Ben Bajarin from Creative Strategies & Techpinions joins us in this episdode to discuss the important questions dominating mobile in the dynamic and vibrant Asian market and what matters in 2015: How does the mobile-first Asia look like in 2015? Can Apple sustain its competitive advantage in China given its stunning quarter? Is Samsung’s fate getting closer to Sony with its recent troubles? Why is Google not able to achieve what Microsoft did in the PC era? Where should Google’s Android be in the next 5 years and how can it deal with the shifting loyalties of the Asian OEMs? We conclude with two topics of intense interest: What are the conditions which we may see the PC industry reignite again? Is Apple really building a car?
Here are the interesting show notes and links for our discussion:
- The story of Ben Bajarin’s career as a principal for the firm Creative Strategies, heading Consumer Technology Analysis practice and his contributions in the Tech.pinons site and podcast (which we highly recommend that you check it out). We discuss the areas which Ben is currently covering in the consumer technology space. Also check out his recent piece on antiquated thinking in the tech industry.
- What are the most interesting questions from Ben’s perspective on the consumer technology space pertaining to Asia?
- The smartphone market in 2014 with focus on Asia.
- Covering the mobile market starting from Japan in an earlier stage to China.
- Smartphone market in China with the main players: Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi, Oppo, Meizu and Qihoo with the consumer usage with apps in the form of transaction engines (WeChat).
- Ben’s thesis on the mobile internet: The PC bias in the West and why it does not help people from the West to understand mobile first in Asia.
- Google’s problem with Android or the Android Schism:
- In the PC operating system wars, Microsoft managed to edge out Apple and become the dominant player. With Google adopting the same playbook, why has it able to garner market share and yet at the same time, the OEMs such as Samsung are unable to mount a challenge?
- Where will Google take Android in the next two years with mounting challenge from Cyanogen and the shifting loyalties of the Asian OEMs?
- Google’s problem as a company with only dominance in search and the emerging threats coming from Facebook and WeChat.
- Android OEMs in Asia and Microsoft’s new services strategy through mobile:
- With Microsoft’s investment in Cyanogen, does Cyanogen becomes the forked Android OS which the Asian OEMs will leverage to take their dependence off Google?
- Apple in China and the iOS dominance in the high end market
- Will Apple continue to grow in China?
- Do the threats from Xiaomi, Oppo, Meizu slow the growth of iPhones in China? Why is Apple doing well in China whereas Samsung is floundering there?
- Apple’s strength as a brand and also why it is like LVMH.
- The bull case for the PC industry: What are the conditions that the PC industry might return for growth in the emerging markets and how will that be dis-intermediated by the smartphone or tablet market?
- Thoughts about New Yorker’s article on Jony Ive and understanding why Apple might build a car based on their history and philosophy in product design (see the techpinions article from Ben on the same subject but require subscription). One should also see the context that Apple is a software company.