Ahead of the curve – Smart Samsung Gear S

They today announced a Gear with a sim which of course potentially divorces it from the smartphone.

The spec they give as:

  • Network  – 900/2100 or 850/1900 (3G), 900/1800 or 850/1900 (2G)
  • Display – 2.0” Super AMOLED (360 x 480)
  • AP – Dual core 1.0 GHz
  • OS – Tizen based wearable platform
  • Audio – Codec: MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG
  • Features – Communications: – 2G, 3G Call, Bluetooth Call, Contacts, Notifications, Messages, Emails, QWERTY Keyboard
  • Health & Fitness – S Health, Nike+ Running
  • Information – Schedule, News, Navigation, Weather
  • Media – Music Player, Gallery
  • Others – S Voice, Find My Device, Power Saving Mode IP67 Certified Dust and Water Resistant
  • Samsung Services – Samsung Gear Apps
  • Connectivity – WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, A-GPS/Glonass, Bluetooth®: 4.1, USB: USB 2.0
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, UV, Barometer
  • Memory – RAM: 512MB, Storage: 4GB Internal Memory
  • Dimensions (mm) – 39.8 x 58.3 x 12.5T
  • Battery – 300mAh Li-ion, Typical Usage 2 days

The Samsung Gear S will be available in global markets in phases through Samsung’s retail channels, e-commerce websites and via carriers beginning October when it is also expected that pricing will be announced.

We wonder if this is a preemptive move in advance of an Apple wearable announcement in the last quarter.

The Apple Brand Tells the Best Story

Aesop in association with One Poll have just released their 2014 Brand storytelling survey results in which they “… asked 2,000 consumers to identify brands against 9 key storytelling elements.”

They asked which of these brands:

  1. Do you consider to have a unique character/personality?
  2. Have a clear opinion?
  3. Has vision or purpose?
  4. Are you intrigued to know what they’ll do next?
  5. Tell a credible story?
  6. Create their own world?
  7. Produce content you want to share or talk about?
  8. Are entertaining?
  9. Are memorable?

We’ve done our usual extraction of our wide Tech sector brands and list the total top twenty one!

2014
2014
The Top Tech Twenty one 2013 Media Spend
Tech Overall Overall
1
1
APPLE
1
£30,773,833
2
7
VIRGIN MEDIA
14
£107,403,110
3
8
YOUTUBE
NE
4
12
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS
22
£53,403,763
5
13
FACEBOOK
NE
6
23
SONY MOBILE COMMS.
36
£19,131,844
7
30
TWITTER
NE
8
34
TELEFONICA 02 UK
38
9
36
BT
26
£167,676,036
10
40
COMPARETHEMARKET.COM
35
11
48
EE
84
£53,513,262
12
53
CONFUSED.COM
34
£16,659,253
13
54
3
91
£37,483,801
14
57
VODAFONE
70
£87,288,722
15
68
TALKTALK
95
£97,368,864
16
69
HTC
96
£11,651,020
17
71
INSTAGRAM
NE
18
75
GOCOMPARE.COM
74
£32,306,571
19
82
BLACKBERRY
71
£17,948,305
20
92
WONGA.COM
89
£25,039,262
21
95
LINKEDIN
NE
NE – New entry
Source: Aesop, Brand storytelling survey 2014
Compilation: I.co.uk

Interestingly, to us, is the media spend info (we guess the blanks indicate the unavailability of information rather than a nil spend!

Surprisingly, to us, no appearance for Sky or Amazon. We recall incidentally that Sky also had well over £100 million in advertising spend.

Finally outside the tech sector we were interested to see the inclusion of the, now 4, main political parties (all are new entries) with UKIP leading the way in position 11 followed by Labour (72) Conservative (89) and Lib Dem (93) brands. We noted that none of them figured in the top 10 of the 5th element above but UKIP came in at # 2 on the 2nd element!

Survey download

The Internet of Somethings

A new consortium has been set up today:

It has been “ … FOUNDED BY LEADING TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES WITH THE GOAL OF DEFINING THE CONNECTIVITY REQUIREMENTS AND ENSURING INTEROPERABILITY OF THE BILLIONS OF DEVICES THAT WILL MAKE UP THE EMERGING INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT).”

The current members are:

  • Atmel
  • Broadcom
  • Dell
  • Intel
  • Samsung
  • Wind River

(We couldn’t help but notice that it shares its initials with amongst others The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and The Orkney Islands Council!)

Even we noticed names NOT present ranging from A through Z.

