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Lenovo tablet share leaps

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As outside political-economic forces weigh on its main competitor Huawei, Strategy Analytics reports Lenovo tablet shipments grew 8% year-on-year to 2.5 million units and its market share rose 0.9 percentage points to 5.2% globally in Q4 2019. Huawei felt pressure from the US-China trade war while Amazon had some hangover from its blockbuster Prime Day results, pulling demand forward from this holiday quarter. This jockeying of fortunes is indicative of a tablet market still in consolidation, as the market shrank -7% in 2019 from 2018 levels.

The full report from Strategy Analytics’ Connected Computing Devices (CCD) service, Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and Market Share: Q4 2019 Results can be found here: https://www.strategyanalytics.com/access-services/devices/tablets-and-pcs/connected-computing-devices/market-data/report-detail/preliminary-global-tablet-shipments-and-market-share-q4-2019-results-040220

Lenovo grew its business in every region outside of Asia Pacific due to Huawei’s heavy focus on China and edging out many competitors there. Lenovo maintains a good mix of low-cost Android tablets to complement its high and mid-tier Windows Detachable 2-in-1s but its Android business faces the same strong headwinds that all other major vendors face. The trade restrictions on Huawei have positively impacted Lenovo’s tablet business but there are glimmers of hope in its products, like the new Smart Tab M10 and P10 models, which double as Alexa-enabled smart displays with a dock bundled in the box. Bold innovations like the ThinkPad X1 Fold foldable PC/Tablet coming in mid-2020 will also set Lenovo apart from its competition.

Eric Smith, Director – Connected Computing says, “A massive shift has taken place for Huawei to focus on the domestic Chinese market and sell older inventory in EMEA and Asia (excluding China). This pattern will intensify until the China-US trade war reaches detente and while there have been positive signs with the Phase 1 trade deal signed last month, tariffs and US component/software supply restrictions are still in place, and will likely will be until after the November 2020 US presidential election.”

Chirag Upadhyay, Senior Research Analyst says, “The commercial refresh has been a disappointing period for Detachables as Windows mobile computing demand has favored thin-and-light notebooks in the premium tier. Adding to this trouble, most Windows Detachable 2-in-1 vendors are exclusively targeting the premium tier for enterprise users to make higher profits but a crowded market prevents all vendors from growing at once, especially now that Apple is competing strongly with two iPad Pro models and an iPad Air (with keyboard) in this price tier. Even with Apple’s new-found competitive strength, the company’s tablet shipments fell -7% in Q4 2019 as iPad Pro demand fell sharply in the holiday quarter.”

Exhibit 1: Most Major Tablet Brands Faced Lower Shipments in Q4 20191

Global Tablet Shipments by Vendor (Preliminary Results, Millions of Units)

VendorQ4 ’192019Q4 ’182018
Apple13.544.3  14.5 44.9  
Samsung7.0 
21.8
7.5 23.1
Amazon4.9 
15.2
5.4 11.6
Huawei4.314.4 4.6 15.4  
Lenovo2.58.5 2.3 8.8
Others16.555.9  20.0 69.3
Totals48.6
160.2  

54.4
 
173.1

Source: Strategy Analytics’ Connected Computing Devices service

1 All figures are rounded

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Alexa can now read all messages

For the first time, an Alexa skill is available that makes it possible to listen to any kind of message while driving

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For the first time, Alexa users can now hear all their messages and email read aloud.

Amazon’s Alexa has become a household name. The world’s most popular virtual assistant is getting smarter every day and now, with Amazon Echo Auto, it’s in cars too. 

“In today’s highly connected world, messaging in the form of emails, texts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and work channels like Slack, are integral to our daily routine,” says Barrie Arnold, chief revenue officer at ping. “However, distracted driving is responsible for more than 25% of car crashes and thousands of preventable fatalities every year.” 

ping, a specialist in voice technology founded by Arnold and South African Garin Toren, has developed a new Alexa skill as a companion to its patented smartphone app, that enables any message type to be read aloud. Designed for safety, productivity and convenience, “pingloud” is the first skill of its kind for keeping users connected when they need a hand or an extra pair of eyes.

“The ping Alexa skill is specifically designed to help drivers stay off their phones while giving them exactly what they want – access to their messages.” says Toren, ping CEO. 

Opening up Alexa to developers has resulted in an explosion of new skills available either for free or for a fee that unlocks premium services or features. These tools magnify the usefulness of Alexa devices beyond common tasks like asking for the weather, playing music or requesting help on a homework assignment. According to App Annie, the most downloaded apps in 2019 were Facebook Messenger, Facebook’s main app and WhatsApp, highlighting the importance of messaging. 

“The ping Android app is available worldwide from the Google Pay Store, reading all messages out loud in 30 languages,” says Toren. “The iOS version is in global beta testing with the US launch coming very soon.” 

Once you’ve signed up for ping, it takes a few seconds to link with Alexa, enabling all messages and emails to be read aloud by a smart speaker or Echo Auto device. Simply say, “Hey Alexa, open pingloud.” ping links an account to a voice profile so unauthorised users with access to the same Alexa cannot ask for the authorised user’s messages.

All major message types are supported, including Texts/SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Snapchat, Slack, Telegram, Twitter DM’s, Instagram, and all email types. Promotional and social emails are not read by default.

*For more information, visit www.pingloud.com

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Coronavirus to hit 5G

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Global 5G smartphone shipments are expected to reach 199 million units in 2020, after disruption caused by the coronavirus scare put a cap on sales forecasts, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global 5G smartphone shipments will grow more than tenfold from 19 million units in 2019 to 199 million in 2020. The 5G segment will be the fastest-growing part of the worldwide smartphone industry this year. Consumers want faster 5G smartphones to surf richer content, such as video or games. We forecast 5G penetration to rise from 1 percent of all smartphones shipped globally in 2019 to 15 percent of total in 2020.”

Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “China, United States, South Korea, Japan and Germany are by far the largest 5G smartphone markets this year. The big-five countries together will make up 9 in 10 of all 5G smartphones sold worldwide in 2020. However, other important regions, like India and Indonesia, are lagging way behind and will not be offering mass-market 5G for at least another year or two.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The global 5G smartphone industry is growing quickly, but the ongoing coronavirus scare and subsequent economic slowdown will put a cap on overall 5G demand this year. The COVID-19 outbreak is currently restricting smartphone production in Asia, disrupting supply chains, and deterring consumers from visiting retail stores to buy new 5G devices in some parts of China. The first half of 2020 will be much weaker than expected for the 5G industry, but we expect a strong bounce-back in the second half of the year if the coronavirus spread is brought under control.”

Exhibit 1: Global 5G Smartphone Shipments Forecast in 2020 1

Global Smartphone Shipments (Millions of Units)20192020
5G19199
Rest of Market13941165
Total14131364
 
Global Smartphone Shipments (% of Total)20192020
5G1%15%
Rest of Market99%85%
Total100%100%

Source: Strategy Analytics

The full report, Global Handset Sales for 88 Countries & 19 Technologies, is published by the Strategy Analytics Emerging Device Technologies (EDT) service, details of which can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/wep83gc.

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