Samsung Introduces the Note 10 and Launches the ACPC–Futurum Tech Podcast
On this edition of the Futurum Tech podcast, Samsung’s new Note and ACPC announcements, Huawei introduces Harmony OS, two notable Broadcom and Salesforce acquisitions, can Samsung and Microsoft actually outplay Apple, and will Uber ever be profitable? These stories and more on this episode of FTP.
Our Main Dive
Samsung introduced the Note 10. Some were disappointed in the $1000 price point considering there weren’t that many improvements, other than the design and a really beautiful new screen. It’s safe to say they will most likely be adding incremental improvements over the next 24 months or so.
Our Fast Five
We dig into this week’s interesting and noteworthy news:
- Microsoft and Samsung partner up. Will they present a challenge to Apple?
- Huawei introduces the Harmony OS
- Salesforce acquiresClick Software
- Microsoft and Amdocs expand their existing alliance
- Symantec agrees to sell their enterprise security business to Broadcom
Uber is losing money after their highly touted IPO. There is something going on here. The company is continuing to lose money and their stock hasn’t completely tanked. How does this even happen?
Crystal Ball: Future-um Predictions and Guesses
Microsoft and Samsung have a chance to become a true iMessage competitor. Can they do it?
Daniel Newman: Welcome to this week’s edition of FTP, the Futurum Tech podcast. I’m your host this week, Daniel Newman, joined by the commonly present Olivier Blanchard, and this week’s special cohost, Ron Westfall. Olivier, Ron, welcome to the show. Olivier, I’m not even giving you a chance to talk. How’d you like my French pronunciation?
Olivier Blanchard: It’s good to be here. It’s pretty good. It’s pretty good. It’s getting better.
Daniel Newman: Thank you. Well, last time I was in France, it was actually with Ron, so I figured I would tie it all together very quickly. But Ron Westfall, Senior Analyst at Futurum Research and part-time guest here on the show, but a more frequent part of the Futurum Tech Podcast. Hey Ron, it’s Friday. Welcome to the show to you as well.
Ron Westfall: Well, thank you, Dan, and yes, kudos on the approved French. I still have to work on that.
Daniel Newman: Well, you know, I got to practice. I’ve got to have a little more variety for the audience out there, the growing audience. And by the way, we appreciate every one of you tuning in and listening to this show. This week’s edition is going to be an interesting one. It was a big week in tech news, one that was really, where the headlines was dominated a lot by our friends at Samsung. Some big announcements this week, but we’ve got a lot of different things to talk about. We’re going to talk a bit about Microsoft, we’re to talk about Huawei. We’re going to talk about Salesforce, so there’s a bunch of different companies that are going to be talked about this week. But as your pre-show advisory, I do have to say and remind everybody out there that this show is for information and entertainment purposes only. And while we will be talking about many companies that are publicly traded, we are not offering, soliciting, or advising anyone to make any purchases of equities based upon the information given in this show.
I hope that disclaimer was loud and clear. Basically don’t buy stocks because of what we say, but listen anyways and learn and enjoy the show. So kicking off, Samsung unpacked Note 10.This is a big show every year, they actually probably do two unpacks a year, and it’s not just about the device, but it’s usually centralized around a device. Early in the year it was the Samsung, the new Galaxy S series, which by the way, I tote one of those, the S 10+, pretty badass device. But this time it was the Note. And the Note, as a little bit of a precursor, is one of those devices that sort of has it’s very, very loyal community, kind of like gamers. People that use the Note 10 are very dedicated to their cause. These are people that would, if they could, build their phones from scratch using parts. An idea that Motorola tried to do and failed epically, but Note has somehow accomplished in terms of building a device with some, say, componentry approved by Wozniak. But not really.
At the same time, as devices and iterations and evolutions have gone on, the releases are becoming more frequent. The changes device year over year are becoming somewhat iterative. You’ve heard us probably talk about this with Apple in the past, and each show and event brings up those questions of, did they do enough, did they bring enough to the table? Is the change significant enough? And as we’ve always done with scrutinizing Apple from generation to generation, it’s only fair if we decide whether or not we should rain praise on Samsung or have they yet let another device out there that no one cares about, and maybe some people are going to buy?