At least some of these are amongst the claimed 50 members of the competing AllSeen Alliance  who count the following majors amongst their number:

  • Cisco
  • HTC
  • LG
  • Microsoft
  • Panasonic
  • Qualcomm
  • Semantec

We wonder if a third consortium/alliance including the likes of Apple and Google may appear in due course – we have our doubts!

A Third of Most Valuable Global Brands are Techs

BrandZ part of the WPP group  have just published their consistently excellent  Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2014” which is  commissioned by them and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor.

All you need and more is available from the BrandZ 100 site!

Now on to the results (our Technology categorisation is, as ever, our broad definition which adds 13 brands to the BrandZ category – mainly from their Telecoms and online only retailers sectors):

  • The top 4 overall most valuable brands are from the technology sector
  • 6 of the overall top 10 are from the technology sector
  • 11of the overall top 20 are from this tech sector
  • 32 of the 100 are from this tech sector
  • Of the Top 20 risers (the greatest value increases over 2013)  a staggering 9 are techs (Tencent + 97%,  Movistar +56%, Facebook +68%, BT +61%, Baidu +46%, Yahoo +44%, Amazon +41%,  Google +40%  and Siemens +36%.)
  • 3 of the 7 newcomers to the top 100 are techs Twitter at #71 {the highest new entrant) Linkedin at #78 and PayPal at #97

Click to enlarge

Nick Cooper, managing director of Millward Brown Optimor commented “Google has been hugely innovative in the last year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a multitude of partnerships that see its Android operating system becoming embedded in other goods such as cars,”

Last year we thought Google might make #1 which has happened but our hoped for top 5 for Amazon just d out on a top 5 position.

Next year we reckon Google will stay there Apple & IBM could both move down the charts allowing some uplift for Amazon. Tencent will also likely make further huge strides.

We’ll leave you with their Top 100 countdown video.

Both Tablet Growth, and PC Decline Slow, but Should Crossover This Year

The premier global provider of market intelligence in the technology sector IDC yesterday, came out with their tablet shipment estimate for the first quarter of 2014 which at 50.4 million units was a bit lower than the other two estimates released so far. It shows we reckon a 3.7% increase year on year although they calculate it at 3.9%!

The top 5 are predictable but we wonder if Amazon with their Kindle Fires could now get up to around the 2 million a quarter level outside the year end holiday festivus.

Digitimes are already forecasting quarter 2 to show growth of nearly 5% over Q1 reaching over 61 million units which would be the second highest quarter in history. Interestingly they estimate white box shipments to have been 20.4 million units (35% of their total) in Q1 and reckon this could rise to 23.3 million in Q2 which would be a Q on Q increase of 14.4% indicating that their growth continues to outstrip branded tablets.

Whilst our view that tablet shipments might outstrip PCs in the last quarter of 2013 failed to materialise we reckon it will now definitely happen this year!

Our header graphic relies entirely on IDC data.

From Apple to Mobily

Brand Directory are one of the first to come up with a 2014 brand table – in their case the Global 500 2014.

The top 5 by value we would categorise as coming from the technology sector and elsewhere at Warc they categorise 9 of the top 10 as Tech brands with Walmart being the only exception at number 9. The top UK company is Vodafone is at # 16.

Overall Brand Value Rating Sector Country
ranking $ billion
1 Apple 104.7 AAA Computers USA
2 Samsung 78.8 AAA Semiconductors S Korea
3 Google 68.6 AAA+ Internet USA
4 Microsoft 62.8 AAA- Software USA
5 Verizon 53.5 AAA- Telecoms USA
6 GE 52.5 AAA- Miscellaneous USA
7 AT&T 45.4 AA Telecoms USA
8 Amazon 45.1 AAA- Internet USA
9 Walmart 44.8 AA+ Retail USA
10 IBM 41.5 AA+ IT Services USA
16 Vodafone 29.6 AAA- Telecoms UK
77 Toshiba 13.7 AA Electronics Japan
145 Canon 8.2 AA Office business equip. Japan
500 Mobily 3.0 AA Telecoms Saudi Arabia
Source: Branddirectory, Global Brand Index 2014

.

This encouraged us to look at their sector categorisations – they have 50 and of these we would allocate 8½ to our wide view of the technology sector. The ½ relates to Miscellaneous where of the 9 companies we would count 4 as techs!

On the 8½ basis 82 (16%) out of the Global 500 are techs.

