14 Apr 2015

Meerkat & Periscope: Features, Not Products

Meerkat vs. Periscope

Over the past couple of months, the tech world has become fascinated with live video broadcasts. Meerkat was the new live broadcast sensation until Twitter acquired and re-launched a competing app, Periscope. Since then, some tech observers have devoted themselves to tracking every detail of the competition between them. In my opinion, there are other facets here that may be far more interesting.

13 Apr 2015

Analyse Asia Podcast: The Apple Watch Conundrum in Asia

In this episode, we discuss the following topics:

  1. Apple Watch in Asia
    • Who's buying it? Why is there no smartwatch market?
    • Understanding the luxury business from the perspective of Apple and LVMH. 
    • The problem with Apple competing with Tag Heuer in a luxury watch market.
    • Misconceptions of western analysts on the Apple Watch in China.
    • How can developers invent new kind of apps on the Apple Watch platform if they are subject to the same constraints?
    • What kind of new interaction models could we conceive for smartwatches?
  2. Mobile in Asia
    • Firefox OS – Should they build a desktop version to compete with Chrome OS?
    • Web app vs Native app world – the indexing proposition for Google.
    • Google’s lacklustre Android growth – why are OEMs ganging up against them by working with Microsoft? Why has Micromax adopted Cyanogen?
    • The next billion problem in Tech (including Google and Facebook): Why apps like Duolingo are better suited to monetize the next billion. Also read Google and Facebook’s vision for mobile.
  3. Facebook and Social
    • Facebook cloning WeChat
    • What is Facebook’s strategy for Whatsapp?
    • Content is being commoditized on Facebook and the future of news and media.
    • Meerkat vs Periscope (with Twitter's backing) and why Facebook has not made a move on Meerkat.

26 Mar 2015

Comparing Facebook's and Google's Vision for Mobile

Facebook Messenger

On the first day of the F8 developer conference, Facebook finally pulled the trigger on something we had expected for months. Facebook messenger is now a platform along the lines of WeChat and other Asian messaging apps. While this isn't necessarily "novel", it tells us something about Facebook's vision for mobile.

10 Mar 2015

Understanding the Potential of Watch Apps

Apple Watch Home Screen

I have been a bit of a wearables skeptic ever since Android Wear was unveiled at Google I/O last year. Following that, Apple's original announcement of the Apple Watch just added to my list of questions about the category. Hoping to find some answers, I watched yesterday's Apple Watch keynote with great interest. Curiously, what I found were more questions. 

27 Feb 2015

Google, Mobile and the Next Billion

Google - Revenue vs. Growth

The change in Google's narrative over the past few months has been very interesting to watch. The recent "Peak Google" proclamations remind me of Facebook's post-IPO narrative in 2012. Conventional wisdom back then was that Facebook's decline was imminent as mobile was not a meaningful part of their revenue. Of course, Facebook's app install ads and other mobile initiatives disproved that narrative in short order.

12 Feb 2015

There is No Smartwatch Market

Smartwatch Shipments

A few months ago, I wrote a post comparing the early sales of smartwatches to those of tablets and modern smartphones (early iPhone and Android models). As I expected, the numbers didn't bode well for smartwatches. Now that we have another year's worth of data to play with (from Canalys this time), we have an opportunity to test the validity of my previous analysis.

2 Feb 2015

The Next Phase of Search

Last week, Google announced that it would integrate third party apps into Google Now. While this may seem like just another update to Google's contextual search offering, it has the potential to deeply influence interaction models and app discovery in the mobile age. But in order to understand its potential, we first need to understand how search evolved on the web.

22 Jan 2015

The Potential and Pitfalls of HoloLens

Minecraft on HoloLens

Microsoft made some long expected announcements today -- the return of the start menu, one version of Windows 10 across all devices and an attempt to make Windows apps work across those same devices. Unfortunately, the limited overlap between Windows PC developers and mobile developers makes the latter a weak proposition. On the other hand, Microsoft's HoloLens headset may have some potential.

Analyse Asia Podcast: New Questions in Mobile, The Asia Edition

In this episode, we discuss the following topics:

13 Jan 2015

TV, Economic Structure and Napster

Sling TV

One of the biggest announcements of CES was Dish Network's OTT TV service, coined Sling TV. The announcement created palpable excitement about the potential of unbundling the TV industry. In my opinion, Sling TV has potential but it isn't quite the disruption to TV that some have been hoping for.