This post has very different tone than my usual posts. This is due to it being article of Tomi Ahonen with very few modifications. In brief I have replaced in his text:
-IDC with Tomi Ahonen.
-Windows Phone with Tizen.
-Microsoft with Intel
-Nokia with Samsung
-and Bada with Windows Phone.
After reading this, you may want to check the original (click here).
-Anonymous Ex-Nokian-

I mostly do not comment on forecasts, as forecasts are guesses and your guess is often as good as mine. Except when there is a moronic forecast. Like Tomi Ahonen is peddling now its completely biased, clearly self-serving and baseless ‘forecast’ that by year 2015 smartphones running Tizen will outsell the iPhone. This is so ludicrous it warrants a ‘Stats Police’ blog posting. Shame on you Tomi, shame on you! This is unworthy of you, no matter how much money Samsung and Intel have paid you. Because no facts in the handset space, none whatsoever, provide any basis for your ‘prediction’. It is not even plausible. Besides, isn’t this the same Tomi who promised that Tizen would start outselling Windows Phone at end of 2012 (actually Samsung delayed Tizen to first half of 2013).

What happened? This is what Tomi Ahonen has just published in Twitter (I will not provide link as I am totally against this kind of tactic of posting outlandish claims to try to drive traffic – do not buy any Tomi Ahonen reports or studies, he is unprofessional).

First, before we even consider those, note that this is an ‘update’ to a bizarre and unrealistic projection Tomi Ahonen made when he promised that Tizen would outsell Windows Phone straight from the launch Q4 2012 (sound familiar? So this is a strategy by Tomi Ahonen to get headlines).


So. If Tomi Ahonen issues an update to his forecast, now claiming that Tizen will pass the iOS too. I say if Tomi Ahonen is the least bit professional, he will explain why his forecast has altered so dramatically in a period of one year. Android gained 13 market share points (!) from last year, dramatic growth, is this a peak year for Android somehow? I don’t see any evidence of that happening, quite the contrary. Major Android providers like HTC, LG and Sony have shifted from Windows Phone to more Android. There is no evidence of a reduction in Android production from any news source or any Android manufacturer, but much news of added interest in Android. Android is likely to grow, not shrink.


Then the Apple forecast. How convenient. So Tomi does not give direct Apple forecast, but he previously had no problem with 2016 market share projection of 19% (already achieved at end of Q4 2011). Less than 10% was “other” OSes, so iOS and Tizen would together be responsible of market share of 38.1% – assuming iOS is ‘just’ below the Tizen market share of 19.1% so that Tomi can still claim Tizen will pass the iPhone.

That leaves only 52% for Android. Why is Tomi downgrading the Android market share so dramatically?


And then the big point that forced me to comment. Where is Windows Phone! Yes. Microsoft’s smartphone OS. If Tomi is going to take money from Samsung and Intel to sell his bogus forecasts, then at least he should admit that Windows phone has been increasing unit sales for the last year! Yes. Last quarter, Q2, all Windows Phone based smartphones sold 4.6 million units. It is selling millions of units per quarter compared to Tizen that has not launched at all! For last year, 2011, Windows Phone sold 5.3 Million units in total. Now it is selling almost the same in one quarter. Where is Windows Phone? This year we heard Samsung is discontinuing Bada in order to focus on Windows Phone. Where is the Microsoft ecosystem – which today is already existing, whereas Tizen is still in development! Windows Phone has existing developer community. Where is Windows Phone. Tomi, you are not telling the whole truth. You are deliberately deceiving your readers by ignoring two major, rapidly growing players. Shame on you Tomi!


And most of all, the whopper Tizen projection. Tomi must have been paid to get that story out, why else would he risk his reputation with this whopper of a fantasy. It is against EVERY historical precedent in this industry. What did Tomi promise us in this forecast? That by year 2015 Tizen will reach 19.1% market share and be bigger than the iPhone. Absolute rubbish!

But the growth rate? Compare it to Apple. The first full year that the iPhone was sold (calendar year 2008) Apple sold 13.5 million units and took 11% of the smartphone market globally. Windows Phone in its first full year of sales, only managed 5.3 million units, and as the market has grown a lot, only did 1% market share. Hold that thought.

Now Tomi claims that Tizen will take 19.1% market share by year 2015. How many smartphones is that? On a very conservative estimate, the world will sell about 1 Billion smartphones in the year 2015( it will be more than that). Out of this low-ball estimate, at 1 Billion, Tizen would need to sell 191 Million smartphones in year 2015. Is that realistic? The iPhone has now been selling for four years. By the end of this year, it will have sold 5 years. And the iPhone will sell about 145-150 million iPhones this year (I agree with IDC’s iPhone market share projection for this year). Apple went from 13.5 million to 145 million in five years. A growth of nearly 11-fold in a five year period. It is an Annual Growth Rate sustaining on average of 81% annual growth rate (nearly doubling every year) over the 5 year period. This is the world record in smartphone launch, in history.

