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« Next Four Years in Mobile - Highlights from my brand new forecast | Main | Quick posts 1: Nokia Acquires Alcatel-Lucent »

April 08, 2015


Wayne Borean

Playing with numbers is fun. Actually hitting within 50% (at least from my viewpoint as a salesman) is excellent.

As to your forecasts...

Half of all Smartphones has touch screens in 2014. I personally thought it would have been closer to 75%, but I see the Canadian and American markets mostly. I assume that keyboard units were mostly sold in Asia/Africa?

I'm surprised by the number of phones that don't have WIFI, but again I'm not familiar with the Asian and African markets.

Just curious - do you have any idea of the breakdowns on these things by continent (assume Antarctica is zero across the board...)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne

Haha I wish... no, mostly the best we can hope for continental or regional splits is smartphone vs non, or perhaps average price of handsets (or smartphones) sold. At the deeper level like features by continent, no I really don't see that anywhere in the public domain so you'd need to fork up a couple of thuosand dollars for one of the big fancy reports (and if so, please do pick one of the more reputable houses haha)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen


No. You know the rules here. I am not about to start any response with 'if you read the blog'. Your comment is of course deleted. Feel free to post comments that add value to our readers

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Got it. You have made clear what adds value to your readers.


I know this blog must be a lot of work for you. But you can tell your love of the subject matter drives you to excellence. So, congrats for the outstanding results. And my sincere thanks for sharing not only the statistics but your insightful analysis.

Wayne Borean


That's too bad. The additional information would be useful (and no, I don't have the cash to pay for stats).

Partially I'm curious because of costing. Back when the iPhone and that LG touch screen model (can't remember the name of it) came out, touch screens were new, and costly. With the increase in touch screen models on the market, the demand for keyboards from the keyboard OEMs may have dropped, pushing costs up. Of course it also may not have, because the total market for smartphones has increased, so keyboard sales may have gone up, even while keyboard models have lost market share.

That's why I was wondering about numbers. Same scenario comes into play for WiFi and WiFi free chipsets, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth free chipsets, etc.


"I said in 2012 that half of all new phones sold in 2014 will have touch screens. That was a rather easy one as global smartphone sales went from 990 million to 1.3 Billion into 2014 and nearly all smartphones have touch screens. So this was a 100% accurate forecast (while not necessarily very 'bold' one haha)."

if the total phone sales (smart and feature) is around 1.9-2.0 billion in 2014 and smartphones sold 1.3B units (almost all touch screen) isn't that much more than half? Forecast is 50% and actual is 60-65% - that's not so accurate?

"Half" was an easy forecast but actual was not very close - you rate the forecast "100%" but it is not.


You got that wrong: not all smartphones are touch screen - in 2012 only 40% of the smartphones sold had touch screen:

And I assume that the percentage hasn't jumped to 100% since.


If I'm not completely lost with it: 80% of all phones sold (smart and dumb) were non-touch. In addition to that, 40% of smartphones were touch-screen.

You are correct about rough smartphone sales percentage out of all phones. But those two apply together if we assume 6% of dumbphones have touch (e.g. touch screen Ashas).
There has to be some dumbphones with touch.
There can't be more dumbphones with touch or the 80% non-touch of all phones drops percentage of touch screen smartphones even lower than 40%.

Per "wertigon" Ekström


The biggest reason why profits aren't focused on as much, is that profits tend to follow performance, and not the other way around.

E.g. a company with huge profits reaps those profits due to a stellar performance, but a company with huge profits will not neccessarily do a stellar performance the next quarter. When discussing the bloodbath, it doesn't matter if Apple makes a bazillion dollars and Samsung only makes a tenth of that.

This blog focuses on the long term viability of the different brands, and from that point of view market share matters quite a lot, while profits are fickle and doesn't matter as much.


