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March 31, 2016


Wayne Borean

Fascinating. Those numbers should scare a lot of people.

John A

Interesting to read. About the smartphone wars it seems like Android is the clear winner. Even Microsoft admit it at the build conference:

"In other words, if you are a Windows guy, if you have bet on Windows 10, then you should adopt Android, and not iPhone, as your smart phone" choice."

Will be interesting what Apple can do next?


Intel and Microsoft seem to realize that they will remain irrelevant in mobile in the foreseeable future.

At their build conference, Microsoft said that Windows Phone is not their focus this year:
Now, Bloomberg reports that Intel's head of mobile is stepping down after less than a year in office:

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne

I have ALL THOSE CASES in my first book a decade and a half ago. It has a whole CHAPTER on location-based services. You touched on one of the problems - in the point about Twitter - that while we appreciate proximity - we DON'T WANT TO BE LIMITED to it. In many cases - not all - we still want global or national or far wider visibility than location. And even in really close-by stuff, we may prefer that Walmart which is near the office - not the one here, near the home, etc.

The big thing with location, as I wrote in my second book where I changed my mind - in 2002 yes 14 years ago when I went from totally loving LBS to becoming one of the first experts to warn its not the bucket of gold - is that THERE IS NO MONEY

You don't pay for the maps on your phone, they are built-in like the camera. You don't pay for the GPS location precision, that comes as part of the radio chip set and you connect to it without any extra payments just like you do to the cellular network (assuming your contract or prepaid account has a balance) or how you connect to any open WiFi network.

There are VERY few opportunities to make MONEY on location. That is literally less than 2.35 Billion dollars in an industry that is worth 1.5 TRILLION dollars. I never said there is 'no' money in location, but that it is THE WORST performing SECTOR in mobile. Anything else you do - if you do news headlines, or you do mobile music downloads, or you do a social network, or you do games, or you do mobile payments, or you do mobile advertising, or you do mobile healthcare, or you do mobile education - ANY OTHER sector is a better opportunity than location. I said so in 2002, it was true in 2005, it was true in 2009, it was true in 2012 and its true now. Latest numbers - again prove the same. There is no pot of gold in location. I have chronicled on this blog the industry and its big opportunities and that is the absolute truth.

So why are you puzzled? I've said this same story time and again for literally 14 years (and am DEFINITELY the first of the 'true believers in location' who had that change of heart - note, that there were certainly many who were smarter than me and NEVER believed in location-based services haha)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Off topic, but as Ronnie Corbett passed away recently, we can commemorate him by watching his famous and brilliant sketch "My Blackberry is not working!"

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne

That was the understanding in 2002 yes, that navigation will help with cars, whether its taxis or parcel delivery or tourist navigation with rental cars (oh, and a great-grandfather to Uber, the worlds' first mobile service to a municipal taxi service just serving the taxi drivers was launched in Finland back in the 1990s developed by my good friend Taina Kalliokoski..)

As to ads, there are many award-winning ad campaigns that used location, which almost as a rule are not able to be replicated across the whole ad industry; special one-offs like the 'chase the Mini' game out of Stockholm or the 'discount count-down clock' out of Guatemala etc. That while you can create a very highly rated and noticed (and even modestly used and modestly successful commercially) ad service with location - that is not sustainable either. Its EXACTLY the same thing as you pointed out with your Twitter comment - an advertising brand will not want to put artificial limits to mobility. Mobility means ESCAPING the physical boundaries of location. If location-based ads were the best thing since sliced bread, then the best ad platform would be cinema advertising which includes local ads (after the movie, why not come to Mario's Italian Restaurant around the corner..) Even there - movies - most ads are NOT LOCALIZED and are generic national ads. Putting a location limit to mobile is like putting speed bumps on the highway - a road built to let you drive fast, why on earth would you then want to put artificial barriers to it. Same with location. But this takes time, because for most engineers the thrill of location-positioning and precision is so exciting. It took the marketing and consumer behavior people to figure out, that no, location is not a billable service except in very rare cases (mostly vehicles) and even most services that could use it (like ads) work BETTER when the location barrier is remove.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Gartner has released numbers for the PC market, and they are not pretty. PC sales are at the lowest point since 2007.

Some noteworthy findings:
* Installed base of PCs is shrinking. People are not just holding off on upgrades, they are abandoning PCs.
* New households prioritize buying smartphones over buying PCs. That means, smartphones are at least in part to blame for the decline of PCs.

Of course neither should be a surprise to anybody who regularly reads Tomi's blog. :)

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

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Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

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