I guess I should hand it to Tomi Ahonen for persistence. I have done this subject before and it seems I’m doing it again. So from his latest blog post:

For the full year 2010, Nokia sold 103.6 million smartphones according to the latest Quarterly data as reported by Nokia. Apple is company Green, the middle line, and as we know, Apple sold 47.5 million iPhones in 2010. So company Red is Samsung which sold 24.0 million smartphones in 2010. Nokia in smartphones was literally more than twice as big as Apple and more than four times as big as Samsung in 2010.” [1]

This was about Tomi’s most-used graph showing the “crash of Nokia due to Elop Effect”. I have written about it before (click here, worth the read), but I want to focus on other part not obviously covered well enough so far:

Nokia was MORE than twice as big as its nearest rivals.” [1]

Now the most astonishing part. Here is actual sales for year 2009 and 2010 and the absolute growth for Nokia smartphones, Apple iPhones and Samsung smartphones. Look at the amount of growth in 2009-2010

COMPANY . . . SMARTPHONES 2009 . . . SMARTPHONES 2010 . . . GROWTH 2009-2010
Nokia . . . . . . . 67.8 million . . . . . . . . . . . 103.6 million . . . . . . . . . . . 35.8 million
Apple . . . . . . . 25.1 million . . . . . . . . . . . . 47.5 million . . . . . . . . . . . 22.4 million
Samsung . . . . 24.0 million . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.0 milllion . . . . . . . . . . . 17.0 milllion
Source: Company data
This table may be freely shared

The gap between Nokia and its rivals was not closing in 2010, it was GROWING. Nokia grew more than its rivals. Nokia smartphones unit was growing more than Apple iPhone or Samsung’s smartphone unit. Remember, these are absolute numbers, don’t be fooled by the propaganda and spin-doctors, whether at Apple, Microsoft or Nokia who may talk about ‘growth rate’ as a percentage. The growth ‘rate’ measure is mathematically skewed always to show the smallest rival to seem to have the biggest rate, when in absolute terms it might not be so. For real competition, real growth, you have to always compare by absolute numbers.” [1]

Thank you Tomi. First of all, “Nokia was MORE than twice as big as its nearest rivals“? Could you then have in the graph RIM and Apple (in that order) as those were Nokia’s biggest rivals in 2010? No? Well how about HTC which was bigger than Samsung? Not that either? Tomi, you are dishonest.
But let’s do exactly what you said and “compare by absolute numbers“. I am most interested in this (exact) sentence of yours: “The gap between Nokia and its rivals was not closing in 2010, it was GROWING.” So I made three graphs. (Numbers for all graphs are from your blog, references [2] [3] [4] and [5].) First is zoom-in from your graph – unit sales of all three in 2010:


This has nothing new to offer, moving on. Second graph is the sales difference of all three compared to Nokia (in millions of units). This is the “gap between Nokia and its rivals” that “was not closing in 2010, it was GROWING” (gap of Nokia vs. Nokia is naturally flat zero):


So the gap “was not closing in 2010“? Really? When you compare to 2009 (where RIM was biggest competitor to Nokia and Samsung way below HTC) it indeed gives that illusion. And one can even stare at Q2 2010 and have that illusion. But for later half of the year (and even if we compare Q3 to to Q1!!!) gap is indeed closing, not growing. Tomi, you lie to us.
Then last (but not least), comparison of Nokia versus literal “twice as big as Apple” and “four times as big as Samsung“:


Unsurprisingly, Nokia stopped being over twice the size of Apple and over four times size of Samsung in 2010. Nokia was less than three times size of Samsung as the year ends.
So if we want to talk about Nokia’s 2010 performance, Nokia indeed was all that you say for first half of the year but for later half of 2010 Nokia was nothing that you say.
Now returning to your blog:

If you want to believe in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and any myths that Apple was growing faster than Nokia in 2010, enjoy your delusions up there on whatever planet you live on. Here at the CDB Blog we deal only with the hard facts, not the myths. The reality is – those are actual reported numbers by Nokia and Apple direct from their quarterly results. Like Bill Clinton said, its just math. If you live on Planet Earth, your reality will tell you, Nokia grew in 2010, in smartphones, more than Apple did, and as Nokia already was more than twice as big as Apple, and Nokia already was profitable, and Nokia’s profits were growing, this is winning. Nokia was winning the smartphone wars against Apple’s iPhone in 2010. The math is undeniable.” [1]

The math is deniable. You see Tomi, here in DC Blog we look at quarterly results. 🙂
That aside, I actually do agree with Tomi Ahonen that Nokia was in a dominating position. Of course I do – that part of math is indeed undeniable. But there was a bad trend going on, not to mention Android sales passing Symbian sales somewhere between December 2010 and February 2011:


Did this need full change of strategy from Nokia abandoning Symbian and MeeGo? Beats me. I would have put more effort on the existing OSes than jumping on to bandwagon heading to unknown destination. Sure, rivals are going to pass you by somewhere in the future but at least in 2012 target the company would be in better shape than it is now. (This all assuming MeeGo was not a dead-end.)
But hey, apparently we agree on that one.


[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/01/second-picture-in-the-nokia-destruction-saga-greatest-individual-management-mistake-ever-made-nokia-.html

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/05/smartphones-bloodbath-after-q1-full-review-of-each-brand-and-player.html

[3] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/08/final-numbers-q2-of-2010-for-smartphone-market-shares.html

[4] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/11/bloodbath-q3-final-numbers-the-smartphone-race-gets-ever-more-tight.html

[5] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2011/02/smartphone-bloodbath-2010-now-final-numbers-q4-and-full-year-2010-and-each-rival-awarded-their-final.html