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.

5 Jan 2015

Tech Valuations and The Year Ahead

Valuation of Consumer Tech Services Companies

Valuations are very useful tool to gain insight into a company's future (or at least what investors think that future might look like). As we begin 2015, let's look back at the some of the highest valuations in consumer tech services and attempt to understand their drivers.

10 Dec 2014

Expanding on "New Questions in Mobile"

Benedict Evans recently wrote an insightful piece exploring new questions for the mobile industry. Among the 5 questions he brought up, I believe that the evolution of interaction models and messaging will end up being the most important. I don't have anything to add there as think Benedict's analysis here was excellent. However, I do think that three of his questions could benefit from deeper analysis. I also think that he may have missed a crucial question brought on by the scale of the mobile industry.

3 Dec 2014

Messaging Apps: Disrupting Advertising

Messaging Apps vs. Advertising Mediums - CTR

This week, I came across some interesting data on Kik that highlights the disruptive potential of messaging apps with respect to the advertising industry. At present, messaging apps are in early stages of becoming direct marketing channels for advertisers, and the engagement metrics show a clear trend.

26 Nov 2014

Xiaomi: Pricing vs. Engagement

Xiaomi - Cumulative Downloads vs. Sales

Last year, I wrote a post verifying Xiaomi's claim that their users are twice as active as those of other manufacturers, which also validated their long-term pursuit of a services-oriented business model. But as they moved to lower price points, we assumed that their engagement levels would gradually decline. However, based on some recent metrics revealed by the company, that may not be the case.

19 Nov 2014

Nokia N1: Dual Impact

Nokia N1 - Android Tablet

Finland's Nokia made a surprising move this week as it announced a new Android 5.0 based tablet, coined the Nokia N1. Just to be clear, this is from the company that remains headquartered in Finland and not the "Devices & Services" division that was sold to Microsoft (now called Microsoft Mobile). This announcement caught most observers off guard and could have some interesting implications.

11 Nov 2014

Xiaomi: Scaling Up

Xiaomi vs. Apple vs. Samsung - Marketing Costs

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported some of Xiaomi's financial metrics from 2012 and 2013. The two most interesting data points were the proportion of Xiaomi's revenue from services (~1%) and their sales and marketing costs.

5 Nov 2014

Mobile & Payments


Over the past few weeks, the tech world has seen a controversy erupt over retailer resistance to Apple Pay and other NFC based mobile payment systems (like Google Wallet). The short version is that retailers are interested in pushing their own (poorly designed) payment alternative that circumvents fees collected by companies like Visa and Mastercard. Interestingly, this controversy seems to obscure the fact that we still aren't sure what consumer benefits are targeted by mobile payments.