Benedict Evans called Tomi “the Sage of Hong Kong”. I suppose some sarcasm was involved. But what happens when our sage is doing marketshares? Do we expect something odd to happen?

This one from Tomi Ahonen is one of the most amazing texts he has produced:

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).” [12]

I thought Tomi just made a massive typo there but no, he keeps with that fact:


You know Tomi: Prasenjit probably does not know that. Neither does rest of the population of this planet. You have given us OS specific spread from Q2 (I think that’s “smartphones sold now” and “new sales smartphones”):

1 . . . . Android . . . . . . . . . 102.4 M . . . . 66.9 % . . . . . . . ( 55.6 %)
2 . . . . iOS  . . . . . . . . . . . . 26.0 M . . . . 17.0 % . . . . . . . ( 24.2 %)
3 . . . . Blackberry . . . . . . . . 7.8 M . . . . . 5.1 % . . . . . . . (  7.6 %)
4 . . . . Symbian  . . . . . . . . . 5.0 M . . . . . 3.3 % . . . . . . . (  5.4 %)
5 . . . . Windows Phone . . . . 4.6 M . . . . . 3.0 % . . . . . . . (   1.6 %)
6 . . . . bada  . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.1 M . . . . . 2.7 % . . . . . . . (   2.6 %)
7 . . . . MeeGo . . . . . . . . . .  1.2 M . . . . . 0.8 % . . . . . . . (   1.5 %)
8 . . . . Windows Mobile . . . . 0.3 M . . . . . 0.2 % . . . . . . . (   0.3 %)
others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1.6 M . . . . . 1.0 % . . . . . . . (   1.1 %)
” [13]

Android phone must have a touch screen in order to be accepted by Google. Android applications are written with the expectation of Touch Screen being present. Android == touch screen, period. iOS is touch-only. Same for Windows Phone and MeeGo. And so far all Bada devices are having touch screen. According to Tomi Ahonen himself those sum up to 90.8% of phones sold in Q2 2012.
Sorry Tomi, but I think I’ll take my smartphone statistics from Prasenjit from now on. His 90+% was correct and makes more sense than your 40%.

(The text above was originally at end of post but I had to put this as first item as it is so ridiculous. Sorry for ruining the ordering of reference numbers.)

For me, this post starts from Tomi Ahonen (the Ex-Nokia Executive and 12x author of mobile) slipping this out of his mouth – erm, keyboard (in March, 2012):

Now comes news from Nokia’s home market where Nokia traditionally had over 80% market share – even higher in smartphones – that the Finnish handset retailers are refusing to sell Lumia.” [1]

Now I’m not this time writing about the “refusing to sell Lumia”. I already pointed out it’s a lie.
I’m more interested in the “had over 80% market share – even higher in smartphones“.
That sounds REALLY credible for someone from Finland. And – how did Tomi put it a while ago? – “monkeys might fly out of my butt“? [2]

Now I assumed then that Tomi was just a bit too excited and spilled coffee on the keyboard, but no. This is more recent, from Twitter:


Thank you Tomi for exact dates. So you say this September 5th, 2012. Taking back 18 months takes us to… March 5th, 2011 – meaning Q1 2011 numbers. IDC tells us that Nokia had 59% of Finnish smartphone market in Q1 2011 [17], which means your number is over 150% of the correct and… No, let’s not do that.
If I use stats from March, you will say Elop Effect killed sales in February 11th and therefore any figure from March is already ruined. So how about before Elop Effect?

We could start with “most sold phones in January” from the operators? Definitely not Elop Effect. Do we see Nokia ruling the list with its Symbian-based near 90% market share?

1. ZTE Blade
2. Apple iPhone 4
3. HTC Desire HD
4. Nokia C7-00
5. Nokia 5230
6. Nokia 2330 (feature phone)
7. Nokia X3-02 (feature phone)
8. HTC Desire Z
9. Nokia N8-00
10. HTC Desire” [4]

Top 3 does not even include Nokia. Is that Symbian-base Nokia owning the Finnish smartphone market? Now the three major operators in Finland have usually very similar lists, but since I can’t find the two others, one is not enough. Let’s return to the IDC, shall we? We have Q3 2010 and Q1 2011. [17] However, Q4 2010 we have to approximate from IDC based graph [18] which gives us 66%.

Nokia market shares:
Quarter  Finland  Global
Q3 2010    76%     33%
Q4 2010    66%     28,5%
Q1 2011    59%     24%
(Finland number IDC, global number Tomi Ahonen Consulting)

So to Tomi says “over 80% market share” when reality is 66%.
For Tomi’s “near 90%” in March 2011 the reality is 59%.

Unbelievable mistake from someone who constantly says he hates bad statistics (and calls himeslf most accurate forecaster). Could he try to have even PAST numbers right?

<UPDATE>Tomi should start reading my blog. Here’s recent tweet:

As we just witnessed, yes and no. Even in Finland there is no way that “anything made by Nokia will sell bucketloads”. But I do agree that Nokia sells better in Finland than rest of the world. And we just saw that Nokia’s market share in Finland dropped like rest of the world. (And yes, Finland is too small of a market to be used as measurement for Nokia’s success.)

So Tomi is clueless what comes to Finland. But hey, guy has been away for a long time. It’s totally normal to mistakenly claim market share figures that are 150% of the reality, right?
(Sorry, trick question. It’s not normal.)
As said, this started in March, but recent tweet made me suspect Tomi may be a bit lost.
First we got to know he is clueless also with UK (read here).
And we know from past he fails with global market shares too (read here).

