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« Some Numbers Updated and Milestones Noted: 7.6B Subs, 5.0B Uniques, Mobile minutes 95/day, and Uber goes SMS | Main | Tidbits from Smartphone Wars - Carl Zeiss, HTC, Sammy and look out for Huawei vs iPhone next two quarters. »

July 04, 2017


Abdul Muis


That's the capacitive touch screen that apple use already available before the iPhone. One of it's success were on every notebook PC. It's the touchpad (mouse) technology. Apple just happened to be the one that embed it to the phone.

"Multi-touch technology began in 1982, when the University of Toronto developed a tablet that could read multiple points of contact. Bell Labs developed a touchscreen that could change images with more than one hand in 1984. Around the same time, Myron Krueger developed an optical system that tracks hand movements. This was the beginning for the gestures we've adapted to so easily today.

A year later, the University of Toronto and Bill Buxton, a computer scientist and pioneer of human-computer interaction, innovated the multi-touch tablet using capacitive technology.

In the 1990s, computer scientist Andrew Sears conducted an academic study on human-computer interaction. The review described single-touch gestures, such as rotating knobs, swiping to activate — and multi-touch gestures like connecting objects and tapping to select.

Over the next few decades, touchscreen technology continued innovating itself. Screens became more receptive to touch and gestures, and more innovative moments were focused on the devices.

"I don’t buy Apple products because they are too pure Apple, they are MINIMALIST and far too much automated"

(After Jobs die) I think current Apple product is more and more complex, and Android while still "powerfull", but becoming more easier UI wise.

"But a second airline revolution never happened, the airline industry has only slightly evolved to ever larger planes but nothing that isn’t a direct descendant to the De Havilland Comet."

Boom technology, and 4 other plane company will bring commercial mach 2+ plane that were designed with current tech. The airline will be able to sell it with a bussiness class price ticket, and still have great profit. (compared to concord of no profit).


One thing:

"Apple is VERY good at reinventing an industry once,"

Replace 'Apple' with 'Steve Jobs' and I would agree.
With Tim Cook, though I do not expect any miracles anymore. He'll go the fastest way to the money if he saw it, screw quality and all.

Abdul Muis




Oh come on, Tomi! Nokia smartphones were such a pain to use, they were nowhere near the iPhone neither in terms of browsing the web, nor in terms of quality apps, and even the basic apps like maps were lackluster. They were SHITPHONES, not smartphones. Of course, this only became obvious after the iPhone launch. Disclaimer: I am not American.

Abdul Muis

Sorry to post this here.,.

I know tomi very eager at US election, and this is very funny momment in US history

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Vic

Come on, I never said Nokia phones were in any way the way the industry should go. I SAID in the article, that by the E90 Communicator (compatriot of the original iPhone in 2007) the 'Nokia way' of more buttons had reached a dead end.

NOTHING was anywhere near as good by USER EXPERIENCE as the original iPhone, of those contemporary phones, not Nokia, not Blackberry, not Palm, not anything else. I said so in 2007 and I said so in this article. I SAID that the user experience was what Apple changed. But that does not mean Nokia phones were 'shitphones'. A Motorola or a Siemens of pre-2007 I would agree, shitphones, but did you ever USE a Nokia N93 or N95 or E90 - they WERE good phones, far better as cameras than any early iPhone, as good in media playing as early iPhones, nearly as good for web use (faster network connections as 3G but less easy user interface on keyboards) and the E90 had a far larger - and FAR MORE sharp display than early iPhones. They weren't shitphones, the original iPhone 2G of 2007 was in many ways a shitphone. Try to take a selfie on it - one of most used functions of a modern phone - or try to send a picture message or try to record video on it... shitphone haha.

BUT Nokia while best of the existing class of 2007, were utterly outclassed by the user ease of the iPhone. So I am not disagreeing with you that iPhones were FAR FAR better to use (provided you didn't try to do all things that were normal for phones at the time, and only did what Apple thought you should be doing). And that is the honest only real contribution Apple did with the iPhone.

