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« The Truth Is In The Pocket - Now New Zealand statistic is repeated in USA by Pew | Main | Reviewing My Last 4 Year Forecast Blog (3 Years In) from 2012 »

April 02, 2015


Tomi T Ahonen

(John, I removed the comment as it wasn't related to this topic, ie forecast, it was related to the US Pew stats clearly. Your points were valid, please re-post on the Pew USA topic, we'll discuss it there)

abdul muis


I'm auditing your number... LOL
2015... Android reach 2 Billion user.
2017... smartphone sales more than 2 billion unit
2018... 82% of smartphone is android, 3 billion android.

If a phone is used at least for 2 years ....
2017 alone will have about 1.6 million android sold (80%)
and 2018 maybe 1.8 million android? (80%)

Not to mention that if only 80% android phone that produce in 2016 & 2015 still in use, that might be another 1 billion++??

abdul muis


Thanks for the forecast, you so brave, laying forecast for the 4 years. A lot of things can happened in 4 years.

BTW, still auditing your number.....
"in 2018 the market share of new smartphones sold will be Android 82%, iOS is second with 10% and Tizen third with 4%. Firefox has a tiny slice as does Blackberry. Windows if not dead..."

You give Firefox, BB & Windows around 4% market share?? and say that firefox has a tiny slice as does bb. From BB last financial report, they only sold less than 6 million phone for 2014. If in 2018 they sold 4 million phone, it would be only around 0.2% (4 million out of 2 billion) and if firefox is as tiny as BB (0.2%), is that means windows will have 3%+ market share?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Abdul

Haha, well, first off, if you want to spend the 99 Euros, you'll have all the actual numbers for each year :-)

These are mosty milestones, so each of those years, that level is passed and can be more but the previous year the milestone is not yet hit. Eg the Android installed base in 2017 will be near to, but not hitting 3B..

On the specifics of Firefox, BB, WP in 2018, they are so small a tiny success one way or another can bring a big change for that platform. I am however, expecting Nokia to introduce Android smartphones and that is the death-nail for the 'pretend Nokias' on Windows Phone in those last 'stronghold' Nokia markets where Lumia is still selling in modest numbers. 1% would be remarkably good performance for Windows Phone in 2018, it will DEFINITELY not be 3%. And separately, I am expecting Microsoft to pull the plug on Lumia well before that year has ended haha... so it will be a dying/dead OS well before December 2018 rolls past :-) All the writing is now on the wall, handset makers bailing, app developers bailing, Microsoft itself pushing its apps to Android & iOs etc...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

abdul muis


I was wondering how will you count the Windows phone in the future. Is is only for the device sold? Or for download/installed OS? Because Microsoft looks like will abandon selling the device, and will provide downloadable OS for well known device.

here is the video

and.... I'm sorry for reposting this....

In the past few day, Microsoft has been building WINDOWS 10 for a couple of Android device. Namely, XiaoMi Mi4 & ZTE Nubia Z9, and Huawei device. At first, there were a speculation that XiaoMi & ZTE & also huawei will make Windows 10 device, but here is Hugo Barra post on G+ clearing the situation

Hugo Bara said that XiaoMi didn't make the Win10 device. It was microsoft creating the OS for XiaoMi Mi4 without the help of XiaoMi, and XiaoMi only coorporate with microsoft by letting the software giant to do it officially on XiaoMi forum.

This is interesting, because it seems microsoft will target a favourite device, and making a ROM and hoping some android device will downgrade the OS to Microsoft Windows 10. Something like someone buy a Windows notebook & install Linux by himself.

Paul Jardine

I think we are in agreement that personal messaging is moving to IP rather than SMS, but I think tipping point was long ago. We already have more then 70% volume on 'bulk' SMS...BUT..this traffic is *already* shifting off SMS onto Apps. Trend is like bonds! Race to zero yield!


