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Test's Subscription Expires:. Global notifications Settings Mark All Read. Last visit was: Jul 09, pm It is currently Jul 09, pm. Decision Tracker. My Rewards. New comers' posts. New posts. Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. The goal should be to catch all the hogs in the sounder, so continue to monitor the trap until there are pictures of all the hogs inside the trap.

When that happens, it is time to set the trap. Using game cameras to monitor the hog traps will decrease the number of times the traps must be visited, which saves time and money. The ability to identify the size and number of hogs visiting a trap, as well as when to set the door on the trap, teaches the trapper the most important aspect of hog trapping — patience. By using a game camera and learning to be patient, hog trappers will increase their trapping success rates. For more information on the use of game cameras while hog trapping, contact Wildlife Biologist Chris Jaworowski at chris.

Instructions for building a hog trap, as well as additional resources relating to feral hogs, may be found at www. Those of you who rely heavily on grain-based feeds for your livestock are well aware feed prices have not declined significantly this past year, and you are probably wondering what to expect this year. In late spring of , grains and grain-based feed prices did not lower to give us some reprieve as traditionally expected. They normally decline as situations stabilize in spring and expectations for a hardy, summer-growing season ease concerns over shortages.

Based on conditions we have seen this spring and are already hearing via USDA and other resources, I suggest those who rely on grain-based feed for livestock get ready for a feed price rollercoaster the remainder of this year and into Keep in mind this article was written in May and variables can do what they do best, so keep an open mind, and plan accordingly and efficiently.

My opinion is based on the following. Many areas throughout the U. I am referring to the Great Lakes, Midwest and Southeast regions. We all know the Great Lakes and Midwest regions are our corn and grain belt for feed-based production. Due to aforementioned conditions, all three regions have been late planting relevant crops and the same crops have been slow to emerge.

I have been watching USDA and industry-related reports and they all say the same: late planting and emergence due to climate and soil situations, grains and grain-based prices are reasonable at this time, drought is anticipated in many regions, and nobody knows what to expect.

The "sunshine" in all this? States in the North-central and along the Great Lakes regions are getting their crops established and experiencing emergence ahead of everyone else, including the Southeast. What to do, what to do? By the time you read this article, all we can do is accept what happens with every attempt to plan ahead, determine how our farms can best cope with this situation through , and put forth our best efforts. Assuming you manage livestock, consider the following suggestions: 1 Have a rotating and stockpiling forage plan in effect.

Remember, fresh forage availability generally takes place in late spring in most regions. Quality hay is more affordable than grain-based feeds. With a plan like this, your farm is more likely to sustain itself. The good news is more corn has been planted this year due to high expectations. The bad news, less cotton has been planted due to ever-increasing cost of production. For those who use gin trash and cotton seed in their feeds because it is less costly and a good source of protein, it will be less available and feed prices more costly.

The good news is inventories of beef, goats and sheep are not sufficient to drive up demand, but the bad news is pork and poultry numbers are on the rise. There is little or no control over these situations. Everyone wants to bemoan the fact how unfair it is and try to point fingers. Sometimes people want to blame the feed companies; but, trust me, they are a business and trying to keep prices affordable. It all comes down to whether climatic conditions are favorable or unfavorable to production and yield situations, and then how simple supply and demand situations affect prices.

Plan and prepare, evaluate and adjust, and learn and adapt efficient and productive methodologies. The Fourth of July is traditionally one of the biggest barbecuing days of the year in the United States. For our family, it is definitely a tradition to fire up the grill whether we are at the lake or the beach. Because there are so many available, a sow can be caught or killed easily whenever you want one.

You can then feed it corn and leftovers from home until you are ready. Before butchering the meat for barbecue, Jason hangs the hog for two or three days to age it before dressing it. Jason has found it is easier to trap hogs in the summer than during the rest of the year. During the summer, there is a lack of acorns; so, if you bait an area, they will be sure to return for the food you put out.

With less movement, trappers can more easily bait and watch an area set with traps. Also, hogs will usually become nocturnal if they are exposed to outside pressures such as the sound of guns and presence of humans. The hog traps are either 4x8 or 4x16 cages built out of cattle panels available at your local Quality Co-op. Permanent traps can be made out of foot panels. To bait each trap, Jason fills a five-gallon bucket half-full with corn, then pours water over it almost to the top, and finally he adds a can of beer.

Stir the ingredients thoroughly. This inviting mixture then sits in full sun for seven or eight days until it sours. If you have never smelled this before, I can only describe it as a corn-mash-brewery kind of stink that makes you wonder how anyone could drink beer or even eat corn after smelling it. But the hogs love it. Also, this special mix is less likely to be eaten by deer, so you are more likely to attract the prey you want. The goal for a hogger is to kill as many sows as possible for food and to thin the sounder; however, finding and killing the dominant boar hog can provide a nice trophy.

A dominant boar hog is a lot like a whitetailed buck. He is smart, so you have to be clever to keep him around the pen so you can catch him. One way to keep him interested is setting up a "scratching post. Then take an old towel and soak it in burnt motor oil and wrap the towel around the post down low to the ground. Hogs will rub on the post to keep off ticks and flies. Always remember that transporting live hogs is illegal in Alabama. Transporting hogs for hunting is one of the ways wild hogs became such a widespread problem. Keeping them in a pen prior to killing them is legal. Be sure to set up your traps under large trees out of the sun and the coolest place you can find.

Wild hogs are scavengers, eating food such as grubs, roots and acorns. That means they are leaner, so there will not be as much meat. Because of this, the bigger the sow is the better. Jason tries to find one that is pounds. A hog this size will feed up to 30 people. For your next barbecue, one wild hog may be exactly what you need to feed your family.

Try cutting it into large chunks and putting it on the grill to cook slowly on low heat. Season with salt and pepper and you can also wrap it in bacon to add flavor and juices. Baste the meat often with your favorite liquid to keep it moist. Jason ran into the owner of the Berdeaux brand recently and, after trying the sauce, he brought home two bottles.

This summer, experiment with local recipes and even your own concoctions. Add side dishes like Zesty Summer Vegetables recipe below , baked beans and slaw, and your next meal will be something your family will remember throughout the year. In a deep roasting pan, place squash, zucchini and onions. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning and toss to spread seasoning. Add tomatoes and stir. Place pan in oven or on the grill for added flavor. Cook about minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Note: Thickness of chucks will determine cooking time.

Check them with a fork as they cook. Stew and I were talking about the world we grew up in. A time when family had a much greater influence on children than they do today. We grew up before cable television, texting, iTunes, unavoidable soft porn, misogynistic vulgar rap, instantaneous news, a sense of entitlement and electronic isolation. Both of our folks were Bible Belt believers and played music. In both our growing up, cussing was not allowed. Stew was raised in the bootheel of Missouri and his family were farmers.

