CES 2019 Day 1 Highlights

Counterpoint Analysts are attending the CES Event 2019 in Las Vegas to meet companies and gain latest technological insights. Here is a look at the major updates from CES 2019 day 1.

HERE SoMo – Social Mobility Platform – a Play to Integrate Social with Mobility

This app is a standalone play looking to integrate maps with mobility players as well as having a social component. It’s good for HERE to invest in this “whitespace” and build out its solutions to differentiate it from the siloed approach that Uber or Lyft are taking. Having a marketplace will allow users to choose their mobility preferences and help engage them both on a social and cost-saving level (through ride shares / alternative transportation methods). It will greatly enhance HERE’s data if it gets enough traction for users to start using the app over already established, but siloed players.

Source: Here

Alibaba’s Tmall Genie Voice Assistant to be Introduced in BMW Vehicles in China

Alibaba and BMW have announced the integration of Alibaba’s voice assistant, Tmall Genie, for BMW customers in China by the end of 2019. The move extends BMW’s Connected service, which is already integrated with other Tmall Genie-compatible devices. The new feature allows customers to use the BMW display screen, serving up text and images.

Integration with Alibaba’s Tmall Genie in BMW vehicles in China opens new possibilities in terms of intelligent connectivity between the vehicle and customers’ digital touchpoints. BMW Connected is currently used by 1.5 million customers. Alibaba claims to have sold over 5 million Tmall Genie units since its launch in 2017.

Source: BMW

USB C Powered Displays

USB C opened opportunities for new accessories. Since it can support Power Delivery (PD) in addition to superfast data speeds. Due to limited adoption of the USB type C, there is a wide need for dongles, which is a problem during the initial adoption of any new technology. Now USB type C is being widely adopted by OEM’s, be it smartphones, headphones, PC’s etc. There are a few launches with the type C powered portable displays, which can be used plug and play. With the upcoming flexible displays, USB type C will play an important role in making the form factor as small as possible.


Source: The Verge

Nanosats Announcement on IoT  Via Satellite Connectivity

Only around 10% of the planet is covered by terrestrial telecom networks. The other 90% (which includes oceans) requires satellites for connectivity. The opportunity for IoT to support applications such as sea freight will therefore also require satellites. Companies in satellite connectivity such as Nanosats are looking to capitalise on this opportunity by providing connectivity to the maritime industry, smart cities, and more remote applications. Nanosats already launched one of its nano satellites with SpaceX in early December and is planning to launch 64 more to connect and track assets everywhere on the planet.

Instead of competing directly with existing players such as Iridium, GlobalStar, and ORBCOMM, Nanosats is planning to offer a back-up solution targeting applications where network reliability needs strengthening.

Source: TechRepublic

Visteon Showcases Integration of DriveCore Autonomous Platform and SmartCore Cockpit Domain Controller

DriveCore is designed as a complete technology platform for autonomous vehicles consisting of hardware, in-vehicle middleware and a PC-based software toolset. Developers can tap into Microsoft Azures cloud to develop, test and validate algorithms for autonomous driving, making it more scalable.

SmartCore cockpit domain controller uses Qualcomm Technologies third generation Snapdragon platform to integrate several cockpit domains on a single SoC through a single driver interface.

Integrating the above two, coupled with AI and larger curved displays can create a seamless HMI experience between driver and vehicle. Technology (Microsoft, Qualcomm) and automotive companies (Visteon) are collaborating to make solutions that are scalable and simpler (reducing number of ECUs) for next generation vehicles.

Source: Autocar Pro

Withings (formerly Nokia Health) Returns to CES 2019 With New Hybrid Watches

Withings announced Move, hybrid watch which can take electrocardiograms (EKG or ECG). The major attractions of these hybrid watches are the design and price point; $130 for the ECG version and $70 for non-ECG version. It’s expected in 2Q19, pending FDA and CE clearance. There have been low-cost ECG devices before Apple Series 4 watch, but Apple has always been a trend setter. We expect Fitbit and Garmin will also join this ECG-on-watch trend.

Source: Withings

Previous Coverage:

Run Upto CES 2019

Global Smartwatch Shipments Grew 37%YoY in Q2 2018, Apple Watch Series 3 the Most Popular Model

Seoul, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego

August 30th, 2018

Apple continues to dominate the smartwatch market with a 41% share. Further, smartwatch makers are looking to add cellular connectivity for standalone use-cases as 90% of smartwatches shipped today are not cellular capable. (previously we stated Apple Watch Series 1 as the best selling but after more scrutiny we confirm Series 3 was the bestselling. therefore we have restated this part in the press release.)

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Global Smartwatch Tracker, global smartwatch shipments grew 37% YoY in Q2 2018.

