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July 22, 2015



" I said already for a long while, this industry is now settling into its normal patterns and the big exciting part of the industry explosion has gone."

I disagree. I see two veey exciting developments:
1) How will the Chinese fight for dominance in mobile, and will they fight Google or not.

2) How will India enter the market, only as a consumer or also as a producer?


Should we disregard the Trendforce numbers? It shows slightly different numbers for Apple.


> Microsoft [...] 2.4%

To be fair and give at least one positive view to the story: the WP10/Mobile10 release and uncertain may have contributed a bit to that. Lets say 0.1% what means they could be as well at 2.5% (yeah, optimistic I am) and then rounding would result in 3% :-)


> 1) How will the Chinese fight for dominance in mobile, and will they fight Google or not.

Exactly. Huawei and ZTE are OHA-members, so this not really fight Google. But indeed, many of the other chinese, like Xiaomi, are not. I see and understand Tomi's take about world-wide distribution but then: growing slowly in selected markets, rather then world-wide, is still a push for AOSP-Android. It may not have a huge effect on world-wide share (also taken grow-rate) but spreading the chinese-situation, where Google excluded itself due to stupid politics, to other countries can hurt them long-term.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter, Maggan and Spawn

Winter - ok, but both of those are SLOW SLOW stories that develop over years, even decades... its like normal market industry stories. The India manufacturers are not about break into the Top 10, are not even ranked at 11th yet (Chinese Oppo is waiting there). Chinese to take on Android? Thats a conspiracy theory level wild fantasy, sorry, I don't see that in the cards.

Maggan - Trendforce are clueless about the industry and obviously Apple's own numbers hold not Trendforce's imaginary numbers.

Spawn - haha ok if you think that was 1%, it will only shrink from here now that Microsoft cuts half the remaining workforce, culls its product lines, its market segments and regions where it sells. Annual share will be 2% for 2015 (or worse)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


@Tomi: how do you see Jolla&Intex partnership?
Will it have any significant effect? Will it give Sailfish viable market share - at least in India?


Xiaomi is part of OHA ;-)
Google even have "their own man" in charge of global expansion.


and the interesting question: why do Intex manufacture Sailfish powered phone at all? what is the business model behind?


I didn't expect this to happen. Elop got fired but WP is falling?!? Serious trouble indeed.



> Chinese to take on Android?

Just as one additional force that increases relevance of Android/AOSP over Android/Google.

Of course I would take this numbers with care but neverless:

On top we also see increased deep integration of services and service-APIs like GPlay. Of course it makes sense to get more updates faster to users but it has also the side-effect to increase service-lockin, or lets say may it more difficult to switch to alternates (CyanogenOS anyone?). And then we had Andy Rubin leaving (why?) and ChromeOS+Android moving closer together.


All the AOSP growth numbers only matter outside China. China should be taken out of the equation otherwise the numbers are pointless.



"My question was that if 8 years of constant profits on same strategy is considered short term profits, what is considered long term then?"

It ignores that the market is changing and that smartphone use is changing.

First about the market. They have a successful product that's selling well, so those with no long term outlook will inevitably assume that things will remain the same forever.
The current strategy is great as long as there's still a growing market that can swallow up new hardware, but this development is close to its end. The high end smartphone market is nearly saturated so the future will be either replacement business, unless Apple goes into other market segments to sell their stuff. But their strategy clearly is not to do this, they continue to insist on their exclusive premium position.

But I think the second issue is going to hurt them far worse in the long term. As computing changes so do the needs of how software gets distributed. The PC has thrived because everybody who wants or needs to can freely develop software and distribute it as they like. This has led to an endless supply of custom software for any niche purpose imaginable. And THAT'S where mobile will head to - a universal platform for any imaginable computing task.

And now look at the competitors here and what they offer:

Android got a fully functional file system, it got open and freely available development tools and it has some means to deploy such software without interference of some central entity that closely monitors what software may get on and what doesn't.

iOS on the other hand enforces a strict sandbox model that completely blocks out all access to the file system (i.e. very poor cross-app communication), its development tools are only usable by registered Apple developers and there's no means to deploy any software without explicit approval by Apple.

This is a huge roadblock for many fields of use. If Apple does not like your business or thinks it's too inconsequential to bother with, bad luck.
So whatever comes out, Apple needs to change their strategy in some points or they'll miss the last leg of the mobile revolution they started because their system is not flexible enough to handle the edge cases. And all edge cases combined can mean a massive chunk of the market.


Here are the calendar quarters for iPhone sales. 12 months vs. 12 months.

Q3 2013 33.80 million
Q4 2013 51.0 million
Q1 2014 43.719 million
Q2 2014 35.203 million
- - - -
163.722 million

Q3 2014 39.272 million
Q4 2014 74.50 million
Q1 2015 61.170 million
Q2 2015 47.534 million
- - - -
222.476 million

When comparing the last 12 months to the previous 12 months we get +35.886% growth for iPhone sales. Now has Apple been gaining market share or not? Of course not if the industry grew more than 35.886% but if the industry was growing slower than that, then I guess Apple was gaining market share.


