We don’t have full year 2013 numbers yet but as I am doing my verdicts on Tomi’s forecast accuracy I’ll throw his 2013 into mix too. We have 3 quarters of stats and we know all the news from fourth quarter (meaning that we know there have not been huge catastrophes that could radically alter the numbers. Please note that it will take roughly one month before we have ALL Q4 2013 results, so I am calling this preliminary verdict as we don’t have exact numbers. Big lines we know already.

Tomi starts his year 2013 forecast by handing links to those three forecasts you have been reading during past three days. I have no clue why and just to make sure we don’t want to skip those, he advertises a bit:

Should you care what I think of the smartphone space? Well…. I just happen to be the most accurate forecaster of this industry, have been for more than a decade now.

[1]
Boy the other forecasters MUST REALLY SUCK if we consider the Tomi’s forecast accuracy (or preferably lack of such) we have witnessed during last three years.

MISS:

This is the year Tizen will ship. Tizen at least initially will feature Samsung’s top phones, so imagine the Galaxy S4 but running an evolution of what we saw with MeeGo on Nokia’s award-winning N9. And the beauty with Tizen is the carrier community around it, starting with NTT DoCoMo which promises to start to sell Tizen phones in Japan this year. Tizen’s launch will be seen as the perfect case study of contrasts, how can Samsung now, as world’s largest smartphone maker and world’s largest phone maker, with the help of carriers, switch from the world’s most used smartphone OS (Android) to its new OS developed with Intel (Tizen). And the intention is to launch new smartphones in parallel with the existing system but introduce first Tizen phones at the top end of the price pyramid, as flagships.

(removed Elop-rant)

This year around Q4 it probably won’t be more than 5% or 10% of Samsung’s overall smartphones that run on Tizen.

No Tizen in 2013, so this forecast is off by a mile.

HIT:

What is Samsung’s overall market share range for this year? I think they’re pretty safely in roughly the 30% range, say between 25% and 35% of all smartphones sold this year and obviously over 95% of those will be on Android for the full year.

For the market share (that we yet don’t have) Samsung will be most likely around the 30% marker Tomi promised.

MISS:

I am ‘sure’ that Apple will split the product line at some point, and start to release two (and eventually more than two) new models, one at the top end to replace what is now the iPhone 5 series, and another significantly cheaper with near half price and more basic technical specs and probably a less sexy exterior, more plastic in parts, not quite that slim, etc. But when will we see that? There is growing speculation that such a ‘Nano’ model is in the works and might be released for the Autumn of 2013 in time for Christmas sales, with the new iPhone 5X model at the top end, the new flagship, released earlier, like the last week of June. This would be very healthy for Apple’s position.

That did not happen. Apple has been selling three models in the past, one of them the most latest iPhone, others cheaper.
When iPhone 4S came out, price of iPhone 4 was dropped (nowhere near the “half the price” that Tomi demands) and iPhone 3GS was free with contract (real price actually quite close to half of the price of iPhone 4S).
Now when Apple launched iPhone 5S, they discontinued iPhone 5 and replaced it with iPhone 5C that has equal specs but more colorful shell. Two years old iPhone 4S is available at price that e.g. in DNA in Finland is literal half of what cheapest iPhone 5S costs. (That would still be 349€, just 50€ cheaper than less than year old Lumia 925 which is from highest end of Lumia line.)
5S/5C is not the product line split Tomi has been asking for. There technically has been “half-price iPhone” for years but what comes to “iPhone nano” that costs half of the high-end iPhone and would be launced along the expensive one – that has not happened. Apple was selling three iPhones after launch of iPhone 4S, they are selling three iPhones today.

HIT:

So, if Apple continues with only one iPhone model, they will struggle to hold to the 20% level for the full year 2013, give them a range of 15% – 20% but if they release a parallel lower cost model, then by Q4 they could have combined iPhone sales in the 25% to 30% range.

At the moment Apple seems to head for 18% full year market share. It is possible that they hit 25% for Q4 like Tomi forecasted, without the product line split done as Tomi desired. I’ll add exact numbers here when we have them.

Huawei become the world’s third largest smartphone maker last year and essentially all major analysts agree with me on this (I was the first analyst to call it).

