3 Mar 2014
In my post explaining the Facebook-Whatsapp deal, I mentioned that the motivation for Facebook was to lose engagement to Whatsapp instead of services like LINE. Last week, LINE made some announcements that truly highlight the scale of this risk to Facebook. These announcements simultaneously attack Facebook on two fronts -- user engagement and monetization.
27 Feb 2014
Earlier this week, Nokia announced a line of Android-based smartphones with a combination of Nokia/Microsoft services replacing Google services. While some industry observers were quick to praise this move, there are many unknowns about the goal of this strategy. In my opinion, Microsoft is following one or more of four possible game plans.
23 Feb 2014
A few days ago, I came across an interesting post by Aswath Damodaran on the $19 billion Facebook-Whatsapp deal. For those who aren't familiar with him, Aswath Damodaran is a Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business and is one of the world's leading experts on valuation. First off, I have tremendous respect for his work and I could never hope to match his knowledge about the world of finance. That said, I do understand asymmetric competition and this post truly shows how futile traditional valuation methods can be (especially discounted cash flow) when valuing acquisitions that pose such a threat to an incumbent.
20 Feb 2014
Facebook sent shock waves through the technology world today by announcing the $19 billion acquisition of Whatsapp. While the numbers seem steep, this deal is a major coup for Facebook.
18 Feb 2014
It's time again for my quarterly recap of smartphone market share figures from Gartner and Kantar. For those who missed it, here's the Q3 recap. In Q4, Android continued to dominate the charts, while the iPhone saw a lower than expected seasonal bump. And as I expected, Windows Phone's recent growth seems to have stalled.
14 Feb 2014
Today, Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten announced that it had acquired the messaging app, Viber, for $900 million. While this may seem like an unusual fit, this quote from the Rakuten's CEO explains it all.
10 Feb 2014
App Annie recently released an interesting report detailing the top 9 trends of 2013. Among these, the chart above caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that practically all app revenue growth in 2013 was driven by in-app purchases. Second, non-gaming apps generate a substantially larger proportion of their revenue from paid downloads (assuming this does not include in-app advertising revenue).
6 Feb 2014
IDC's tablet market estimates for Q4 showed tablet shipments rising to 76.9 million units, just 7% below PC shipments in the quarter. Android OEMs led the market with more than 47 million shipments, with the iPad at 26 million. Let's take a deeper look at these figures, split by OEM and category.
3 Feb 2014
Last week, Google announced that it had reached an agreement to sell Motorola's handset division to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. As with last month's Nest acquisition, this led to a range of reactions from industry observers. Let's take a look at the rationale driving this deal.
28 Jan 2014
Apple's stock was down more than 8% in after-hours trading as the company reported roughly flat earnings for fiscal Q1. Two key data points from the report were -- 1) iPhone sales that missed analyst estimates by a wide margin and, 2) a forward guidance that implied a YoY revenue decline in fiscal Q2. Let's attempt to understand the disparity between analyst forecasts and the market realities facing Apple.