One thing is clear. For the ex-Nokia employees remaining in Microsoft after the recent cuts, IT's a PARTY!!
The sales targets are negligible and lot of parties anf travelling happening to collect airmiles. Recent conference in Orlando is an example where most have taken their families for a holiday!! Yippeee....good time to be in Microsoft!!

Per "wertigon" Ekström


For comparison, same methodology for entire smartphone market:

Q3 2013...254.3
Q4 2013...287.3
Q1 2014...282.6
Q2 2014...296.2

Q3 2014...320.4
Q4 2014...377.7
Q1 2015...340.8
Q2 2015...302.0 (low projected)

Total previous year: 1120.4
Total this year: 1340.9

Now we can calculate the half-point numbers:

Apple market share last period: 14.6%
Apple market share this period: 16.5%

So yes, it does look like a strong year for Apple. However...

Don't know if you've read the Foundation trilogy by Asimov. In one place, the old, dying empire is suddenly revived by a very strong emperor and a strong general. There are many concerns about the old Empire reclaiming lost terrain.

However, after five or so years, the general is executed by the emperor, and the rise is followed with even more decline, the newly conquered worlds return back to neutral/foundation controlled etc.

This I think is the same thing Apple is facing. A small, temporary, sales boost temporarily increasing their market share from decline. So yes, I do think they will grow this year. I do not think that growth will last.

And, we are at halfpoint, much will happen the coming quarter. :)



As I've told you before, I will estimate 2016 probably in January. Now I only say that Apple may lose market share in 2016 or they will gain market share in 2016. There are too many variables to even say how probable each scenario is. Much depends on Apple releasing new products. Remember that Apple was able to gain more market share with the low cost iPhone 5c they released in the past. Apple may or may not release new less expensive products and the company may or may not introduce new sales boosting features.

What it comes to Apple gaining or not gaining market share in 2015, it depends greatly on the total smartphone market. My initial estimate for the total market in 2015 was 1500 million and currently I see no reason to change that.

The following is my opinion and it has not been fully studied or verified so don't take it as I would claim it was 100% true. Currently it looks like the more Apple sells iPhones the slower the total growth of the global smartphone market will be. I have been using this as a variable for the total smartphone market for 2015 and it was one reason why it was easier for me to assume that Apple may actually grow market share in 2015. It's probably not happening because of the iPhone sales but because of all of the more expensive phones having more and more 2nd hand users.

At least it should sound plausible. If people can purchase a functioning year or two years old high end model why not getting that instead of a similar but slightly more expensive new one? This could very well affect the total market.


@PWE: But will Tim Cook be "the last strong Apple CEO", like the last strong emperor in the foundation trilogy? Also, I'd like to know the psychohistoric equations which led to your conclusion :-)


"Apple iPhone sales were up by revenue 59% and by units 35%. Apple iPhone ASP went up $99!!!!"

This should btw stop your talk about that the Apple needs a cheapo iPhone. Evidence clearly shows that they do thing right.



I think that one of the reasons for Apple's market share growth are the pathetic "high end" models of their competition and the overheating problems with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 SoC:

- Samsung Galaxy S6: Fastest phone, best display, but feature-wise a regression. + Exynos-SoC, which is bad for third-party ROM development
- HTC One M9: Over-heating, throttling pile of garbage, almost a regression from last year's M8
- Sony Z3 Plus: Nothing to see here, move on. Plus it has the Snapdragon 810
- LG G4: Nice features, but the Snapdragon 808 is not directly high-end material. Oh well, at least it doesn't overheat/ throttle

Because of this situation in Android-land, I keep my Samsung Galaxy S4 for the time being. Its Snapdragon 600 is still fast enough for everything except of high-end gaming and LTE with 100 Mb/s is enough for me. I just would like a better battery runtime, but the focus seems to be on thinner phones today.

So I'd assume that some Android-users think "I might try out an iPhone this time"...


"This quarter they added 25 new mobile operators like Vodafone India and Apple still do not have all the mobile operators in the world so even that gives them space to grow."

I have heard this argument from the very start of the Smartphone wars.

This makes me think of an anecdote from WWII.

After the surrender of Japan, an American soldier asks a Japanese citizen whether he was surprised that the Americans had won. No, answers the man, I knew we were losing fast.

But how could you know? asks the American, Your news media would feed you one Japanese victory after another. How could information about our approach get around the censors?

You are right, answers the Japanese man, every day we heard how our glorious army had totally defeated the Americans on yet another island. What gave it away was that the islands we defeated the Americans on were closer to Japan every day.

So, every year, Apple adds yet more operators to its folds. Which means the others did not sell enough iPhones.


"So, every year, Apple adds yet more operators to its folds. Which means the others did not sell enough iPhones."

Answer to that is this:

"It's been remarkable, though, to see how resilient iPhone sales have been. We've increased sales and share in ALL geos, WITHOUT exception."
- Tim Cook Apple Q3 2015 earnings call

You can try to twist it how you will, but it does not change the fact that Apple is on roll now. They are steam rolling the competition flat. There will be new models as everybody else will also have. It wont change the fact that Apple with its own processors, operating software, development tools, combilers and so on, has a advantage agains everybody else. They do these things "inhouse" they do not need to wait anybody. Their schedule is their own.

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