Smartphone vendors shipped 355.2 million units in Q3, down six percent from the corresponding quarter last year, according to preliminary estimates by IDC. This is the fourth straight quarter of year-on-year decline.
Huawei has upped the ante with an ambitious US$140 million investment in developing one million artificial intelligence (AI) talents in three years. Under its AI Developer Enablement Programme, the China telecoms giant will work with universities and research institutions as well as partners and developers to build an ecosystem with AI resources, platforms, courses, and joint solutions to better support AI development.
A battle of sorts is taking place in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). It has been widely reported that China is ramping up its focus on the technology that is expected to transform businesses and industries. Numbers from ABI Research point to a swing in favour of China.
The ongoing spat between China and the US seem to have claimed another victim. Apple has removed 25,000 gaming-related apps from its China app store. This move follows hard on the heels of the US ban on Huawei and ZTE technology from being used by the US government and government contractors yesterday.
Qualcomm is targeting smartwatches for children with its Snapdragon Wear 2500 platform. Announced at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the chip is designed to deliver extended battery life, low power location tracking and an optimised version of Android for kids.
NVIDIA’s Volta architecture is leaving quite an impression. According to a NVIDIA press release issued at SC17, the Volta-based NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU is available through every major computer maker and chosen by every major cloud to deliver artificial intelligence (AI) and high performance computing.
China’s top technology companies are betting big on the NVIDIA Volta platform.
Alibaba Cloud, Baidu, and Tencent are incorporating NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU accelerators into their data centres and cloud-service infrastructures to accelerate AI for a broad range of enterprise and consumer applications.
At the heart of the new Volta-based systems is the NVIDIA V100 data centre GPU. Built with 21 billion transistors, it provides a 5x improvement over the preceding NVIDIA Pascal architecture P100 GPU accelerators, while delivering the equivalent performance of 100 CPUs for deep learning. This performance surpasses by 4x the improvements that Moore’s law would have predicted over the same period of time.
Inspur, Lenovo and Huawei are using the NVIDIA HGX reference architecture to offer Volta-based accelerated systems for hyperscale data centres. Using HGX as a starter “recipe,” original equipment manufacturer and original design manufacturer partners can work with NVIDIA to more quickly design and bring to market a wide range of qualified GPU-accelerated AI systems for hyperscale data centres to meet the industry’s growing demand for AI cloud computing.
New Android mobile phone launches spurred growth in Australia, leading to year-on-year growth of 18.4 percent to 2.16 million units, exceeding expectations in Q2, according to IDC.
Smartphones accounted for nearly all of the shipped phones — totalling 2.06 million.
Android returned to being the most popular smartphone OS in Australia. Recently, iOS had overtaken Android as the most popular smartphone OS in Q4 2016 as it held over 54 percent of the market compared to 47 percent for Android.
Everybody knows China is big but with nearly half a billion smartphones shipped last year, the market is massive — that’s one smartphone for every three person in the world’s most populous country.
According to Canalys estimates, China reached 476.5 million unit shipment, growing year on year at 11.4 percent, far exceeding the annual growth rate of 1.9 percent in 2015. China shipment reached 131.6 million units in Q4, which is the highest single quarter total in history, accounting for nearly a third of worldwide shipment.
Huawei took the top spot in the market with 76.2 million shipment, a small lead ahead of runner-up Oppo with 73.2 million units, followed by Vivo in third place at 63.2 million units.
Three Chinese smartphone vendors — Huawei, Oppo and vivo — helped drive the global smartphone market in Q3. Together their shipment grew 60 percent while the overall global market just moved up six percent that quarter, according to Canalys.
The standout performer was Oppo, which had a stellar quarter, taking hold of the Chinese market from under the noses of its rivals. Its smart phone shipments grew around 40 percent sequentially and 140 percent year on year. Tough competition in China has affected Huawei’s global position, with it now looking increasingly unlikely that it will reach its annual shipment target of 140 million units.
Samsung continued to lead the market, but its issues with the Note 7 are starting to affect its business. It shipped just over 76 million units (excluding all Note 7s), down nine percent on the same quarter a year ago. In second place, Apple’s iPhone shipments also suffered an annual decline, falling five percent to just over 45 million units.
