29 Oct 2014

Facebook, Whatsapp & LINE

Facebook - Mobile ARPU

Yesterday, Facebook announced their financial results for Q3 that showed mobile advertising revenue rising to almost $2 billion, almost 60% of their total revenue. This growth wasn't just driven by mobile MAUs, but also by mobile ARPU (shown in the chart above). In a way, this growth explains why Facebook isn't as concerned with Whatsapp's monetization, at least for now. Facebook also revealed some metrics for Whatsapp, which should help us understand their strategy.

23 Oct 2014

Twitter's New Business Model


I have never written about Twitter because I always considered it to be a simple consumer service, with a simple monetization model, i.e. it was never particularly interesting. That changed this week when Twitter unveiled Fabric, an SDK for app developers, which takes their business model in a slightly different direction.

17 Oct 2014

Tablets: Quest for the Enterprise

Tablet Market Tiers

Yesterday, Apple announced a minor refresh to their iPad portfolio, with improvements mostly focused on Touch ID and a thinner footprint. In many ways, this did feel like this was a "placeholder" upgrade. The new iPads would certainly appeal to loyalists, but they don't seem to target the primary reasons behind the recent slowdown.

15 Oct 2014

Benchmarking the Smartwatch Market

Smartwatch - Shipment Comparison

Despite the hype surrounding them, I have been skeptical about the potential of "wearables" as a mass market product category. Most of my analysis focuses on the primary use cases targeted by these devices, which still remain unclear. However, we haven't seen any data on sales that would give us an adequate understanding of market conditions. Of course, this is partially because these are still early days. That said, I thought it would be interesting to compare the early shipment performance of these devices with what we saw in the smartphone and tablet markets.

10 Oct 2014

Xiaomi's Q3: Growth As Usual

Xiaomi - Sales Growth

The smartphone market saw an interesting dichotomy this week that reflects a changing basis of competition. Samsung announced a revenue and profit decline, while Xiaomi's Q3 sales grew 20% sequentially (and 300% annually). For Xiaomi, this continues a pattern that I highlighted earlier this year.

6 Oct 2014

Rovio vs. King II

Rovio vs. King - MAU

Earlier this year, I compared Rovio's operating metrics with those of King's to highlight the different monetization approaches chosen by each company. In absence of updated MAU figures from Rovio, I had assumed modest growth from 263 million in 2012. As it turns out, Rovio's MAUs actually declined by roughly 63 million in 2013. Likewise, King has faced a few challenges as well. However, both companies seem to be fighting back with very different portfolio approaches.

2 Oct 2014

Windows 10: Needed, but Business Model Challenges Remain

Windows 10 - Start Menu

This week, Microsoft unveiled a long-awaited update to its operating system -- officially dubbed, Windows 10. Microsoft says that Windows 10 is an attempt to create a single operating system that works across phones, tablets and PCs, without the compromises that were visible in Windows 8. This is certainly a much needed update that should help them retain their core customer base, but it also doesn't do much to cover up their biggest weaknesses.

26 Sep 2014

Samsung: Learning from the PC Era

PC Industry - Revenue by Company

This week, Samsung's stock price hit a two year low as analysts slashed profit estimates again. It has become increasingly clear that Samsung is a victim of low-end disruption, caused by intense competition from Asian vendors like Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei. In many ways, Samsung is in the same predicament as IBM was during the PC wars. The story of IBM's decline and subsequent revival could hold the key to Samsung's recovery.

23 Sep 2014

Analyse Asia Podcast: Analyzing Apple's Announcements & CyanogenMod

In this episode, we discuss the impact of Apple’s announcement of the new iPhones, Apple Pay, Apple Watch and Google’s new “Android One” on Asia. We also discuss whether Apple is positioning itself to be a Louis Vuitton of technology or a Louis Vuitton “with technology” and if Asian technology OEMs can buy CyanogenMod to combat Apple and Google.

19 Sep 2014

Smartphone Market Share And Usage By Country - Jul-Aug 2014

Worldwide Smartphone Usage Share

With the iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus) launch just around the corner, this may be a good time to review smartphone market share and usage share trends around the world. As these data points reflect the tail end of the iPhone's product cycle, we should expect a market share bounce over the coming months. On the other hand, movements in usage share are unlikely to be as sharp.