But now China? Tomi lives in Hong Kong, I’m sure he is having clear visibility to China? Let’s see, he seems to be able to give exact percent there:

Nokia had 77% market share in China – the world’s biggest smartphone market where Apple had a pittance and Windows doesn’t register on the charts.” [5]

In 2010 Canalys reported Nokia’s market share of Chinese smartphones was a staggering 77%. Note, China is the world’s largest smartphone market too, far bigger than the USA and growing far faster.” [6]

The most obvious and best-known is the Nokia Smartphones unit, which used to make Symbian based smartphones and two years ago, was the bestselling smartphone brand on 5 of the 6 inhabited continents and selling so incredibly well, that in the world’s biggest smartphone country/market, China, Nokia’s (Symbian based) smarpthone market share was 77%. Apple’s iPhone has never had 77% share in its best market, the USA. Think about that for a moment.” [7]

Okay, I’ll think about it.
Could it be that This market share was actually a trace from past and lost before Elop effect?


Okay, the same 77% and you say it was lost because Elop killed Symbian. But I mean – are you sure about this, Tomi? Perhaps the market share loss came from some other reason?

Nokia so much owned the world’s largest smartphone market – China (far bigger than the USA) that Nokia had 77% market share in smartphones just there. And it wasn’t even Nokia’s best market by market share.” [9]

Hmmm… Considering the beginning of this post, I have to assume Finland was the better one.

Regular readers of this blog know this part of what happened next. That many true mobile experts jumped on this partership immediately as a doomed venture, that it would result in a total market collapse due to the Osborne Effect and simultaneous Ratner Effect (that I have dubbed since as the Elop Effect, the costliest management error of all time).” [9]

Okay! Okay! You say Elop did it! We hear you Tomi.
Except that – like CN said in his post about your China statistic skills – “you are bullshitting us“.

I’m sure we can get somewhere the Market share of Nokia in China, just before Elop killed Symbian. (I have already pointed out that valid number would be Q1 2011, but for all those people belonging to Tomi Ahonen Fanclub, I’ll use Q4 2010). I want to do best I can here. Since Tomi chooses to use Canalys, let’s use Canalys:

Nokia’s share in China slipped to 56%, down from 76% a year ago” [10]

76% at end of 2009, 56% at end of 2010. But wait, we KNOW market share was 77% in 2010, right?
So… at which point of 2010?
It seems that it was (unsurprisingly) Q2 of 2010, according to Canalys. [11] So Nokia suffered same market share collapse in China as it did elsewhere. And Tomi is using outdated info. This is same lie Tomi tells us all the time.
Now Tomi, just that you know it, using numbers that are 37% off from recorded history does not increase your credibility.

But Tomi is not done with China, yet. Let’s hear his latest:

So, then what was this madness that Elop said today in New York? I mentioned the Gizmodo live blog which wrote the Elop statement like this “Elop says China quickly becoming largest WP market in the world.” – This may be misquoted or mis-stated, note I have not seen anyone else livetweet this or quote Elop from New York (yet) making that statement. And it is not a verbatim quote of Elop, that is my direct quote of how Gizmodo reported it. But there is no reason to question Gizmodo’s live tweeting. If Elop did make this claim, this is bullshit at the batshit-crazy level.

I wrote my very deep analysis of why it is NOT POSSIBLE for Windows Phone to be selling particularly well in China right now. You can go read that analysis if you need the evidence. Suffice it to quote latest Canalys statistics for Q2 which find China market at 81% Android, 9% iOS, and Nokia only with 6%. In China Nokia has long-standing carrier relationships with the two biggest carriers, China Mobile and China Unicom, who sell Symbian and MeeGo based smartphones. Only the smallest Chinese carrier, China Telecom has even accepted the Lumia into its offering (and also sells the other operating systems too). So its definitely certain that Lumia cannot sell more than one sixth of that 6%. If you think somehow 1% of China is Nokia’s best market, when Lumia global market share was 3%, then you are mathematically challenged. This is physically not possible. Elop is lying – if that is what he said in New York today.” [12]

Tomi, this has nothing to do with physics. But I do think you give us mathematical challenges very frequently. You refer to your old article about iPhone sales vs. Windows Phone sales. iPhone outsells Windows Phone rather universally so no need to go there. But that is not what Elop said. And he did not say that China is Nokia’s best market either. Elop said China is quickly becoming largest WP market in the world.

But to your proofs: Why do you pick market shares? If you go by market share, Finland is the largest Windows Phone market in the world. You should be comparing unit sales, not market shares. Also, why do you stick with the operators? 90% of phones sold in China are sold bypassing the operators. (Unlocked devices from non-operator stores). Counting Nokia’s share of operator market is irrelevant.
(It’s okay Tomi – we are starting to understand how difficult these market share/unit sales things are to you. I think you proposed term “mathematically challenged”?)

So unit sales it is, then. Now how many units of Windows Phone were sold in Q2?
4.6 million, according to you. [13]
How many units of them were sold in China?
390 000, according to change in installed base. [14]
Now that’s one single country responsible of over 8% of the global sales. Fits for “largest market”, no?
Let’s add some more info. I said installed base.
How many Windows Phones out there?
14 million, according to you, Tomi. [13]
And Windows Phone installed base in China?
730 000. [14]
So China installed base of Windows Phones is not even 5% of global, yet the market is selling 8% of the sales. That simply means that China market is growing, as Elop said.

So Tomi, you don’t want to call it “becoming largest Windows Phone market” just yet?
Very well, here’s the trick: Installed base has increased by 400 000 during July-August timeframe. [14] So sales have accelerated after Lumia line was – according to you – “osborned”. Accelerated by over 50%, even.

Sorry, Tomi but China indeed seems to become the largest Windows Phone market. And Nokia holds 76% of the Windows Phone market in China, selling all five Lumia models (800C included) there, not just 800C as you suggest.

It ssems to me that Market shares (and unit sales) are difficult to Tomi indeed.