Grandpa was the patriarch, stern but compassionate. She would not allow a tractor or rototiller in her garden for fear of oil or gas contaminating the soil. Grandpa kept a full-grown Poland China boar to breed his sows. One night, the boar got into the garden and tore it up! Grandma commanded, in no uncertain terms, that the boar must go! A plan ensued. Six hundred pounds of pork exploded like a Funny Car at a drag race! Stew was jerked over in a Forward Headfirst Horizontal Olympic Ballistic Dive and hit the ground like a skipping rock!

When the boar made the first corner, Stew, in a skewed twist, somehow bounced off the boards, flipping him onto his back, where they then caromed through the hog wallow, throwing a wall of water that blocked out the sun in Cape Girardeau 40 miles away for a full three minutes! Hanging on for life, Stew plowed a furrow in the pig pen soil slush like someone dragging a ham hock through 20 feet of biscuits and gravy! It was ugly to watch when Stew flopped to a stop empty-handed. Grandpa walked over to his favorite grandchild.

He politely waited for his uncle and Grandma to quit laughing, which took several minutes. Stew stood, wearing his porcupine stucco-covered shirt and jeans. He looked like a chocolate bunny. Baxter Black is a former large animal veterinarian who can be followed nationwide through this column, National Public Radio, public appearances, television and also through his books, cds, videos and website, www.

Recently my daughters were out in the front yard when a black, potbellied pig walked up to them apparently searching for a meal. It took me back to my youth when we would keep a few hogs around to eat scraps and for 4-H projects. It really got me to thinking that my kids have never had the interesting and rewarding experience of raising a hog. We covered many topics in our beginning farmer series, but we could not cover every topic of interest to the class.

Therefore, I plan to add a few special interest classes over the next few months. Frank Owsley. This meeting will be an attempt to meet the growing demand for information concerning small-scale hog production. Small, diversified farm owners, weekend farmers and youth are showing interest in alternatives to the large confinement facilities dominating "modern" production. Also, consumers are interested in buying meat that did not come from the large-scale confinement operations. Raising hogs may seem like a messy, difficult proposition so you may be asking, "Why would anyone want to raise hogs?

Others may simply enjoy observing this intelligent creature and like to keep a hog or two around just to have a more diversified farm or to make better use of waste products. A growing number of farmers want to produce a highly nutritious, tasty pork product for their own use or for a specialty market. With a minimum of investment in facilities, you can market labor, management, land value, homegrown grains and forages, and other assets in the form of market hogs or feeder pigs.

The downfall of many small swine operations has been in trying to substitute borrowed capital for some of these assets. Another is the dependence on a traditional market rather than specialty or niche markets. You want to tap into the "Buy Local" mentality or to those who have "animal welfare" concerns. You will need to get a premium price due to the economy of scale disadvantage of small-scale production. Just as with any farming enterprise, the small hog operation must be based on sound economic principles. Budgets, cash flows and markets must guide the establishment or expansion of any hog operation.

Medium-sized producers trying to compete with large confinement operations have not been successful, but very small producers who find a market niche may find this enterprise can help spread their risk and be a profitable part of a diversified farm plan. To be successful, small pork producers must work and think harder than the established, larger operator.

Their competitive edge lies in lower fixed costs, the creativity to find a more economical way of raising hogs and the ability to tap into specialty markets. To learn about other upcoming classes, visit www. We also have a goat production meeting and a farm recordkeeping program planned for later in the month. I removed myself from my pick-up and wandered through the old, double, front doors and landed a case of number 10 brown paper pokes on the counter.

He howdied back, moved to the cash drawer and handed me the money to cover the cost of the pokes. I questioned him as to the location of any recently gathered Store regulars or other folk. Farlow and Willerdean know of him. Must be transplants from off yonder other places. Slim thanked me for the number 10 paper pokes, then he ask me to wait while he locked up.

You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The answer is often simple - how much sun does it get? This is a tropical plant that loves full sun, at least eight hours a day. Sun and regular fertilizer either a timed-release like Osmocote or regular liquid feedings of soluble plant food , and an occasional watering are all it needs. In the right place, this is an easy, carefree plant. When beloved, big trees come down, either by accident or intention, one way to hold on to at least a part of them is to make the trunks into chairs! Take a look at these clever carvings made into garden seating that will last for several years.

After that, I guess it will be rotted or bug-eaten enough to go into the compost pile and back to the garden in a different form! The taller the grass, the deeper the roots. For folks with an automatic watering system, you, too, can at least cut back on water use by turning back the dial to encourage deep rooting. When the weather breaks and the lawn turns green again, you can resume mowing, but not all at once! The rule of thumb to prevent shocking grass is to never cut more than one-third of the leaf blade at one time.

So trim it down a bit at a time over a period of two or three weeks. Keep up the grooming of your daylilies this time of year. The plants are beautiful, but once they fade and the stalks start turning yellow, they appreciate a little clean up. Clip off the old stalks. This also helps the rebloomers such as Stella put on a good second show. They respond with a better second and third show. Use your creativity to fashion the playing pieces and carpentry skills to build the board.

Chairs and lemonade would be a good accompaniment. These plants will stop producing if you let the old fruit just sit on the plant. When on vacation, get a friend or neighbor to come over and pick from your garden so it will continue producing when you return.

Squash usually succumbs to squash vine borer in the summer, but well-tended eggplant will last until the fall. Ichiban types are most prolific. One year I harvested more than 80 from only two plants. Eggplant should still be dark and shiny when you pick them. If they start fading or turning yellow, they are way overripe. Overripe squash and zucchini just get bigger and tougher to the point where they taste bad and are full of big seeds.

Of course, one way to use extra zucchini is to make and freeze loaves of zucchini bread. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has adopted new rules for hunting season. The department will require Alabama outdoorsmen to report harvests of deer and turkey and will allow supplemental feeding of deer and wild hogs. Legislators are considering a bill that would stop the reporting requirement. SB, sponsored by Sen. However, Alabama Farmers Federation policy states the organization supports the Conservation Advisory Board providing its decisions do not conflict with other Federation policy.

With the reporting system, CAB will have the necessary data to improve hunting in our state. Reports may be made through OutdoorAlabama. The department plans to establish a toll-free number for reporting. CAB also voted to allow supplemental feeding for deer and wild hogs on private land. Hunters must be at least yards away from the feeder, which must be blocked from line-of-sight by natural vegetation or terrain.

Another change shifts deer hunting season in southwest Alabama from December 2 - January 31 to December 12 - February ADCNR representatives said biological information showing a later mating season in southwest Alabama prompted the change. The board voted to close the fall turkey hunting season in Alabama. Hunters will be required to report turkey harvests starting with the spring turkey hunting season. Find more information in the Outdoor Alabama e-newsletter. Farmers and agribusiness owners routinely focus on building and improving their farms and business operations.

They stay on top of crop prices, read articles on a wide variety of topics, consider additional investment in new equipment to be more productive and devote many hours working hard to make their business the best it can be. However, how much time do farmers, ranchers and agribusiness owners spend studying and analyzing their financial records to make changes for improved profits?