So we do somewhat agree on the concept, that iPhones were a generation better than any existing phones of that time - I said so and you clearly implied it here in your comment - but that doesn't make Nokia's 'shitphones' at the time. They were usable but cumbersome and getting all the more complex by every iteration.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Tester & Abdul

Good point Tester. If Steve Jobs was here, I'd be 100% confident Apple would be on the right path. With Tim Cook, I do leave the door open for some doubt haha...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Jim Glu

Apple changed what a "smart phone" was. The iPhone really shouldn't be considered the same thing as an E90 no more than a original Mac was "the same thing" as the IBM PC. The original Mac was even more useless than the original iPhone. However, it was abundantly clear that both redefined what would become of their category. In both cases, the original definers of the category were instantly obsoleted - or rather, the inevitable result was their quick obsolescence.

Yes, the E90 had features the iPhone wouldn't have for years to come. It was so hard to learn how to use those features, and the friction involved in using them was such that only a very narrow range of people would ever use them. So you have a niche set of business users and techy types as customers in the first place...and most of them only used the phone and email (oh yes, and ring tones) features.

So, with the advent of the iPhone, the race was on. What would happen first? Would the iPhone get those advanced features before the E90/Blackberry phones became easy to use? Ha ha! Oh ho! Was it even close? No, it wasn't.

In fact - there wasn't even much of a race. Rather than trying to make those email phones into easy to use "computers in your pocket", the industry instantly went into a "clone the iPhone" race. Why? Why would that happen when EVERYBODY who loved the E90/Blackberry type phone would be taking a HUGE step back to adopt an iPhone or any of the iPhone-clone-wannabees.

Well, they didn't. The early adopters who bought blackberry's and E90's where the LATE adopters to get an iPhone-redefined-shouldn't-be-considered-the-same-thing phone. Apple brought in a new and much larger customer base into the smartphone world.

A browser and an iPod and a marginal phone was just the beginning. It was enough because the internet was far more powerful a societal tool than texting and email. (and yes, SMS reaches more people). The E90/Blackberry messaging phones never ever never EVER came up with a good web browser nor did they ever field a COMPETITIVE app store (not counting ring tones as apps).

Android cloned the iPhone better than Blackberry Storm did...and with a better go-to-market strategy than Palm. In a few short years, the iPhone and Android together made up for their original shortcomings of the E90/Blackberry such that EVEN the business and messaging folks dumped those platforms complete with the much previously-desired keyboards.

This is classic disruption in everything but price. Typically disruption theory is based on an inferior but cheaper product eats the low end out of an over served expensive product. Apple disrupts with ease-of-use. It cannot be under estimated just how powerful a market force true ease-of-use is. Nobody does this like matter how easy it is to copy Apple after the fact....or how "inevitable" everything Apple does appears to be in hindsight as company after company copies the Apple way.

All of this was obvious to anyone with a history of watching Apple. It was obvious to Andy Rubin who halted the release of Android to go back to the drawing board to completely rewrite it. For all who viewed the iPhone through the lens of the E90/Blackberry, the original iPhone was ridiculous (Steve Ballmer) and they paid a heavy price for not instantly turning on a dime and joining the new Apple direction for what a smartphone should be.

How all was to play out was obvious...only lacking immediate knowledge of which company would come out with "Windows". Would it be Windows Mobile/Phone, Palm, Blackberry Storm, Android pivoted fastest and with the right go to market strategy (open source with ad-profit-services tied in).

What we didn't see was that Apple...far from a company about to lose it's most profitable product (the iPod)...was a company who had learned from both it's Mac experience and it's iPod/iTunes experience. People (famously Palm) were looking at what they thought was a "mature market" filled with tough competitors (Nokia, Motorola, Blackberry, Microsoft, Sony-Erricson, Seimons)...and market controlled by the most powerful telco's (Verizon, Docomo, China Mobile). All fell to Apple in a matter of years because Apple didn't come into a phone business they had no experience in. Apple brought it's Mac and iPod/iTunes business to the pocket, and in doing so grabbed the most profitable segment of the fastest growing and largest industry on earth (made so by Apple's ease-of-use).

That Apple would go from ever-underdog, much beloved by a devoted but small not only the largest tech company....not only the largest revenue mobile phone company....but surpassing the oil giants, the banks, and Walmart to be the most valuable company in the world....nobody saw that 10 years ago.

