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Amazon still leads smart speakers, and more in tech news you need to know today
Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Thursday, August 15, 2019!
1. Smartphone: 📉 Smart speaker: 📈
The reason smartphone sales have been in decline in most parts of the globe is that most people already own one that’s good enough for most purposes. 5G and folding displays do represent bold new features, but it’s all a bit early, while faster/stronger/better cameras are just enough to get people to upgrade every so often, rather than yearly.
Smart speakers and smart displays, on the other hand, are firmly in growth mode. That market grew 96 percent year-on-year. Even Apple’s HomePod is on the up, according to new data from Strategy Analytics.
The smart speaker wars:
- Amazon is still the market share leader, holding first place from 2018 through to 2019.
- While it is shipping more products, growing 47% year-on-year, its market share has dropped, as Chinese brands muscle in on China’s domestic market.
- That’s the same for both Google and Apple too: more shipments, market share drop.
- David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics suggests the global installed base of smart speakers will “exceed 260 million units by the end of the year,” in a press release.
- In the US, ownership has hit 30% of households, and the average number of smart speakers in a home is about 1.4
What does it all mean?
- Smart speaker brand loyalty is at an insane 97 percent level, implying just 3 people in 100 would consider switching from an Amazon Echo to a Google Home, for example.
- And I get it: you get to “know” the voice inside the box, how to talk to it, set up routines and connect it to other smart systems.
- Although Google has a lead in terms of smarts, there’s not a clearly better device.
- Given the way the loyalty and ecosystem benefits to the maker, probably the only reason smart speakers aren’t given out for free is that we don’t value free stuff as much as the things we pay for.
- They’re getting better, too: Qualcomm is working on better, louder, smarter speaker internals.
2. A new 5G OnePlus phone is coming this year and everyone will be able to get it (Android Authority).
3. Pretty much all the info on the Motorola One Zoom (aka One Pro) just leaked (Android Authority).
4. Region-exclusive smartphone colors need to stop, please (Android Authority).
5. The Huawei Mate X foldable smartphone seems to be delayed until November, meaning Samsung’s Galaxy Fold might still beat it to market (Android Authority).
6. Apple explains why iPhones now show an ominous warning after ‘unauthorized’ battery replacements (The Verge).
7. Sega Genesis Mini with 42 games, launching September 19, proves Sega is ready to take its legacy seriously (Polygon).
8. Amazon will now donate excess and returned products instead of trashing them (Amazon).
9. Headline: Huawei starts research on 6G internet. Reality: Maaaybe by 2030? (CNET).
10. Non-Americans, does your culture have “old-fashioned” dog names, such as Fido, Rex, Spot, Rover, etc, and what are some? (r/askreddit).
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