At the F8 conference, Facebook announced several new products: 1) Messenger platform for developers to create apps that integrate with Messenger; 2) Enhanced Audience Network capabilities that will soon be available on the ad exchange powered by LiveRail; 3) A new SDK (software development kit) for the Internet of Things; 4) support for spherical videos in News Feed and Oculus; and 5) an embedded video player that allows users to share videos to other sites.
Facebook Messenger Platform for Commercial Use
Instant messaging (Facebook owns WhatsApp with 700mn MAUs) can be monetized in Western markets, and it appears that Messenger with 600mm users could lead the way. FB launched the Messenger platform for developers to enable apps development in Messenger. Developers can build apps that improve Messenger content (ie stickers, emojis, sound clips, and photo collage maker, etc). Importantly, FB also launched Messaging for Business that enables eCommerce companies to send messages like order confirmations, delivery time updates and receipts. If the platform takes off Read the Full Article
Alibaba continues to focus on the health of ecosystem which could result in less optimal near-term monetization. We believe there’s upside in the medium term, given it has yet to fully monetize mobile business. Alibaba is on track to reach its target of US$500bn GMV by 2016. Active buyer growth is critical to achieve this target.
Alibaba is seeing higher wallet share of lower-tier cities’ consumers, given undeveloped offline infrastructure in the lower-tier cities of China. Despite a sizeable gap in income levels between higher tier and lower-tier cities, the gap of online spending as a percentage of disposable income is actually relatively small. The mature buyers have much higher level of spending relative to younger customers; though the inexperienced customers’ spending growth is Read the Full Article
The Apple Watch meeting highlights included pricing information, availability in nine countries including China and Japan, and disclosure of an 18-hour battery life, not as poor as some feared. Although management again highlighted various applications, most emphasize improved convenience over pulling the phone out—there still is not a sense of a killer app.
Cook has said the breadth would surprise consumers, and perhaps that is sufficient. Pricing was as expected for the low-end Sport, a bit lower for the Watch, and high at $10,000-17,000 for the Edition. There was no discussion of broader sales channels or watch upgradability. We were disappointed that none of Apple’s new “fashion” execs presented.
Pricing was as mostly expected Read the Full Article
Google’s Search Monetization faces test of the time as Users move away from Desktop / Large Screen to SmartPhones where CPC for Google is Terrible. Adding to Google’s woes is better much better Ad inventory & targeting platform from Facebook. Apple’s Safari Browser has Google as default Search Engine and the deal is up for renewal this year.
Google’s exposure to search revenue generated through its Safari toolbar distribution deal with Apple is estimated at Billions in net revenue, maximum. Importantly, using data on the switch-back rate to Google of Firefox users that have had their default search engine changed to Yahoo!, we have done work to better quantify the likely switch-back rate of Safari users to Read the Full Article
HTC unveiled its 2015 flagship model, HTC M9, and new wearable products (HTC Vive and HTC Grip) at the Mobile World Congress, 2015 in Barcelona. M9 and Grip are products that could boost 2Q15 sales, but are not game changers. We like HTC’s innovation, but remain concerned about the intense competition in the smartphone space.
What is new with the HTC One M9?
The upgrades in display, CPU, memory, and connectivity ICs are inline with market expectations and at par with spec sheets of other Read the Full Article
Internet Giant Alibaba has invested USD590m for a minority stake in Meizu, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer (OEM). The strategic alliance traces back to October 2014, when Meizu launched its flagship model MX4 based on Alibaba’s YunOS operating system. YunOS was launched in July 2011 and Alibaba has seen low adoption so far. The company’s strategy of cooperating with a number of white-box smartphone manufacturers has only yielded c10m cumulative users as of October. We note that China has nearly 550m smartphone users. Meizu shipped 5m phones in 2014 and is targeting 20m this year, compared to 100m unit targets for Xiaomi, Huawei and Read the Full Article