Thursday, August 05, 2021

Ng: Losing to Android

ACCORDING to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, Samsung Galaxy S8 was the world’s best selling Android smartphone in the second quarter of 2017, garnering over 19 million units worldwide.

This compares favorably to Apple’s iPhone 7, which sold about 17 million units, and Apple iPhone 7 Plus, which sold 15 milllion units. While Apple continues to be the single largest smartphone maker, there are practically thousands of Android phone makers, and collectively they have been slowly eating up Apple’s market share.

It would seem that out of a total 360 million smartphones sold in Q2 2017, Apple is now starting to get squeezed, at single digit market share.

So as Samsung’s CEO finds itself in jail for corruption, Samsung Corp. nevertheless had record sales and profits. For Q2 alone, it sold over 54 billion units, with $12.6 billion profits.

The other surprise is that due to strong sales, especially in China, the world’s no. 2 Android smartphone maker appears to be Huawei now.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, and Apple is scheduled to release the new iPhone 8 this month. As Apple loses market share, there continues to be rumors about what it will do to increase its fortunes. Apple has always been secretive to the last minute till the final launch of its phone, but the iPhone 8 is rumoured to include wireless charging, facial recognition, edge-to-edge display, and a radical design in its feature that there will be no home button.

On the same month, the company is also expected to unveil a third generation Apple Watch, and a 4K Apple TV.

Meanwhile, I will revisit the state of MOOCs.

Three years ago, MOOCs, which stands for massive online open course, was a very big craze. This was about the time that almost all major universities in the world decided to publish their courses on the internet, which people could actually access, mostly for free.

There were many courses handled by well-known professors and universities that suddenly had hundreds of thousands of enrollees. It was a massive disruption that is supposed to liberalize education. Now everybody can see and evaluate and hear the professors, and course of Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and the leading universities in the world.

I myself enrolled in a few dozen courses (Why not? They’re free), and managed to finish about a dozen of them, from topics ranging from music theory, Chinese history, English literature, programming, cloud computing, marketing and entrepreneurship. If you are not asking for a certificate, then you don’t have to pay or do the exercise. Just listen to the videos or download and read the materials.

I checked how it is doing, and apparently it is still going strong. Like Uber, AirBNB, Amazon, and other big hits, the hype has died down, but the usage continues to be very strong.

It seems like as of 2016, over 6,850 courses, including 2,600 new courses, were published from over 700 universities, and 58 million people enrolled in at least one. Currently, the top five providers of MOOCs based on enrolment (many of which are free), are: Coursera with 23 million, edX with 10 million, XuetangX with six million (this is based in China), FutureLearn with 5.3 million, and Udacity with four million.
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