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The Counterpoint Podcast

Technology Podcasts

With "The Counterpoint Podcast" we aim to deliver deeper and unique, fact-based insights on various industry trends and topics in multiple engaging ways.

With "The Counterpoint Podcast" we aim to deliver deeper and unique, fact-based insights on various industry trends and topics in multiple engaging ways.




With "The Counterpoint Podcast" we aim to deliver deeper and unique, fact-based insights on various industry trends and topics in multiple engaging ways.




5G FWA Update: Connecting Next Half Billion Households

The consumer demand for high-speed home broadband continues to grow at a rapid pace as companies adopt the hybrid working culture. Even personal content consumption has increased, be it for music and video streaming, gaming or other applications. And as billions of consumers across the globe continue to wait for reliable home broadband, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in conjunction with 5G is proving to be a great solution for last-mile connectivity. In our previous podcast in 2020, we...


Private Networks – What are the Key Trends, Market Drivers, & Challenges

Private Networks, especially in relation to 5G, were one of the hot topics of discussion at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 22) in Barcelona earlier this year. They have been gaining momentum with deployments across different scenarios such as manufacturing and mining, and for connecting devices like smart meters and sensors. Private Networks also have several other use cases that require high-quality and secure communication environments, such as ports, logistics, and transportation to name...


How Trade-Ins, Sustainability & Awareness are Driving Refurbished Smartphone Growth

Refurbished smartphones are cost-effective alternatives for consumers looking to save money when buying a smartphone. Apple and Samsung are the top brands in this secondary smartphone market, allowing users to purchase a flagship smartphone at a much lower cost. Shipments for the global refurbished smartphone market grew 4.5% YoY in 2021. Volumes also witnessed 15% growth according to Counterpoint Research’s Global Refurb Smartphone Tracker. Factors such as attractive trade-in programs,...


Digital Cockpit to Drive Future Connected Car Experiences

Modern cars now feature an array of advanced digital technologies such as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) that offer things like lane assist, adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, and more. And as things progress towards the next level of autonomous driving, the digital cockpit will play a crucial role in unlocking future connected car experiences. Besides offering personalized experiences and seamless connectivity to drivers and passengers, a digital cockpit will also...


Smartphone Battery - Not all mAh are Created Equal

Smartphones have become a big part of our daily lives. From advanced processing power to vivid high-refresh-rate displays and stunning cameras, there is a lot that modern smartphones offer. But whether you are at home, in office, or traveling, it is the battery that decides your smartphone’s ability to communicate, complete a transaction, or click photos at any given time. Smartphone battery technology has evolved over the years. Smartphones now pack higher capacity batteries along with...


Disruptive Trends Shaping the Next Decade & Beyond

It is always interesting to talk about the future. But in the absence of any magical crystal ball, getting your prediction right needs experience, vision and good judgment. Now, a lot has changed over the past couple of years, with the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic driving some new use cases of technologies. Many of these use cases will shape the digital future. These two years have seen the fall of big smartphone brands like LG and Huawei, even as the pandemic-triggered pent-up demand helped...


How a Low-Power Edge AI Chip Company is Driving Intelligence in Consumer Devices

As home security solutions such as security cameras are now used in several households, there is an increasing need for AI (Artificial Intelligence) inferencing at the edge. Typically, the security solution relies on machine learning models to identify objects or faces in the CCTV footage – for example differentiating between a cat and a human. The data is then sent to the cloud for analysis and sent back to the device. But this can be problematic when there is poor internet...


Global Smartphone Market: Musical Chairs

The global smartphone market has been through a bumpy ride during the last couple of years — US sanctions on Huawei, COVID-19, ongoing component shortages and LG’s exit to name a few. Some smartphone makers, such as Huawei, LG and Samsung, have been impacted more than others by these events. At the same time, Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo and OnePlus have benefited from the events by filling the void. The US postpaid market is heavily dominated by Apple and Samsung,...


How Xiaomi, Qualcomm are Delivering 5G, AI-based Experiences to Consumers

Mobile handsets have evolved with every new cellular generation, both in terms of form factor and capabilities. From advanced photography and videography to high-speed internet connectivity and the console-like mobile gaming experience, all these capabilities are unlocked by the system on chip (SoC). Qualcomm is the leading SoC company globally and is driving these advanced technologies and smart entertainment experiences across various devices, form factors and price tiers. In these ‘work...


US, India Look to Reshape Manufacturing Landscape

The geopolitical tensions between the US and China disrupted supply chains after sanctions against ZTE and Huawei. The global pandemic and lockdown restrictions further added to the woes, creating a supply-demand imbalance along with other challenges. As smartphone and PC makers, automobile companies and other businesses heavily rely on Taiwan, South Korea and China for critical components and manufacturing, there is a risk in having such a consolidated supply chain. Manufacturers are now...


