The need of this blog is still obvious, after 5 years

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Why this blog is still alive and why do I keep it up to date? Well, there are times Tomi Ahonen gets disconnected from reality and there needs to be a place where people can easily check if he is making things up or not.
This post is quoting Tomi’s comment [1] in his blog last week, June 21st 2017 to be exact:

Hey, EVERY forecaster in EVERY industry makes mistakes. I am one of the rare ones who draws attention to every failed forecast as the forecasted issue comes to be.

There is no such thing as professional forecaster who is always correct. That is impossible. But I am rare among professional forecasters to point out every time I turned out wrong.

Wait what?
When will he start?
It’s not that we can’t find bad examples of Tomi being way off and keeping silent about his forecast.
Like his original “next year powered mostly by this (iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus) model range, the iPhone market share continues to fall to something near 12%” forecast [2] where iPhone market share instead increased to over 16% (Tomi has never “drawn attention” to that forecast).
Or then Tomi’s Bada forecast I wrote about just two days ago – he has not “pointed out” that one either.
Even by his own metrics, Tomi’s Tizen forecast scores as “least accurate forecast ever made” (visit link), yet he hasn’t bothered to note that he made a bad forecast, he merely has said that Samsung should have pushed Tizen harder (so it would have become the success that Tomi had forecasted) [3].
And that (saying his own forecast was not flawed but it’s the others that caused it to fail) is very “Tomi-ish”. The worst example of that could be his December 2009 Android forecast: Tomi had forecasted that Android could not reach a market share of over 1% in all handsets (smart and dumb) by the end of 2010. In fourth quarter of 2010 there were 401 million mobile phones shipped [4]. Of those, 32.9 million were Android phones [5]. That’s 8.2% of shipments. Android managed to beat Tomi’s forecast by over 700%.
I’m saying worst example as it is not that Tomi has never “drawn attention” to that failed forecast like he claims he does (he haven’t), but Tomi actually has said that the Android growth only started in 2011, not 2010 [6]:

But let’s hear more from Tomi:

But as to the iPhone, I was the first person who predicted the iPhone would transform not only the phone industry but OTHER industries like media, advertising and the PC industry. Said so in 2007. Forecasted it before a single unit of the iPhone was even sold.

With this I assume Tomi refers to his “Jesus Phone” blog post (visit link), which was written May 18th, 2007. We have Richard Wray from The Guardian going that direction in January 11th, 2007 already. The Los Angeles Times wrote about the topic in January 16th, 2007 and in that article they quote several analysts who say iPhone is first mobile phone they imagine they could use for watching movies, making the PC to smartphone transition possible, etc.
“First person.”
*sigh*

I have a near-perfect record of iPhone forecasts.

I forecasted essentially every major evolution aspect of the iPhone (correctly) including stuff where I was a very tiny minority or alone, like MMS support and inward-facing ‘selfie’ camera for example. I was correct while avoiding stuff many of my peers thought Apple would do (correctly).

Huh?
Nobody else forecasted Apple would do MMS?
Nobody else forecasted Apple would do video calls? Seriously?
And let’s not forget that Tomi’s history of his “perfect” iPhone forecasts have been in the lines of “Apple needs to add LED flash, 8 megapixel camera, removable battery and SD-card slot or they cannot grow their market share“. In the end Apple has grown their market share despite they have done none of those. And Tomi has merely kept on insisting (year in, year out) that Apple has to do MMS/video recording/LED flash/MicroSD card/replaceable battery/QWERTY keyboard/nano model/whatever. He keeps on insisting those need to be done “this year” until some of those happen and he can say his forecast was correct, no matter how many years in advance he failed that same “forecast” (visit link).

I was the first to forecast iPhone’s regional sales pattern (correctly).

He may have been first (and only) to do such forecast, but it was not “correctly” on any measurement. (visit link)

Far more importantly, I forecasted iPhone’s market share peak (correctly) and the overall sales peak (correctly).

