July 2012
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Month July 2012

How many Lumia phones were shipped in the US?

The US is a crucial market for both Nokia and Microsoft’s strategies. This importance was highlighted during the launch at CES in January when not one but three CEOs (Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Nokia’s  Stephen Elop, and AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega) were on stage to launch the Lumia. Knowing how well this strategy is working would be very useful to understanding how this market behaves.

My first take on this was when I asked the question How many Lumia phones were sold in the US? The answer suggested through the combination of survey data from Nielsen and comScore[1] was 330,000. The figure is quite small compared to expectations. As it’s so extraordinary, it should be supported by good evidence. Unfortunately the methodology used is weak. The figure itself is probably close to the margin of error of such sampling techniques. It would be nice to have another way to calculate this.

Today Nokia offered another set of data which might help determine how many Lumia phones were shipped in the US. (Note the shipped versus sold distinction. Companies report shipments while surveys nominally measure consumption or usage.)

Unfortunately, Nokia did not offer specific data on US shipments. What they did offer was:

  • Global Lumia shipments were 4 million in the last quarter
  • Global average selling price was €186 for a Lumia phone
  • North American[2] phone shipments were 600k. This includes all phone types and all operating systems.
  • North American sales were €128 million.

That’s all we have. So how can this help with the question of US shipments?

As often happens, it helps to look at the data historically. The following charts show North American shipments and sales with the Lumia launch date highlighted.

While unit shipments were flat, revenues increased significantly. This suggests that we could plot the average selling price of phones in North America (NA) specifically. I did that in the following chart:

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5by5 | The Critical Path #46: The Next Victim

We cover the valuation question regarding Apple and tech in general as seen through investors’ eyes. This discussion ranges a bit on P/E compression and the psychology of investors–which might change with Apple TV.

We also look at who is most vulnerable in the ongoing mobile computing disruption and who are the up-and-coming challengers. Finally, I introduce the Perspective app which I used for all my live presentations.

I’ll post more about Perspective in the future as it will be my platform for publishing complex or rich data.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #46: The Next Victim.

From bad to worse and from good to great

A year ago I noted that Apple could buy most of the mobile phone industry with cash on hand (excluding Samsung’s operations).

Since then Apple’s cash has grown significantly and the value of all phone vendors except Samsung has gone down significantly. The following chart shows the year ago and present day estimated market value of the industry participants.

Phone brands other than Samsung and iPhone have seen a reduction in market value of a combined 47%. That’s actually being quite generous since I’m valuing Motorola and Sony’s businesses at their acquisition prices. The operations of both those companies have continued to stagnate.

Based on the same multiple of estimated earnings Samsung grew its value by

How many Lumia phones were sold in the US?

Nielsen and comScore survey US consumers through different methodologies, however they both try to paint a picture of the smartphone patterns of ownership and consumption.

I regularly report on comScore’s data as it’s published on a monthly basis. Nielsen offers updates on a quarterly basis but there is more detail.

The latest report (for Q2) shows smartphone shares by both platform and vendor. The following graph is a treemap built with the Nielsen data:


The same data is also plotted below as a pie chart:

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Waiting for Godot

Gartner has published preliminary PC unit sales for Q2. The data from Apple’s Mac sales has not been published yet but based on some estimates, we can draw a partial picture of the personal computer market.


My estimate is that the Windows PC market fell by 1% while the Mac market grew by 15%. Gartner reports an overall flat market. I’ll leave out the iPad for the time being, and show the growth of the Mac vs. Windows:

5by5 | The Critical Path #45: Management vs. Leadership

We start with a discussion of RIM’s latest quarterly performance and follow with a description of the inherent tension between managing and leading. To further illustrate this divergence we discuss the conflicting messages from Microsoft about the Surface.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #45: Management vs. Leadership.

The poetry of Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer July 9th, 2012 on competing with Apple:

We are trying to make absolutely clear:
We are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple
We are not.
No space uncovered that is Apple’s
We have our advantages in productivity
We have our advantages in terms of enterprise management, manageability
We have our advantages in terms of when you plug into server infrastructure in the enterprise.
But we are not going to let any piece of this [go uncontested to Apple]
Not the consumer cloud
Not hardware software innovation
We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself
Not going to happen
Not on our watch.

Steve Ballmer, July 2010 on competing with Apple’s iPhone and iPad:

Why the iPhone matters: 8 questions for Horace Dediu

John Cox of Network World:

We asked him eight questions about the five-year impact of Apple’s iPhone, and he replied from his iPad.

Q: Five years ago, people actually began to get their hands on the Apple iPhone. There were other smartphones; no prior phone products from Apple; there was no App Store, no apps “ecosystem.” So what accounted for its initial success with consumers?

Read my answer and the entire interview here:

Why the iPhone matters: 8 questions for Horace Dediu