Kevin M

Great post, Tomi.

I recall being quite disappointed to discover I couldn't send a text message to more than one recipient with the first iPhone. I made a iCustomerServiceRep unhappy when I told him they were "...making it difficult to like their phones."

But, it was just software and fixable. And that phone and its two successors did move me off Nokia phones for a while.

I agree with Jim Glu that nobody does ease of use like Apple. Though the Nokia N9 could have given the iPhone a run for its money.


You didn't mention Elop that immolated Nokia with the Lumia phones.
Or the N950 - which was sort of killed like the N95 for "Windows Phone".
I still have two Nokia N950 "tablets". I'd probably use a N950 if I could get one.


Great article, thank you Tomi!

But I have noticed one detail. You wrote:

"Samsung even removed waterproofing from the Galaxy flagship one year, thinking it was a dead-end evolution path - until its customers revolted and forced Samsung to bring waterproofing back."

Samsung claims that they were just not able to include waterproofing on the SGS6 due to time restraints.

QUESTION: Why was it not possible to include things like waterproofing and a microSD slot before — what can you do this year that you couldn't do last year?

ANSWER: It takes time, right? So we at Samsung scrutinize what's the real need for the consumer, so we understand the market and the consumer needs. And we have an end goal, but it takes time. So the S6 was our first time to apply the glass and metal materials for a smartphone design, and we tried to incorporate all that the customer needs, but there was a time limit so we prioritized which features went to the S6 and then we adopted other customer needs for the S7. So it's a matured product.


@Jim Glue:

"So, with the advent of the iPhone, the race was on. What would happen first? Would the iPhone get those advanced features before the E90/Blackberry phones became easy to use? Ha ha! Oh ho! Was it even close? No, it wasn't.

In fact - there wasn't even much of a race. Rather than trying to make those email phones into easy to use "computers in your pocket", the industry instantly went into a "clone the iPhone" race. Why? Why would that happen when EVERYBODY who loved the E90/Blackberry type phone would be taking a HUGE step back to adopt an iPhone or any of the iPhone-clone-wannabees."

Instantly? No!

What happened in 2007 after the first iPhone was released was:

- Google _IMMEDIATELY_ cancelled their first Android phone launch and started focusing on adding a touchscreen-centric UI with multitouch
- Nokia laughed about the iPhone, because it had bad reception, lacked features and couldn't be dropped without taking damage
- Microsoft's Steve Ballmer also derided the iPhone

MS and Nokia stopped laughing in 2008 and mimicked Google's response from one year earlier. This way, they both had lost one year and hence gave Android the headstart it needed to become the dominatnt mobile OS.

Another important aspect is that Apple bought all the capacitive, multitouch-ready touchscreens in 2008/ 2009. You couldn't obtain a competitive display during this time, neither for words nor for money.

This is why the wannabe-iPhone-killers of 2008/ 2009 lacked _THE_ iPhone key feature - the display. This is also the reason all had to fail.

Only in 2010 this changed, as shown by the first Samsung Galaxy S and the HTC Desire HD. _THIS_ was the point in time where it was crucial to have an OS for such screens ready.

Google did. Microsoft and Nokia did not (the Nokia N8 and the first WP7-phones showed up at the end of 2010, not at the beginning of the year).

So in my opinion, it was a matter of the management: Google had a forward-looking management in 2007, Nokia and MS did not.

Abdul Muis


Nokia will bring dual lense smartphone with carl zeis lens this year (2017)

john F.

So here we are ... 250 million phones a year
About to own the largest AR platform in the world
Siri ( not the best ..) in a Billion phones
Developing their own AI chipset and AR HW
And the list goes on....

And instead of focusing on market share this space is becoming an isheep for critics.

Tomi, it is forbidden to talk finance because this space is about market share you tell us all the time

So why the wasted time in criticizing apple?

Why don't you forbid the mention of the company and focus on the wining side, android?

It's becoming boring to read apple and apple that

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@John F:

It's not that profits are banned per se.

It's thaty they are irrelevant to the topic at hand. As long as you reap a modest profit, your company will keep running 'til the end of days.