Huawei continues to retain resilience in a crowded and competitive global economic environment, aiming to become the top global smartphone vendor in five years’ time, according to ABI Research.
Its successive year-on-year rises in smartphone shipments particularly impressive, as Huawei managed to achieve its high ranking without effectively breaking out of its home market. To become a global electronics brand, the company will need to gain a strong foothold in the US and western European markets, but runs the risk of falling victim to the same plights as its larger competitors.
“Ranking by volume as third largest global smartphone vendor, Huawei is attempting to expand its reach by creating its own chipsets and mobile operating system based on Android. It may succeed with chipsets, but many other competitors tried similar OS development tactics in the past to no avail. It will be tough for Huawei to achieve this goal, even with improved global brand strength and volume gains,” said David McQueen, Research Director of ABI Research.
The Philippines smartphone market jumped 20 percent in Q1, according to IDC. With a projected annual growth of 25 percent this year, this makes the country the fastest growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia (SEA).
“While many of the more mature smartphone markets of the world already displayed signs of saturation, the Philippines smartphone market continues to enjoy robust growth owing to a relatively low smartphone penetration rate (30 percent in 2015), active local brand presence, and healthy consumer spending,” said Jerome Dominguez, Market Analyst for Mobile Devices of IDC Philippines.
Local vendors continue to dominate the Philippines smartphone market as they flood it with the most affordable smartphone options.
It’s almost unthinkable but the smartphone market has dipped for the first time in its history.
According to Canalys, worldwide smartphone shipment fell from 324 million units in Q1 2015 to 321 million units in Q1 2016. The top two vendors both posted shipment declines, with Apple the worse hit.
Excluding Apple and Samsung, smartphone shipment grew five percent despite some of the big named international vendors outside the top five also faring badly. LG, Lenovo and TCL-Alcatel posted significant declines, while Sony plummeted by around 57 percent.
Smartphone sale hit a record 117.3 million in China in Q4. This represents an eight percent growth compared to the same period last year.
The phenomenal increase was partly driven by China’s annual singles day online shopping festival in November and Huawei’s strong shipments in the quarter. China’s Q4 growth boosted the calendar year 2015 growth to three percent.
“Xiaomi, Huawei and Apple are the top smartphone players in 2015. This is a stark contrast to the top players in 2013, which was Samsung, Lenovo and Coolpad – with Samsung clearly dominating other players. With operators reducing smartphone subsidy and given the volatility of consumers’ brand preference in the market, the smartphone scene has changed significantly since then,” said Tay Xiaohan, Senior Market Analyst of IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.
Apple is top of the league in the smart watch market in 2015, accounting for over 12 million units and two-thirds of all shipment, according to Canalys.
Samsung returned to second place in Q4, as the improved design of the Gear S2 saw a much better consumer reception than previous wearable efforts by the company. Pebble came third and Huawei fourth, establishing itself as the leading Android Wear vendor.
Basic bands exceeded 37 million shipments for the year. Fitbit set a quarterly shipment record as it comfortably led the category. Xiaomi held second place, shipping 12 million Mi Bands during 2015.
Tablet sale continued its decline for the fourth straight quarter, according to IDC. Q3 shipment of 48.7 million units represented a 12.6 drop year on year, further highlighting the challenges the tablet market is facing.
At the close of 2014, IDC estimated the installed base of tablets to be 581.9 million globally, which was up 36 percent from 2013 but slowing quickly. With mature markets such as North America, Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific well past 100 million active tablets per region, the opportunities for growth are getting fewer.
“We continue to get feedback that tablet users are holding onto devices upwards of four years. We believe the traditional slate tablet has a place in the personal computing world. However, as the smartphone installed base continues to grow and the devices get bigger and more capable, the need for smaller form factor slate tablets becomes less clear. With shipment volumes slowing over four consecutive quarters, the market appears to be in transition,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director of IDC.
Huawei has dethroned Xiaomi as China’s top smart phone vendor in Q3. This is Huawei’s first time at the summit of China’s smartphone, according to Canalys.
The company powered its way to first place with 81 percent year-on-year shipment growth, extending its strong performance in the previous quarter. In contrast, Xiaomi’s shipments shrank year on year as it struggled to sustain its high growth.