I agree with Tomi about Windows Phone being a dying/dead platform. Its true NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE. In fact the technology press is now mocking the windows phone PR nonsensical proclamations of "impressive growth". Just check out:

Clearly: NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE! ...except the astroturfers. to identify yourself.. :-)


More from the world of windows phone ...or, rather, why NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE! ....this is an example of how brain dead the people behind WP are:

Tomi T Ahonen

hi abdul, Paul and baron

abdul - haha yeah, desperation moves to the extreme there. I will try to provide the most accurate and most useful info as best as I can. I doubt those handset makers will specify any data on Windows variants sold. If their default OS is Android (and Windows versions will be a trivial truly tiny single-digit share of their volume, if that) then all analyst houses will just count them as Android. Its possible we get some OS 'usage' stats perhaps, like Statscounter, which could give a slightly larger user base for Windows than its sales stats - but that 'upside' is FAR far less than the lost users from unsold or nonactivated Windows smartphones as we learned last year, 1/3 of all Windows smartphones were never activated. So its still lost in the noise. If we can get some accurate reliable data and it proves a meaningful factor, of course I will report it... :-) But these are rather obviously desperation moves by Microsoft to salvage SOMETHING out of its 8 billion dollar wasted 'investment' in Nokia unit.. Windows on smartphones is dead.

On Xiaomi users 'wanting' Windows? In CHINA? Where Windows Phone never had any kind of traction and there are almost no apps etc, Xbox ecosystem is illegal, etc, there is no life in that Xiaomi project - other than some geeks who for some bizarre reason like Windows (on the PC). Will never be a million users among all Xiaomi even if X sells 100M units per year.

Paul - you're totally correct on the metric you mention and totally miss the point. TRAFFIC is on OTT by a huge margin already this year (8 to 1 ratio) and shifted past SMS 3 years ago - BUT that is the tiny heavy-user slice who drive that traffic. The USER base is tiny compared to SMS. Its the USER BASE that is RELEVANT to all interested parties - except the mobile operators, and the OTT service provider's investors who want to drive up the nonsense stats to get Billion-dollar exits. Silly stuff. Whatsapp, by FAR the biggest OTT messenger service has only 700M users today. SMS has 5.6 Billion. Which do you use, if you are a doctor's office sending a reminder about your appointment tomorrow? Which do you use if you're a limousine service picking up me at the airport tomorrow? Which do you use if you're the TV station and want viewers to vote? You are not going to piss on 7 out of 8 of the audience! The AUDIENCE, the REACH of SMS is - by FAR the biggest on the planet and will be till 2018 easily and OTT cannot catch up in that time. Eventually yes, it will. I project early in the next decade is when that happens.. The traffic is utterly meaningless (as there is no revenue to it). The only ones outside of OTT service investors - who care about OTT are the telcos who lose SMS revenues and profit. That was baked into the 3G business case from 2001 and operators have been bewildered how LONG the life was for SMS. OTT type IM was supposed to devastate SMS by 2005 haha. Yes, they had 10 years of extra life out of SMS. So the 'crying' is pretty much for the cameras, they smile inside knowing how huge a windfall profit they found out of SMS because OTT took so long to materialize.

baron - haha that article is I think about a month old? yeah, we discussed that silly MS desperation strategy here on the blog I think in the comments (and I did on Twitter) at the time. Totally bogus brands as he says in the article. As 9 out of the Top 12 smartphone brands have been with Windows and only 1 out of those now remains, whatever they manage to get in those 'top 200' size 'competitors' will not - 25 of them combined - add up to one lost LG or Sony or ZTE haha. Totally typical Microsoft Bullshit Brigade propaganda and lies. As we've seen they have done all the very existence of Windows Phone, from 'Brits are tiring of the iPhone' to 'Lumia is huge hit in America' to 'Windows outselling iPhone in China' to the rest of the BS fake 'news' with never any real numbers.

As I said on Twitter today, every day that I get to report more bad news about Microsoft is a good day in my house. There is increasingly more of that in tech as we can see..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

(AndThis - removed your comment obviously, as I clearly said in the blog, I will be reviewing that forecast from 3 years ago. We'll discuss it there and then.)

Tomi T Ahonen

Baron95 - good question and no, I don't see anyting now in play that could be a disruptor in the way like iPhone was from 2007 or iPad threatened to be.. or previously the short-lived but dramatic disruptions that MVNOs brought to telcos. And on this time scale something not yet rolling won't make scale in time like smart watches but you know my view on those already.

Apple will keep trying the virtual SIM, it is very much in their interest and the carriers will block that. The Google MVNO thrat was kinda real (but obviously they limited it - at least for now - to data-only type of uses). Apart from Google and Apple only Samsung has the scale to try something like that, I think they are dependent enough on the carriers that they wouldn't even dare suggest this to their channel haha.

