My regular readers probably know I don’t easily get surprised by doings of Tomi Ahonen (anymore). But then there are moments when our beloved 12xauthor of mobile forgets the very basics of – let’s say – how to draw diagrams. In those moments I’m literally speechless.

Ironically, he starts by saying “This is not complex stuff.” [1]
YES, TOMI! IT IS NOT! How come you fail in it so badly?
Let me explain:


Tomi takes this graph as a basis for his point. It has spread around the web, Tomi picked his from Slashgear, [2] just to make sure we won’t have any inconsistencies, I’m picking it from there too:

Now there is one very interesting thing: Even though Tomi links to Slashgear, he never actually uses the same graph on his blog. Instead he rebuilt it. Anyone wonder why? Sure, the quality is poor but one would assume there’s other reasons? Let’s see his version:


So what is different?

  1. “Net sales Mix” has magically transformed into “Revenue mix”.  Now those are not the same thing! I know that those are often used in a mix if no expenses are involved, but if Nokia uses “net sales” why did he change the term in middle of process?
    (From Wikipedia: “Profits or net income generally imply total revenue minus total expenses in a given period.“)
  2. “% of Net Sales” and “100%” are also missing. So this graph shows the relative sizes of Nokias Net sales from either of its units – smart phones or feature phones (here named Mobile Phones – the business unit). Relative changes mean the top bar is always 100%.
  3. The last line: “For illustrative purposes only; Not a forecast“. That one seems to be missing too.

Now considering these three incosistencies, it is rather interesting that Tomi Ahonen actually included this line:

just to be very very sure, please do go check for example this image at Slashgear website, that I have trutfully, faithfully, reproduced exactly the image, with all detail it had, leaving nothing out, adding nothing” [1]

…I did. And listed those above.
So… Is he going to use this as “February 2011 forecast of Nokias coming revenues”?

That is your 3 leg strategy, as articulated by CEO Stephen Elop and shown by Nokia to investors and all interested parties. The Featurephones unit would retain current levels of sales until Windows Phone would come along, and even after that only very modestly see a decline in its revenues, shifted fully to Windows Phone. The Symbian unit would retain current levels of sales until Windows Phone launches, then there would be a 1 to 1 transition from Symbian to Windows Phone.” [1]

He is. For a blog post of almost 8000 words. Before I go deeper into that, let me explain one thing and do some additional work.


As said, this graph shows net sales relative to each other. I picked up Nokia net sales for 2010 (net sales, not revenues) and it looks like this:

Source: Nokia quarterly results. [3]

This is until end of Q4 2010. Just to make Tomi fans happy, I did not include Q1 2011 (the last quarter unaffected by Elop Effect).
Now what do we see here? Beginning of year is almost stalled but then net sales start the climb. The last pillar ends way above the first pillar as net sales increased over year. Now let’s put this into the format of previously mentioned graph:

This is exactly same data. The mid line goes down since percentage of smartphone net sales increased over the year. And the top line is – of course – horizontal 100%.


Now unit sales have tanked for 2011 and 2012. It would be interesting to see how reality matches to the “illustrative, not forecast” graph, right?
Let’s put all that data to this form:

Please note that this is now having all three of MeeGo, Symbian and Lumia combined to same area. That is since Nokia does not hand out “Lumia net sales” or “N9 net sales”, only units shipped (for Lumia). And we can’t track net sales from that since that depends on manufacturing costs, actual sales prices etc. Simply no way to tell how much each of them contributed. But this is the intent of original graph (except for Windows phone transition) as it took place so far. Since sales of Symbian and Lumia are closing to same, we could assume the top part could have that “transition” sliding from top to mid-way of top area.


Now this is the “so far” version of the original “For illustrative purposes only; Not a forecast” graph of net sales. Tomi Ahonen has made his own version. He started from that recreated image we have seen above and in his words:

So now lets examine reality compared to that promise in the above. This is today, same items, same colors but what happened. This is those same elements but adjusted for Q3 data now.” [4]


Please do understand that this graph should not exist. It is utterly impossible for anyone who has ever created even one graph of that type to end up with something like this. He is right on the part that this is same colors. Because only thing this graph shares with the original state are – indeed – the colors.

Remember I said we can’t track net sales from the quarterly results since that depends on manufacturing costs, actual sales prices etc.? I think I said “simply no way to tell how much each of them contributed”?
So where did Tomi Ahonen pull that data? It seems he used his analysis that I have covered before: (visit link)

I stand with that conclusion: this man is either incredibly incompetent or then incredible liar (as he is expecting people to buy this).