Smartphones, Watches & Bubbles in China & India with Ben Bajarin

Smartphones, Watches & Bubbles in China & India with Ben Bajarin
Ben Bajarin discussed the different market dynamics for smartphones in China and India, Apple Watch non-sequitur numbers & whether a Asian tech bubble is forming.

Ben Bajarin from Techpinions and Creative Strategies joined us again to discuss the different market dynamics for smartphones in China and India, the recent debate on Apple Watch sales based on non-sequitur numbers, and the hot technology bubble discussion in US as to the consequences to the Asian market. We also discussed how the research firms work out the smartphone and smart watch numbers by tracking the supply chains, whether Xiaomi is truly in the high end smartphone market in China and the customer experience with the Apple Watch across the globe.

Here are the interesting notes and links to the discussion (with timestamps included):

  • Ben Bajarin (@benbajarin, LinkedIn) from Creative Strategies and Techpinions (highly recommended for subscription and check out their podcast on iTunes).
  • Questioning China and India’s Smartphone Growth [1:09]
    • How do research analysts estimate and track the growth of smartphones in emerging markets such as China and India? Ben Bajarin explained the process by tracking the supply chain. [1:23]
    • What are the challenges in obtaining the data on smartphones? How can we increase the reliability and accuracy of the data? [4:00]
    • Tackling the misconceptions of public data on smartphone markets in China and India [6:10]
    • With China’s slowdown and its recent stock market woes, how does that impact the smartphone market given that it only has about 45% smartphone penetration?
    • In the recent China Smartphone Market Report (requires subscription), is the high end Android market being squeezed out by Apple, given that the numbers from Xiaomi and Samsung are declining? [10:30]
    • Given that Apple helps to spur the high end smartphone markets, will that lead to the 50+ smartphone brands in China to consolidate? [12:50]
    • Is Xiaomi in the high end smartphone market? If you break down the numbers, they are high in the middle market rather than the high end market which is owned only by Samsung and Apple. [12:50]
    • You have recently offered the view that China is strategically more important than India to Apple (required subscription) as compared to India, what are the reasons that led you to this perspective? Is it because of consumer behaviour (in treating Apple like a brand in the same light as LVMH) and why India would not develop this given that you have the top 10% of the market which have the same consumer aspirations, and a growing middle class? [19:50]
    • How are the market dynamics play out for China and India for smartphones?
  • The Apple Watch discussion (required subscription) – Slice Apple watch data and tracking of global data, given that at least a lot of Asian countries are selling Apple watches, how do you facilitate the data collection and analysis? [25:00]
    • Also chat about your experience in doing the research on the usage with and without the Apple Watch. [29:56]
  • The myth of the tech bubble and its implications to Asia. [35:36]
    • Based on Benedict Evans’ report, what are your thoughts pertaining to the tech bubble discussion happening in the US? [35:50]
    • Do you think this “fear of missing out” (FOMO) is leading to asset inflation?
    • If the Fed raises interest rates this year (and they are likely given that they dropped hints), it could reintroduce some level of risk aversion (at least for public investors). What impact do you think this could have on unicorn valuations and potential IPOs? [42:04]
    • As you have been observing the high valuations are also affecting Asia in two markets: ecommerce and on-demand taxi apps, do you think that infrastructure risk can be a possible cause for a tech bubble in Asia? Reference: Asian Tech Startups quietly earn backing (NY Times). [45:14]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi).