Distilling market noise into market sense

VisionMobile is the leading research company in the app economy. Our Developer Economics research program tracks developer experiences across platforms, revenues, apps, tools, APIs, segments and regions, via the largest, most global developer surveys.

“Only for fans”, or why Xiaomi is not what you think it is

xiaomi-differenceXiaomi was proclaimed the most valuable tech startup in the world after recent $1.1B funding at a monster $45B valuation. There is fair deal of confusion about Xiaomi’s business model. Xiaomi indeed sells lots of smartphones, but how can low profits justify $45B valuation? It appears that smartphones are just the tip of the iceberg for Xiaomi…

To understand Beats you need to understand Lady Gaga

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The news are finally out —  Apple is buying Beats for 3 Billion Dollars. Headphone sales? Music streaming service? Wearables? Music label deals? None of the current Beats products look as a credible reason for a deal of that size. Something much bigger is going on. It is not about what Beats is today, but about what Beats can become in the future.

Facebook buys back over 100B monthly engagement minutes it lost to Whatsapp

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Facebook will live or die by user engagement, especially on mobile. Whatsapp sends 18 billion and receives 36 billion messages a day. Let’s say it takes about 7 seconds to send a message and 3 seconds to read a message. This is based on watching how my teenage kids use Whatsapp texting and sending pictures. The math is simple…

No, Google is not going ‘horizontal’ by selling Motorola

Another excellent move by Google: Offload Motorola Mobile Devices to Lenovo, while keeping the patents to themselves.

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Skimming through the news this morning, I found there is apparently a lot of confusion about the planned sale of Motorola by Google. From decrying a huge loss by Google by such infotainment sites like Wired and Slate, to seeing Google giving up on copying vertical integration of Apple (hardware + software + services), like Stratechery by Ben Thomson.

Let’s look at things from a broader perspective. The acquisition of Motorola was necessary to protect Android, after Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry outbid Google for Nortel patents. The Apple-Microsoft-BlackBerry trio made it very clear that they intend to put a drag on then-fledging Android ecosystem and extort royalties from Android OEMs. The cost of doing nothing was huge for Google – just think how much more nasty the patent wars may have turned out for Android if the acquisition hadn’t taken place. Any “profit and loss” analysis of the Motorola deal must account for the opportunity cost associated with Motorola patents. Android is, was and will be critically important for Google’s core online ad business, as I will explain in a bit.

Microsoft + Nokia: the marriage of two broken business models

Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices division is the new beginning for both Microsoft and Nokia. But how does it make sense when both Nokia’s legacy OEM and Microsoft’s mobile software licensing business models are broken? VisionMobile Strategy Director Michael Vakulenko takes a long-term perspective of the acquisition through a business model lens.

Nokia and Microsoft

Most of the analysis on the Microsoft acquisition of Nokia comments on the reasons for the acquisition, whether it’s a good or a bad strategy or attempts to predict how Microsoft products will evolve. The key question however is what is the likely future for the new Microsoft?

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