And I want to get your guys’ take on all this, but before I do jump in and get your take, I also want to make sure we don’t forget to talk about Samsung’s launch of the ACPC. And there was also some partnership news, but we’re going to cover that later in the show. But let’s start off with the device, with the Note 10, Note 10+, and the inevitable 5G device that’s going on sale, I believe it’s August 23. I’ll start off with you, Olivier, what was your take on the launch?
Olivier Blanchard: Well, I definitely want to come back for the discussion about the ACPCs.
Daniel Newman: I knew you would.
Olivier Blanchard: Yeah, because I’m obsessed with ACPCs. Let’s just get that out of the way. The reaction, I guess, depends on whether people are S users or Note users. Personally, my home is really heavy on the Notes, and so everybody here is super excited about the new Notes, less so about the S. But I keep running into people who are big fans of the S. And they were just kind of asking, like “Why do we even need the Note anymore?” And I think you and I had a brief exchange about that on Facebook yesterday. But generally I think everything’s kind of incremental improvements right now with phones.
I think there’s some big improvements coming down the pipe in the next 24 months. But we’re still kind of like at the beginning of the 5G era, where phone manufacturers and chip makers have a lot of stuff coming down. But at the same time, right now they’re being kind of cautious. They’re kind of laying their eggs in all the right baskets and keeping the big eggs in reserve. So what we saw with the Note is essentially the end of the phone jack, which doesn’t make me unhappy, and I understand why it had to happen. But that’s something that people are either really happy about or really complaining about. I think that some people were also complaining about the absence of some cameras, especially selfie cameras that might be found on, for instance, a Huawei phone.
And I think that some people were also a little bit disappointed by the fact that there wasn’t really anything super exciting other than design improvements or a really beautiful screen, but still a very close to $1,000 price point. And I don’t know that people are necessarily going to flock to get the Note for incremental improvements at that price point.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, I think that’s a really good take. And I desperately wanted to talk about the pen, but I felt like maybe I was hogging too much air time, and I want to give you a chance to do that. I’m sorry, the stylus, right? And the gestures, which is pretty darn cool. But also the thing you mentioned was the jack. If you guys remember, the headphone jack, Samsung picked on Apple about this when they took it off, and now it’s kind of like, are they chewing cud, eating crow,, whatever you want to call it, having to come out and basically make it go away? Now, I will say one of the reasons I like the S 10 is it still does have the jack. And I have to say, I use earbuds and I mentioned this in my write-up about the new Note.
I have the Samsung S 10+ and I have Samsung buds and they’re really, really good. But the buds are not as good as the EarPods, I know, it makes my gut hurt to say this. And they’re not as good especially for the voice, for phone. And I think part of it’s not having that ridiculous antenna sticking out of your ear. That obviously provides some additional pickup for the audio. But what I will say is when I really have something critical and I need to use the phone, and on my Samsung having the ability to plug in a wired microphone, there’s just something about it. Maybe it’s the old analog or the audio guy in me, but just to be able to make sure I can actually hear people, and more importantly, well, less importantly, they can actually hear me. So Ron, kicking it over to you, I know you’re a telco guy, not just a mobile guy, but a whole telco guy, but you had to be following the Samsung announcements. What was your take?