OMG I nearly fell off the chair laughing. 😀
Tomi did not even bother to forecast Apple peak market share, he reported it in April 9th, 2010: “mark my words, the numbers are now very clear, Apple’s market share peak among smartphones, and among all handsets, on an annual basis, is being witnessed now.” [7] That was April 2010, Apple full year peak market share in smartphones took place in 2012, two years later. [8] Peak market share in all phones took place in 2015 – 5 years later – unless the trend changes this year.
What comes to Apple peak unit sales, Tomi did give a forecast for it too, just a bit later – August 2010:
Worse yet, this year (2010) Apple is seeing a decline in unit sales – a decline which happens when the smartphone market is exploding.” [9]
That would have put Apple peak unit sales to year 2009. Needless to say that turned out to be wrong, so five years later (OMG this is already funny – 5 years later!) Tomi insisted the unit sales peak had already taken place in 2014 – five years later than his original forecast. And that’s not all of it – he kept on insisting the peak had taken place in 2014 several times during 2015 while it was obvious the peak hadn’t taken place yet (visit link). (The peak finally took place in 2015, unless the sales are up this year which would make 2016 an abnormal down year instead.)

There were times I was off in some of my forecasts by the timing but I never issued a forecast where I was wrong – such as I often asked Apple to give us a physical QWERTY slider/folder keyboard or a proper optical zoom camera – but I always made it clear, that while I wished those, I did not forecast those, and in fact, I forecasted Apple would NOT do those (correctly).

Right… he “did not forecast those”, and definitely “forecasted Apple would not do those”.

These are examples of Tomi “not forecasting those”:

My bet is there will be an keypad iPhone, but not until late in 2008 when this has been proven to Apple to be the biggest problem.” [10]
Apple has to release more than one phone model per year else its market share growth will stagnate. I believe this year 2010 will drive that lesson home to Apple HQ loud and clear.” [11]
I am certain Apple has a ready strategy to launch an iPhone Nano type of cheaper iPhone and could do so within half a year.” [9]
list goes on. I think that is quite the opposite to what Tomi was just saying.

I forecasted accurately the needs of major changes to the product line such as large ‘phablet’ screen sizes – again, I was literally the first to do so and many iSheep on this blog argued forever how that was a stupid idea.

Ironically here Tomi’s previous statement is true. As far as I can tell Tomi has never “forecasted” larger screen iPhone, he has merely said Apple should increase the screen size. (Also I don’t think even the most fanatic Apple fans called the large screen a stupid idea, they merely pointed it out that Apple will go there when they feel they are ready to go there, not before.)

I forecasted accurately who are (Nokia, Samsung) and who are NOT (Blackberry) the main rivals to the iPhone.

Well…
Tomi made a forecast that BlackBerry was no rival for iPhone and iPhone was no rival for BlackBerry.
Tomi has been consistent on insisting that iPhone did not kill BlackBerry and that BlackBerry was in no way threatened by iPhone.
And the whole world (including both CEOs of BlackBerry, BTW) have been against Tomi’s view (visit link). So can we count that as an accurate forecast?

I forecasted the relevance of Apple’s ancilliary products pretty well – the tablet side did better than I forecasted but even then, I was one of the few who said tablets and iPads would not overtake smartphones while many pundits then felt the tablet was the next big thing (it wasn’t, I was more correct than most while Apple did better with the iPad than I originally forecasted).

“More correct than most” on iPad? Tomi said iPad could not realistically sell more than 3 to 5 million in its first year. We can find tons of others who said it would sell more and ANY forecast that goes from 5 million up counts because the reality was 15 million units – exceeding Tomi’s forecast by 200% to 400%!

And the Apple Watch haha, you saw that, you were already here by then on the blog.

Haha.
Tomi forecast was that Apple Watch sales could maybe reach 10 million if Apple Watch revolutionizes the watch market and if Apple is lucky. By most estimates Apple Watch sold 15 million units in its first year – which by the way was the consensus forecast (50% higher than Tomi). (visit link)

there is NOBODY on the planet who has gotten iPhone forecasts as good as me.

Come again? There are TONS of others. This joke stopped being funny a long time ago. (visit link)

I was correct in predicting a slow slide path down the market share (as is now ongoing) heading towards 10% market share (give or take a point). Down from peak 21% to 15% now. NOBODY else said that when Apple was growing and hitting 21%. Nobody. You’re welcome.

