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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.




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...


Wearables get Pandemic Push

Wearables come in different forms, from fitness bands to smartwatches. These devices have a unique proposition as they are worn on wrist. This enables the user to constantly monitor vital health parameters. Basic fitness trackers come with features like a pedometer, sleep monitor and heart rate sensor. The advanced ones include GPS and workout detection features to log cycling, skipping, squats and other forms of exercises. Smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch feature...


Gaming Smartphones are More Than Just Flagships

The gaming smartphones are more powerful than the regular flagship smartphones in terms of hardware, design and capabilities. In fact, popular features such as high refresh rate displays, vapour chamber cooling and dedicated gaming mode were first introduced in gaming smartphones. But what differentiates these special phones from regular flagship smartphones? And who are these phones meant for? We discuss all that and more in a podcast. In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’,...


Artificial Intelligence – Winter is coming!

AI is a broad definition that includes everything from statistical analysis to software to deep learning. Now, there are companies there are actually doing AI by pushing back the boundaries, and we call them practitioners. Then there are others that base their intelligence on statistics, that we call pretenders. There is also a third category called “tricksters” that do not do any AI at all. So, what is the percentage like for these companies? In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint...


Over 50% of Cars Sold Globally in 2020 will be Connected

There are different types of connected cars that are available in the market, from embedded TCUs to hybrid and smartphone-connected ones. Add-on connectivity features also open up new revenue streams for automakers. But which are the leading automakers in the connected cars market, what are the key drivers and which countries are leading the segment? We discuss all this and more in our latest podcast. In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Maurice Klaehne is joined by...


iPhone 12 to Make 5G Mainstream in Europe

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by associate director Jan Stryjak to talk about the European smartphone market outlook. Jan shares some updates on COVID-19, and how the market has been performing. The discussion touches upon the gap that Huawei has created and smartphone makers that are benefitted from that. And lastly, Jan also talks about the new Apple iPhone 12 series and how it can give the much-needed boost to 5G in Europe. Follow us...


Chinese Brands Catalyzing SEA Smartphone Market

The lockdown period brought upon the pent-up demand, and smartphone makers are coming up with aggressive marketing strategies to cater to the users. Aggressive pricing and innovative marketing strategies such as shopping through WhatsApp have helped smartphone makers bounce back. E-commerce platforms are also running promotional sales with discounts and more, which has further helped the growth. In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Maurice Klaehne is joined by research...