“Huawei’s ascent to China’s smart phone throne is a remarkable feat, especially in the context of an increasingly cutthroat and maturing Chinese smart phone market. On the other hand, Xiaomi, with its worldwide target of 80 million smart phone shipments for 2015, is under tremendous pressure to keep growing as an international player as it is slowing down in its key home market,” said Jessie Ding, Research Analyst of Canalys.
Xiaomi continued its phenomenal growth to regained its crown as the largest smart phone vendor in China with 15.9 percent market share in Q2, according to Canalys.
One in three smartphones shipped were from Xiaomi or Huawei, which grew 48 percent quarter on quarter to snag 15.7 percent of the market. Apple fell to third place, followed by Samsung and Vivo.
“The China smart phone market continues to mature, remaining stagnant quarter on quarter. Competition among major brands has never been so intense. Huawei recorded the highest smart phone shipments in its history without compromising its product margin or profitability. Apple and Samsung have both increased their sales activities in the China market, expanding rapidly in channel coverage through flagship stores and small to medium size phone retailers respectively. Xiaomi is under immense pressure to maintain its top position in the quarters to come,” said Jingwen Wang, Analyst of Canalys.
The worldwide tablet market shed seven percent in Q2 to 44.7 million units, according to IDC. Quarter on quarter, the drop was 3.9 percent.
The market was not helped with the lack of hardware innovation and new products.
“Beyond the decline, we are seeing a profound shift in the vendor landscape as the top two vendors, Apple and Samsung, lose share in the overall market. In the first quarter of the year, Apple and Samsung accounted for 45 percent of the market and this quarter, with the growth of vendors like LG, Huawei, and E FUN, their combined share dropped to 41 percent,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director for Tablets of IDC. .
The dream of a digital generation are a step closer to reality following a successful trial by Proximus and Huawei. A joint test on a the Belgium telco’s network has resulted in speeds over an optical signal of up to one Terabits per second (Tbps). This is equivalent to the transmission of 33 HD films in a single second.
The trial is the first outcome of the partnership on innovation that Proximus and Huawei engaged in January.It is the first time worldwide that this Huawei technology has been tested with an operator.
The purpose of the test was to determine whether this technology can be integrated into the core network, to anticipate the constant and growing customers demand for more bandwidth. Its success shows that the Proximus future optical backbone with a capacity of 200Gbps channels, can quickly and efficiently, thanks to this Huawei technology, evolve to 400Gbps channels and even 1Tbps super channels in the future. By reusing the existing optical platform, chassis and slot, the transmission capacity of the core network links can be upgraded from 16Tbps to 20Tbps.
Huawei and Volkswagen are working together on car connectivity. They have unveiled technology that integrates smartphone functions with vehicle-mounted systems and allows drivers to use those functions safely while driving at the International Consumer Electronics Show Asia in Shanghai this week.
The partners have demonstrated a series of apps that safely allow drivers to use GPS navigation systems, play music, send and receive messages, and make phone calls while behind the wheel. The apps support MirrorLink, an open technology standard designed to maximise interoperability between smartphones and vehicle-mounted systems. They cover multiple services including phone calls, SMS, navigation, multimedia, and payment that are all centered on smartphones.
“Our cooperation with Huawei will seamlessly blend the capabilities of users’ smartphones with the systems in their cars. All content on the phone will be shown in real time on the car’s infotainment touch screen. The result is smart and convenient interaction between phone and car,” said Sven Patuschka, Executive Vice President for Research and Development of Volkswagen Group China.
The combined market share of Chinese brands fell to a two-year low on a global basis, as growth in China slowed to single digit in the first quarter of 2015, according to Canalys
Apple increased its market share in China, extending its lead over its Chinese rivals Xiaomi and Huawei. Major local vendors face the strongest headwinds in their home market since the smart phone boom began in 2011. Lenovo (including Motorola), Yulong and ZTE recorded their lowest shipment volume to the Chinese market for the last two years.
“Consumers are losing their appetite for ultra-low-cost devices, as expectations increase in line with spending power and, combined with rising market saturation, this is resulting in a major shift to devices that provide better user experience,” said Jingwen Wang, Analyst of Canalys.