High-Res, Lossless Audio Crucial to Deliver Music in its Purest Form

Personal and home audio technology has greatly evolved over the years. We have moved from wired to mono Bluetooth and stereo wireless headphones to True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds. In the home audio segment, soundbars are becoming popular as they can deliver a great home theatre experience. But it is not just about the changing form factors, there have been improvements in audio delivery systems as well. Support for higher quality audio, such as lossless audio, is important in delivering...


COVID-19 Second Wave To Test Resilience of India's Growing Smartphone Market

As India battles a more virulent second wave of COVID-19, lockdown-like restrictions have been imposed across several states. This has impacted several businesses and industries, including the country’s smartphone market, which had registered record growth in Q1 2021 due to pent-up demand. With the restrictions on, the smartphone growth story has not continued in Q2 2021 as smartphones are not considered an essential category. The number of COVID-19 cases has come down from its peak in the...


Operator Promos Drive US 5G Smartphone Prices Under $150

The beginning of 2020 was quite challenging for the smartphone market after the COVID-19 outbreak, which resulted in lockdowns across several countries. However, things eased in the second half with pent-up demand driving smartphone sales. The momentum continued through Q1 2021, with the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 series doing well in the premium segment. Even the telecom operators offered great deals and trade-in offers that helped in ensuring better sales. Prices of prepaid 5G...


Online Channels Help SEA Beat COVID Blues, Attract OEMs

The South East Asia (SEA) smartphone market declined in the first half of 2020 due to COVID-19 lockdowns. But as the restrictions started to ease, OEMs were quick enough to focus on online channels to meet the pent-up demand. Online channels in Indonesia reached their highest point in Q4 2020, with brands like Xiaomi and realme leading online sales. Thailand’s smartphone market also saw online channels registering strong growth, leading to only a marginal overall annual decline. In the...


5G Smartphone Shipments to Double in 2021 Despite Component Shortages

We saw the first wave of 5G smartphone launches in H1 2019 with prices above $1,000. These premium smartphones gave way to a completely new pricing landscape in just around a year, with the most affordable 5G smartphone coming under $200 in China in 2020. Moving into 2021, we have the ongoing issue of component shortages across the semiconductor industry. In our previous podcast, we discussed the auto sector’s semiconductor shortage and how it may not ease until late 2021. But how will the...


Auto Sector’s Semiconductor Shortage Likely to Ease in Late 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted automobile sales in H1 2020. But as the demand started recovering in H2 2020, the semiconductor shortage crisis hit the automobile industry too. The chipset production capacity is already stretched by the rise in demand from smartphones and laptops due to work-from-home and learn-from-home. As a result, the semiconductor shortage faced by the automobile industry is unlikely to ease before late 2021. Some automakers have already been forced to slow down their...


Over 50% Smartphones to Have Embedded Hardware Security by 2025

With smartphones becoming ubiquitous, data security has come under the scanner. In particular, robust security is needed to use smartphones for activities like financial transactions and for unlocking our homes and cars. This is where embedded hardware security can help in storing user credentials securely in an environment called secure element (SE). Around 35% of the smartphones sold globally in H1 2020 had embedded hardware security, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s...


Over 6 Billion eSIM-based Devices to be Shipped by 2025

Over the years, the size of the SIM card has shrunk from a credit card form factor to a size smaller than the index fingernail. But as we move into a more connected world with NB-IoT devices and foldable smartphones, the eSIM (or embedded SIM) is gaining popularity. The eSIM eliminates the need for having a physical SIM card slot, thus saving the board space for engineers, which can be used for other components. It has a wide range of applications, from smartphones and smartwatches to...


Resilient Smartphone Market Heads Confidently Into 2021

Despite economic uncertainty that was created, the key takeaway from 2020 is that the smartphone market is resilient as there is a strong demand for it. There were interesting events that took place in 2020, where we saw the shift in channel where online sales have been growing. There were some geopolitical issues too where US sanctions on Huawei caused a major impact on the company. Huawei lost access to GMS for Play Store and lost access to TSMC for chipsets, among others. At the start of...


XR - Where are We in Reality?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the world around us has changed with people working-from-home, and students learning-from-home. XR is all about offering users with an immersive experience, and standalone gaming could be one of the key drivers for the eXtended reality platform. With learning can be fun as explaining the concept of universe, chemistry and physics could be fun and exciting with virtual and augmented reality (AR). It could even benefit the manufacturing and healthcare sector among...