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As accountants, we understand studying your monthly and yearly profit-and-loss reports can be painful for a variety of reasons. You may discover:. They understand their planting costs per acre and their expected yield per acre. Studying and planning sales and cost of sales are critically important. However, your net profit is the number after all the expenses, not just cost of production.

Some farmers keep good financial records and some have very poor records for a variety of reasons. Procrastination can be defined as both a avoiding doing things that need to be done or b leaving things undone for as long as possible. Get monthly and year-to-date financial statements. Whether you are using a family member or outside accountant to do your books, really look at where your money is going each month. Make sure the same expenses are coded to the same expense accounts each month and year.

Year-to-year comparisons are incorrect without consistent, accurate account coding. Sometimes, doing boring, painful expense analysis can pay off in more profits and improved cash flow. Blueberries are plentiful this year and are a very good source of great antioxidants. Why not pick some to use in recipes and also to freeze for later use? Blueberries are probably the easiest fruit to prepare and serve.

Just rinse, eat and enjoy! Blueberries are not as perishable as most other berries. For optimal storage, berries should be refrigerated, but not washed until needed. Once chilled, they will maintain their quality from 10 days to two weeks. Remember, both frozen and fresh berries should be rinsed and drained just before serving.

Some fruits should be picked or bought when they are at the ideal stage for eating because they do not continue to ripen after picking. These include apples, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, oranges, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, tangerines and watermelon. Other fruits continue to ripen after they are picked: apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, nectarines, peaches, pears, plantains and plums.

Tomatoes also continue to ripen after picking. To speed the ripening of fruits such as peaches, pears and plums, put them in a ripening bowl or in a loosely closed brown paper bag at room temperature. Toss blueberries with the 1 tablespoon of flour to keep them from coming to the top. Combine the remaining flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. Beat egg, sour cream and milk. Stir into flour mixture until just combined batter will be lumpy. Stir in blueberries until evenly distributed. Bake about 20 minutes until golden. Makes 12 muffins. Baking Tip: For best results, dust unthawed blueberries lightly with flour before stirring into batter.

Lightly grease and flour a inch tube pan. Combine cake mix, cream cheese, oil and eggs. Beat until smooth. Gently fold in berries. Spoon into prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Yields servings. Freeze blueberries for long term storage. Some people prefer to freeze berries without washing to avoid moisture on the berries from breaking down the cell walls. Wash the frozen berries before using. Other people prefer to wash the berries before freezing so they are ready to use when taken out of the freezer.

Be sure to dry them thoroughly between towels before freezing. It is ideal to freeze berries on a tray before packing into bags or boxes. This allows you to easily remove the amount you want at one time. Frozen blueberries can be used later to make jams, syrup or in baking. Most of the berries will probably be used to top off cereal or sprinkle in pancakes or muffins. For any questions on food safety or preparation of vegetables, contact her at or your local county Extension office.

The six fuel analyzers and five provers will vastly increase accuracy and productivity as inspections are conducted in the field. The new equipment comes at an opportune time with the summer driving season underway and with it comes higher gasoline prices. These fuel analyzers and provers will enhance the technological capabilities of our Weights and Measures inspectors," Commissioner McMillan stated. The new devices will enable Weights and Measures to step up their number of spot checks by registered service agents who currently conduct inspections and calibrations of measuring devices, especially service station pumps.

Alabama may be the least windy section of the nation, but the students who attended Urban Youth Farm Day must have felt as though school had moved to Kansas. This was the 17th gathering since Sylvia Oakes and Wanda Pharris dreamed up this experience for the school kids of North Alabama. Oakes said the realization that something had to be done came when she met children who were convinced McDonalds was the source of hamburger meat. She said there was such a lack of knowledge with most children, and especially urban kids, about how food is produced that they decided they must take action.

What they put together is an opportunity for kids to meet real farmers and people who assist farmers in the production of our food and fiber. Keith Griffin, general manager of Madison County Co-op, gave the main address before the kids visited the many stations set up by the volunteers.

Griffin said it was important to speak to the kids about the importance of agriculture. One of the stations discussed simple gardening techniques in order to plant pun intended the idea that kids could actually grow their own food. At another station, there was an excellent lecture about the lifecycle of the now ubiquitous fire ants and how to control them. At this point, a lively discussion ensued as several of the boys suggested multiple methods of their own, almost all of which involved various explosives.

The latest approach in the adult world is to import the phorid fly whose larvae feeds exclusively on the head of the fire ant. Scientists have high hopes, while this method will not eliminate fire ants, it will bring their numbers down to a more manageable level. This should still leave sufficient stock for boys everywhere to hone their military skills.

On down the line, the kids were asked to rate bugs on a scale ranging from "bad bugs" to "good bugs" depending on whether they helped or hindered food production. There was only one station that was definitely not "hands on" and for a very good reason. A couple of the local beekeepers brought a display hive of bees so the kids could watch the bees at work.

These farmers discussed how important honey bees are for the pollination of crops and how crop production would plummet without the work of the bees. They also told the students about the mysterious disappearance of the honey bees across North America. The students learned bees are a highly organized society in which each bee has a job and depends on the others to do their jobs so the hive can survive.

Children could also see the strange outfits required to work with bees after they have been "smoked" to make them calm as they are being handled. Elsewhere, kids were discussing container gardening and learning how, by using intensive methods, even small spaces can produce large quantities of food. Of course, no farm demonstration is complete without farm animals and there was a beautiful Appaloosa horse for the kids to touch and feed.

One young teen had volunteered to bring one of her milk goats, and all sorts of questions were asked about where the milk comes from, can you drink it she does and what else can you do with it she makes soap. The children also toured the farm on a wagon pulled by a tractor, which by itself was a very exciting experience for those who had only seen tractors in pictures. As they toured, the staff from the experiment stations would explain what the kids were seeing. This was definitely far better than sitting in a classroom and having a teacher try to explain how a farm produces food.

This program is an excellent example of how the time spent in the classroom can be tremendously leveraged with field trips and hands-on demonstrations. It is doubtful many of the kids attending this program will forget the day they went to a real farm and met the folks who actually produced the food they eat.

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Oakes and Pharris are good examples for the rest of us to remember. When we see our kids and youth woefully ignorant in some critical area, instead of just rolling our eyes and wondering what the world is coming to, we need to take action and teach them. After all, someone taught us first.

This project teaches youth recommended management practices for growing and raising swine. Twenty-two youth from Etowah and Cherokee counties took part in this initial project. This project was set up to be as close to industry standards as possible. Once kids picked up their pigs in December, they were sole pork producers.

Decisions, records and daily tasks were completed as if they had a commercial hog operation. The mandatory meeting informed participants on swine facilities, nutrition, safe handling of hogs, showmanship, health and recordkeeping. During these meetings, each participant received a National Pork Board certificate in youth pork quality assurance training.

This certificate guaranteed the quality of the hogs being raised would meet a high standard of production, resulting in a valuable product. Students were also given a production manual. The manual provided information on hauling pigs, guidelines for building facilities, feed ratios and how to prepare for the show. Then, on December 15, each participant picked up their two, pound composite feeder pigs that were about two months old at the Sand Rock Livestock Pavilion.