WHOA! Just yesterday we read how Tomi said Huawei was one of the pretenders that could grow up to be contenders of the top 5 players in next year or two. First analyst to call it? Sure…

MISS:

They should end the year somewhere in the 15% market share level, say 12% – 17% as their target range with higher numbers towards Q4 than the full year numbers. And let me suggest that if Apple doesn’t give us a Nano iPhone this year, Huawei might outsell the iPhone in smartphones by Q3 (if the iPhone 5X launches for Christmas) or by Q4 (if the new iPhone 5X launches for the summer). For the full year, Apple is still likely to hold to its 2nd place ranking but for perhaps one quarter this year, Huawei may jump Apple and then it will be a big run for 2nd place into year 2014.

iPhone 5S and 5C count more towards Q4 which means fourth quarter will favor Apple. An as in third quarter Huawei had 5% market share and Apple had 13%, [2] I wouldn’t hold my breath while waiting for their 12%-17% market share, Tomi.

HIT:

And honestly, I can’t find currently major differences in the pack of Chinese makers that follow. ZTE is the biggest of the rest, and have the widest available country and carrier footprint. They had about 5% market share. Lenovo only entered the global Top 10 last year (displacing Motorola) and Coolpad is just outside the Top 10 currently at 11th, waiting to displace Nokia which is happening probably now in Q1 of 2013. Lenovo started its global expansion last summer heading to Russia, India etc and Coolpad is about to follow on those footsteps. Each of these three will grow in size this year, grabbing market share and climbing up the Top 10 chart.

It indeed seems to be that all three were climbing up the ladder last year. Exact positions will be clear when Q4 numbers are out.

MISS:

So for the year, ZTE should grow into the about 7%-8% range, Lenovo get into the 5% range and Coolpad enter and stake a solid Top 10 position in the 3%-4% market share range for the year.

They all will linger around the 4%-5% marker. ZTE did not make it to 7%-8% area. I’ll get back to this when Q4 results are out.

MISS:

I think Blackberry will end the year roughly where it was by Q4, but has a modest upside. Lets say their range is 4% to 6%.

In third quarter BlackBerry was already out of top 10 with 2% market share. We have heard their numbers for 4th quarter and they are even worse. It currently seems BlackBerry will end the year at 1%, total year may be about 2% so Tomi is off by 200% to 300%.

MISS:

But like Lenovo, lets deal with Sony as only its own sales, excluding any corporate purchases, so Sony alone should grow and end the year with something like 6% to 8% market share. This year I don’t see Sony returning to the number 3 slot but number 4 is very well in the cards for the Japanese electronics giant.

Sony was positioned 7th at 4% in third quarter and with Apple’s strong sales Lenovo is very unlikely to reach number 4 in fourth quarter, far less 6%-8% market share.

MISS:

Nokia life? I have been saying since the summer of 2012 that I expect Nokia to be sold any week now. I still think so.

But yes. I do think Nokia will be sold.

Does selling Devices&Services division count? Was Nokia sold this year or not? Tomi insisted that Nokia-Siemens Networks would have been sold but instead Nokia ended up buying 100% of it to itself. Nokia exists still, nobody bought Nokia, just the handset business.
So I would call this a miss, some may say it was a hit. Readers shall decide.

HIT:

I say Nokia’s high end ceiling for this year is that 3%. I don’t see it happening, I think Nokia will sell 2% of the smartphones of this year. But yes, 3% is the upside ceiling. And on the downside? When past collapses in the handset space happened, at these levels the companies went bankrupt and were sold (like Motorola, Palm, Siemens, etc). Nokia’s bottom end, lets say 1%. So your target for Nokia for 2013 is between 1% and 3%

Nokia will finish with full year share around 3% and Q4 share near 4% unless something extraordinary happens.

HIT:

I’ll say HTC is in the 2% – 4% range for the year and might hold barey onto a Top 10 ranking. But yes, HTC might very well be suddenly sold this year.

HTC will be around 2%-3% market share for full year it seems. And it may fall of the top 10.

HIT:

expect LG to end the year in something like 4% to 6% in size.

Most likely 4%. We know exact numbers later.

OPERATING SYSTEMS

And now it is once again time to go to operating systems. Last year Tomi made it to 50% accuracy. Let’s see where he gets this year:

MISS:

Android powered two thirds of all smartphones sold by year-end and that would be roughly the scale they will achieve this year too, lets say between 60% and 70%. The Blackberry and Windows Phone base is too small to make big impacts to Android under any scenarios, the only other platform which will matter to Android is Apple’s iOS. If Apple does split its iPhone range and introduce a lower-cost iPhone, expect the lower end of that scale for Android, if Apple sticks this year once more to only one iPhone model per year, then expect the higher end of that scale for Android ie near 70%.

Android was at 80% in Q3 2013. Full year will be above 70% for sure. Tomi has been failing with Android for 4 years. Perhaps year 2014 will favor Tomi’s forecasts.

