A week with a long weekend is behind us and we take stock once again: which players in the technology sector have inspired us and which have disappointed? Here are our winners and losers of the week.
April seemed to fly by and I feel like a time traveler under enormous pressure on the way to an uncertain future. The beginning of the month smells of a new beginning, but the big news of this time mists me with the stench of uncertainty. The smartphone market is uncertain. Until recently, no one really knows whether manufacturers will survive a potential global recession. But now, coming from the Far East, a trend is subtly emerging that is causing most smartphone manufacturers to make cuts. Only Huawei seems to be in the black and is defying the crisis with a huge profit in the first quarter of this turbulent year.
Winner of the week: Huawei
This is the result of current figures published last week by the market analysis company Counterpoint Research. In the all-important Chinese market, Huawei has been able to increase its dominant market share to almost 40 percent in the first quarter of this year – Huawei is the only player in the smartphone game to record positive growth compared to last year. The entire market is suffering enormously: in China, sales of mobile phones fell by 22 percentage points year-on-year. Market analysts see the main reasons for this as short-term restrictions in manufacturing plants and complete closures of the stationary trade.
We saw an opportunity here manufacturers chasing the top of the table, as consumers can avoid the commission-driven salespeople in the retail sector by ordering online. However, the figures from China do not prove this (sales of Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi have slumped by an average of 30 percent) and give us a first impression of what the global trend could look like. Although Apple was also able to increase its market position in China to ten percent compared to the same period of the previous year (Q1, 2019), sales of iPhones fell by around one percent. Huawei is selling despite the crisis and selling more smartphones – that smells like the title: Winner of the week.
Also worth mentioning, the organizers of the International Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin are planning a physical event for IFA 2020 this autumn, which smells like stress! Because this year there are numerous guidelines and new laws to consider. One thing is certain: IFA will open its doors in Berlin in a restricted form and shows the courage to master such a mammoth task.
Loser of the week: Coronavirus Apps
With the introduction of the Robert Koch Institute’s data donation app, so-called corona-apps came into the focus of media coverage and into the crossfire of international data protectionists. This smells like trouble! In fact, the discussion about coronavirus tracking apps has gotten out of hand; it seems almost impossible to keep an overview. Meanwhile, not only big players like Google and Apple are working together on the technological implementation of those apps. Many companies, startups, and institutions seem to do their own thing and develop apps more or less independently of each other.
Federal governments want to get involved too, but without Apple and Google, whose operating systems rule the smartphone world. The tech giants only support a decentralized data model. The planned app launch in mid-April has been postponed indefinitely, and nations such as France and The UK have said they don’t fancy it from the beginning.
This is far from being a communal idea and leads to uncertainty and aversion to the opportunities that a pseudonymous contact tracing would offer. Government and developers need to communicate much more sensitively, taking their time in times when time seems to be short and flies by. Because as we have already noticed last week the crux of COVID-19 apps is the human factor, which not without good reason suspects total surveillance.
In addition to all the apps developed by private companies worldwide, lack of transparency and communication chaos on the part of the government envelopes the population in a scent of mad hopelessness. Corona apps are losing more and more trust, and are thus our sad losers of the week.
Who were your winners and losers of the week just gone? Let us know below the line.
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