1. marcol's Avatar
    I read a couple of things over the weekend that started me thinking. Firstly this piece by Steve Litchfield over at AAS:

    http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/...artphones_.php

    in which he notes the spectacular presence of the Nokia N95 advertising on UK high streets:

    'If this isn't the smartphone going mass market then I don't know what is. It's completely true that 99% of people signing up for the Nokia N95 at (for example) 50 buy price plus a 18 month contract at 35 a month are expecting an extremely high-end, converged phone and it's true that 90% of them probably won't have heard of Symbian OS or even S60, but with this level of market awareness I'm guessing it probably doesn't matter at this stage - the interest and the sales figures will bring their own inertia.

    If you'd said 3 years ago that the flagship Symbian OS smartphone would be the object of mass market, High Street adulation on this scale, noone would have believed you...'

    Second up was this poll by HarrisInteractive:

    http://www.harrisinteractive.com/new...sp?NewsID=1209

    It contains some truly amazing stats:

    'Harris Interactive recently took a quick pulse of American adults to determine how strong the buzz really is. Although iPhone is not yet a household word, 47 percent of respondents were aware of the product and a full 17 percent expressed interest in purchasing it, which makes for a pretty loud buzz from consumers for a product that isn’t yet available.'

    'Perhaps a more interesting question to ask is when U.S. adults would buy this product. Of those expressing interest to purchase, nine percent say they would buy at product launch and another eight percent would buy before their current wireless service contract expired. About 17 percent say they would wait for their current wireless contract to expire before purchasing and 25 percent would purchase it - when their existing wireless carrier offers the iPhone. Finally, a full 40 percent of buyers intend to wait for the price to come down.'

    17% of American adults are interested in buying it and 9% of those (more than 1.5% of the total) say they will buy at launch! I'm not sure how many American adults there are, but for the sake of the argument let's say 200 million. Extrapolating: 34 million Americans say they're interested in buying the iPhone and more than 3 million say they will buy at launch. Those numbers sound just huge to me! Compare that with the global sales figures for smart devices (smartphones and PDAs) Q4 2006:

    Nokia 11.1 million
    RIM 1.8 million
    Motorola 1.5 million
    Palm 1.2 million
    Sony Ericsson 1.1 million
    Others 5.4 million

    http://www.canalys.com/pr/2007/r2007024.htm

    OK, it's only right to be cautious drawing conclusions from the way one phone is advertised and a single poll about another, but it does seem to me that there is every chance that we'll look back on 2007 as the year that two devices, the Nokia N95 and Apple iPhone, finally took smartphones mass market.

    Thoughts? Anyone care to have a stab at how the table above will look Q4 2007, Q4 2008? I wonder what this one will look like too:

    Symbian: Q4 2006 67%
    Windows Mobile: Q4 2006 14%
    RIM: Q4 2006 7%
    Linux Q4 2006 6%
    ACCESS/Palm OS: Q4 2006 5%

    http://www.canalys.com/pr/2007/r2007024.htm
    04-23-2007 08:48 AM
  2. surur's Avatar
    While the Nokia N95 is being heavily promoted, its not a wondrously advanced and useful device in and of itself. Its not "5 years ahead of everyone else". Just like the Iphone, if the device has great success it would be due to marketing. One expects a similarly powerful device marketed by a similarly powerful brand name would have similarly powerful interest. It does not mean anything in and of itself, and certainly does not say anything about the merit of the device.