Over the next days, youth were responsible for raising their hogs. To the best of their abilities, the 4-Hers kept records of how much feed, water and money they used in growing their hogs. More than people were present. This event was a time to show off their hard work and to sell their pigs to the highest bidder. Each youth was required to bring one hog to the event and had the option to bring the second to sell. A sale catalog was provided to everyone in attendance. It had a description of each hog in the show and sale. A picture of each hog was provided along with a report of the hog written by the 4-Her.

Each picture also noted the lot number of that particular hog allowing bidders to view the selection of hogs before the sale. Each age group showed their hogs in the arena while the judge directed the students for the duration of the time. Once the judge selected the winners, he gave oral reasonings for the scoring. After the show, hogs were auctioned off for processing. Auction bidders did not have to take possession of the live animal after the sale. Bidders were present at the sale as well as several bidders watching the sale via Internet.

This project was taken full circle when students and their parents were invited to the Auburn University Meats Lab to see some of the pigs being processed. Tony Glover pointed with pride to the growing number of farmers markets popping up on Alabama town squares and byways like mushrooms after a drenching spring rain. Yet, despite all opportunity this rapid growth has generated both for farmers and consumers, occasionally Glover worries about the specter of foodborne illness.

Even one serious pathogenic outbreak traced to a single farmers market could quickly undo years of planning and investment - not to mention, all the effort put into building a loyal customer base, he said. Glover is still fielding the same frequent, often fervent, questions from consumers in his current role as an Extension professional. Angela Treadaway, an Extension regional food safety agent in central Alabama, already has conducted four safe handling training sessions for growers in Cullman as well as neighboring Jefferson and Walker counties.

Farmers not only learn how to identify common practices contributing to foodborne illness but also are shown how to comply with the paperwork requirements that would enable investigators, if the need arose, to trace back not only the point of origin of this produce but also to gain a clear picture of how it was produced, packed, handled and stored.

But then, farmers markets in Alabama are currently not governed either by state or federal food handling regulations, she noted. But as Treadaway and other food safety experts stress during the training, there are even more subtle ways pathogenic exposure can occur. Jean Weese, an Extension food safety specialist and Auburn University professor of food science who heads the Food Safety team. The trainers also stress the importance of using clean and sanitized utensils to cut up and serve samples to their customers at the farmers market.

The training also emphasizes the importance of separating display produce from the products actually sold. Cullman County farmers are not required to take the safe-handing training to sell produce in the Cullman Farmers Market, Glover said. Glover hopes this certification, in addition to translating into an uptick in sales for these farmers, will, in turn, provide an incentive for more noncertified growers to take the training.

Southwick of Florida-based Southwick Associates cites figures from the recently-released U. The "National Survey," which measures the number of participants age 16 and older, lists the number of hunters in Alabama as , The most-recent survey figures show the number of hunters up from the "National Survey"; however, the increase is not reflected in actual hunting license sales.

License certifications show the number of licensed hunters in Alabama remains flat, following a decline over the past 30 years. Hunters pay for science-based management and law-enforcement protection of wildlife resources through purchases of hunting licenses. All Alabamians benefit economically and societally from this hunter-funded program of state government.

Alabama, like all 48 contingent states, receives a proportionate share annually of three-to-one matching Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration dollars. Alabama law exempts residents over the age of 65 from the requirement of purchasing a license to hunt or fish. Southwick and other experts agree the aging of the "Baby Boomer" segment of the population has a detrimental effect on the number of license-buying hunters. As the huge segment of "Boomers" age, more and more become exempt from the requirement to purchase licenses.

Other demographic and socio-economic trends have adversely affected hunting participation. The time-intense nature of our society has resulted in less and less available discretionary time, and more activities competing for what is left. One observer at the national level has noted that perhaps we do things backwards in America - we give away free licenses to people 65 and older who have more leisure time and discretionary income than ever in their lives, yet we require a year-old to buy a license to participate.

The license exemption is a result of legislative action many years ago to give free privileges to seniors. In more recent times, there have been repeated attempts to give free privileges to broad classes of citizens such as all members of the National Guard. While all these folks deserve our respect and admiration, it costs Alabama just as much to provide hunting and fishing opportunities to them as anybody else.

Under Alabama law, there are already several classes of license-exempt hunters. Alabama resident landowners and members of their immediate family hunting on their own land need only show proof of residency. There are special provisions for active-duty military home on leave. And there are special licenses for permanently physically disabled individuals. At least the state can count these special licenses for the physically-disabled as part of the license certification for federal aid purposes.

When the physically disabled license was the subject of debate several years ago, one leader among the community of disabled hunters hit the nail on the head. The wheelchair-bound gentleman said, "I am physically disabled, not financially disabled. What we want is opportunity that meets our needs.

This erosion of the funding base for the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division adversely affects the resource base and related hunting and fishing opportunities enjoyed by all who hunt and fish. There are no other sources of funding other than license revenues and matching Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration dollars. As hunters and anglers, we pay the bill.

The Hunting Heritage Foundation is an Alabama non-profit organization established in To see what HHF stands for, go to the website at huntingheritagefoundation. Then we have the new operating systems. NTT DoCoMo controls half of Japan's mobile market and has almost total control of the handset specifications that are sold to its customers. NTT DoCoMo was fully committed to Symbian until Elop suddenly ended that path, and had been seeking any alternative that was viable, that was not part of Stephen Elop in any way.

So Nokia's options were immediately unacceptable in Tokyo. But they found a perfect pairing in Samsung and Intel, with Japan's long history of Linux based smartphones, Tizen is a perfect solution. The Japanese market is closely monitored by the other advanced Asian countries, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong etc - so the moment top new phones appear from Japan's market, powered by Tizen, and featuring Samsung, Huawei etc, you can expect they will find an eager market in the advanced Asian countries too. But it will be far stronger sales growing into from that strong start.

Firefox has more carriers and more handset makers signed up, but the handset makers are in markets where the carrier doesn't have as much control of the handset space, often sell phones without contracts ie pre-paid accounts and the manufacturers are more of the second tier variety. Yet, its certain, Firefox OS will be launched this year and will see support in many markets, led by Spain and Telefonica. Spain is one third the size of Japan as a market so I do expect the total early success in absolute numbers to be smaller for Firefox than Tizen, but the race will then be on.

All you need is one hot phone that everybody wants, and you can have a winner. But they will grow and become stronger into As I mentioned before, I am totally convinced that the carrier and retail support will jump from what little exists for Windows Phone to Tizen and Firefox and Ubuntu and Sailfish so the primary early market share gains for Firefox and Tizen will not come from Android, iOS or Blackberry, they will come primarily from Windows Phone and technically, what might have remained of Symbian at that stage and obviously in the case of Samsung, cannibalizing its own bada in the migration to Tizen.