Commenting on the major shift in the market, Counterpoint Research Analyst, Satyajit Sinha, noted, “Back in Q4 2017, Apple stepped up its strategy in the smartwatch segment by enhancing the features of smartwatches into broad-based functionalities, including some health and fitness tracking capabilities. Moreover, Apple is catalysing the trend of ‘smartwatch as a standalone wearable device’ with adoption of cellular connectivity, which is driving the new wave of cellular connected wearables globally, great news for mobile operators.”

Mr. Sinha, further added, “Battery-life is a constant concern with smartwatches, given their tiny batteries. However, Apple, Samsung and Huawei are consistently working to optimize the software and the overall design and adding components such as eSIM to make space for bigger batteries. Moreover, the adoption of cellular Low Power Wireless Access (LPWA), technology especially LTE-M in smartwatches will also drive core use-cases in a smartwatch while boosting battery life.”

Exhibit 1: Global Smartwatch Shipments market share by in Q2 2017 vs Q2 2018

Source:  Counterpoint Research Q2 2018 Global Smartwatch Tracker

Looking at the different smartwatch platforms, Research Analyst, Flora Tang, added, “Proprietary platforms continue to dominate the smartwatch market. The smartwatch engine is mostly powered by Apple’s watchOS or Fitbit OS or Samsung’s lone adoption of Tizen OS and different flavors of RTOS implementations and all are closed platforms. Hybrid watches which are mostly non-touch smartwatches based on proprietary platforms and sensors, mostly from Swiss watchmakers declined 22% YoY.

The shift to Androidwear OS still hasn’t happened like we have seen in Android for smartphones. This is partly due to lesser focus, less intuitive UI and selective smartwatch OEM partnerships by Google over the last few years for Androidwear OS. Google hopes to change this with the upcoming launch of wear OS 2.0 based watches but will need a complete overhaul of the UI, powerful integration of key Android experiences and by striking key partnerships.”

Exhibit 2: Global Smartwatch shipment share – by Platform in Q2 2018

Source:  Counterpoint Research Q2 2018 Global Smartwatch Tracker

Apple and Fitbit dominated with two models each out of the top five rankings, however, the Chinese brand Amazfit’s smartwatch BIP remained popular globally as it ramped sales and popularity across the top 50 countries in the first half of this year.”


The Smartwatch market is dominated by the top six brands contributing to 74% of the volume shipments:

  • Apple’s quarterly shipments declined 20% quarterly in Q2 2018 due to seasonality. However, it grew 17% YoY as uptick for Apple Watch has been rising compared to a year ago.
  • Fitbit’s share in smartwatch shipments grew exponentially, majorly due to the huge success of Versa which was released in in April 2018. Its market share increased from 8% in Q2 2017 to 21% in Q2 2018.
  • Amazfit is a sub-brand of a Chinese OEM Huami, which is a manufacturer of wearable products for Xiaomi. It currently holds 4% market share in Q2 2018 and jumped into the top five rankings globally. Its established sales channels and brand awareness of Mi smartphones and bands will drive the home advantage for the Amazfit brand.
  • Garmin shipments grew 35% YoY and holds 3% market share. Launch of Vívoactive 3 music and Fenix 5 Plus series of watches with built-in maps, Garmin Paymobile payments, music storage are key features that are attracting consumer interest. Moreover, the inclusion of Pulse Ox sensor technology for blood oxygen saturation awareness on the Fenix 5X Plus, just after FDA approval on 16th March 2018, are one of the unique features in the market to compete with Apple and Fitbit and it will lead to a significant growth in Garmin shipments by the end of 2018.
  • Samsung smartwatch shipments declined 17% QoQ and 43% YoY. The major concern for Samsung is the limited refresh rate on its portfolio along with premium prices. However, Samsung launched its Gear S4 in Aug 2018, which will increase its shipments in Q3 2018.
  • Fossil shipments remained flat YoY in the smartwatch segment. However, the Fossil Q Venture, the Fossil Q Explorist and its key strategic partnership with Google to dominate Fashion-First Smartwatches will sustain its growth as it continues to shift its watch segment into the smartwatch segment.
  • Proprietary OS grew 76% YoY majorly due to Fitbit, Amazfit and other white label models.
  • iOS shipments grew 17% YoY and Wear OS shipments grew 24% YoY. However, iOS market share declined from 48% to 41% YoY whereas Wear OS market share declined from 8% to 7% YoY.


*  We previously stated Apple Watch Series 1 as the bestselling but this was due to an error in our data collected from distributors inaccurately labeling sales numbers. After comparing with different sources we confirm a majority of the Series 1 were actually Series 3. Series 3 were more than 50% of Apple Watch sales during Q2 of 2018.