    Surur
    04-23-2007 09:18 AM
  3. marcol's Avatar
    It does not mean anything in and of itself, and certainly does not say anything about the merit of the device.
    Sure, but that wasn't my point. It's quite reasonable to argue that neither the iPhone nor the N95 are the most advanced phones on the market (in many ways they're certainly not) but they do seem (at these very early stages of their life cycles) to generating levels of interest unprecedented for smartphones. I didn't speculate on why this might be because I'm not at all sure. I expect though that it has something to do with advertising as you say and also to do with them being small and extremely sexy devices. My point was that they seem quite likely to expand the market into areas (to people) that it didn't touch before.
    04-23-2007 09:31 AM
  4. marcol's Avatar
    While the Nokia N95 is being heavily promoted, its not a wondrously advanced and useful device in and of itself.
    A bit more on the N95 specifically. It is of course pretty advanced. It's not like there are a whole bunch of 120 g, HSDPA, Wifi, integrated GPS, 5 Mpix, 30 fps phones out there! I'll agree these features place it at the current cutting edge rather redefining where that edge is, and if we are to say it's more advanced, it's probably that the features are all found in such a small, light-weight and visually attractive device.
    04-23-2007 09:39 AM
  5. surur's Avatar
    Sure, but that wasn't my point. It's quite reasonable to argue that neither the iPhone nor the N95 are the most advanced phones on the market (in many ways they're certainly not) but they do seem (at these very early stages of their life cycles) to generating levels of interest unprecedented for smartphones. I didn't speculate on why this might be because I'm not at all sure.
    The high amount of promotion by Nokia of the N95 obviously does not speak in any way to consumer interest. It does say a lot however about Nokia's interest in increasing device margins, a big industry issue at present. As you would know, smartphones are good at increasing margins.

    I expect though that it has something to do with advertising as you say and also to do with them being small and extremely sexy devices.
    Neither the Iphone or the Nokia N95 are "small and sexy" devices.

    My point was that they seem quite likely to expand the market into areas (to people) that it didn't touch before.
    This is unlikely. Nokia already sells 10's of millions of smartphones, but the people who own them in some way do not become smartphone converts. Their next phone is as likely to be a Razr as anything else. I wonder how many Nokia smartphone users browse the web on their device or read their e-mail. I believe its very few, and well out of proportion to the number of devices sold. The Iphone will just be another feature phone.

    Surur
    04-23-2007 09:47 AM
  6. surur's Avatar
    A bit more on the N95 specifically. It is of course pretty advanced. It's not like there are a whole bunch of 120 g, HSDPA, Wifi, integrated GPS, 5 Mpix, 30 fps phones out there! I'll agree these features place it at the current cutting edge rather redefining where that edge is, and if we are to say it's more advanced, it's probably that the features are all found in such a small, light-weight and visually attractive device.


    While its relatively small, the Nokia N95 is still much larger and bulkier than most consumer phones, and while this is a matter of opinion, I find the fascia bland and utilitarian, and the front control pad uncomfortable looking. I don't see anything "visually attractive" about it. It just looks like another Nokia.

    Surur
    04-23-2007 09:52 AM
  7. marcol's Avatar
    The high amount of promotion by Nokia of the N95 obviously does not speak in any way to consumer interest.
    I'm not sure how much of the promotion Steve Litchfield referred to was Nokia-funded, but whether from Nokia or the shops themselves I do think it's there because they're pretty sure they have a product they can push successfully. Do you really think that this won't be Nokia's best-selling smartphone ever?

    I notice you didn't comment on the iPhone in this respect.

    It does say a lot however about Nokia's interest in increasing device margins, a big industry issue at present. As you would know, smartphones are good at increasing margins.
    I've heard it said, but haven't looked into it and actually know almost nothing about it.

    Neither the Iphone or the Nokia N95 are "small and sexy" devices.
    Ok, 'sexy' is subjective and we may have to agree to differ. Size is a matter of fact and for smartphones they are pretty small.

    This is unlikely. Nokia already sells 10's of millions of smartphones, but the people who own them in some way do not become smartphone converts. Their next phone is as likely to be a Razr as anything else. I wonder how many Nokia smartphone users browse the web on their device or read their e-mail. I believe its very few, and well out of proportion to the number of devices sold.
    Do you have any evidence at all for this?