Skype and OTT messaging yes it has its slice that is growing but very few people can go totally without a cellular connection because Skype via WiFi won't allow 'Reachability' ie the device then fails the 'ringing in the pocket' test. Its like putting a horse to pull your car, the smartphone but without cellular is no longer a 'mobile' and is only now an expensive ultraportable. Their chances of success can be seen with the end of the iPod Touch the last such device to try to find a business and only the American market gave that gadget any success because well, USA archaic market haha. But as the SECOND device (which may have vast majority of actual use) yes, it can be a compelling offering. And some who aren't yet addicted ie haven't discovered Reachability will not see any difference and can easily go with WiFi, Skype, Whatsapp. Its like giving someone who never had cable TV only broadcast TV. That person won't even know what he/she is missing.

The kind of stats like number of people interacting with wearables is the 'shiny thing' but utterly irrelevant in the big picure of mobile in the next 4 years. Utterly irrelevant. I deal with the industry, the business, how to make money. So I have a forecast about mobile news another about mobile gaming another about mobile advertising. These totally dwarf the total wearable market in one year, what wearables sell in units AND services in the next four years. So yeah, 109 forecasts, these are the significant issues, not the new 'shiny things' that techies love but for the industry are utterly irrelevant. Even GPS location based maps, mobile education, mobile healtcare are TOO SMALL - each a multi-billion dollar annual industry sector - too small to be worth discussing in the 109 forecasts because it would mean I have to dump say MMS or mobile search or premium SMS or cameraphones - truly giant industrie slices far larger than say global music industry (not 'mobile' music) or global cinema box office or total DVD sales movies and TV box sets, etc....

LTE again haha, far too small to matter. Today half of mobile phone subscribers on the planet are not even on 3G yet.. Eventually I will but not in this period, too small.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

John Phamlore


Let's take these sentences you wrote above:

"What can we look forward to in 2018? The year brings a big milestone for WiFi, as half of all phones in use that year will support WiFi."

Only half of phones in 2018 will support WiFi?

I don't understand this methodology of what you are trying to predict. Given that tablets aren't exactly a growth segment and they are WiFi devices, isn't this evidence WiFi is relatively unimportant? How's WiFi connectivity supposed to happen in huge areas of the world with relatively underdeveloped infrastructure?

Why aren't you advising your clients to ignore WiFi as an unimportant technology based on data such as the Pew survey which show in the United States that young people who own smartphones that are fully capable of using WiFi nonetheless are running up against data caps that inhibit their desired use of their phones, this in a country where in theory there should be plenty of WiFi hotspots? Isn't your message that mobile, which is constant connectivity, is everything? Doesn't it follow that WiFi must be an inferior technology to mobile as your observations are actually showing?

By the way, I predicted four-plus years ago here that WiFi-like solutions were inferior and would lose to mobile solutions, and that a major company that attempted to embrace an enhanced WiFi-like solution would see the almost total destruction of their mobile consumer device business.

John Phamlore


Let's try and re-phrase what I think your observations are showing that can give advice to your clients they can act on:

Mobile let's you communicate with your customers anywhere, anytime. Do so in a data-efficient manner to carefully targeted audiences.

That ties together your observations about the importance of SMS, because SMS is the most data-efficient and time-efficient manner of quickly communicating over mobile to customers in a respectful manner that in the end thus makes money for you.

That also explains your prediction than ONLY half of phones by 2018, a relative eternity away from now, will have WiFi capabilities. For most businesses taking best advantage of mobile will not involve data-intensive services such as video. WiFi is tangential to the main benefits of mobile, it is a sideshow for most areas of the world.

Paul Jardine

Tomi, the point I'm trying to make is that even these business SMS are moving to apps. Currently 70% of traffic is these business SMS and it is low revenue (though network is already there so might as well use it). Some of our customers buy a Billion at a time - but for how long? Even if they buy the next billion it will be half the cost to them.
I do take your point about the doom being predicted in 2005, it is definitely taking longer than predicted. My view is that operators should embrace the IP delivery and build integrated platforms for message delivery rather than milk the cash cow till it expires!

Tomi T Ahonen


LeeBase - haha thats what I like about you, you aren't afraid to post numbers. This blog will most definitely be one of the most re-read articles on the blog in coming 4 years, so we'll get plenty of a chance to remember and return to the numbers.

I agree on the potential deaths. Also Apple could well be 12% by 2018, thats by no means beyond plausible, but I happen to think it will be 10% (in the Forecast I also have an up-side Apple scenario if they decide to pursue lower-priced models into 300 - 400 dollar range but something I have to leave to those of my customers who buy the full forecast, so sorry, I can't give that scenario out here into the public domain. Incidentially, I also have a Windows recovery scenario - which I say is the least likely of the 5 scenarios I paint..)

