17 Oct 2014
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
15 Sep 2014
Among all the announcements Apple made last week, the one Wall Street seemed most excited about was Apple Pay. Apple has done an admirable job of managing partnerships on with merchants and banking companies, but driving consumer adoption may be more challenging. If implemented correctly, Apple's rumoured loyalty program could ease the way for mobile payments.
10 Sep 2014
Apple made some major announcements yesterday, including two large screened iPhones and Apple's new payment service. But the most interesting announcement may have been the Apple Watch. In many ways, this announcement brings up more questions than answers.