Going through the usual FUD from Tomi Ahonen the author and mobile analyst. I’ll have few statements here:
–Tomi Ahonen, October 28th, 2015 [1]

No other published analyst in Spring 2011 suggested Nokia’s market share would fall this fast. Nobody else forecasted such a huge collapse in smartphone sales.

–Tomi Ahonen, July 21st, 2014 [2]

–Tomi Ahonen, October 21st, 2013 [3]

Every single industry analyst, who released an estimate or forecast of the smartphone market for the future, released during 2010, predicted that Nokia was so incredibly strong in the smartphone field, that Nokia would remain the biggest not just through 2011 but also through 2012.

–Tomi Ahonen, September 3rd, 2013 [4]

I suppose this will do for the base case:

  • Nobody else forecasted in February 2011 that Nokia would collapse as fast as it did.
  • No analyst in 2010 forecasted that Nokia would not be the largest smartphone vendor in 2011 and 2012.

Let’s see then. Should we take the first one?

  • In February 2011 Horace Dediu (@asymco in Twitter) forecasted the fall of Nokia more accurately than Tomi. (visit link)
  • Tero Kuittinen, analyst at MKM Partners said that “We expect Nokia’s smartphone market share to collapse as developers abandon Symbian support following Elop’s dismissive comments about Symbian and Qt software platforms“. [5]

Need more? Tons of them exist. But it wasn’t until 2014 that Tomi took this “nobody else said right after February 11th 2011 that Nokia would collapse” story into use. Usually the story has been that prior to the event (i.e. any time before February 9th and Burning Platform memo) nobody forecasted that Nokia/Symbian would collapse.
So on to the second one. I have already done and dusted the IDC and Canalys estimates before (visit link) so I don’t go there but we do have some more:

  • IDC’s Francisco Jeronimo said already in 2009 that “The gap between these two has been narrowing, and Nokia is now facing a significant threat of being overtaken by Samsung in western Europe over the course of 2010.” [6]
  • Andrew J. Scott, CEO of Rummble in December 2009 said he would “expect to see a Nokia phone running Android within 3 years (if they are still even building hardware then!)” [7]
  • IT Candor reported in October 2010 that Apple was about to overtake Nokia in the handset market, basis being that in emerged countries Nokia was losing sales whereas in emerging countries Nokia was still gaining sales. [8]
  • Helsinging Sanomat wrote a long story about the woes of Nokia in October 2010, all this before there were even rumors about abandoning of Symbian.
  • Robert Scoble from Rackspace Hosting said in December 2010 that “Definitely the prevailing view in high-tech communities I talk with around the world is that Nokia is doomed.” [9], ironically as a response to text from Tomi Ahonen.
  • In January 2011 Gartner said – in their full year 2010 report – that “Nokia’s share of the smartphone market dropped 6.7 percentage points from 2009. Nokia’s future rests on the announcements it will make on February 11 and how well the company can execute on those plans in the limited time available.” [10] (They also said that Android overtook Nokia’s Symbian unit sales during the fourth quarter of 2010, whereas Tomi says that Android was “also-ran” OS that only overtook Symbian after Elop destroyed it.)

So let’ conclude that there is no way to say “nobody” saw it coming. Sure, a lot of people thought Nokia would triumph in the future too, Tomi Ahonen probably being most vocal about it.

Nokia will have more than a third of the total smartphone market in 2011, and in 2012, and in 2013… mark my words.

–Tomi Ahonen, December 13th, 2010 [11]

(Yes, Tomi said that in 4th quarter of 2010. Nokia’s marketshare dropped to 28% the very same quarter, without any switch to Windows Phone.)


[1] https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/659489952527331328

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/07/the-told-you-so-blog-about-nokia-predictions-and-analysis.html

[3] https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/392544611882647552

[4] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/09/the-full-story-of-nokia-and-microsoft-how-we-got-here-and-why-microsoft-will-fail-with-nokia-handset.html

[5] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nokia-idUSTRE71A0GG20110214

[6] http://www.rethink-wireless.com/2009/12/16/prepare-stand-off-top-nokia-samsung-load-weapons/

[7] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2009/12/us-west-coast-drunk-on-iphone-yes-but-android-is-not-the-answer.html?cid=6a00e0097e337c883301287637dd7e970c#comment-6a00e0097e337c883301287637dd7e970c

[8] http://www.itcandor.com/nokia-q310/

[9] http://scobleizer.com/why-nokia-is-still-doomed-no-matter-how-many-words-tomi-ahonen-writes/

[10] http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/1543014

[11] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/12/some-symbian-sanity-why-nokia-will-not-join-google-android-or-microsoft-phone-7.html