Ron Westfall: Yeah, you bet. And yeah, so I think it’s important to note the 5G aspect that’s around the corner. It will be exclusively offered by Verizon. So in addition to being a Verizon customer, this will be an opportunity later in the summer to check it out and get that cutting-edge experience, if you will, of the new offering. And I won’t belabor all the new product capabilities that you’ve all diligently illustrated. And I think that is demonstrating that Samsung is effectively executing in terms of maintaining a time to market lead over Apple, certainly. No doubt here in the US market, but across other markets. And this is a proof point that when it comes to 5G readiness, Samsung’s already out the gate, is proving its mettle, and it’ll make Apple’s test all the much harder to prove their 5G is bona fide. Note finally starts getting their products to market.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, absolutely, Ron. 5G is big, and I actually pointed to that being maybe the most compelling reason. If you look at the sort of profile of the Note user, that really gadgety, geeky … And that’s not everybody. Of course some people just like the bigger device, but right now the Samsung 10+ and the Note 10 are very similar in size, so it’s no longer … and even the XS Max. So it’s not any longer like this ridiculously large device versus everything else. But the Note’s always had that expandability, the big memory. We didn’t even touch on the D-A-X functionality, the DAX functionality that allows you to plug an HDMI cable and give it its own monitor. And basically now the thing’s, it’s a CPU, it’s a mini PC, which is pretty cool. I don’t know how usable that is. I kind of want to watch that.
Like are people really going to start plugging monitors and keyboards into this thing? But I guess we shall see. But yeah, let’s move on from the device. I think you guys both put on some pretty spot-on analysis there. But before we end the main dive here, I want to talk about the ACPC. So as I’ve told people a few times before, and if there was a video on right now, I would braggadociously show my Lenova Yoga ACPC. This thing is boss. I literally can take it on two-day trips without a charger and not even have to think about it. Connectivity is endless and fast, and I don’t worry about WiFi, I don’t worry about wireless cards, graphics are great.
And of course, the PCs have come a long way in terms of just the overall updates to Windows. They’re more functional, they’re more flexible, and they run really well. And these are running on Qualcomm chips on ARM. So we’re also seeing a whole new entrance entering the fray. So there’s some pretty big stuff coming. Although Samsung launched their own. And Olivier, you wrote all about this, I’m going to let you dive in, but you seem pretty excited about the ACPC.
Olivier Blanchard: Yeah, well, I mean, one of the big banes of my existence for the last few years has been carrying laptops around on trips and being able to actually even just go into meetings or just being portable with a laptop.
And let’s face it, the whole point of a laptop is to be portable, and they haven’t been that portable, right? The battery life is a few hours once they get a little old, you have to carry around power cables. If you go to a conference, the first thing you do when you walk out of an auditorium is try to find a power outlet. They’re unwieldy, they’re not ideal.
And so, in the last couple of years we’ve seen the rise of the always connected PC, or the ACPC for short, which essentially is built on the premise of maximum portability and just being completely untethered. And what separates an ACPC from just a really small laptop is the fact that, A, it has incredible battery life. And now thanks to in part Qualcomm chipsets that are very power efficient, you can achieve, realistically, 20+ hours of video playback, of cost and video playback on a laptop, and close to 20 hours of actual real work where you’re basically like switching from PowerPoint to Excel and Word, etc., on a single charge. And I think we’re very close, probably within a year, year and a half we may see multi-day battery, like active battery life for these laptops.
Two, they’re very slim, very small form factor. So you’re talking about 13.3-inch screens. Very slim form factor, it’s very lightweight, very packable, easy to just kind of snap shut, carry in your hands, put in a bag, and just go wherever you want to go.
And the third item is that they tend to also have LTE conductivity, which is going to increasingly obviously become 5G compatible as well. So you have these laptops that you don’t have to connect to a power outlet, you don’t have to connect to a WiFi network. And for travelers that’s good, because a lot of WiFi networks are not safe. And I would not recommend hooking up to them if you can avoid it, even with a special VPN. So it solves basically every single problem that I have when it comes to having a portable laptop. Now, it doesn’t mean that an ACPC will replace your main computer, like your main workhorse that you have at your desk, but it is an excellent companion laptop for when you have to move around and go places. And so I’m super psyched because I’ve been waiting for ACPCs to happen for, 20+ years.