The market share of the iPhone will probably never hit 15% again, and seems to be in a slow but terminal decline.

When Apple in 2030 is the 6th largest smartphone maker, don't you think the iEcosystem will start taking a real beating? :)

Does this doom the company? Only if they cannot find a new market to disrupt...


@john F


Tomi T Ahonen

Abdul - thanks! It is great news yes. I wrote about Carl Zeiss in today's blog a bit more.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

To all in this thread

As this is about Apple and iLove - the calendar Q2 quarter (April-June) of 2017 may be the perfect storm that ruins Tim Cook's summer. I just blogged about a nasty news item that would be timed really badly for Apple bad news - Sammy having great quarter. It is possible - some analysts already claiming this to be - that Samsung's total profits in Q2 may be greater than Apple total profits. That would be big ouch.

But Apple has several other problems brewing, in the 'appearance' side (not the real business, just the appearance) due to the cyclical nature of iPhone sales. For some bizarre reason Apple did not give us another Spring update to the iPhone line (idiots). That means, that because they DID do that last year, the drop-off will be exceptionally hard this year. More than normal. And normal sales drop for iPhone (Q1 2017 vs Q1 of 2016) was already 1% down YoY. That could be significantly worse now, for Q2.

And then lurking in the darkness, nobody else is yet even blogging about this - Huawei. Yes, if you project Huawei growth pattern to its sales last year - Huawei is on track to be just around 40 million units of Huawei smartphones sold .. now. In Q2 or Q3 of this summer. It is QUITE POSSIBLE that Huawei just passes Apple by a few hundred thousand units of sales. And THAT would be a massive shock to Apple iConfidence of iSheep. If simultaneously iPhone sales are down (And market share is in the dumps, globally at 11%) and Huawei has snatched number 2 position - AND Samsung reports bigger profits - gosh, that would be the perfect storm and some may even start to demand Tim Cook to be replaced haha.

We know this is bullshit, that for annual sales, iPhone is set to remain the second largest smartphone maker anyway, and for full year profits, Apple will be bigger than Samsung anyway, and Huawei is yes, slowly gaining on Apple but cannot challenge Apple for annual sales number 2 ranking until earliest in 2018 (probably 2019). But the iPanic could be iHuge in the iSummer after we get the quarterly numbers.

One last item - many analysts may be tempted to write the story of 'Huawei is bigger than iPhone' even if their numbers fall just short, and skew the math a bit, against Apple, knowing that would be huge news, while 'Huawei is close' is not the same headline.. So its very likely we'll get SOME analyst/s who will report Huawei ahead of Apple anyway, even if the final math shows iPhone holding onto a slim lead and second ranking even through the summer Quarters.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Hi Tomi,

I agree with everyone else that this is a great analysis of Apple's place in the smartphone market. As a computer geek, however, I have to point to a piece of history that you may not be aware of. You said:

"You will read from many analysts that Apple invented or created the first app store. If they added ‘first for the USA’ then that would be true, but first smartphone app store? Not so. Not even close. That would be.. Nokia 5 years before the iPhone did it. ...Because even in year 2010, two years AFTER the iPhone added its app store support..."

That would place the 'invention' of the smartphone app store by Nokia in 2003, correct? That would place them in a virtual tie with the initial release of Valve Software's Steam Store. Steam is now by far the largest app store on the PC with something like 75% of the PC gaming market. In addition, they are reaching into other types of applications and have begun releasing movies and series.

Even so, neither of them are even close to being the first in terms of a centralized application repository that is both easily accessible by the user and that offers automatic updates. For example, Linux distributions have relied upon such repositories since at least 1993 when the first version of Slackware was released. BSD has been leveraging the same kind of repositories since at least 1991. The real innovation that Valve Software on the PC side and that Nokia on the phone side can take credit for is the ability to monetize application delivery.

Make no mistake. I think what they did was fantastic. However, an exploration of such a capability does need put into context by acknowledging those earlier inventions.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi sgtrock

Thanks for great comment and correction. I should have been more clear - I meant to talk about the first app store for mobile phones. App stores for PCs existed well prior to that. Thanks!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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