Smartphone sales plunge

Steepest ever fall in smart phone shipments 

Q1 2019 smartphone shipments were way down, according to research from Canalys, with North American market share leader, Apple, off almost 20%. Samsung, North America’s #2 player with a little over half of Apple’s market share, grew by 3%. Overall shipments of all smartphones were down 18% over the same period last year. ZDnet

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dis-rup-shun:  Higher prices, market saturation, and less new features are slowing adoption of new handsets. When the carriers eliminated large handset subsidies a couple of years ago, they changed the way consumer buy and keep phones. To fight for new share, Apple and Samsung have engaged in an arms race for new and better features. The device makers are struggling to find many really exciting new features and consumers are more aware than before of the true cost of a new handset. 5G support, when 5G networks are widespread, will provide some incentive to upgrade. A mature market puts extreme pressure on Apple and the crew in Cupertino to invent new blockbuster products. It is hard to see what Apple’s next big growth driver will be.

Don’t upgrade your phone for 5G yet

The New York Times points out that it will take at least two years for 5G to be deployed in most areas, and that phones now supporting 5G will be larger, power hungry and essentially not worth it, yet.

dis-rup-shun: 5G will be a game changer, and will accelerate the rollout of IoT in two ways. First, wireless connections to the cloud will be so fast that many devices will be able to instantaneously access content in most places, and second, most mainstream devices will move to 5G networks from 3G and LTE, creating excess bandwidth, and making it cheaper for non-mainstream devices to connect to LTE. When carriers can demonstrate lighting fact internet access on smartphones, then it will be time to upgrade.

Uber IPO is less than stellar

Uber debuted on the NYSE on Friday, in a tumultuous week in which markets were battered by new China tariffs. The company, which has been losing large amounts of money to accompany its fast global growth, faced a 7.6% decline in stock price on its first day of trading. The loss, while tiny in percentage compared to many other first day losses, in aggregate, is $6 billion –making it the largest first day loser in history by market valuation. Axios

dis-rup-shun:  Uber has disrupted the transportation-for-hire space so quickly and so drastically that it may stay ahead of profitability as it continues to morph into new markets. Uber is completely upending the food delivery business and is clearly focused on leading the driverless ride business. In some ways it is evolving like Amazon, though more quickly and with perhaps less caution. The company’s stock price will indicate, in the next six months, if the market sees the company as a leader in innovation or a unicorn that has lost its way.

What is Microsoft’s direction amid a shifting technology landscape?

Microsoft’s Build 2019 developer conference has just concluded and company direction can be summarized as follows:

Microsoft Azure (the cloud) is a very strong, high growth business unit. Microsoft’s twist on the cloud is optimizing its computing architecture to provide faster processing in the cloud. In other words, Microsoft is competing for cloud share by offering a faster, better cloud for AI and IoT applications.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) modules, or optimizations, running both in the Azure cloud as well as in developer’s apps, makes the company an attractive solution for new application developers.

Windows, the dominant operating environment since the mid-90s, is receiving plenty of enhancements to keep it in the lead for the foreseeable future. ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: The Redmond tech giant has completed its re-invention under Satya Nadella who appears to be doing a great job at building on the strength of Windows and Office 365. Nadella is reinvigorating the company’s cash cow products (Office and Windows) by making them hybrids: cloud and device based, while rapidly scaling its Azure cloud business and offering some features and plans that, to some companies, are more appealing than Amazon Web Services.

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