Communities Dominate Brands: Nokia

I see these two only as niche players this year, launching maybe a few handsets on very marginal brands and trying to gain some attention and win some awards with innovative designs etc, to get attention in a year more focused around Tizen and Firefox And BB10 and the next iPhone etc.

So its that time again. I just finished the edition of the TomiAhonen Almanac , my annual statistical volume on the status of the mobile industry, and as usual, to celebrate that publication, I will do the big update to all the mobile numbers. The global count of active mobile subscriptions reached 6.

The planet has 7. What was the penetration rate per capita at the end of last year? And there is no stopping that growth, don't listen to those who once again suggest that we are 'near saturation'. This growth is not stopping anytime soon. So lets dig in. What does 6. They are not in reality all individual unique users, as we well know by now, many of us walk around with two phones, or others with one phone but several mobile accounts in the form of SIM cards.

How many of the 6. Never has any technology been this widely spread. We are hitting the limits of electricity million live beyond the reach of the electrical grid and literacy million adults are illiterate on the planet yet even they do have mobile phone accounts. Some phones sold in the Emerging World are sold with extra-capacity batteries, other phones are sold with two or three batteries to help with the electricity problem.

Vodafone introduced in Africa a charge that works on solar energy and for rainy days, through peddaling on your bicycle. And literacy? Yes, the illiterate won't be buying your smartphone apps anytime soon, but many voice-oriented services are highly appreciated delivering news, sports scores, music etc and advertising through the voice channel on the mobile. The planet has now 5. As I've been reporting on this phenomenon over the years, it is no longer a surprise in most markets. But yes, 5. Most which have a color screen and often camera too.

How massive is this? Mobile phones connected and in use totally dwarf any other tech, outnumbering television sets by more than 2 to 1, personal computers of all types, including tablet PCs like the iPad, by more than 4 to 1, DVD players by 5 to 1. Newspaper circulations by 12 to 1. Even after we account for us Westerners owning many FM radio sets, in our clock-radios, our boom boxes, our home HiFi sets and our cars, when counting for the whole planet, the number of mobile phones exceeds FM radios even, today. The second most sold consumer tech is the personal computer including desktops, laptops and tablet PCs like the iPad which has annual sales of about million per year.

The third most sold tech is televisions which only sell million per year. Everything else is peanuts below that, from gaming consoles to cameras. But mobile phones? Sold over 1. And by Christmas Quarter, nearly half of all new phones sold worldwide were smartphones. This year, , we will see the cross-over point, where half of all new phones sold will be smartphones. No wonder the world's largest consumer electronics giant, Sony says that mobile is front and center of their future.

Apple Computer changed its name to just Apple when it launched the iPhone and today calls itself a mobile company. Samsung the world's biggest tech company makes half of its profits through the mobile unit. Companies from Warner Music to Electronic Arts to the Associated Press newspaper guild are turning to mobile to make more money. Visa says the future of payments, yes, the future of money itself, is mobile.

What is this industry like? The mobile industry set the record for the fastest industry ever to reach that massive Trillion-dollar level far bigger than for example the PC or TV or internet or advertising industries, just so you have some context. This global economic juggernaut is fuelled primarily by our voice calls and mobile messages SMS and MMS but there is an increasing part of revenues coming from 'premium data' services and also a healthy slice from hardware, in particular the handset sales.

I did the analysis of that statistic earlier, that we look at our phones times per day. That gives a pretty good idea of where our time goes with the phone - messaging obviously, and voice calls, but also our clock and alarm, the calendar, our camera, the web browser, some games and music, news alerts etc. How do we use our phones? I devote a whole chapter to the handset numbers including the highly popular chart updating the global mobile installed base of the 5.

How many have a color screen, or have a camera, or have WiFi, etc. You often hear of single quarter sales that may fluctuate a lot. Individual handset makers may shift their allegiances from one smartphone OS platform to another. What is the state of the industry now, by installed base of smartphone platforms. That is the 'bottom line' question, isn't it? I keep reporting the status of the installed base here on this blog as I do my quarterly review of the smartphone races.

This is what the world looked like at the end of Installed Base of Smartphones by Operating System vs 1 2 - Google Android. I have whole chapters on mobile advertising and marketing, mobile music, mobile social networking, mobile TV and video, mobile gaming, mobile messaging - yes, of course this year's edition includes OTT messaging cannibalization measured - etc, etc, etc. The Almanac includes a whole chapter on the Digital Divide, so it shows how the advanced 'West' or Industrialized World mobile numbers differ from the 'Emerging World' where most people live, in Africa, Latin America and the less-developed parts of Asia like India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan etc.

I also give more details on the business-side of this newest and fastest-growing Trillion-dollar industry ever, like my exclusive TomiAhonen Consulting index of mobile leadership that many seem to like and use. Harsh truths, but we deal with the truth on this blog. And yes, for those who do not know my index, I use the four most used and most representative statistics on the maturity of the industry, to generate my index: the mobile phone subscription penetration rate per capita; the migration rate to more advanced networks, the mobile service adoption rate, and the migration of the handsets to more advanced phones ie currently measuring the migration from dumbphones to smartphones.

And most international mobile industry experts will agree that Japan, Singapore and South Korea are world leaders in mobile, and that Finland, Sweden and Italy are the European leaders, where the Industrialized part of Asia and advanced parts of Europe are well ahead of North America, Latin America and Africa in their mobile adoption and yes, Australia is well ahead of North America as well. By the way, the Almanac has much more on the index and the top 30 countries if you need more. But there are much much more data points in the Almanac , including a stats table section where we have the 60 biggest mobile countries and details on them like their subscriber counts, penetration rates per capita, and exclusively, also their unique mobile owner counts, plus such data as what countries have launched 3G and what have launched MVNO services etc.

There are tables of what countries lead by subscriber counts, by penetration rates, by 3G migration rates etc. And there is the list of the biggest mobile operator groups. And as always, the TomiAhonen Almanac includes my exclusive listing of the world's largest companies, when measured only by their mobile revenues. So for example for Apple we remove the Mac, iPad and iPod related incomes, for Vodafone we remove their fixed landline business and for Samsung we remove their plasma TV business and chips business, etc. What are the world's largest companies in when we only measure their mobile business?

Source: TomiAhonen Almanac This data may be freely shared The above data shows how strongly Apple and Samsung have already jumped up the charts powered by their smartphone businesses and by contrast, the once giant 'Nokia Mobile' has tumbled down to 12th and is falling further. That should stabilize now for the next year. And as to Samsung and Apple, remember, their phenomenal growth is continuing. This data was through only the second calendar quarter of , to harmonize this chart with the annual Fortune Global issue.

So the two smartphone maker giants are sure to move up even more for next year. So there is your summary data for the industry for big industry numbers. This year, two huge milestones coming - the Mobile Moment will hit us this summer, when the count of active mobile subscriptions will match the count of human population alive on the planet, and also probably in the summer, we will reach the point where half of all new phones sold will be smartphones. As always, you may share and use any data in this blog, create your own diagrams and pictures, use this data in infographics etc.

