This is hopefully last post to the series about sales forecast of original iPhone from Tomi Ahonen but we’ll see if he comes up with something new. This is most recent from Tomi:

I was one of the few who predicted accurately that in its first full year, yes the iPhone would hit 10 million sales but not much above that. There were many experts of the handset industry back then who said the 10 million mark was impossible to achieve, it would be a world record for a new phone brand. And there were some Apple-fanatics who felt 10 million was too low and Apple would do much more than that. I correctly predicted the 10 million mark, before the first iPhone was sold.

[1]
Okay, I did this before: Tomi’s “forecast” is not really forecast. No worries, he explains this next:

That is not particularly impressive as it was Steve Jobs’s announced target number at the time. So my ‘prediction’ was more about could Steve Jobs accurately forecast his first year sales than what the market would really be.

[1]
Thank you Tomi. Good correction from you.

Wait, you have something to add?

Go ahead.

The truly astonishing forecast by me, was the accurate geographic split of where those first 10 million iPhones would be sold. Nobody else gave a geographic split of iPhone sales before any were even shipped to stores. And I was dead-on with that forecast.

[1]
Are you f*cking kidding me?
Seriously, Tomi? Of ALL your past predictions you decide to pick that piece of work? Let me bring us your “dead-on” forecast:

  • The North American cumulative shipments will be 2.6 million iPhones by December 2008.
  • Europe will be 6.2 million iPhones shipped by December 2008.
  • Asia-Pacific will be 1.2 million iPhones total shipped by end of year 2008.
  • This means total of 10.0 million cumulative iPhone sales at end of calendar year 2008. [2]

This dead-on-arrival forecast has “minor” error in it: Apple finished their goal of 10M sold iPhones by end of October 2008, with year 2008 sales alone[3], year 2007 sales removed. The cumulative iPhone shipments at the end of September 2008 were 12.9 million[4]. By the end of december 2008 Apple had shipped total of 17.2 million iPhones [5]. You Tomi miss your “spot-on” forecast by 30 to 70 percent.

  • By 70% if we take your original forecast as it was.
  • By 30 if we accept your later appeared amnesia which has caused you to remember you talked about same period that Apple did – calendar year 2008 [6].

So yeah, Tomi’s forecast is slightly off, representing only 58% of the actual sales that took place. On regional split he doesn’t get it any better. U.S. market was supposed to account for 26% of iPhone shipments whereas in reality U.S. accounted for about half of them. [7] This is what Tomi calls “dead-on” forecast. Or – if we wish – he also sums it up saying:

I am the most accurate forecaster of the mobile industry, have been for more than a decade

[1]
Give us a break.

(Thanks @TAhonenMinusOne for the tip.)

REFERENCES:

[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/09/enter-the-iflop-what-will-be-seen-as-first-apple-failure-after-steve-jobs-but-the-first-edition-appl.html

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2007/06/crunching-numbe.html

[3] http://www.macrumors.com/2008/10/21/apple-reaches-10-million-iphone-sales-goal-for-2008/

[4] http://www.macworld.com/article/1136282/appleearnings.html

[5] http://www.macrumors.com/2009/01/21/apple-reports-1-61-billion-profit-for-q1-2009/

[6] http://www.businessinsider.com/2008/3/mystery-solved–what-apple-s-10-million-iphones-goal-means–aapl-

[7] http://appleinsider.com/articles/08/12/02/iphone_single_handedly_driving_smartphone_growth.html

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