Daniel Newman: Wow, 20 years. You’re ahead of the curve, man. Next time you come up with an idea like that 20 years ago, you let me know and I’m going to invest in it, because we’re a little late to the table. But no, I actually think they’re tremendous. I admittedly still do carry a second laptop a lot of the times, but when I just have a day trip or I’m running somewhere for the day, I absolutely can pick that thing up if it’s charged, don’t even worry about a power supply. It fits in a small portfolio. It’s ultra-fast. You open it up, boots right up, exactly what Mac was so popular for many years, where PCs always sort of stumbled. It’s no different any more.
So the gap has been closed. And in fact, technologically speaking, nothing to do with my disdain at times for Apple, I truly do believe PCs in almost every way have caught up. But guys, I got to move on. Great, great analysis here. Let’s jump into our fast five. For those of you that don’t know about our fast five or haven’t been listening to a lot of episodes, every once in a while I like to remind you, the idea of the fast five is to be fast. And that’s a reminder to you two gentlemen. Each of us are going to go through a lightning round of five news items and give some quick color or analysis to that news item. And Ron, since you haven’t talked in a little while, I’m going to let you start off. Today you’ve got a couple of partnership fast five. Let’s talk Samsung, Microsoft first.
Ron Westfall: Oh, hey, you bet. And that’s an exciting announcement. It does obviously pivot off of the recent Samsung Note announcement. And what we’re seeing here is the fact that both companies are fortified, they definitely take advantage of the fact that up to 80% of all smart devices out there are Android based. And by combining Samsung’s Android capabilities with obviously Microsoft’s Windows universe, then we see really something that will drive adoption, not just amongst smart device users, but in terms of fueling ecosystem development and providing a true competitive alternative to the Apple universe.
So this is something that we will definitely keep an eye on. And overall it’s good news. Naturally there are challenges that we have to pay attention, to the fact that they’re starting off the alliance with the Samsung Note 10 offering, but they need to enable the Android Windows nexus capability beyond that device, let alone Samsung devices in general.
So that’s my take on this alliance.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more. I wrote a piece about it. We’ll put it in the show notes. But Ron, that’s great analysis. Olivier, let’s talk more about the Android ecosystem or not, and talk about what’s Huawei doing to hedge their bet.
Olivier Blanchard: Oh, you know, I don’t know what Huawei is really doing. There’s been a lot of back and forth about Huawei’s alleged phone OS over the last few months. So essentially Huawei was totally fine using Android for all their phones until the US-China trade war. And particularly until Huawei was singled out on the blacklist of Chinese companies that the US no longer wanted to do business with. And so Huawei did have a sort of … or claimed to have a sort of backup OS for its phones in case Google and Alphabet and Android consequently were no longer options for its phones. And then kind of backtracked and said “Well, it wasn’t really an OS, it was more for the IoT, and it wasn’t fully fledged, etc.” Well, this week Huawei reversed their reversal and introduced Harmony OS, which they claim is an OS that will work on their phones and also for a lot of IoT smart home devices.
Huawei, of course, claims that it’s very flexible and that’s it’s even more robust and more security features than Android. That remains to be seen, but at any rate we now have not really a demo, but at least an introduction by Huawei of Harmony OS as a potential replacement for Android, should the need arise. One of the main problems with this, though, is that there’s no way that it’s as robust and as agile as Android, as it’s fairly new. And also, the app store probably is very, very, very limited and will be for quite some time for this. So hopefully for Huawei they won’t have to actually make that switch.
Daniel Newman: Great points, all going to go into the article that I’ll have published momentarily after the show’s over, just in case anybody wants to read more of our take. And Olivier, you get all the credit for any ideas that I take, although it will not be put in writing.
Olivier Blanchard: Awesome.
Daniel Newman: Just kidding. Anyway, so I got my fast five, is Salesforce. Now Salesforce, another company that I can be a little hard on at times, but I think they made a good move this week overall with the acquisition of Click Software. Click Software is a field services management SaaS tool, Israeli based company. They acquired them for about 1.6 billion, I believe the total was. And it follows a line of Tableau, Mulesoft, and other significant acquisitions in the billions that have been made by Salesforce. The reason I think this one’s better is it’s going to really fit naturally into the service cloud of Salesforce.