    The Iphone will just be another feature phone.
    That debate has already been done to death and I don't think there's much point revisiting it. I wonder how canalys et al will see it.
    04-23-2007 10:18 AM
  8. marcol's Avatar
    While its relatively small, the Nokia N95 is still much larger and bulkier than most consumer phones, and while this is a matter of opinion, I find the fascia bland and utilitarian, and the front control pad uncomfortable looking. I don't see anything "visually attractive" about it. It just looks like another Nokia.
    Yeah, but don't you have an HTC Universal, so what do you know? Come to think of it, I have an E61, so what do I know

    I seem to recall that you said your wife likes the iPhone so perhaps you should ask her what she thinks and I'll canvas the teenage market and ask my daughter where it fits in her awesome/rubbish binary clasification system
    04-23-2007 10:32 AM
  9. surur's Avatar
    I'm not sure how much of the promotion Steve Litchfield referred to was Nokia-funded, but whether from Nokia or the shops themselves I do think it's there because they're pretty sure they have a product they can push successfully. Do you really think that this won't be Nokia's best-selling smartphone ever?
    Steve is a smartphone user. I assume this topic is about the interest of the general public. The Iphone certainly caught the interest of the general public, but as I said, I have dismissed it as a feature phone. I am also not interested in doing that debate all over again.

    Re margins:
    I've heard it said, but haven't looked into it and actually know almost nothing about it.
    Read this article then.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/00871e52-daf...b5df10621.html

    A line from there:
    They acknowledged that Motorola had been slow to respond to changes in the global handset market, including growing demand for higher-priced, higher-margin 3G handsets in Europe and cheaper phones in developing markets.
    Its a big reason for the smartphone push by the cellphone companies. The drop of margins at Motorola has been a major issue for them with investors, and the whole industry face the problem (to them) of prices dropping and comoditization.

    Ok, 'sexy' is subjective and we may have to agree to differ. Size is a matter of fact and for smartphones they are pretty small.
    For a smartphone they may be small, but not for a regular phone. The size certainly wont attract the general populous, even if its small "for a smartphone".

    To add objective numbers, the Nokia N95 is 110 cm3 and the Iphone 81 cm3, while the ever popular Razr is 72 cm3. The LG Shine, which is the current fashionable feature phone is only 69 cm3, and its main feature is that its shiny. Small for what you get is a calculation only enthusiast make. Its either small or its not.

    Do you have any evidence at all for this?
    I actually did quite a bit of research of this, looking for objective numbers. The best I could get was looking at website impressions by browsers, which showed about 0.03% of hits were by Pocket IE, while 0.01% were by the Nokia browser. Considering the relative market share of these devices it says volumes about smartphone users. This was about a year ago, and it would probably worth repeating. The market share has however not changes since then.
    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=2
    Here's an example link.
    Combined with your stats from above, this means a Win CE user is 14 times more likely to browse the web on his device. I think thats a striking number, and shows the very different demographics the devices address.

    That debate has already been done to death and I don't think there's much point revisiting it. I wonder how canalys et al will see it.
    True, but Canalys would be doing the industry a disservice by including the device.

    Surur
    04-23-2007 10:43 AM
  10. marcol's Avatar
    For a smartphone they may be small, but not for a regular phone. The size certainly wont attract the general populous, even if its small "for a smartphone".
    The best thing about this debate is that time will prove one of us right. I'm sticking with my prediction for now that in terms of sales the N95 and iPhone will eclipse any smartphone we've seen to date.

    To add objective numbers, the Nokia N95 is 110 cm3 and the Iphone 81 cm3, while the ever popular Razr is 72 cm3. The LG Shine, which is the current fashionable feature phone is only 69 cm3, and its main feature is that its shiny. Small for what you get is a calculation only enthusiast make. Its either small or its not.
    Nokia says the N95 is 90 cm3:

    http://www.nokia.co.uk/A4344017

    I actually did quite a bit of research of this, looking for objective numbers. The best I could get was looking at website impressions by browsers, which showed about 0.2% of hits were by Pocket IE, while 0.1% were by the Nokia browser. Considering the relative market share of these devices it says volumes about smartphone users. This was about a year ago, and it would probably worth repeating. The market share has however not changes since then.
    Interesting. Definitely worth repeating in my view. Was this looking for the current, Webkit-based Nokia browser? This was only introduced with S60v3:

    http://press.nokia.com/PR/200511/1019239_5.html

    so the first phones with it were only just on the market a year ago (IIRC).