Yeah on Windows smartphones. I expect Windows to fall to 5th by 2018 if its still alive. A massive death-nail to Windows is when Nokia return, on Android. That will signal to all those loyal Nokia owners that Microsoft is fake Nokia and real Nokia runs on Android. What 'good will' type of sales they now get to hit that approx 3% will be demolished then. But the utter humilation is when Tizen passes Windows Phone/Windows 10 smartphone sales. I can't see Nadella letting Windows suck his resources into the endless pit of despair, if Tizen can zoom right past them. Could happen as early as next year if Sammy is hungry. We'll have a good idea of that around November or February.

John - I thought you knew, you've been here that long that I thought you picked up on it, WiFi is a small minority of all phones in use today. Even all new smartphones sold today do not have WiFi. The low price end to a very large degree doesn't include WiFi (yet). But that moment is coming, that is exactly why I listed the milestone. 2 Billion WiFi enabled mobile phones will be more than TOTAL personal computer installed base today when Tablets are included.

As to 'why don't you teach your clients' haha, yeah.. maybe. But that is not the purpose of this document and this blog. I make my arguments (often) about what 'should' happen in mobile, but then I try to be totally professional about the statistics and numbers, without the propaganda (except, obviously, I take great delight now that Windows is clearly dying). So this is a forecast of what I believe, as a professional expert, statistician and forecaster for this industry, of what WILL happen, not what I'd like to happen haha..

On the youth in the Pew study (I really appreciate it that you read it so thoroughly and picked up on those things) yes, youth often hit data plan limits. One, this is the USA, where the carriers screw their customers every which way. Two, WiFi use is not mutually exclusive to cellular LTE data use. Almost definitely those kids use WiFi a lot, when they come to a friend's house the first thing they ask for from the parents is what is the household WiFi password... Schools, libraries, various clubs etc, will have WiFi and the youth are SUPERBLY capable of dissemninating the info of any free WiFi hotspots and learn the 'rules' like how long they can sit on one cup of tea before the coffee shop owner tells them to buy another or leave... etc. And tat brings me to Three: it its as bad as you say, youth kicked out of cellular LTE connections due to price, then WiFi is almost the only alternative. It STRENGTHENS the need for talking about WiFi..

Paul - haha, ok. I trust you really do believe that. Funny thing is that yesterday at the airport I was surfing for my usual search of interesting mobile stats and found a totally fresh Apr 2 released finding of business execs interviewed in the USA, Europe and Asia about what they do in mobile. All are INCREASING their involvement with SMS and its the most widely used method already for corporations to communicate with their customers via mobile. So sorry, the OPPOSITE is true. We've seen the steps leading up to this for a few years now, as various mobile industry associations from the MDA and MMA and MoMo on have been urging enterprises, businesses, corporations, government departments etc to set SMS as the top priority in how to communicate - and in parallel, studies saying consumers WANT it (via SMS). That there is a huge gap between what consumers want and businesses offer them. Like sending SMS reminders to hairdressers, dentists etc appointments, or the parcel delivery company sending an alert via SMS when your package is being delivered etc. Consumers WANT this, businesses have been VERY slow delivering but they ARE doing it now. I'll get to that study later at some point, but its not a high priority for me now, many urgent things need to be discussed before that...

To be clear, nothing wrong with a train operator or fast food chain or clothing store chain etc using MANY tech in mobile, from QR codes to NFC to Bluetooth to MMS to smartphone apps to AR etc etc etc - as long as they do SMS first. Like Mondelez ie Kraft Foods said a few years ago: Leave no phone behind. It starts with SMS. So says the planet's biggest advertiser, Coca Cola. So say all the major gurus in mobile marketing. It starts with SMS. After you reach every pocket, then build the cool stuff on top of that. But it starts with SMS.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Paul Jardine

Ok, on that we can agree, it starts with SMS. Perhaps the market I'm in is more mature, but the major SMS buyers are definitely trying to move their customers onto apps instead of SMS. No phone/customer left behind - they will still maintain some SMS capability but the operators should not be providing the platforms to enable the movement OFF SMS, not just riding the wave till it crashes on the beach! Your priority is predicting the numbers, and you may be right that it will still increase (though with lower revenue) for the next few years, my priority is to see where the operator revenue is going to come from in the longer term, and it's unlikely to be SMS!
If you ever get to Ethiopia, drop me a mail and I'll come over with a bottle of Lagavulin for further discussion! :)


Apple fans please meet some Microsoft astroturfers/trolls pretending to work at an apple store. You can't make this stuff up! You can't help being truly embarrassed for pathetic Microsoft. How low can Microsoft sink? The video says it all. You can watch the video at:

I notice the text of the article mentions "Samsung" for some strange reason (which is NOT true!). Watch the video. It is ALL Microsoft.