It has some very natural integration points. It’s just pure SaaS solution. It will not take the work that Tableau is going to take as an on-prem massive tool with significant migration and architectural issues. So I see this one flowing together quite nicely. They also are acquiring a tremendous number of customers, some very big customers, as a part of it as well, which is worth noting. The only criticism that I’ll outwardly say is this does just continue to tack on the trend that Salesforce seems to not feel like they can do it themselves any more.
Earlier in their days, they made small acquisitions to fill gaps, but they weren’t making these mega acquisitions. They were building stuff, and they were really kind of proud to be a company that was organically showing tremendous growth. Now it’s all about inorganic. And maybe it has something to do with the size of the company, but to some extent I think it might be a little bit of a weakness at this point, that they can no longer overcome hurdles and win the customers that they’re acquiring through organic innovation, growth, and development in their products. So I’m going to spin it back to Ron, because Ron likes talking about Microsoft, but this time as you talk about Microsoft and Amdocs, and Amdocs is a company we did not talk as much about, but one that Ron works very closely on. Ron?
Ron Westfall: Yes, thank you, Dan. And yes, we know that Microsoft has had a robust week, and so has Amdocs. And one key highlight here is that both companies have expanded their existing alliance, and the prime objective of their alliance is to implement more open network automation capabilities on the Microsoft’s Azure cloud ecosystem. And to showcase that they’re making progress in this area, they enlisted SES, the global satellite operator, to showcase a live deployment that is enabling just that, cloud-based, open NFV implementation, in this case an offering. And this is aligning with the fact that Amdocs had a very busy week, coming up with a plethora of announcements, and this includes the fact that they had a record Q3. And also they had a plethora of other operators come on board to use some of their different solutions, including Charter, Comcast and Sky Italia.
So this is a feather in the cap for both companies, and it’s moving the needle in terms of showing that the operators out there can definitely use hybrid, let alone public cloud implementations to offer virtualized services that are quite simply differentiated and will enable them to quite simply be a key partner, a provider of new digital services that enterprises and consumers are clamoring for out there. And so that’s a thumbs up for both of them.
Daniel Newman: And Ron, in 20 seconds or less, tell everybody what Amdocs is. Not that they’re not a huge multibillion-dollar company, it’s just we don’t talk about them a lot here, but we will be talking about them more. So who is Amdocs?
Ron Westfall: Oh, you bet. Yeah, they’re a telco software supplier with a prime focus on digital transformation as well as 5G. And they have their roots in OSS, BSS, and professional services, and are branching out into take advantage of these new opportunities.
Daniel Newman: All right, great stuff, Ron. And Olivier, why don’t you take us home right now? And you’re going to talk a little bit about Symantec. Big week for that company, huh?
Olivier Blanchard: Symantec, my old friends at Symantec. So Symantec has sold, or at least has agreed to sell its enterprise security business to Broadcom, which as you may recall, attempted to purchase Qualcomm just about a year ago and was rebuffed by the administration when Syphius and the White House essentially said “No way Jose, you are not buying our company.” So one point of note here, this is actually a good move, I think, for Symantec and for Broadcom. For Broadcom this could add 2 billion in revenue per year to its bottom line. And it’s also kind of a good deal for Symantec, because Symantec’s enterprise business was not necessarily doing so well. It was struggling with year over year growth. And so it’s a possibility that Broadcom might actually be able to make it work a little bit better.
However, what we should remember is that Symantec as a whole has not sold out to Broadcom. Symantec remains its own company with Norton antivirus and LifeLock identity threat protection, and also all of its consumer-facing products are still its own. It’s just the Symantec enterprise business that’s going over to Broadcom. So that’s just a little footnote in case any of that was any confusing.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, absolutely. Good stuff, Olivier. So let’s go on to our Tech Bites section. And what bites this week is the sharing economy and Uber. So Uber, everyone’s favorite unicorn, keynotes talking about disruption. Well, I think there’s a lot of retail and commercial investors that got in late on the IPO that are thinking the only disruption is the value of their stock portfolio right now, as the company continues to dwindle. They saw a loss this quarter of $5.2 billion, 5.2 billion. I mean, how absurd is that?