    EDIT: scrub that last bit, I see you updated your post with newer info. I take your point now.
    04-23-2007 11:20 AM
  11. marcol's Avatar
    Surur,

    Perhaps you can explain. I just looked at the marketshare.hitslink.com info page. It says:

    We use a unique methodology for collecting this data. We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on demand network of small to medium enterprise live stats customers. The sample size for these sites is more than 40,000 urls and growing. The information published is an aggregate of the data from this network of hosted website statistics.

    I think this means that they're stats are of enterprise customers visiting their network. This sounds rather selective to me and is bound to under-represent the Nokia browser (assuming it has a lower presence in the enterprise than the whole).
    04-23-2007 11:43 AM
  12. surur's Avatar
    Surur,

    Perhaps you can explain. I just looked at the marketshare.hitslink.com info page. It says:

    We use a unique methodology for collecting this data. We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on demand network of small to medium enterprise live stats customers. The sample size for these sites is more than 40,000 urls and growing. The information published is an aggregate of the data from this network of hosted website statistics.

    I think this means that they're stats are of enterprise customers visiting their network. This sounds rather selective to me and is bound to under-represent the Nokia browser (assuming it has a lower presence in the enterprise than the whole).
    From further down the page:

    Additional estimates about the website population:
    76% participate in pay per click programs to drive traffic to their sites.
    43% are commerce sites
    18% are corporate sites
    10% are content sites
    29% classify themselves as other (includes gov, org, search engine marketers etc..)
    I think what they mean is that they provide website traffic monitoring to small to medium businesses. This is interesting in and of itself, because browsing to these sites would be slightly of the beaten track.

    I think the numbers are pretty representative however, as other sites have similar numbers, if not in as much detail. Why do you think there are so many PocketPC websites, and so few Symbian websites? All the nerds are on WM

    Surur
    04-23-2007 11:54 AM
  13. marcol's Avatar
    I think what they mean is that they provide website traffic monitoring to small to medium businesses.
    "We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on demand network of small to medium enterprise live stats customers" could certainly be interpreted like that, but if it's not the "small to medium enterprise live stats customers" going to their "exclusive on demand network", who is? Either way though, they're not monitoring traffic to say Google, which would certainly give one more faith in the stats.

    Why do you think there are so many PocketPC websites, and so few Symbian websites? All the nerds are on WM
    I sort of agree and would even hazard that's why the N95 will sell so well (there being many more non-nerds than nerds in the world). Not that there aren't a goodly number of Symbian nerds of course Take a look at the number of posts and threads in the S60 and PPC forums here:

    http://www.howardforums.com/

    Equalish nerdiness?
    04-23-2007 12:31 PM
  14. smileyboy's Avatar
    Naw. The N95 is OVERKILL. Its a great blogger phone, for Steve L and news reporters. (oh wait a Treo already did that, 700w. fox news)
    But who needs a 5 mpeg cameraa & 30fps phone?!
    Networks & other cellphones don't even support that type of media, (meaning who r u going to send vidz and fotos to and what network would let u send a vid of that size?).

    If Nokia gets PIMs figured out, and media issues (music player and real player crap) then the" Nokia XXX is the the best phone in the world" claims would be acceptable.
    My treo runs circles around any nokia when it comes to playing media (music, vidz and photos) and PIMs. there is no comparison, treo wins hands down in every phase except taking pics and videos.

