Podcast: Operator Promos Drive US 5G Smartphone Prices Under $150

The beginning of 2020 was quite challenging for the smartphone market after the COVID-19 outbreak, which resulted in lockdowns across several countries. However, things eased in the second half with pent-up demand driving smartphone sales. The momentum continued through Q1 2021, with the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 series doing well in the premium segment. Even the telecom operators offered…

Podcast: Online Channels Help SEA Beat COVID Blues, Attract OEMs

The South East Asia (SEA) smartphone market declined in the first half of 2020 due to COVID-19 lockdowns. But as the restrictions started to ease, OEMs were quick enough to focus on online channels to meet the pent-up demand. Online channels in Indonesia reached their highest point in Q4 2020, with brands like Xiaomi and realme leading online sales. Thailand’s smartphone market also saw online…

Podcast: 5G Smartphone Shipments to Double in 2021 Despite Component Shortages

We saw the first wave of 5G smartphone launches in H1 2019 with prices above $1,000. These premium smartphones gave way to a completely new pricing landscape in just around a year, with the most affordable 5G smartphone coming under $200 in China in 2020. Moving into 2021, we have the ongoing issue of component shortages across the semiconductor industry. In our previous podcast, we discussed…

Podcast: Auto Sector’s Semiconductor Shortage Likely to Ease in Late 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted automobile sales in H1 2020. But as the demand started recovering in H2 2020, the semiconductor shortage crisis hit the automobile industry too. The chipset production capacity is already stretched by the rise in demand from smartphones and laptops due to work-from-home and learn-from-home. As a result, the semiconductor shortage faced by the automobile industry is…

Podcast: Over 50% Smartphones to Have Embedded Hardware Security by 2025

With smartphones becoming ubiquitous, data security has come under the scanner. In particular, robust security is needed to use smartphones for activities like financial transactions and for unlocking our homes and cars. This is where embedded hardware security can help in storing user credentials securely in an environment called secure element (SE). Around 35% of the smartphones sold…

Podcast: Over 6 Billion eSIM-based Devices to be Shipped by 2025

The Subscriber Identity Module, which we familiarly know as SIM card, has been around for nearly three decades now. One needs to insert this card into a mobile phone, Mi-Fi dongle and other devices to get connectivity. Over the years, the size of the SIM card has shrunk from a credit card form factor to a size smaller than the index fingernail. But as we move into a more connected world with…

Podcast: Resilient Smartphone Market Heads Confidently Into 2021

After a few years of decline, we were expecting the smartphone market to grow in 2020. Sure enough, the year did start on a good note. But towards the end of the first quarter, the COVID-19 outbreak started, leading to lockdowns being imposed in several countries over the coming months. All this resulted in a big fall in supply and demand. But as restrictions started to ease, we saw a recovery in…

Podcast: XR – Where are We in Reality?

When first introduced, eXtended reality (XR) appeared like a futuristic concept. But after years of research and development, the technology is now accessible to consumers and enterprises. Yet, XR is having a hard time transitioning from a fantasy concept to something that is more practical and generates revenue. But the recent launch of the Oculus Quest 2 does make us feel a little optimistic…

Podcast: Wearables get Pandemic Push

The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 a difficult year, testing the world’s resilience on multiple fronts. It has also forced many people to focus on their health and wellness. Boosting immunity and staying fit have now become a priority. As a result, wearables are increasingly playing an important role in helping people monitor their fitness, sleep, heart rate and other parameters. Wearables…

Podcast: Gaming Smartphones are More Than Just Flagships

Mobile gaming has come a long way over the past two decades. From popular Snake game on Nokia phones with a monochrome display to 2D games on color screen phones and 3D gaming on smartphones, it has evolved a lot. We have seen Symbian OS phones like the Nokia N-Gage, early Android phones like the Sony Xperia Play and dual screen phones like the LG G8X ThinQ. And now, there is a completely new…

Podcast: Artificial Intelligence – Winter is Coming!

Over the last few years, there has been a good amount of hype around Artificial Intelligence (AI), where companies have been using it to drive up their valuations. But AI is a broad definition that includes everything from statistical analysis to software to deep learning. What are the different categories of AI, and what are the challenges and limitations faced by the companies? We answer these…

Podcast: Over 50% of Cars Sold Globally in 2020 will be Connected

Automakers are packing more technology in cars these days. This includes IoT-based connected car technology, which enables navigation, information, safety and remote diagnostics. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted car sales, and shipments are expected to decline in 2020, the penetration of connectivity technology in cars continues to increase. More than 50% of the cars sold globally in…

Podcast: iPhone 12 to Make 5G Mainstream in Europe

The COVID-19 pandemic followed by lockdowns caused the European smartphone market to decline in Q1 2020 and Q2 2020. But as restrictions started easing, the sales bounced back due to the pent-up demand. Though the shipments are still expected to be down year-on-year, the holiday season and iPhone 12 series could offer the much-needed sales boost to the market. Even though Huawei has been…

Podcast: Chinese Brands Catalyzing SEA Smartphone Market

The adverse economic effects brought by the COVID-19 pandemic caused a decline in smartphone sales across several regions. The SEA (South East Asian) market, which includes countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, was no different. But as the lockdown restrictions are now easing, this market is seeing good recovery. There is not one, but several factors responsible for the…

Podcast: 2nd Gen Foldables Point to a Promising Future for Mainstream Market

The foldable phones have been around for a few years now, especially if you remember the clamshell form factor. Even the Nokia Communicator was a foldable smartphone with a small screen on the outside and a bigger display on the inside. But a lot has changed over the years, as we moved from phones with alphanumeric keypads to full QWERTY keyboards and now a fully evolved touchscreen smartphone. A…

Podcast: App Economy and Apple’s Epic Battle

Apple introduced the App Store on iOS as a digital distribution platform for games and apps and revolutionized the way software is distributed on mobile devices. Roughly, 15-20 years ago, one would have to visit a store to buy a game or software, and the store would charge around 50% as a mark-up fee. The App Store, on the other hand, takes a 30% cut from developers. Google followed the same…

Podcast: How & When Shall We See the First sub-$200 5G Smartphone?

The global smartphone market is undergoing a major change as we transition from 4G to 5G. And despite the slowdown due to COVID-19, 5G smartphone sales are growing as they penetrate the mature markets like China, South Korea, Europe and the US. Typically, when a new generation of cellular technology comes in, it is more expensive in the beginning. This has happened with 4G, where the initial…

Podcast: Video Streaming Takes a Bigger Slice of Digital Life Amid Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a big shift in consumer behavior and spending patterns. As more people stay at home to work or learn remotely, the spending on smartphone apps has increased as well. According to Counterpoint Research’s latest Consumer Lens Survey, video streaming has emerged as the highest spending smartphone app category in the US. The pandemic has forced people to limit…