Now to be fair, there was a once in a lifetime hit that went on the company in order for them to complete their IPO, and that was in the billions, multiple billions. I’ve heard anywhere upwards of 4 billion, but you’re still talking about over a billion in losses. And analysts were estimating losses of somewhere around 3.1 to 3.36, so these losses were significantly larger than what analysts expected despite the IPO.
It’s insane. I am totally bewildered about how this is a company. If losing $5 billion is a considered a success in any capacity in anyone’s eyes, in mine it means I could be the CEO of any of these companies. And by the way, either of you could too, it wouldn’t even be hard to lose that much money. In fact, I almost think you have to try to lose that much money. Now, understand that … And I don’t want to get the name wrong, but it’s like Khosrowshahi, Dara Khosrowshahi is the CEO, he’s very smart, very brilliant guy. But there’s something going on here, that this company is continuing to lose at this rate and that the stock is not completely tanked. How does this even happen? What’s going on?
And gents, I’d just like to get your take. What can Uber do in your eyes? Now, knock the one-time loss off, because that’ll be off the books in the future. What do you guys think Uber needs to do to start moving towards positivity? Because these kinds of staggering losses, I don’t even think investment bankers in Wall Street continue to fathom this, even if they are making returns. Ron, I’ll let you start this one off.
Ron Westfall: Yeah, I think they started embarking on … One thing they definitely need to do, that’s diversify their revenue stream, the business model. And we’re seeing that already with Uber Eats, and this could offset the staggering losses further out. And it’s quite simply taking their fundamental business model and applying it to a niche where it can make a difference. Already we’re seeing people enlist Uber Eats in order to get that convenient food delivery and not having to wait for a delivery cycle, or be able to quite simply order from restaurants and other places that don’t have a in-built delivery service. So that’s a prime example of what they need to do, and we need to anticipate they’ll do more of that in areas like fleet management, perhaps, and so forth. So that’s one thing that can make a difference for them.
Daniel Newman: And Olivier, what’s your take? I’m sure you have some opinions and you’ve done plenty of Uber-ing yourself.
Olivier Blanchard: Yeah, I think this is kind of old school, but hire some damn cost accountants. The company’s making over 10 billion a year in revenue, right? Which is, I don’t know, like four times more or almost five times more than Lyft. Increasing revenue and diversifying is actually a really good idea. It’s great. I’m all for it. But I don’t think that’s fundamentally the problem. I don’t think that Uber has a revenue problem. I think that Uber has a cost accounting problem. It’s like the super awesome yacht that just keeps getting more customers and more customers, but there’s a hole in the keel. It’s taking on water and somebody needs to figure out where and how to stop that. Because otherwise it’s a good company. It looks solid. I just don’t understand how it can continue to lose billions of dollars quarter after quarter after quarter. It’s insane.
Daniel Newman: Yeah. You would think that with multiple billions per quarter in revenue, that they would be able to find a way to back into a profit. You would think so. Now again, if your goals and objectives are to be bigger and you have the patience of your investors and your board, I can understand taking losses for a period of time, especially because they have the backing of Wall Street and investors that are going to continue to put capital into the company and give them that flexibility. But at some point, don’t you need to turn that corner? Don’t you need to eventually get close to breaking even and then profit? I’m going to make a quick prognostication, but I see no way that Uber becomes profitable until they go to self-driving. And I mean a significant self-driving model. They just have way too many expenses associated with these drivers, and for their pricing to be competitive and then to compensate drivers well enough to get drivers to take this role on, they’re never going to make enough money per ride.
Because if it gets to the point where the rides are significantly more expensive than taxis, and it’s already gotten to the point where it’s pretty even, then what ends up happening is the advantages go away. People will shift, they will find other options. So that’s my prognostication until self-driving. And that means the investors may need to hold on for some time before they’re going to turn a corner into profitability.