    Nokia is way bigger than Palm and makes tons more $$$, but still has a loooooong way to go to get the america vote.
    04-23-2007 12:42 PM
  15. marcol's Avatar
    But who needs a 5 mpeg cameraa & 30fps phone?!
    Networks & other cellphones don't even support that type of media, (meaning who r u going to send vidz and fotos to and what network would let u send a vid of that size?).
    I guess you'd just have to watch them on your PC or use the TV-out funtionality

    If Nokia gets PIMs figured out, and media issues (music player and real player crap) then the" Nokia XXX is the the best phone in the world" claims would be acceptable.
    Let's get this straight, I'm not claiming the N95, or the iPhone, are the "best in the world". The revolution won't be 'best' (not by any agreed definition anyway) it will be popular (measured by sales). Probably
    04-23-2007 12:59 PM
  16. surur's Avatar
    The N95 will sell about as well as any Nokia high end phone, meaning very well, but there is very little differentiating it from any other high-end Nokia phone. It will sell millions but it wont double Nokia's volume of smartphones, or even increase it by 30%.

    Surur
    04-23-2007 01:10 PM
  17. marcol's Avatar
    The N95 will sell about as well as any Nokia high end phone, meaning very well, but there is very little differentiating it from any other high-end Nokia phone. It will sell millions but it wont double Nokia's volume of smartphones, or even increase it by 30%.
    Such certainty! While we're at the numbers prediction game (to be revisited later of course), care to have have a stab at predicting iPhone sales?

    Here are my guesses. I think punters willl like the N95 much more than the other Nokia N series phones (which comprise 80%+ of Nokia's smartphone sales). Nokia sold 11 million smartphones Q4 2006 and I reckon mostly on the back of N95 that will be up to 20 million Q4 this year. iPhone: Apple said 10 million by end of 2008. That's way below what's suggested by the HarrisInteractive poll (just for the US). I'll go with 20 million for iPhone too (total by end of 2008; a lot will depend on carriers deals and pricing outside of the US). That would still leave Nokia as the biggest fish in the pond, but almost certainly give Apple second place.
    04-23-2007 02:36 PM
  18. surur's Avatar
    Such certainty! While we're at the numbers prediction game (to be revisited later of course), care to have have a stab at predicting iPhone sales?

    Here are my guesses. I think punters willl like the N95 much more than the other Nokia N series phones (which comprise 80%+ of Nokia's smartphone sales). Nokia sold 11 million smartphones Q4 2006 and I reckon mostly on the back of N95 that will be up to 20 million Q4 this year. iPhone: Apple said 10 million by end of 2008. That's way below what's suggested by the HarrisInteractive poll (just for the US). I'll go with 20 million for iPhone too (total by end of 2008; a lot will depend on carriers deals and pricing outside of the US). That would still leave Nokia as the biggest fish in the pond, but almost certainly give Apple second place.
    No WAY! I can now see that you are very excited by this device, but its not really a breakout device. Nokia will continue its 50% YoY growth, leading to smartphone sales of about 15 million in Q2 and 16.5 million in Q4, possibly less if the economy has a downturn. The IPhone will sell less than 3 million over the last 6 months of 2007, and much less than 4 million in 2008, due to strong competition from other phone OEM's and satisfied demand from early adopters.

    Surur
    04-23-2007 02:52 PM
  19. marcol's Avatar
    Good. We have predictions now and can see who's right Think your's will be more accurate than those you had for Zune Christmas sales? (Sorry, I couldn't reisist...)
    04-23-2007 03:13 PM
  20. surur's Avatar
    Good. We have predictions now and can see who's right Think your's will be more accurate than those you had for Zune Christmas sales? (Sorry, I couldn't reisist...)
    Well, I estimated 15-20% of HDD sales, and the real number was 10.2%, which is not that much off.

    http://zuneinsider.com/archive/2007/...-december.aspx

    Surur
    04-23-2007 04:24 PM
  21. marcol's Avatar
    I'm mobile now and don't have time to check, but from memory didn't you suggest 15-20% of all potential iPod buyers would switch to Zune but then agreed with my suggestion of 15-20% of HD iPod buyers when I suggested it?! Also those NPD figures are rather dodgy (no Apple Store purchases for instance).
    04-23-2007 04:50 PM
  22. surur's Avatar
    I'm mobile now and don't have time to check, but from memory didn't you suggest 15-20% of all potential iPod buyers would switch to Zune but then agreed with my suggestion of 15-20% of HD iPod buyers when I suggested it?! Also those NPD figures are rather dodgy (no Apple Store purchases for instance).
    Yes, thats how it went down, but its the end result which matters

    Surur
    04-23-2007 04:59 PM
  23. Antoine of MMM#IM's Avatar
    Hey Surur and Marcol; great discussion you both have here. I played with the N95 quite a bit at CES, and have one at my doorstep today as a matter of fact . But before the device, I'll speak on the topic as it was started.