Please refer to this blog if you can, or just list that the source is the TomiAhonen Almanac And for those who want to see it, or order it, remember the Almanac only costs 9. The edition of the Almanac runs pages. To see more here TomiAhonen Almanac Over the past two months or so, I have been chronicling the Nokia disaster of the past two years, in short blogs, of one topic, one picture. Today we do the Misery Graph. But yes, before that, brief summary of this series. Today we do number 9 in the series, and today's is perhaps the single most important picture of them all.

This is the ultimate test for Nokia, how Nokia will be remembered decades into history. When people look back at Nokia of this time, this is the one decisive factor, the one picture, the one measure. It is what I call the Misery Graph. Nokia faces a 'paradigm shift' in the technology space. The total market of what we now call 'dumbphones' or Nokia sells as 'featurephones' will be shifting to something else, called a 'smartphone' Sometimes industries see total such shifts, as we saw for example in televisions from black-and-white TV sets to color TV, and then again, from picture-tube based CRT TVs to flat screen televisions of today.

These are total industry shfits, if you do not capture the shift, you die.

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Other technology evolutions, while revolutionary, are not 'paradigm shifts' because they do not shift the whole industry. Diesel engines in cars, jet engines in airplanes, did not end other engine types like gasoline engines in cars, propeller-driven planes, even as their proportion has kept growing. So you can safely survive as a car maker not offering diesel engines, or being an airplane maker without jet engines. Maybe your market is not as big, but that is viable. Trying to sell black-and-white TV sets is not. The handset industry saw its first paradigm shift already, going from analog to digital phones.

Motorola was the giant handset maker in the analog days, Nokia came and grew strong with digital phones, and Motorola fell from the top by not capitalizing fast enough on the new digital phones and their new non-voice capabilities such as SMS text messaging and rudimentary mobile internet services. Motorola withered and died and was bought by Google.

Now the handset industry faces its second such total paradigm shift, from dumbphones to smartphones. Eventually all phones will be what we now call 'smartphones' and the dumbphone market will vanish. So how is Nokia doing in this transition? Nokia was doing just fine. Nokia in fact invented the smartphone. Nokia was punishing its rivals, the other dumbphone makers like Motorola, LG, SonyEricsson, Siemens, Panasonic, Sharp and Samsung - pushing them into loss-making or quitting the handset business while Nokia made a profit every single quarter of every single year, in its smartphone unit.

Nokia was such a master at this transition - that differing from every other rival dumbphone maker attempting this transition - only Nokia was able to GAIN market share while migrating customers from dumbphones to smartphones. Nokia's massive global market lead in total handsets, fuelled at the time by dumbphone sales, was actually improved when shifting customers to smartphones. And yes - Nokia's smartphone unit was profitable doing this! By every textbook measure, this was the very definition of success in a technology migration.

Nokia not only saw the transition coming, Nokia invented it, and then dominated the whole transition process, where Nokia, the world's largest handset maker, actually had a bigger lead in its smartphone - future handset business - than the massive lead it had in the dumbphone business. This, done profitably, is what success looks like. This is what Nokia will be measured upon, and Nokia was doing it brilliantly. Then came a clueless new CEO who decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

This is what happened. This slide may be freely shared Nokia's global sales did not disappear. Nokia customers keep coming back. Its the transition that suddenly failed. What were highly desirable, well-selling, well-designed 'world phones' that Nokia sold, at a wide price range, in vast array of functionality and features, from world's best cameraphones to QWERTY sliders to advanced operating systems like Maemo and MeeGo, Nokia was the ONLY dumbphone maker in , whose loyalty was so high, most who owned a Nokia wanted another.

Nokia was winning the transition. Then new CEO Stephen Elop decided to badmouth his own smartphones as uncompetitive the notorious Burning Platforms memo, the costliest management memo of all time that caused what is called the Ratner Effect. When a CEO says his own products are bad, he is believed, and sales collapse overnight. And the new CEO Elop also decided to utilize another corporate-suicide trick, the Osborne Effect by madly announcing his new Microsoft partnership in February of , when he had no Windows based smartphones to sell until November. This of course collapsed existing sales, just like with the Osborne computer company and Nokia smartphone sales set a world record in sales crash in one year.

These two effects, when combined they happened within 3 days of each other in early February is what I coined as the Elop Effect and increasingly that is seen as the dumbest management communication attempt of all time, causing the single worst destruction of any Fortune sized company business, in human economic history. So Nokia was strongly leading the transition to smartphones. Now under Elop Nokia is regressing and fast. If you think it was getting better at the end of the year, no it was not.

Nokia is truly going in the suicidal direction of this industry. How can I put it in clear terms. Imagine if Philips or RCA saw the new color TV's taking off, selling well, and suddenly deciding, no, thats not the future of televisions, we shut down our color TV production and do only black-and-white TVs.

Or more recently, if Samsung or Sony looked at their TV sales shifting from the bulky CRT based TV-tube type of television sets, and saw customers preferring flat screen TVs and then they shut down their flat screen production and pushed bulky picture-tube TV sets instead? How mad would that be? Ebooks and Manuals

Or what if Panasonic and Sony and other video cassette recorder makers, had seen the success of DVD players, and then - as DVD sales are exploding, suddenly decide to shut down their existing DVD player production, and shift their business to VCRs intead? I could go on. Rotary dial phones? Analog cameras? Wrist watches that you wind manually to make them run?

Dot matrix printers? They will only sell smartphones. Yes, the world will pass this year, , the half-way-point, where half of all new phones sold are smartphones. Nokia was far ahead on this transition. This will be the classic case study in how to abandon a sure victory, how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, how to set up a certain road to the future, and then gift that to competitors and refuse to take that road yourself.

This graphm the Misery Graph is not just what Elop will be known for in all eternity as the biggest Business Failure in history, but also how Nokia will be known. How they voluntarily abandoned certain victory. In the long run for Nokia survival and success, nothing matters more than this one picture. This is now no longer under any argument or disagreement. The price points of smartphones are coming down and squeezing the dumbphones out of the market, it is only now a matter of time.

Nokia's only measure ten years from now, like we look at Motorola in the digital transition, is will Nokia be able to win in the transition to smartphones - as it was winning - or will the story be, that Samsung came and took Nokia's candy while the CEO madly pursued low-cost featurephones and missed the transition to smartphones. The only thing that matters for Nokia's history is whether this transition was successful or not. It does not matter what awards some Lumia phone won or lost, what carriers it attracted or not, was the Windows ecosystem the third or fifth or whatever, what profits Nokia pretended to earn in a quarter by selling its HQ building or its Salo campus, etc.

The only thing Nokia will be remembered for, ten years from now, is did they win or lose the transition to smartphones. This is how Nokia will be remembered, it lost the transition. The clown in charge was the management fool named Elop, worst CEO of all time. Because Elop lost that race, he has to be fired for that reason alone not to mention all his other madness Why is Elop allowed to remain in control of Nokia? Why is Nokia's Board allowed to remain in control? And there is still more to this Nokia disaster, more pictures and stories to come.. This is so sad, seeing Europe's biggest tech giant destroyed by a delusional Canadian madman who wants to shift the inventor of the smartphone, Nokia, back to the s.