...AND, of course NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE! ...except those still waiting for Moore's law (that was just too funny - there should be an award for such stupidity). :-)

John Phamlore


You are aware, I hope, that Tizen has been repositioned as one of Samsung's operating systems for the Internet of Things (IoT)? Telling your clients Tizen is a mobile smartphone operating system is like reading someone a three-year old newspaper.

Don't take my word for it, read what say Mingi Hyun of Corporate Communications, Samsung Electronics has to write:

"Tizen constitutes a large and important part of our Internet of Things (IoT) strategy that encompasses all device categories across the company. BK Yoon, the company’s CEO, announced last week at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that all Samsung devices will be IoT-ready in five years. Many of these devices will be running Tizen ...

Because it is lightweight, Tizen is optimal for use across a wide spectrum of smart connected devices in the IoT space. While devices with high demand for computing power, such as smartphones and TVs, are part of the IoT, so are devices that require relatively less computing power, such as wearables, vacuum cleaners and washing machines, which need an operating system like Tizen that is lightweight enough to run the devices without burning through processing power, memory and overall device performance."

There's a reason the more visible consumer products using Tizen from Samsung have been smartwatches, and the above indicates why, since the need for power conservation in a smartwatch form factor is even more critical than in phones.

I predicted all of this years ago here due to my understanding of how Qualcomm would win the mobile smartphone wireless chipset wars. I noted that Tizen was really "Oppose Qualcomm Forever" in direct analogy to the Unix wars where OSF was essentially Oppose Sun Forever, and I correctly predicted Oppose Qualcomm Forever would have about the same success of an alliance such as OSF, that is, none.

Tomi T Ahonen

Good one Baron95 yes you did say that (although the jury is still out)

Paul - fair and I also totally agree SMS is not enough, any smart (large) organization should expand rapidly to take advanteage of the unprecedented power of mobile. For a mom-and-pop company though, SMS might be enough for their little CRM maybe adding a little mobile website to it. Over time it will shift to ever more 'beyond SMS' but I had a brilliant reminder again about how we have to thing broadly when I spoke in Nigeria last year and one lady speaking after me from Liberia said that Tomi's point about SMS is not really valid because in their country even SMS is the future, they have so much illiteracy (and numeracy) that SMS is not for people in the villages and rural areas haha... Yeah, parts of the world still see SMS as the next big thing of high tech haha

Baron on the operators threatened - yeah they are, I don't see anything now really lurking dangerously except Apple's virtual SIM but it could come fast and obviously train operators didn't notice airplanes stealing their lucrative premium human travel biz haha... We'll see. And if the operator loses the subscriber, they also lose the game and become bitpipes bidding for lowest price to wholesale buyers like Apple, Google etc. Thats their death scenario.

John yes I am aware of that and I think it means more resources for Tizen and that Tizen won't be shut down anytime soon. I think it does signal short to mid term that Sammy will keop Android as the premium OS and Tizen as low-cost OS (once again executing an old Nokia strategy as it was supposed to be with MeeGo and Symbian). You know the forecast only assumes 1 in 4 Samsung smarthpones to run on Tizen in 2018...

Tomi Ahonen :-)


I agree with you Tomi that The PR from Microsoft is "Totally typical Microsoft Bullshit Brigade propaganda and lies."

It seems even with a new CEO things haven't changed much from 2001 when the Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch referred to their activities as "It's sleazy," Hatch said. "This is not a company that appears to be bothered by ethical boundaries." (

Their same ethical behavior is on currently display today at CNET with a video that I referred to earlier at:

The apparent trend is that microsoft is getting increasingly ridiculed by posts on many articles where writers and astroturfer minions attempt to defend their PR nonsense. Most people see them for what they are (BS merchants). Word of mouth is very powerful in the tech world where the non-techies seek out knowledgeable advice and get consistently steered away from Microsoft products. That's why WP is doomed ...because NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE.

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