    The N95 and iPhone probably don't represent a major shift in terms of smartphone adoption as much as it does smartphone mindshare towards the "normal" consumer. Whereas folks in various means know that a phone can do a lot, to have ads and buzz about it constantly coming at you does a bit better than just make you want something more than a RAZR, you start to expect that the $0 phone does do a bit of what the iPhone and N95 do. If you will, the N95 and iPhone are like the car-marker's halo models. Not far enough out of reach to get and touch one (country issues aside), but enough to make you wonder what else could be had if your budget wasn't as high and you didn't need all those features. Its a plant, and probably a successful one. Ironically, RIM, WM, and Palm made the soil fetrile for this kind of marketing.

    As a device, the N95 is no larger than a Treo 650 when closed., It is however, not ungainly when opened. The directional butttons are weird, as Surur pointed out, but nothing that wouldnt take some time to get used to like most other phones we haven't "mind-mapped." The kicker for both will be battery life and device stability. Right now, the N95 fails on the first (under hard usage) and is OK on the second. Because, as this discsussion and AAS's pointed out, most will not use all of the features all of the time; just like with the Treo 680, the battery life will be fine for most - and the hardcore users like carrying a brick battery anyways so they'll be fine

    The iPhone will have a slightly harder road to climb in the battery end as users who will be used to swapping phone batteries will have an issue when they cannot listen to music any more. However, I am sure that there will be tie in to work adn play and accessories that make the battery life not seem "as bad" will come quicly - especailly when folks start panting about it.

    I am with Surur in saying that the N95 (and similar devices) will not improve teh bottom line of ANY smartphone making company. While the high margins are great for headlines, they suck because they are low volume. Nokia wants to make funds on the mid-range models, and to do that they need to get people in the stores. The N95 will do that to those who window shop. It might even get a few extra N95s sold after the buzz period (give it another month) wears off. That being said, its a solid enough product at the right time. I just wish the US had its wireless act together so that phones like the N95 wouldnt cost my kidney and a tank of gas (and I own a Civic, sheeesh).

    Great discussion though. Glad I could read and contribute (I hope).
    04-23-2007 05:28 PM
  24. surur's Avatar
    Antoinne, you are always welcome in this two horse race There is no doubt the N 95 is an interesting device, but I believe the question is whether its a break-out device, and I, like you, just dont feel it has that "feel" to it. Its not "hot" like the Razr was, or like the LG Shine is now. It seems more a push by Nokia, rather than real consumer demand.

    The IPhone is of course "hot" but I believe practical issues will scupper its success.

    One can see the two devices are qualitatively very different, but in both cases do not appear to be mass market devices.

    Surur
    04-23-2007 06:16 PM
  25. naftalim's Avatar
    Interesting discussion.

    You are not considering the laziness factor. Most people do not want to get into complex interaction with their technology. For example, take a look at our community here which would be hardcore. I would wager that only about 5% or less of this community flash their own custom ROMS.

    I would also bet that another small percentage uses most of the functionality of their Treos (Bluetooth DUN, Voice Command on the WM phones etc) Its the same with PCs. I have been using one for 27 years, consider myself a SuperUser, and I probably only use 20-30% of its capabilities. So, the vast majority of consumers will not want to get into the complexities of a high end PDA, especially when the pricing is at or higher than a PC. (The Nokia N95 costs $400 more than my Turion Dual Core Media Center Compaq Laptop)

    If these new end phones have the ease of use of the iPOD at a reasonable price point, watch out!
    04-23-2007 06:51 PM
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