now announced has nothing to do with customers making in-store comparisons from April when the S6 hits the stores?

Tomi Ahonen :-)



"Though I say they are very few folks no matter what your opinion polls say. Apple already showed this."

The problem is that the "look how shiny my phone is" style-over-substance customers prefer the iPhone anyways. There is not necessarily a place for a second big player in this niche.

"Second about people walking into a store and buying a phone. I'm not a master on this but logical thing says people will always go with design first before specs."

It depends - if I want a waterproof phone, I won't buy a non-waterproof one because it's shiny.

Or if I have an SD card with 128GB of music I want to reuse, I won't buy a phone without this feature, no matter how shiny it is.

Or if I own an SGS4 with a bigger third-party battery, I won't buy the SGS6 with its tiny non-replacable battery.

I think it is wrong to think all customer's could be swayed by Apple-like features - I am a customer who doesn't buy Apple products because of their restrictions, _NOT_ because of their price. I mostly buy more than average expensive devices, but I expect lots of features in return.

"Second point, every review I seen of xperia z line says the screen is garbage."

I own an Xperia Z2 tablet, it's a very well-made device. The camera _IS_ garbage, but this is unimportant on a tablet. The screen is absolutely gorgeous, it has a good build quality and very good battery runtime.

Regarding Sony's phones, they don't have bad displays or bad cameras. The Z2 and Z3 fared well in serious tests. The verge, phone arena and gsmarena are not exactly sites I would base a buying decision on.

abdul muis


Give it otherwise top specs at least 16mp camera at least 5.6 inch screen and prices it around 500-600 dollars and watch you Motorola unit"

5.6" screen doesn't compete with Galaxy S6. 5.6" compete with SAMSUNG TOP OF THE LINE 5.7" GALAXY NOTE!!!
In case you didn't know Galaxy Note 4. It's a 5.7" phone with removeable battery & SD Card slot
And wait... There's also Samsung Galaxy A7 & E7 with 5.5" screen. So samsung has 3 phone around 5.5", with 3 price point.

About HTC M9. You propose to other brand to have bigger screen... "at least 5.6". HTC M9 has smaller screen than Galaxy S6, and smaller resolution. And from many review about HTC vs. samsung such as HTC M7 vs. Galaxy SIII, HTC M8 vs. Galaxy S4, HTC battery life is NOT really good.

As for Huawei, their problem is updating the OS to the latest version. They very slow at this.

the document of S6:

Perhaps it would be more useful to know if people were moving away from removable replacement battery to Power Bank. Because power bank can charge any phone. so if you have i.e Nokia E7, Xperia Z1 & Samsung Galaxy Note. You can have 1 power bank to charge 3 phone, or you need 3 battery for 3 phone.

and for those who don't mind thick phone, and want more battery life can use this kind:

Thanks Tomi.


I know you say Samsung decreases market share from 24% to 21% but I fail to see how that 21% is "down". In Q4 2014 Samsung had 20.1% market share according to your numbers. So aren't you expecting Samsung to grow market share this year with their new inferior Galaxy S? You have in the past said that we can evaluate Samsung QoQ as they do not have the iPhone seasonality so I assume it is fair to compare Q4 to full year too.

What comes to Sony, please allow a bit profitability discussion, I will not use profits as a comparison metric. Sony already said they want to sell their unprofitable smartphone unit. Then they lay off people from handsets. As that is a sign of company in trouble (Sony turned profit only one quarter last year), I assume they still have trouble running their business profitably.
That much for profitability. For all that we know about Sony's smartphone offering, they couldn't shine with it last year and this year the competition is tougher. All the rumors about Z4 indicate modest improvement (including a thinner phone, i.e. worse battery life and most likely no MicroSD card). Hence I say Sony will not grow market share in 2015.


Gonzo - i hear you but Apple is NOT the leader. Samsung smartphone sales are 50% BIGGER than total iPhone.

Totally agree Tomi, I once asked you to try finding solid data to compare oranges to oranges, to what we compare the iphone 5S, 6 and 6plus ? The problem Samsung is trying to address is how to compete head to head to those 3 iphones, same price, same or similar specs, same packaging and shinny

The money is right there not selling more phones, Samsung now understands that keeping market share just to be the biggest ( remember Compaq?) does not always pays off. They need profits ASAP, they need premium phones people "love" and value for things irrelevant to many here, no one needs a 50 megapixel camera, people are happy, very happy with a camera that does a great job, that's it and if they get what they need and works well out of the box …. even better.

And having a vertical strategy seems to work better, 98% of people can care less about "open" … if 50% of mobile users are women, how many have you seen discussing here or even thinking about android openness so they can re program the phone? Yes I know, some one here will let us know that know ONE girl like that… people who happily pay ice$$$ want something that never ever makes them even consider reading a manual or doing much work handling the phone, it all works smoothly … that is the user experience, unbeatable ( for now proven) hard to replicate ( totally proven) …. yes I know, they are lazy … so are those that drive a cart while playing golf … but they too pay the green fee.



