E-commerce to account for a quarter of retail sales by 2025

Greater internet and mobile device accessibility are driving e-commerce growth in Southeast Asia.

According to ABI Research, Smart Retail has gone through revolutionary changes in the past 10 years and will exponentially continue to do so going forward.  Brick and mortar stores are no longer the only option for consumers across the globe to make their everyday purchases, due to significant advancements in technology, both in-store and online.

Key players include Senion, who implements some of the world’s largest Indoor Positioning System (IPS) solutions to enhance in-store experiences, and AisleLabs who provides shopper traffic behavior analytics to help retailers optimise store layouts.  Leading POS software vendors, Shopkeep and Square are allowing retailers to sell across multi-channels from a single platform. These and other key vendors are paving paths to making the offline and online worlds seamless experiences.

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Amazon searches for 2nd HQ

Red alert, North America cities. It’s time to dust your red carpet. Amazon is on the hunt for a city to host its second headquarters.

The e-commerce giant’s new campus will take up about eight million square feet — that’s a lot of space and a great boost to the local economy.

Seattle Times has reported that the selected city will get US$5 billion in investments. According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the second HQ will be “full equal”to its Seattle campus.

Amazon Prime Now makes first SEA stop in Singapore

The online grocery market in Singapore has just gotten hotter with Amazon’s launch of its Prime Now service. It is the e-commerce giant’s first stop in the region.

Prime Now offers tens of thousands of products, such as groceries, chilled beer, ice-cream, household, and home essentials, baby, beauty, electronics, and toys.

 Those interested can download the Amazon Prime Now app from iTunes and Google Play stores and enjoy free two-hour delivery service for orders above S$40. For orders under S$40, the cost is S$5.99 for the two-hour delivery or S$9.99 for one-hour delivery.

 

GTC draws the big guns!

As a sign of its coming of age, the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) held annually in San Jose, California since 2009, is no longer a niche event but one that is drawing the who’s who of the technology industry.

NVIDIA’s shift of focus from being a visual computing company to an AI company has certainly played a big part in the expansion of the conference. It has attracted around 50 sponsors and 150 exhibitors on top of more than 7,000 participants.

However, it’s not the number of sponsors and exhibitors but rather the quality that is worthy of attention. The line-up of technology firms includes luminaries such as Adobe, Alibaba, Amazon, Autodesk, Cisco, Cray, Dell EMC, DreamWorks Animation, IBM Watson, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Verizon Labs, VMware, and Yahoo Research.

With AI being such a prime mover of autonomous vehicles, it is also not surprising that leading names in the automotive industry were also present — BMW Group, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda Research Institute, and Mercedes-Benz R&D North America.

Amid the various booths showcasing VR technologies was one by NASA Ames Research Center, which showed a VR demonstration on Mars.

Alibaba Cloud rises 128% in Q3

Alibaba Cloud has outpaced cloud service provider leaders with growth of 128 percent to reach US$221 million in Q3. However, AWS increased its lead, accounting for 32.2 percent of total spend, followed by Microsoft Azure with 17.3 percent and Google Cloud with 7.6percent, according to Canalys. Both Microsoft (up 115.6 percent) and Google (up 79.6 percent) grew faster than Amazon.

Global cloud infrastructure services expenditure increased 53.1 percent year on year to reach US$10 billion for the first time in Q.

“Alibaba has established itself as the largest e-commerce business in China and is starting to dominate the provision of cloud infrastructure services in the country,” said Daniel Liu, Research Analyst of Canalys.

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Smartphones account for 1/3 of mobile phone sale in India in Q3

IDCSmartphone sale is rising in India with 28.3 million shipped in Q3, according to IDC. That’s a 21.4 percent increase from 23.3 million units for the same period last year.

In Q3, 4G enabled devices have witnessed almost a three-fold increase in unit shipment over the previous quarter.

“The growth in the smartphone market was helped by rising demand for affordable 4G smartphones,” said Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC.

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Tablet shipment down 12% globally in Q4

CanalysThe stats are in – tablet shipment dropped 12 percent to 67 million units in Q4, according to Canalys. The desktop market fell back into a decline in Q4 as Windows XP upgrades waned. The notebook market held firm with another quarter of just one percent growth.

Total PC shipments (desktops, notebooks and tablets) fell six percent in Q4 to reach 148 million units, resulting in full-year 2014 shipments of 528 million units, up three percent on 2013.

Apple regained the top spot in the PC market on the strength of holiday sales, with just under 27 million units shipped. Lenovo’s shipments grew six percent year on year to almost 20 million units as it increased its market share to 13.3 percent. Samsung dropped out of the top three to make way for HP, with growth of 17 percent driving shipments over 17 million units, its best quarter since Q3 2011.

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Samsung keeps lead in tablet space

abi researchSamsung has retained its pole position in ABI Research’s tablet vendor Competitive Assessment. In the analysis of 23 leading tablet vendors, ABI Research ranked companies on several criteria for product implementation and vendor innovation. The Korean giant prevailed in the innovation category and finished second in the implementation strategy.

Close behind Samsung in second place is Apple. Clearly dominating in shipment volume, Apple has been a strong contender in the tablet ecosystem. Apple places number one in implementation strategy but comes in close second for innovation. The two leading tablet makers have managed to stay ahead of other tablet OEM vendors.

In third place is Lenovo, which has done a great job of expanding its tablet portfolio by marketing to a large audience range and providing unique user interfaces.

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Global tablet shipment misses target

IDCWorldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 shipments slipped to 50.4 million units in Q1, according to preliminary data from IDC. The total represents a sequential decline of 35.7 percent from the high-volume holiday quarter and just 3.9 percent growth over the same period a year ago. The slowdown was felt across operating systems and screen sizes and likely points to an even more challenging year ahead for the category.

“The rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s,” said Tom Mainelli, IDC Program Vice President, Devices and Displays. “In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments.”

Apple maintained its lead in the worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 market, shipping 16.4 million units. That’s down from 26.0 million units in the previous quarter and well below its total of 19.5 million units in Q1 of 2013. Despite the contraction, the company saw its share of the market slip only modestly to 32.5 percent, down from the previous quarter’s share of 33.2 percent.

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Android-based tablets outship iPads in Q2

Three in 10 PC shipped in Q2 were tablets. According to Canalys, more than 34 million tablets were shipped in Q2, a 43 percent year-on-year increase. Even more impressive is the fact that tablets now account for 31 percent of worldwide PC shipments.

The charge is led by Android-based tablets as Apple’s tablet shipments declined 14 percent in Q2 and saw its market share shaved to 43 percent. The chasing pack of Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo, and Acer each grew annually by over 200 percent, driven by increasing demand for small-screen tablets.

Canalys estimates that 68 percent of tablets shipped in Q2 had a screen size smaller than nine inches. “Consumers have been evaluating tablets and the results are now in,” said Tim Coulling, Senior Analyst at Canalys . “With touchscreens contributing to a high proportion of the build cost of a tablet, small-screen products can be priced very aggressively.”

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