Monthly Archives: March 2016

Previews of Microsoft Build 2016

Microsoft will hold the Build 2016 conference for developers on Wednesday in San Francisco. It will release a series of new technical support at the conference as usualy.

build 2016

It is reported that Microsoft will let developers edit applications that could be run on any Windows devices, such as the application of Windows 10 OS. But they need to make sure the applications could be used on personal pc, ipad, smartphone,game console and even Microsoft HoleLens.

Its highlight technology was released in last July that named Universal Windows Platform (UWP). This application is built in Windows 10 and allows developers to run and experience all applications on Windows 10. For example, the online service Hulu needs to be launched Windows PC and Windows Phone versions. With the release of UWP, it just need on application based on UWP.

UWP is a tactic that Microsoft made response to its disadvantages. The key point for the launch of applications has been transfer to iOS and Andriod devices from personal pc.

Microsoft paid close attention to develop mobile internet since 2003. However, its tactic did seem successful even though it released the Windows Mobie system . The user share for Windows Phone only accounted for 1.1% till the Q4 2015.

Microsoft paid the price for the acquisition of Nokia Mobile device business. To keep down the mobile device business, Microsoft wrote down $9.4 billion assets. The writedown rate was about 80%. It also streamlined 8,000 employees. Then it kept focusing on developing applications that could be compatible with iOS and Android devices.

Microsoft assumed that developers could make full use of UWP to develop more useful applications for other platforms.

Apple hopes to stimulate sales volume by launching iPhone SE

Apple did introduced iPhone SE at its new product event held on March 21st. It sets price at least $399. Many of Apple fans prefer the smaller screen iPhone, it might help Apple to obtain some more market share.

The 4-inch iPhone SE is equipped with A9 chip and 12 megapixel camera to support the Siri voice, Apple Pay and Touch ID, confirmed by Greg Joswiak at its release conference.

Joswiak claimed that the 4-inch iPhone reached the sales volume at 30 million units last year. He addressed the iPhone SE is the most powerful 4-inch smartphone so far. The 16GB iPhone SE is sold at $399, while 64GB is sold at $499.
It will be on pre-order process from March 24th and official sold on 31st March. By May, there will be about 100 countries and regions selling iPhone SE.

China is one of the countries that sells first round iPhone SE. The other countries include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, UK, U.S. Virgin Island and so on.

Stategy Analytics reported that the 4 to 5 inch smartphones are still the lead, which accounting for about half of the market share. The large screen phabet only accounts for one-third market share around the world.

Canalys predicted the market share of smartphones are smaller than 4.5 inch will decline. It was above 20% of the global market share in 2014. Some of merchants stopped selling smaller size of smartphones.

Apple announced to decrease the selling price for Apple Watch on Monday. Its new products event did not bring much surprise to the investors. Its stock share even declined lightly NASDAQ securities market.

Swiss watch manufacturers want a share in smart watch market

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The Swiss traditional watch manufacturers regarded the smart watches as not worthy of serious considerations when it came to public. They are now aware of the underestimation of public demands. Many of Swiss watch manufacturers attempt to work with or invest the technical companies to obtain more user shares.

According to the report made by Futuresource Consulting, the shipments of global smart watches were more than traditional ones in Q4 2015. Stategy Analytics showed that the sales volume of former in Q4 2015 reached 8.1 million units, while the latter were 7.9 million units.

By now, the fast rise of smart watch doesn’t impact much on traditional watch. The latter focuses on the high-end products. However, the smart watch manufacturers consider producing luxury smart watch with the success of Apple Watch.

There are potential opportunities for smart watch market. The global revenue of smart watch in 2014 reached $1.3 billion. It is supposed to reach $117 billion by 2020. Therefore, the Swiss traditional watch manufacturers wish to earn more shares in this merging industry.

TAG Heuer brand of LVMH teamed up with Google to launch a new smart watch last November. LVMH CEO Jean-Claude Biver announced at Schweizer Mustermesse Basel that the company will launch 6-8 series of smart watches next year.

Biver admitted that :”We were underestimated the market demand of smart watch as we were too careful.” TAG Heuer has invested about 10 million Swiss franc on the smart watch project.

The first sound TAG Heuer smart watches were sold out soon after it was being released. Biver claimed the company is supposed to sell 40,000 -50,000 smart watches this year.
Tissot of Swatch also displayed its smart watch named Tissot Smart-Touch at SMB. CEO Francois Thiebaud claimed that Swatch is the only one to launch smart watch independently among Swiss watch manufacturers. He added the sales goal for Smart-Touch is 20,000 – 40,000 units this year.

To the Swiss traditional watch manufacturers, it might be a wise decision to team up with technical companies as they are lack of technology and distribution network.

Will self-driving cars come to UK next year?

The self-driving cars has been on trials for a while. Even though there are accidents reported during the trials, the UK government spoke highly of the self-driving cars. It is possibly that the self-driving cars will be on the market soon.
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Chancellor George Osborne claimed that the driverless vehicles might be applied on British market at the beginning of next year, reports the Guardian.

“Driverless cars could represent the most fundamental change to transport since the invention of the internal combustion engine. Naturally, we need to ensure safety, and that’s what the trials we are introducing will test,” he said.

The government will select some sections of roads to start the trials. Those sections of UK roads is supposed to be closed off in case of disturbances of safety. It could cause a mess if the trials are tested in a public section. The government has tested the self-driving cars in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich.

George Osborne is expected to announced the trials during his Budget speech that will be made on this Wednesday. He is going to let out the news that the governments is to test a convoy of self-driving trucks on the unpopulated British motorway.

UK considers itself as the major manufacturer in the European self-driving car market. While Nissan and Jaguar have plans to barge into driveless vehicle market.