A critique of the sector allocations might question Google & Amazon being categorised as Internet – in fact  looking at the remaining 11 constituents (ebay, facebook, QQ, PayPal, Priceline, Yahoo, Baidu, QVC, Semantec, Netflix and WeChat) their appears to us to be a remarkable diversity of brands. Even more so than Miscellaneous!

They also categorise differently the most powerful brands where Ferrari comes out on top and the other AAA+ rated brands are Google, Coca Cola, Disney, PwC, Hermes, Red Bull, L’Oreal, Rolex, Mckinsey and Unilever. Only one tech here then and we might argue, subjectively, for Apple’s inclusion (who fall short by a single+) ahead of Google.

Much more to digest on their interactive table including the history from 7 previous years. 

Watch out for Wearables

Canalys see the “smart” sector of the wearable bands market growing as follows:

  • 2013 actual 1.8 million
  • 2014 forecast 8 million
  • 2015 forecast 23 million
  • 2017 forecast 45 million

The smart sector is where currently Samsung lead the way with their Galaxy Gear achieving 54.2% (that’s about 870k units) in the second half of 2013. Sony & Pebble are quite a way behind with 18.6% (300k units ish) and 16.2% (260k units ish).

The total market Canalys predict as being about 17 million this year.

Fitness bands dominate their basic segment with Fitbit leading the way.

Apple are likely to enter the fray this year with their iWatch and “Canalys expects Android to enter the smart band market soon in a meaningful way.” indicates their analyst Daniel Matte.

Next/Market Insights predicted in the second half of last year a total smartwatch market of over 300 million by 2019.

We think that they are nearer the mark and that the likely growth of the market will be phenomenal.

Apple iDevices (that’s iPods iPhones and iPads) have all sold over 50 million devices in a calendar year with the iPhone reaching over 150 million in 2013. The iPad in its 3rd calendar year sold over 25 million and last year was up at over 74 million.

So if Apple are serious, as we’re sure they are, and Google/android  continue to challenge them we think the 100 million level could be reached in the next 2 -3 years.

We shall wait and watch!

Tablet Shipments Update and THE “Style Guide”

Both Strategy Analytics and Canalys released this week their 4th Quarter estimates which are not far apart and only influence our average table marginally.

Canalys combine their shipment figures with PC’s so we’ve done some figuring to come up with our total. figures.

By vendor they show Apple leading at 26.0 million with 34.1 % of the market followed by Samsung at 14.5 million (19.1% market share).

The Samsung numbers are remarkably close to Strategy Analytics’s estimates.

It clearly is a mature market if so far 75% have 76 million as their leading number!

In other t’internet news BuzzFeed have published their style guide for us all to use. Impressive but is styleguide with or without a hypen and one word or two? hmmmmmm

Amazon sold 10 million Kindle Fire tablets again last year

IDC yesterday released their worldwide tablet shipment estimates for the last quarter of 2013.

At 76.9 million they are pretty close to the pre-Apple estimates of Digitimes which we commented on last week and confirm the growth slowdown

Whilst only a total annual figures for the year of 217.1 million and 144.2 million for 2012 are mentioned our favourite chartists provide some interesting figures to assist us on the vendor front.

  • Apple is definitive at 74.2 million being about 34% in market share terms with an increase this quarter.
  • Samsung we estimate is around 41 million that’s 19% market share and shows a drop this quarter
  • Asus (including Google‘s Nexus) we estimate is around 12 million that’s 5.5% market share
  • Amazon comes in at just under 10 million which is virtually the same as last year and is 5% market share. Their remarkable profile, of circa 1 million sales every quarter apart from the holiday season when it jumps to 6 million, continues.

We’ll leave you with the iChart

 

Tablet sales below PCs in Q4 2013

Digitimes Research are first out of the blocks just ahead of Apple’s results due to be announced Mons0day January 27 with their tablet forecasts.

At an overall level  of 78.5 million we think they may be on the low side and would mean that they still just lag PC shipments in the quarter which we reported on earlier at an estimated 82.2

Apple in Q4 2012 sold 22.9 million iPads and, in spite of some of the shipment delays they encountered this year, we will be uber surprised if they fell short of this number. Our favourite Apple financial reporter Philip Elmer-DeWitt is, as usual, gathering together a large number if analysts forecasts and reports the overall average to be 25 million.

Digitimes reckon the white box constituent of the total was 33.8% of the total which is virtually all of the Other category. Android they report at 51.2% of the total and Windows 3.9%.

The screen size wars again see the smaller ones dominating with 58.3% being 8” or less.

Many more estimates to come which we shall report back on in due course.