Apparently “Nobody” today means Business Insider and several other analysts, written at Apple market share peak. First Google search result for “iPhone will lose market share 2012”.
You’re welcome.

Not that I predicted correctly the extent of the largest collapse in any industry in corporate economic history of humankind (Nokia collapse, which only I did at the time)

Yeah, “only” Tomi… …and tons of other analysts, especially Horace Dediu (@asymco) being more accurate than Tomi (visit link).

but I also indicated that Apple would pick up SOME of the spoils (correct, nobody else said this at the time)

Huh?
Everyone expected the loss of Nokia market share will be raining to pockets of other brands, including (and not limiting to) Apple. The whole idea that “nobody said Apple would pick up some of the spoils of Nokia” is insane.

but that it would be Samsung (Apple’s main rival) who would pick up MORE of the spoils (again.. nobody else said this, and yes, obviously I was 100% correct).

Right… Tomi was “100% correct”…
…except that he said it would be RIM/Blackberry that would pick up most, not Samsung. This is once again one of the forecasts he never mentions, despite the initial “draw attention to every failed forecast” statement (visit link).

This post – being mostly a list of links to older posts in this blog – I hope shows why this blog is still needed. 😉

REFERENCES:

[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2017/05/we-can-now-estimate-global-android-forked-installed-base-ie-aosp-devices-vs-full-google-android/comments/page/1/

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/09/lets-discuss-the-iphone-6-models-apple-now-in-me-too-mode-only-following-the-leaders.html

[3] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/07/so-tizen-i-dont-understand-samsung-and-its-troubles-with-this-strategy.html

[4] http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/12533_Q4_2010_overall_phone_sales_wo.php

[5] http://www.canalys.com/pr/2011/r2011013.html

[6] https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/514390132028239874

[7] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/04/iphone-in-memoriam-a-history-from-its-peak-moment-who-copied-whom.html

[8] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/02/final-2013-smartphone-market-share-numbers-full-year-and-quarterly-q4-data-by-top-10-brands-plus-os-.html

[9] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/08/why-iphone-strategy-is-wrong-and-has-to-change-soon.html

[10] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2007/06/crunching-numbe.html

[11] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/01/a-bloodbath-for-2010-the-smartphone-market-preview.html

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It’s public: he was wrong

As I recently wrote Tomi should have (by his promise) come forward and publicly admit that he was wrong. More precisely: since Apple Watch survived to 3rd edition, it was NOT a flop.
Let me underline this: since Apple Watch survived to 3rd edition, it was NOT a flop.

Tomi made an admit. I assume he made this public admit since Tomi reads my blog, not because Tomi would have had a habit of admitting his mistakes (which he does not). Nevertheless, I asked for the admit and this is what we get:

I said there is no market for smart watches and the iWatch, sorry the Apple Watch will not survive to 3 editions. On that, today I have been proven wrong. Apple did get its third edition Apple Watch out – so yeah, I am not infallible and I got that call wrong. As to smart watches? They are a disastrously bad market opportunity for anyone. If Tim Cook wasn’t personally married to the apperance of the Apple Watch as his first ‘post Steve Jobs’ product, he’d have killed it already. But yeah. There is SOME sales. The sales numbers are so bad – that Apple refuses to give us the numbers and hides behind guesses made by analysts. We know from that, that the true Apple Watch numbers are EMBARRASSINGLY bad. But yeah, I predicted that Apple would pull the plug at this stage. They rather maintain the embarrassment for another cycle. Ok, I got that guess wrong. I still hold that there is no big market for smart watches and that if Apple honestly felt the Apple Watch was a success, they’d be yelling about those sales numbers and publishing them at every Quarter. Apple know the iWatch is a total flop. But ok, they did make a third edition. I did get that call wrong. I am sorry about that. Just don’t be mistaken into thinking there is any sustainable mass market for any wrist-based media etc… Some iSheep will wear the iBracelets yes, but there is no mass market for smart watches. It will be a fad that will soon be gone.

–Tomi Ahonen, September 13, 2017 [1]

…I guess that will have to do.

REFERENCES:

[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2017/09/iphone-x-now-the-pain.html