" All the rumors about Z4 indicate modest improvement (including a thinner phone, i.e. worse battery life and most likely no MicroSD card). Hence I say Sony will not grow market share in 2015."

Pathetic. Samsung tries to go Apple, Sony, too, why do these idiots piss all over their (formerly) loyal customers? What is it that makes American-influenced style over substance trump any common sense?

The only winner here can be Apple. It seems that Android is slowly but steadily abandoning all its strengths it has over Apple and becoming just as restrictive and annoying as iOS already is, and if it finally catches up, nobody with money will buy it anymore. What are these fools smoking...?



> The problem Samsung is trying to address is how to compete head to head to those 3 iphones

You are correct in they try to do so. That *IS* the problem. Apple is *NOT* Samsungs main competitor. And it will not be Apple taking all the lost customers from Samsung EXCEPT all the other competition fails as hard.

Fun-fact; Apple is experimenting with water-proof and just pushed for some related patents. It may well happen that end of this year we see a water-proof iPhone. If that happens I will lol out hard a full day. What I am waiting for is Apple adding sdcard's on top whats the moment I start to consider iPhone's a real option. I know I am not alone with that. If Apple continues the path they are on they can win lots of additional customers.

On my book that means things still can shift around. A bloadbath-aftermatch :-)


Sony will not see benefits from Samsung´s fiasco (if it is). Like you I really like the Z series but Sony is not a contender. What you are not saying (may be is yours Sonyfan insider) is that after announcing the Z4 it will take 6 months to Sony to deliver it to the retail, why? Because of the horrible timing and distribution modus operandi from Sony. way, I´m not going to buy a Z3 knowing there is a Z4 unless is heavily discounted, and may be being heavily discounted I won´t buy it anyway, Sony OS upgrade record is atrocious.

LG, yes, I think that they have a very good opportunity, I agree with you that if they are smart enough they could have their razor moment.

What I´m seeing is that premium android OEMs are moving to the iPhone route; no removable batteries, no sd cards, [no waterproofing, more later]. One, the other or all missing:

Sony, CHECK,

LG is surviving, but I think that they will follow Samsung´s path, it´s called planned obsolescence and is very important on the high end products.

Problem is that with all android OEMs going that route the clear winner is Apple. Apple will never allow removable batteries and sd cards, but they are filling a very interesting waterproofing technique, we know is coming.

What we are witnessing is a clear path/fashion or put the name you want, High End Android´s will be as sealed as the iPhone, removable batteries and sd cards will be left only for low end. It´s clear that this is happening.

May be Microsoft´s best shot is to provide their phones with the features that major Android OEMs are ready to throw...sounds like a joke, but who knows.



"What we are witnessing is a clear path/fashion or put the name you want, High End Android´s will be as sealed as the iPhone, removable batteries and sd cards will be left only for low end. It´s clear that this is happening. "

It's a contradiction in terms somehow: High end phones deliberatly being worse than low end phones.

The question is: why? If they continue on this route they are going to lose customers to Apple left and right - and if some smart Chinese manufacturer times it right it might compete all the current bigshots out of business. Planned obsolescence is a strategy that will ultimately alienate all serious customers, only leaving the geeks behind which upgrade every year - especially at a time like now where replacement cycles are starting to expand this makes no sense.

There seems to be a clear sign from the industry, consifering high end buyers idiots that can be milked.

And if Microsoft wants to profit from it they first need to throw their tile interface overboard. As long as they do not fix that design catastrophe they won't stand any chance whatsoever.



"It's a contradiction in terms somehow: High end phones deliberately being worse than low end phones."

Yes, it´s clear a contradiction, but the trend is set (IMO). Why...I really don´t know, may be planned obsolescence, may be because the android OEMs are the biggest iSheeps or I don't know.

Agree with you, on this way they are really going to loose to Apple.

I´m an iSheep, well, may be not, at this time I think that the iPhone + iOS ecosystem is the best choice for me, however I remember my beloved Nokia E71, it was a clear proof than you can build a metal phone with great quality, removable battery and SD Card support. The E71 comment is about the fact that is completely possible to build that device but clearly manufactures don´t want to do that.

Henrik N

Maybe we see a Microsoft Lumia 940 (Windows Phone 10) in autumn with a removable battery, micro sd card slot, waterproof, 24 MP pixel camera, etc..
I suppose it could attract some customers?

Atelast they dont try to be a iPhone. But I am also realistic and know they have a very low marketshare.

So I guess Samsungs step to remove a lot of features leave room for LG, and maybe Sony. Would be interesting to see how the Chinese brands go forward.
Maybe som Indian brands to like Micromax, Xolo etc..
Anyway it be a interesting 2015.


"Well? Samsung outsells iPhone smartphones by 3 to 2. The market who thinks 'the Samsung way' is 50% BIGGER than those who like the minimalist Apple way of doing things. Isn't that true by the numbers of just these two brands compared (actually far larger difference when we factor all phones, as Apple only has 15% market share in 2014)."

If Samsung sold only 1-2 models and both in the high end, then the above might work. But the market who thinks 'the Samsung way' is mostly mid to low end phones. It's very different story in the high end market that S6 is targeted for.

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