For our detailed analysis on Global Smartwatch Tracker, you can access the full report on our Insights Portal


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in Technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology firms and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 13 years in the high-tech industry.


Analyst Contacts:

Satyajit Sinha


Neil Shah
+91 9930218469


Flora Tang

+852 5545 2529

Counterpoint Research


Top Mobile Devices Trends in 2014

Technologically speaking there has never been a dull year in mobile industry. Every year promises and brings in new technologies, disruptions, business models and lots of surprises and we hope 2014 will be another great year for mobile devices segment. Let’s see what we expect to happen in 2014.


Multiple Cores are fine but where is the Memory?

Dual Core processors will continue to dominate sub US$100 smartphones but the differentiation and competition in 2014 will shift to the point to see which vendor (Tier-1 or Tier 4) offers 512MB or 1GB RAM bundled at these price points first. This will unlock compatibility to upcoming platform updates and applications thus reducing fragmentation especially in Android & Windows Phone platforms. Quad-Core smartphones at sub-$100 retail price points will also be on the cards in second half of 2014. Watch out for likes of Lenovo, Samsung, Micromax and MediaTek in this space.

64 bit CPU is here but where are the apps?

Racing to get the 64-bit processors into the smartphones to win back mindshare will remain the hot topic but lack of applications written for 64 bit processing will make it an overserved feature until some OEM or platform vendors steps in to lead in 64 Bit app development (esp. For Android & after Google supports it in 2H 2014).

Watch out for likes of Apple, Qualcomm, Google, Intel and Microsoft in this segment.

LTE Phones reaching mass-market before the Networks

LTE phones which will reach mass-market (sub-US$150 retail) in mature LTE markets in 2014. OEMs will continue to supply LTE-ready phones (for scale) to newer markets and in the hands of consumers before even the LTE networks are live. LTE Device Installed base will be greater than LTE subscriber base and the trend will continue until the LTE plan pricing reaches mass market. China, USA will be the key market to drive this trend in 2014.

Additionally, many operators will leapfrog to LTE-A and hence the flurry of LTE cat-4 devices will start appearing in operator’s shelves.

Watch out for ZTE, Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung stimulating mass-market LTE market.

Sharper & Flexible – The New Glass

As Full HD (1080p) displays have gone mainstream at sub US$350 price-points, the battle shifts to getting either a 2K display or a Flexible display into the devices. Displays will remain the battleground for differentiation across price-bands in 2014 allowing OEM to either raise the price or reduce the price for a SKU. In the era of ‘size 0’ smartphones are trending the other way as consumers want bigger and bigger displays every time they are out for shopping their very personal device. Phablets and Tablets together are going to be US$170 Billion worth segments in 2014. Smartphones are achieving steady state towards 5-6 inch whereas tablets towards 7-8 inch formfactors. However, phablets are also poised to overtake tablets next year.

Watch out for LG, Samsung, Toshiba, Sony and Oppo to lead this trend in 2014

Imaging Kickstarts the Sub-Ecosystem wars, who will win it?

The camera resolution, OIS and low-light imaging wars have been reignited by Nokia, Sony and others in 2013 and the competition to differentiate will continue with Imaging as a key differentiator. The differentiation will come in the form of software behind the optics array imaging, 4K image and video capture, video editing on the go, image stabilization, Kinect style interactions etc. This will kickstart a whole new sub-ecosystem of already popular use-case in a mobile phone – Imaging.

Watch out for Nokia, Sony, Qualcomm & NVIDIA to dominate this space.

Wearables a segment ready for prime-time or  just forced down the consumers’ throat?

 Appcessories are great as they have revolutionized the different use-cases leveraging apps, sensors and will continue to take off in 2014 and expand across price-bands reaching mass-market.

But do consumers need or want wearables those have another display on it to interact with? Smart-wearables with displays such as smartwatches, glasses are stuck between functionality of appcessories and smartphones. For such smart-wearbles to take-off in 2014 or future years will need a whole new set of ecosystem initiated by a new set of intuitive interaction mechanisms, connectivity technologies, extraordinary battery design, specially designed applications, software and services.

 2014 won’t be the year of smartwatches or smartglasses unless OEMs fulfills the above criteria building a unique user-experience or these devices experience an iPhone moment to stimulate the demand. We see supply greater than demand as OEMs (forcefully) try to create a category out of it just to have these devices in portfolio and not being left out. Lots of work needs to be done for consumers to ‘want’ them.

Watch out for long tail of smaller startups such as Pebble, Vuzix, Omate, Misfit to players such as Epson, Symphony Teleca, Varta and bigger players such as Microsoft, Samsung, Google, Jawbone, Nissan and Sony.

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