Let me start this by saying that everyone has a right to change their minds and very often they should. But I think this is still worth to report:

Few years back I tried to track why and when Tomi Ahonen turned from Nokia fan to Nokia hater (surprisingly it was not February 11th 2011, not even close). Until that point Nokia was the ruler and no matter how bad the Symbian strategy was, they were winning. After that point it was of course Android that Tomi had “always said” would be the thing. And for soon nine years Apple has been the one that is losing the war. I’ll quote:

As long as Apple investors are not under any illusions that Apple would one day ‘rule the world’ of smartphones, and its role will be in the 10%-15% market share mid term, maybe more like 6%-8% in the long term

–Tomi Ahonen, January 04, 2014 [1]

Apple will own about 8% of the phone market around year 2020 when all phones sold are smartphones and most app developers will find that totally irrelevant to bother with.

–Tomi Ahonen, October 29, 2014 [2]

I have been arguing against this. Here’s my take from two years ago, put into form of bullet points:

  • Cheap phones sell for fraction of a margin of one single iPhone.
  • High end is the only category in which Apple sells, they are increasing unit sales, profits and market share in the category.
  • 20% of the smartphone-buying population of this planet cannot be iGeeks.
  • Apple gathers over 60% of the profits of handset industry with their market share. That is winning.
  • Due to high price of iPhone, Apple users will be far more likely to pay for their apps. These are customers you cannot ignore.
  • Apple has this ecosystem for themselves and doesn’t share it with others. That is also winning.
  • Any player in this industry would love to switch places with Apple and start selling these to those people that Tomi called ‘iGeeks’, even Samsung. (That is very much winning.)

–Anonymous Ex-Nokian, January 14, 2014 [3]

Today Tomi made a blog post about Apple. It was complete opposite of about everything he has told in the past (compare to caption above). I don’t take direct quotes as it’s a long read, but feel free to read it full [4] or then you can just go by the bullet points here:

  • Apple only sells premium price smartphones, the average sales price for Apple is literally the highest in the industry.
  • Apple has the largest market share in the premium phone category (where else would you want to have your lead if you could select a category?)
  • In any tech would want to have the passionate loyalty of Apple, where whatever generation new iPhone it is, people will stand in line OVERNIGHT to be able to buy the first of the newest model.
  • Apple will keep selling something well above 200 million iPhones any year and could go well above 250 million in a good year.
  • Apple has RAISED its prices last year AND grew 20% more in unit sales. (Nobody else can do that.)
  • Apple has 20% of the installed base.
  • The RICHEST digital customers are disproportionately iPhone owners, the median income of iPhone owners is the highest of any major smartphone brand, by a large margin.
  • Apple is so big that nobody can ignore iPhone, they can sustain a whole ecosystem just around their own customers
  • Apple iPhone will be selling in significant levels still in 2025, similar to how the Mac keeps selling its PC year in and year out.
  • Around 2020 iPhones sell about 10% of all smartphones sold worldwide.
  • Any other manufacturing company, truly any other (even Samsung), would love to have Apple’s core customers and their loyalty.

–Tomi Ahonen, January 27, 2016 [4]

That is a total 180 degree turn there. Like the one where Tomi turned from a Nokia fan to a Samsung fan. Like… How did Tomi put it?

I have to do my Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde transformation from ‘hating Apple’ to ‘Apple fan-boy’.

–Tomi Ahonen, January 27, 2016 [4]

Well, eight years late is better than never. I hope this lasts.

REFERENCES:

[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/01/so-previewing-smartphone-bloodbath-year-5-who-is-still-left-alive.html

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/10/iphone-393-m-units-in-q3-sorry-i-missed-this-news-a-week-ago.html

[3] https://dominiescommunicate.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/my-thoughts-on-year-2014-forecast-of-tomi-ahonen/

[4] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2016/01/chillax-apple-is-not-crashing-iphone-has-best-loyalty-of-any-phone-with-massive-sales-and-highest-pr.html

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