So we have lots of news coming from Barcelona MWC and to be clear, I am not there in person, I am monitoring via new sources. The space in the OS wars keeps spreading. So lets cover a few big news items. If you ever wanted to see whats next for Palm, if you thought WebOS didn't deserve to die, now it has a chance to come back. And thus separate itself from the second tier makers like Huawei, ZTE, Sony and Lenovo and now also Nokia who are totally dependent on others for their smarpthone destiny.

They might be able to do it in 15 months, with Korean efficiency and 'balli-balli' philosophy or hurrying-hurrying So first LG phones with WebOS out perhaps in summer , and the hype to start around end of year Remember, this was once rated as good as the then-current iPhone and iOS platform 3 years ago. So LG does gain a potentially competitive platform, but they must find partners to make the ecosystem play work. LG is no Samsung or what Nokia was in scale to be able to support an OS just by its own sales - like Sammy did with bada in the past few years.

Huawei is the world's third largest smarpthone maker, ZTE and LG are Top 10 makers, so Firefox now has a nice portfolio of handset makers in its stable. The little fly in the ointment is that LG just bought Palm, so don't expect LG to fully ever embrace Firefox, but early on, even one LG phone is good enough for Firefox to claim 3 of the 10 largest handset makers supporting their OS.

The main points with Firefox lie in 'how mobile' is the OS. Mozilla is an internet company, we've seen what mistakes for example Microsoft had made, time and again, taking USA West Coast lessons and attempting to force those into its mobile strategy a strategy Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has just admitted last week that it has been a mistake. A first-edition OS is rarely solid and complete. If you take that, MeeGo, already better than the iPhone, and now evolve it further, combining Samsung's bada competence and knowhow into the MeeGo project, with Intel's Moblin background, expect Tizen to be the most complete and 'mobile' of any new OS this year - and the one rated by all analysts as 'by far' the best.

And Samsung is trying to find the same handset maker ecosystem to Tizen with Huawei there already plus Panasonic and others. So for a Huawei, who already does Android, if the Tizen OS is proven to be far more robust, advanced and complete, than Firefox, we might see Huawei preferring Tizen over Firefox. Still, Firefox is moving into a strong challenger position now with the impressive supplier lineup. Windows Phone has failed and Bill Gates used the words it is a mistake. Yes, they'll take the money, then not sell the phones.

The Windows strategy is dead. But its no surprise to my readers, I told you so. And now, once again, we hear from yet another Windows partner - LG says there is no traction from carriers. Look at blatantly obvious facts and steadfastly simply deny deny deny. In January , just before Elop announced his mad Microsoftian strategy, Nokia had the most differentiated smartphone strategy on the planet. It had smartphones with the best camera on the planet N8 - far better than what Apple offered on the iPhone. It had touch-screen and QWERTY slider hybrid phones like the highly praised E7, the latest 'communicator' a model of smartphones far more expensive than the iPhone, with astonishing tech that the iPhone didn't match, and yes, a QWERTY slider in addition to the touch screen.

Nokia offered the most open ecosystem, something Apple didn't, and had the most connectivity from FM radio broadcasting to NFC to microSD slots to unrestricted Bluetooth - things again that Apple's iPhone didn't offer. In January , Nokia was THE most 'not me-too' smartphone maker on the planet, selling smartphones far more expensive than the iPhone to smartphones far far FAR cheaper than the iPhone. Now we have seen 11 smartphones launched in the Lumia series.

Not one of them has a camera that even matches the N8, or is anywhere near the best in the world today Nokia's Symbian-based Pureview, launched last year. Nokia is now in the same 8mp class as.. Nokia had the most open ecosystem and was far beyond Apple, today it uses Windows, the only ecosystem on smartphones more restrictive than the iOS!! And what of connectivity? Yes, some Lumia series have been adding some connectivity options but many in the series are as unconnectable as the iPhone, and none are as broadly connectable as say the Nokia N9 running MeeGo or the Nokia Pureview running Symbian.

So in reality, every Lumia is ever increasingly like an iPhone, often a more cheezy plasticky version, but all are same form-factor, thin slab touch-screen only large screen smartphones - similar to iPhones. Nokia abandoned all its differentiation opportunities and is purely now a 'me-too' provider. If you wanted an iPhone with some more colors, there is Lumia. Or if the iPhone is a bit too expensive, but you'd like a new phone that is very much like an iPhone from two years ago, Lumia has some cheap versions in some cheesy colors to let you have that.

Elop clearly has made Nokia into only a me-too provider, abandoning markets worth millions of sales per quarter, and regions where other form factors are highly praised, in his search to try to make his Lumia company look exactly like Apple iPhone minus the loyalty, minus the revenues and minus the profits, obviously. But it should tell you something about how deluded Elop is, that he gives an interview promising Nokia is not a 'me-too' smartphone provider.

He is delusional, that means madman. That means, he looks at reality, refuses to see facts, and substitutes his own imaginary world in the place of reality. That is delusion. That is what Nokia CEO proves to us, when he claims Nokia is not a me-too company, when Elop's own actions abolished all major differentiation abilities.

Don't expect Nokia to recover from this madman and why is Elop allowed to continue to ruin this company. The only reason the handset unit 'generated a profit' in Q4 was because Elop sold the HQ building and then attributed all its revenues to the handset unit, rather than accross all Nokia divisions evenly. Now he's sold the Nokia Oulu technology campus in Finland, is that so he can create another fictional profit for his handset unit for Q1?

Here is Stephen Elop yesterday in YLE interview Finland's biggest broadcaster and its short English version news item - what does Elop complain bitterly about - once again - its the lack of sales support to his beloved and so utterly doomed Lumia phones. The market says loudly 'we do not want it' and refuses to sell it, but Elop keeps spending money to do new 'me-too' variants of Lumia, rather than abandoning Windows like the channel wants, and get sales growing again for Nokia.

When Elop took over, Nokia sold 34 million smarpthones per quarter. In its latest results, Nokia sold 6. That, my dear readers, is market failure. Its not because the phones are miserable with exploding batteries and antennagates and lack of apps, its because the retail channel says - no way. We will not support this platform. Elop heard this in , he admitted it to the Nokia shareholders in May of and now its February , and Elop cries the same song once again 'my retail sales guys are not selling my phones Windows Phone is dead.

The sooner you quit the dead platform the sooner Nokia can start to recover. But so far, nothing yet. Also that Sony had strong assets it could and would use to be one of the biggest players in mobile. Sony is currently a Top 10 sized smartphone maker and currently offers only Android based smartphones left the Windows ecosystem after the carrier boycott relating to Skype.