Would you care to explain why Samsung profits started falling before their market share? Samsung market share is now at 20%. It used to be moving between 29% and 34% for 2 years - 8 quarters - but has been declining for 3 consecutive quarters now (profits have declined for 4 quarters).
I have no doubt market share will be down (or flat) again this quarter as Samsung already reported profit drop.

There just is no viable business if you buy market share with low or nonexistent profits.



"This blog focuses on the long term viability of the different brands, and from that point of view market share matters quite a lot, while profits are fickle and doesn't matter as much."

Today it looks like Apple will be the most viable smartphone manufacturer in 2018 and 2020 as far as profitability is concerned. However this probably shouldn't be discussed here since this blog focuses on unit sales and not making money. This is not a financial blog. My guess for iOS market share in 2018 was 17%.


I found it:

"We know that only 38% of all smartphones sold now are touch-screen smartphones (which includes hybrids), according to latest Q2 stats by Deloitte. So 62% of smartphones are non-touch screen smartphones (includes non-touch screen style QWERTY based smartphones like say a Blackberry or basic keypad smartphones)."
-September 5, 2012.

According to Tomi 62% of smartphones sold then did not have touch screen of any kind. Smartphones, not "all phones". Word smartphones was used several times.

I'm not making this stuff up, I'm merely quoting Tomi. If you have problem with the numbers, complain to the owner of this blog.


And also: didn't Canalys make some wild Windows Phone forecasts back in 2011? I suppose we should take Tomi's numbers before theirs. The reliability of Tomi's numbers is clear from the touch screen data already.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@AndThis: Ah, but Market Share isn't the only thing that guarantees a long-term strategy. See e.g. Nokia, we all know how that went. :)

However, a large market share is a much better leverage point than a large profit share. Not saying profits aren't important - but profits can disappear in a single quarter. Apple could turn red next quarter if they did a big investment/purchase that made them bleed money, or designed a flop. Market shares are much less fickle, though not the be-all-end-all.

@Lullz: Your faith in your profits is yours. :)

TI 2012 40% of smart phones had touch screen BUT Tomi was talking about 2014!

So what was the touch screen share of all phones in 2014? Tom said 50% and says that he got that number spot on... but I'm saying the actual number was 60-65% so Tomi was over 20% off.

Simply put: Total sales 1.9-2.0B, smart phones 1.3B. And Tomi says "nearly all" of smart phones are touch screen which means the actual touch screen percentage is 60-65%

If "nearly all" is 73% (950M of 1.3B were touch screen) then Tomi is right but his "nearly all" is miserably wrong. Which one is it?



"Your faith in your profits is yours. :)"

No comment on profits really. This blog is about talking about market shares and staying above the red. If you are interested about financial discussion, you should probably look elsewhere.

Soon we are probably going to see peak market share for Android. At least for Android as we know it. It's easy to disagree when you are not specific what you disagree about.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Piot, yeah, as I stated earlier - Market share, when talking out of a long term profit perspective, *is* more important than current profits. You have a greater leverage with market share than with huge profits and piles of $$$.

Did I say market share is forever? No, of course not. That would be just plain stupid. But market share is less fickle than profits. :)



"Did I say market share is forever? No, of course not. That would be just plain stupid. But market share is less fickle than profits. :)"

I know you feel like that but obviously you have no data from mobile to back up your claim. It might just as well be the opposite. Analyzing that however is probably beyond the scope of this blog.



"What happened to this leverage for Nokia and Rim in 2010? Leveraged into terminal decline."

Market share doesn't ultimately help if you make bad business decisions. But in Nokia's case the market share they had would have been suffient leverage to do an ordered transition to a more modern platform, don't blame the market share that the company's leaders chose to run amok instead.

On the other hand, all the profits in the world won't help you if your market share continuously, albeit slowly, sinks and then ultimately hits that critical barrier where there's no turning around anymore. In such a case the best products won't help anymore. We saw how that played out when Blackberry released BBOS 10 years too late when all the leverage they had was already lost to poor execution.

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