And this takes us into our final section, crystal ball. My favorite part. A lot of times we come back to our main dive and ask it. This time I want to actually leverage a fast five topic. So we didn’t talk about it for a long time, gents, but Samsung, Microsoft, the underlying message in their partnership is about iMessage. It’s about coming together to build a platform that between Samsung and Microsoft provides the same wonderful experience of iMessage.
Yes, I said wonderful experience of iMessage. The only reason I still carry an iPhone is for iMessaging with people in my family. That’s it. Every other thing I do is on my Samsung device. iMessage is pretty awesome. The ecosystem, especially if you have a Mac, is pretty awesome. There’s been nothing like it with any Android device out on the planet. Ron, you alluded to this, but start me off. Can Samsung, Microsoft compete with Apple to make a real dent and create an equal quality ecosystem? And if they can, how long do you think it’s going to take?
Ron Westfall: Yeah, well, the easy part is, they will move the needle. It’s inevitable. Already we pointed to the fact that over 80% of all smart devices out there are the Android ecosystem. Microsoft has the resources, the capabilities to really move the needle in terms of getting adoption rates up for an iMessage capability. And so from my perspective, yeah, we have to be a little patient. Obviously Samsung needs to implement the capability on more devices, but it’s inevitable. I mean, basically the momentum is quite simply with the alliance in terms of making iMessage work. And so I’m going to say by the end of 2020 we’ll be talking about market share and things like that and just measuring how much progress this partnership is making in terms of delivering the capability as a robust alternative to the Apple offer.
Daniel Newman: There you go. You had it, just next year. Microsoft and Samsung are going to be having real discussions as a real legit iMessage competitor. Olivier, you’re not an Apple believer. What do you think?
Olivier Blanchard: Well, that is one thing that Apple does well, but as we’ve talked about many times on this podcast and in many of our articles, Apple has kind of lost the edge that it once had over everybody else when it comes to even UX. I mean, it’s still good. Their OS is still a lot smoother than Android, but for this type of functionality, there’s no reason why Samsung, Microsoft, or anybody else can’t come up with something better. I think the only hurdle might be more related to patents and how the experience will be delivered. I think that Apple will try to protect its experience, its design, and try to maybe slow down the progress this new alliance might make in catching up or even coming out with something better. But it’s inevitable that Samsung, Microsoft, and just the Android space in general will have a solution or several solutions that will rival Apple’s inside of 18 months.
Daniel Newman: And my prediction is, the only way this works is if it expands to an Android-wide platform. It’s not that it won’t work well, it’s just that the volume of users on Samsung’s premium devices is not as high as Samsung’s whole ecosystem, which is not as high as the whole Android ecosystem. The power here is an ecosystem. And Android has a massive share of the market, but it’s in a single device right now, and just doing this on the Note really needs to be a proof of concept. They need to roll it out Android-wide, and at the very least, before it’s going to gain momentum it needs to be Samsung-wide, because so many of the J series and the lower-end series are the ones that are highly adopted in markets like Asia and Europe, where the premium devices aren’t yet gaining the same momentum as some of the more mid-range devices.
So I’m waiting to see if they can take this industry-wide, platform-wide. If they can, I think they can really give a run for their money, and I certainly will be one of the people using it. But if there are two companies that can get together and do it, it is these two companies.
So gentlemen, we are out of time. And I want to thank everybody out there for tuning into this week’s edition of the Futurum Tech podcast, FTP. Ron Westfall, Olivier Blanchard, wonderful analysis, gentlemen. As always, we will put a lot of links in our show notes to all the different articles that we referenced throughout the show today. We appreciate everyone tuning in. We ask if you liked this show and you haven’t yet done it, press that subscribe button. We’re honored to have you, but for this show, for this edition, Daniel Newman checking out, Futurum Research, Futurum Tech Podcast. We’ll see you later.
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