MISS:

The new OS platforms (Firefox, Tizen, Sailfish etc) will not achieve scale this year to do more than a couple of percentage points of market share, which will come primarily from the Windows and Symbian share, not so much from the Android share, initially.

Actually they did no percentage points at all. Any of them.

HIT:

Apple’s iOS in smartphones will be identical to the Apple iPhone share in the above. I don’t have more to add, it will be in the 15% to 30% range depending on whether we see 1 or 2 new iPhone models this year.

Here we go again with Tomi’s “most accurate forecasts”. He forecasts a spread of whopping 15 points of percentage where anything is fine between a drop of 25% to increase of 50%. HOW COULD THIS FORECAST FAIL?!?

MISS:

The Blackberry OS was the third bestselling OS last year and will also be so this year. The story is the same as in the above, so the target is somewhere in the 4% to 6% range.

Windows Phone will be third bestselling OS. And BlackBerry will have 3% or less. Even without full Q4 numbers we know this much. So Tomi (once again) is off by about 100%.

HIT:

By Q4 the Symbian share was down to 1% and Nokia’s CFO Timo Ihamuotila has said that was the last quarter of meaningful Symbian sales levels, it will be rounded off to 0% market share for year 2013.

Yes. And once again I see no way anything else could have happened for OS that was announced end of life 2 years ago.

HIT:

Samsung’s bada was the fifth biggest OS still by sales in 2012, but as Samsung started to ramp down bada in its migration to Tizen, the sales fell towards the end of the year. This will be another platform which will have sales so slight, they are rounded off to 0% market share in 2013.

What, killing the existing OS before new one is ready is “OK strategy” and not “Osborning”?
Err… I mean “hit”. 😉

MISS:

Microsoft has recently cancelled some of its costly big programs like the Zune music player and the Kin youth phone. I think the Windows Phone project is now in jeopardy.

If Windows Phone is not ended, I can also see, it would be in Microsoft’s DNA, that Microsoft keeps pumping Billions into the eternity-project that is Windows smartphones, to ever diminshing returns. They did hit a peak at 3% market share in two quarters in the past year (but lifetime Windows smartphone peak was 12% five years ago, so its been misery ever since), I don’t see them having such luck this year, but will be closer to 2% if Nokia stays onboard for the full year and Elop remains in charge of Nokia. To be safe, lets say their range is from 1% to 3% as their market share target for the year, and don’t be surprised if Microsoft throw in the towel after Tizen and Firefox launch and carriers offer strong support of those platforms…

Full year market share for Windows Phone will be about 4%. That much for “throwing in the towel”.

MISS:

I think Tizen is pretty safe to be in the 2% range of global sales by year-end, ie at Q4 of 2012, but not much more, and for the full year, they will maybe find their share rounded off to 1% if they are lucky. But it will be far stronger sales growing into 2014 from that strong start.

Tizen was delayed to year 2014. 0% this year.

MISS:

I’d say Firefox has about 1% market share by Q4 and for the full year won’t register 1% yet. But they will grow and become stronger into 2014.

In third quarter FFOS was somewhere with “other” OSes that all sum up to 0.4%. I’d say they won’t be lucky to get 1% so it’s a miss.

MISS:

As I mentioned before, I am totally convinced that the carrier and retail support will jump from what little exists for Windows Phone to Tizen and Firefox (and Ubuntu and Sailfish) so the primary early market share gains for Firefox and Tizen will not come from Android, iOS or Blackberry, they will come primarily from Windows Phone and technically, what might have remained of Symbian at that stage (and obviously in the case of Samsung, cannibalizing its own bada in the migration to Tizen).

Wait – what? Didn’t you just say 0% Bada? What is there to cannibalize? Anyway what comes to Firefox OS, we don’t see it eating Windows Phone (also growing).

HIT:

Ubuntu, Sailfish I see only as niche players this year, launching maybe a few handsets on very marginal brands and trying to gain some attention

Yes. And I’m sure nobody was surprised that they did not get to million sales, especially if we consider Ubuntu was not supposed to ship before 2014.

So this was Tomi’s forecast for year 2013. No big improvements seen for our “most accurate forecaster”.
Tomorrow we finally get to his most recent post where he forecasts year 2014.

REFERENCES:

[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/03/preview-of-the-smartphone-wars-bloodbath-year-4-smartphones-galore-this-year-will-be-pretty-stable-w.html

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/11/bloodbath-year-four-smartphones-galore-q3-results-all-market-shares.html

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