Yahoo refreshed two new members for board of directors

Yahoo refreshed two new directors for board of directors on Thursday in the hope of helping the company to fight for proxy contest. They will do favor for selling the core internet service for the company.

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In its announcement, it claimed that Eric Brandt, Catherine Friedman were appointed as independent directors. They both have experience for selling enterprises.

Brandt assisted Broadcom to sell the company to Avago at $ 37 billion, while Catherine Friedman once worked as the strategy and trading consultant at Morgan Stanley. Yahoo claimed the company considered the strategy option last month. It might sell the core Internet business.

The confirmed source claims Starboard Value are not satisfied with the measures made under Marissa Mayer’s leadership. It requested the new proxy contest to realize the new election of board of directors.

The entrusted agent Okapi Partners LLC that works with Starboard starts contacting Yahoo shareholders. Jeff Smith, CEO of Starboard sent a letter to the board of directors in January to ask for management adjustment.

Victor Anthony, analyst of Axicom Capital Management claimed Yahoo will refresh two memberships for board of directors for the preparation of proxy contest. It might the be defensive policy to negotiate with Starboard.

Yahoo stock price declined $0.69 at NASDAQ on Thursday, with a decrease rate of 2.06%, closed at $32.82. In accordance with that closed price, the market value of Yahoo was $31 billion. Its stock price declined by 25% accumulatively in the past year.

Survey: over 60% of game players have no plan to purchase VR device

The exclusive survey showed that only 15% of game players plan to purchase the VR device this year. The survey came across to 14,000 game players on websites of Gamer Networks. Gamer Network is consisted of 13 different websites, including Eurogamer, USGamer, GameIndustry.biz and Rock Paper Shotgun.

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About 13,000 interviewees made response to the survey. Actually, only 15 % of them are planning to purchase a set of VR helmet, 60% of them were not to buy it, 25% of them are not sure whether they will buy one. It is interesting that 75% of the interviewees are PC game players who are considered to accept VR most.

Its selling price may be one of the reasons as 32% of them claimed it is expensive. The VR helmet is released in 2016, 20% of them consider PlayStation VR as their top device to purchase. 35% of interviewees claimed they have PS4. Despite Sony has not announced the release date and selling price for PlayStation VR yet, we believe that Sony will offer a favorable sales promotion.

In the meanwhile, Oculus Rift is warmly weclome by developers at the first stage but only 13.74% of interviewees are willing to purchase. HTC Vive gets more favors than Oculus Rift by the players as 15.5% of them would like to buy one.

The survey also involves in the investigation of game consoles. 31% of interviewees are willing to purchase Nintendo NX. It inspired Nintendo after the failure of Wii U and the decline sales of 3DS.

We could figure out the following clues from the survey:

1.Most of consumers consider the selling price for VR is expensive and could not afford it.

2.VR are welcome by PC game players.

3.Nintendo is the pioneer of VR products.

There are still many players do not experience the VR products yet. VR products will be officially shipped in April. The potential market share will be adjusted then.

AR Meta 2 pre-order is available, cheaper than Hololens

The AR Meta 2 developer edition pre-orders is available on Kickstarter recently. It is sold at $949.

meta 2

Even though the maturity of Meta 2 could not meet the requirement for newcomers, the basic function of this software gets close to the final version. Therefore, its research and development department decided to debut Meta 2 as the VR/AR becomes popular now. It starts the pre-orders of Meta 2 developer edition.

Judging by designs and functions, Meta 2 looks familiar with Microsoft Hololens. They are both headset AR equipments. The consumers will need to use a special optical glass to watch the films clearly.

It is equipped with a 720 p front camera to catch the surrounding that consumer is in. Besides the front camera, it also sets with a built-in sport tracking sensor to check the user’s hands movement and precise actions.

It is built with four loundspeakers next to the ears to guide the consumers how to use it. Concerning thewire materials, Meta 2 is offered a 9 inch transmission cable to transmit power, images and data. The cable is well compatible with HDMI and DP ports.

Meta 2 support team claimed that the product aims at the ordinary consumers instead of professional ones. Meta 2 dev could transmit 2K AR views under 90°vision. It has excellent compatibility on Mac or PC.

Meta 2 is not an common app used on the platforms so far. But its team plans to launch the suites for Microsoft Office, Adobe CS and Spotify in 2016.

It has launched the AR developer kit to developers. The virtual machine will be shipped in third quarter of 2016.

How could App Store earns so much than Google Play?

The difference between Google Play and App Store becomes more obviously. In comparison with App Store, Google Play’s revenue seems to be the small figure.

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According to the data provided by App Annies, App Store revenue was 80% larger than Google Play’s in Q3 2015. While its revenue was 70 % larger in Q2 2015. Even though the downloads of Google Play is 90 % higher than App Store’s , Google Play failed to turn those downloads into the higher revenue.

The reason that App Store received higher revenue than Google Paly is it attracts Chinese users. Apple received sharply increase of market share in China. Its revenue increased by 14% in last quarter. Its revenue increase developed the fast in Chinese market as it just received 2% of increase for Apple total revenue.

Google quit the Chinese market in 2010 and has no sign to come back so far. It was rumored that Google Play would come back to China in Feb or March. It comes to March now and Google still keeps silent for this.

Apple sales ranked third in 2015 in the smartphone market. Samsung and Lenovo lost some market share.

Google enages in exploring the merging markets, such as India. Its downloads of Google Play are higher than other apps in the world. It needs to work hard on turning them into the subscriptions.

App Store received over $20 billion sales volume. It made the peak record for daily orders on Jan 1st and received over $144 billion sales volume.

Google is awared of how to make profit with the high downloads. It is working hard to chase App Store’s sales.