In some news the phone is highly desired and selling very well, in some other news the response has been lackluster. It will be interesting to see what kind of results we get when Blackberry reports this quarter sales in March. Plenty more to come, as we get in the news from MWC in Barcelona. For anyone needing more info on the mobile industry, if you are interested in the opinions of the most accurate forecaster of this industry , remember buying the Almanac will get you the Almanac also for the same one price, now before the Almanac is released.

And those who need info specifically on the handset industry, my TomiAhonen Phone Book is your resource with all the facts, stats and numbers. So who's your daddy in mobile numbers? Lets look at the forecasts made about Windows Phone, after the Nokia-Microsoft partnership was announced. If you remember, I recently examined the accuracy of the Nokia forecasts made and found that I had once again been the most accurate forecaster in mobile. But will that reputation hold through this, very challenging Windows Phone forecasting conundrum?

But it is the corporate CEO's job to sell new strategies to investors and partners. It is the analyst's job to evaluate that prospect - and to give guidance on how it might pan out. Nobody can ever guess perfectly what happens in the future, but a good analyst makes forecasts that are close to the truth - and less wrong than forecasts by others.

That Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop were peddling silly stories of Windows becoming a 'third ecosystem' - they should not be faulted for that but they should be held accountable for what they achieved. A CEO should project optimism about his company and its products and its future compare to say, Burning Platforms memo by Elop. The test of the analyst is to see who drank the cool-aid on silliness and who saw through the bullshit and told the truth.

So lets examine forecasts made about Windows Phone for First, the reality. This was at a time when the global smartphone market more than doubled in size. Microsoft achieved that underwhelming performance, even as its Windows based operating system was supported by six of the ten largest smartphone makers at that time - Samsung, HTC, LG, SonyEricsson, Motorola and Palm.

But Nokia - Microsoft's new partner and not just 7th of the 10 largest smartphone makers, at that time the largest manufacturer , sold The new CEO, Stephen Elop, promised to migrate the user base intending to achieve the transition at the rate of 1-to-1 in fact to Windows. That was the 'promise' of this partnership. However, both Nokia and Microsoft messed up one might use a word more appropriate, that rhymes with plucked up this opportunity royally, from the very start when Elop released his destructive Burning Platforms memo, to when Microsoft purchases Skype and angered the carrier community, to the faulty and poorly-designed Lumia series of smarpthones that were then launched to try to dupe customers into accepting Windows with Nokia, to the denial of a migration path for current Lumia owners into the new Windows Phone 8 environment by Microsoft.

The whole strategy, flawed as it was, has been then executed miserably, to pitiful results. We all know the results. IDC just reported for full year , Microsoft managed to sell Gartner counted a bit less, found Microsoft with So this is no surprise now. The facts are in. Even Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said two days ago that the Windows Phone based Microsoft smartphone strategy had failed and was beyond recovery, in his words the current Microsoft smartphone strategy is 'clearly a mistake'.

So we know it failed. But what about those forecasters two years ago? Lets examine how well the analysts saw through the Microsoft smoke-and-mirrors and Nokia's new miracle-cure salesman CEO. To get the number we will use as the benchmark, lets take the average of the two published numbers Gartner and IDC, to find the very close to truth number, which is From February 11, , when Nokia and Microsoft announced their partnership, to November when Nokia released its first Lumia series smartphones running on Windows, there were six major mobile industry analyst houses that released a forecast for Windows Phone sales into This is what the forecasts looked like:.

Source: TomiAhonen Consulting summary from public source analyst press coverage and industry data This table may be freely shared.

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Note the forecasts without asterisk gave a distinct number of smartphones sold in , the ones with asterisk gave a market share number, which I have converted now to a number, as we know the final sales of smartphones in globally was million units. My rival 'experts' are in red. The real Microsoft performance is in blue. My forecast is in yellow. Even as I was off by one whole measure, my accuracy was still more than twice as good as the next best analyst who was off nearly 3 times from the reality.

Then look at the others. And Pyramid - the most ludicrous forecast perhaps of all time in mobile - was off by over 1, percent!!! I did warn readers when the ridiculous Pyramid forecast was published , that it was based on so many faulty data points, it could not possibly bear any resemblance with reality. Like I said back then, it is a disgrace and Pyramid should apologize for that ridiculous forecast and fire the 'expert' who produced that outrageous projection. Remember the flawed first flagship, the Lumia , that was plagued with hardware and software bugs. The alarm clock that didn't wake up, the time zones that didn't recognize Nokia's home country of Finland, etc.

And the immediate price cuts. The smartphone with the infamous faults list of problems that traditional Nokia smartphone owners would grow to hate. The smarpthone that achieved a Nokia record for returns and an instant resale value collapse approaching zero. This where carriers and customers craved for the hugely loved award-winning Nokia N9 instead, running MeeGo. Many European carriers said the Lumia with Windows Phone was not suited for the mature experienced tastes of the European customers who were not new to smartphones like American consumers were. European carriers begged for Symbian based smartphones instead from Nokia.

Then we had the first revised Lumias, led by the new flagship Lumia Now Nokia was supposed to win over America. The flagship plagued with software bugs, and a badly timed launch. The notorious faults list was expanded to faults. Then the consumer survey of US buyers of the Lumia by Yankee Group found that four out of ten buyers rated it the worst phone they had ever seen.

Meanwhile store sales surveys found that sales reps who had the Lumia in stock would refuse to show it to customers asking for Lumia by name it was that much hated by sales reps for the high return rates. Nokia sales plummetted, the prices were slashed, and Lumia reputation was in tatters. Many carriers refused to carry the Lumia altogether, but the parallel Pureview running Symbian could not keep up with demand and propelled Nokia's 'obsolete' Symbian platform to outperform Windows Phone once again.

Then we had the third attempt by Nokia to relaunch the Lumia, led by the new flagship Lumia that was supposed to bring Nokia back in China, the world's largest smartphone market. Still, by Christmas of , the Nokia flagship had a camera that was bested by the Symbian based N8 from three years before. The Lumia stole the name 'pureview' from the without bothering to take the technology, causing severe disappointments to buyers.

The consumer survey by Bernstein of smartphone loyalty found that two out of three Windows Phone owners were so disgusted by their new device, they would never buy another powered by Windows Phone. The new Windows Phone 8 based Lumia series was sold in tiny numbers before Christmas, then missed the gift-giving season for Chinese New Year, and saw an instant price collapse. That is the reality of Windows Phone with Nokia and Lumia.

Some of that reality was obvious by the first phones when they were released. So what does an honest analyst do with his or her forecast? When the facts change, you change your forecast accordingly. That is what honest analysts do. Who did that? Note first - that Gartner, Pyramid and Strategy Analytics - were content to leave their outrageously faulty forecasts to remain as their opinions of how Windows Phone would sell in , all through I think this speaks very poorly of their mobile competence. Yes, good for you, MIC and IDC that you downgraded your Windows Phone forecasts during , as the facts came in and your first projections were clearly overly optimistic as was mine.

But did you inform your customers that you had downgraded Windows Phone forecasts? You did it without any mention. No explanation at all. I think this is not professional behavior.