Smith Market Blog

Don't Hang Up on Smartphone Growth in 2015!

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Friday, 30 January 2015

It's been quite a week of announcements for smart devices – final earnings numbers from the last quarter of 2014 (4Q14) are coming in and new spring releases are being leaked. While not everyone's announcements have been great news, there is a theme across the information and that is the continued expansion of mobile devices whether smart phones or wearables. Also, we are seeing that there is real traction to the PC positive trendPC positive trend, nothing like in the laptop heyday, but also the downturn in demand has been corrected. Along a similar line, tablets are showing their cycle differences now that they've been out on the market longer, and even Tim Cook confirmed this week that tablets are on a longer refresh cycle than smartphones (see the Wall Street Journal, tiered subscription, for full breakdown).

Read more: Don't Hang Up on Smartphone Growth in 2015!

   

Industrial Shifts: Emerging supply chains in the emerging markets

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Prospects for 2015 are promising. We expect regional growth opportunities, especially in China, India, and their neighbors, plus market expansion opportunities through new devices, connectivity, and deeper semiconductor penetration into a number of industries. That's all great news, but what does that mean for the semiconductor supply chain?


Read more: Industrial Shifts: Emerging supply chains in the emerging markets

   

Planar NAND in the Company of Wolves

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Written by Brent Topa, International Account Representative on Thursday, 22 January 2015

Just when we thought we had plenty of changes in the NAND market to track, early 2015 brings us yet another set. Although conventional NAND construction nearly hit its limits, and 3D manufacturing is starting to take over, triple-level cell (TLC) NAND is expected to make a big push, especially in data center and high-end smartphone applications.

Read more: Planar NAND in the Company of Wolves

   

Components and Regions Undergoing Major Shifts

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Tuesday, 20 January 2015

2015 will be a period of transitions and changes, both to regional balances and market share, as well as to component design, materials, tools, and the innovative solutions these changes bring for end-devices. These two major shifts will have lasting impact on our industry's supply chains and on the direction taken by important growth drivers, like IoT.

Read more: Components and Regions Undergoing Major Shifts

   

Will the Gains in 2014 Happen this Year Too?

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Thursday, 15 January 2015

Let's face it, for the majority of the semiconductor and electronics industry, 2014 turned out to be a banner year, all in all. According to SEMI, semiconductor equipment sales were up roughly 20% in 2014, year-over-year. Well, not quite for every market sector, but, as an industry, worldwide semiconductor revenue grew to US $339.8 billion, a 7.9% increase for 2014 year-over-year, according to recent Gartner data.

Smith is conducting its Global Supply Chain Survey again this year, please click HERE and with just 5-10minutes, you can add your voice and experience to the data that we'll be reporting on that later in this first quarter. We'd like to include your market views along with your industry peers!

Read more: Will the Gains in 2014 Happen this Year Too?

   

Detroit Auto Show 2015: Showcasing Smart

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Wednesday Jan. 14th is the Industry Preview for the North American International Auto ShowNorth American International Auto Show (NAIAS) (aka "Detroit Auto Show") but today is the first Press Preview day and it's been an exciting opening in Detroit already. On the heels of CES and all the impressive auto-infotainment and "Connected Car" news (see this blog by Smith's Todd Traylor from the CES floor), there's still more to see as 2015 auto industry blazes new trails.

Read more: Detroit Auto Show 2015: Showcasing Smart

   

3D-Printed Bobbleheads at CES 2015

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Written by Todd Traylor, Vice President, Global Trading on Friday, 09 January 2015

3D printing technology has been used to make a variety of essential (and expensive) items, from aerospace components to car parts to artificial organs. The 3D printed offerings at CES this year were of a more whimsical nature.

The 3D Printing Marketplace, which doubled in size from last year, featured over thirty companies. I saw companies who were 3D printing intricate chocolate and candy creations, wearables, and customized bobble heads.

“With huge advancements in digital technology, 3D printers are moving toward more compact units that are more suitable for consumers and capable of printing a variety of consumer goods, from toys and electronics to clothing, shoes and even food,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA.

The Bobbleshop (powered by Digiteyezer) uses 3D printers to produce personalized bobble head figurines. They scanned my face with the EasyTwin Scanner and in seconds I was presented with my avatar on screen.

As you can see in the above video, you scroll through the touchscreen to style your avatar. There are hundreds of options for your 3D-printed figurine, ranging from football player to chef to bunny rabbit.

   

Thin or Curved, 4K TVs Are Huge at CES 2015

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Written by Todd Traylor, Vice President, Global Trading on Thursday, 08 January 2015

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Thin is in when it comes to the TVs on display at CES this year, but so are curves.

Sony highlighted their super-skinny 4K Ultra HD TV line. The Android-powered TVs measure just 4.9 millimeters at their thinnest point. Their screens are narrower than an IPhone 6 and easily thinner than my index finger.

From a consumer standpoint, the largest benefit of the 4K TV is enhanced image quality and user experience. 4K TVs contain at least 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is four times the resolution of a standard HDTV.

Will people pay more for an enhanced picture? A survey from 4K Ultra HD Update found that 27 percent of consumers in the market for a new TV ranked 4K as the second most important feature while 54 percent cited price as their top priority. As prices continue to fall, consumers may be more inclined to shell out the extra dollars for the heightened technology.

Samsung and TCL showcased stylishly curved 4K TVs at the Las Vegas tradeshow.

According to TCL Multimedia CEO E Hao, their mammoth 110-inch 4K UHD set was named the world’s largest curved TV ever by the "Guinness Book of World Records" in December.

Samsung’s line of curved TVs is touted as giving viewers a more immersive, high contrast viewing experience. They incorporate Quantum Dot technology, which can make the colors on an LCD screen pop bolder and brighter.

“This delivers the highest color purity and light efficiency available today,” said Joe Stinziano, Vice President of Samsung Electronics America.

There has been speculation that the curved screen might have more functionality on a computer than it does on a TV, since viewers don’t normally look at a computer screen from multiple angles.

   

A Look at the “Internet of Everything” at CES 2015

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Written by Todd Traylor, Vice President, Global Trading on Thursday, 08 January 2015

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, the “Internet of Things” or IoT, was the buzzword that garnered international attention and opened the public’s eyes to the possibility of a truly connected and smart way of living: washing machines that interact with your smartphone, refrigerators that send notifications when you’re low on milk, and even high-tech spoons that let you know when you’ve had enough of that clam chowder.

 

Read more: A Look at the “Internet of Everything” at CES 2015

   

Testing Driving the Ninebot Self-Balancing Robot at CES

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Written by Todd Traylor, Vice President, Global Trading on Thursday, 08 January 2015

Yesterday, we discussed the abundance of automobile companies showcasing innovative technology at CES 2015. Today we are talking personal transportation on a smaller scale.

The Ninebot, which debuted last year at CES, is similar in appearance to a Segway but aims to be more fashionable and futuristic. Ninebot, a robotics company based in Beijing, is looking to distinguish itself and redefine short distance travel.

Dubbed “the next generation of personal transportation," the Ninebot is a lightweight, self-balancing scooter robot with a sleek, customizable appearance. Another addition to the Internet of Things, you can wirelessly connect your smartphone to the scooter.

I had the opportunity to test-drive the Ninebot at CES and you can check it out in the video below. It was self-propelled, easy to drive and about half the weight of a Segway.

For more CES coverage, follow Smith on Twitter at @smithweb.

   

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