Now Tomi promises that Tizen will start from zero, and then growth above the level where Apple will be? Rather than grow from 13.5 million to 145 million, Tomi dares to suggest that Tizen will go from 0 to.. 191 million in almost half the amount of time!!!! Now for annual growth rate of 81% – same as world-record Apple – it means during opening year 2013 Tizen needs to sell.. 58.3 million units!!! And it’s not even a full year! This is utterly impossible. Tomi is suggesting that Intel, Tizen and Samsung can somehow grow at the rate of the best-ever launch of smartphones ever in history, started by selling four times as many units in less-than-a-year as iPhone sold on first full year?Somehow Samsung and Intel can be four times as desirable as the iPhone? What planet is Tomi Ahonen living on? What solar system? What galaxy? Not in this planet earth, not in our lifetimes. No way. No f*cking way will Tizen grow from zero to yearly sales of 190 million units in less than three years. No way will Tizen grow from 0% to 19.1% in three years. No way will Samsung and Tizen grow to be bigger than the iPhone in three years. This is one of the most ridiculous forecasts ever published. Shame on you Tomi, this is a disgrace!


Tizen is not growing manufacturers. The Intel Tizen partnership is bleeding partners. Yes, their handset manufacturer base is shrinking! Not mentioned in Tomi’s tweet, is it? Now we hear Samsung delaying their work on Tizen as they are shifting to .. Windows Phone.

So Tomi? The Samsung delays Tizen and focuses on Windows Phone. Where is Tomi explaining this? Why, if only Samsung and only Intel Tizen are under these retaliatory measures – why would then Tizen manage to sell at quadruple the rate of the most successful smartphone ever?


Why does this sound so familiar? Tomi has made outrageous analysis about Windows Phone before. He said Nokia has lost 4 billion dollars in profits. No, Elop did not do that. Not even close. Not even distantly similar. Tomi missed real figures by… 86%. The error was SEVEN-FOLD !!! This was one of the most mistaken analysis in the history of smartphones – and that was deliberate. Next year’s forecast. Can you trust this man to make forecasts for you – on anything? And now he peddles yet another outrageous, utterly unbelievable, truly fantastic, out-of-this-world forecast for Tizen?

If Tomi only makes the same level of error for Tizen now as he did for Nokia, and the 2015 market share is promised to be 19.1% and thus about 191 million smartphone sales – and we adjust it down to the typical Tomi error rate, then yes, if we adjust those ridiculous numbers down by 86% yes, then at 2.7% market share and about 27 million smartphone sales by year 2015 for Tizen – that is realistic. Of course that 2.7% is slightly better than the 1% I am now projecting for Tizen for next year 2013, so while yes, its better than the 0% they had last year, its not exactly the ‘Third Ecosystem’ haha, far from it.


So yes, maybe it is difficult to forecast market shares in the volatile smartphone market space? Or maybe not. Tomi predicted on January 31 of 2011 the Q1 market shares of Nokia without any knowledge of strategy change. He extrapolated it for full year and got it spot on. If you know what you are doing, this is not an impossible industry to forecast in the short term. This is not rocket science. But the Tomi projection about Tizen is utterly completely beyond anything reasonable. Tomi is simply peddling fairy-tales that have been paid for by Intel to boost Samsung’s Tizen story and Tomi is the willing prostitute that sells his reputation for the highest bidder. Shame on you Tomi (and readers, do NOT buy any Tomi reports on anything until he explains his faulty forecasts and why he persists with these implausible numbers).


This is unprofessional behavior by Tomi. He is making unrealistic projection. He has changed his past forecast and not issued any statement why the changes. He makes a totally unrealistic claim that Android is going down, when Android is gaining sales and many Tizen partners are shifting away from Tizen to Android. He makes a massive omission of ignoring Samsung’s bada and Windows Phone – where bada has outsold all Windows Phone smartphones ever quarter since both launched. That is totally unprofessional by Tomi. He furthermore makes a forecast of an utterly unrealistic – truly fantastic – projection, where Tizen, that starts from scratch – would now somehow accelerate and over the next 3 years would outgrow the growth rate of the iPhone by more than four the rate. Totally, completely, utterly unrealistic under the best of circumstances.

That is before we take into consideration the facts from the field. That Bada was cancelled. That Tizen is delayed again. That Samsung itself delays it for Windows Phone.


[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/06/paging-stats-police-no-idc-not-even-close-no-windows-phone-will-not-pass-iphone-by-2016.html