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CES 2019 Device Blog: Day 3: Technologies

by Ville-Petteri Ukonaho | Jan 10, 2019

CES 2019, the world’s largest consumer electronic trade show is now taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. The show scheduled from Jan 8 (Tue) to Jan 11 (Fri) 2019 has a large team of analysts from multiple services of Strategy Analytics in attendance, including smartphones, drones, robots, tablets, wearables, smart home, semiconductors and automotive.

Our Day 1 and 2 coverage and Pre show report can be accessed as below:

CES 2019 Device Blog: Day 2: Smartphones (available here)

CES 2019 Device Blog: Day 1: Smartphones (available here)

CES 2019 Preview report: Smartphones (available here)

This year CES was light on new interesting or innovating smartphone technologies. Here are few that stood out.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is everywhere, the buzzword of the event. AI is used in everything from home appliances to TV’s, cars, robots, and naturally smartphones where AI is becoming growingly more important part of the user experience.

In the smartphone space main announcements came from Google and Samsung.

Bixby that is Samsung’s own smartphone assistant is going through a renewal gaining a lot of new functionalities in the process. Samsung is supercharging Bixby through various partnerships and moving into new areas like robotics. Bixby will also gain access to some Google applications such as Maps and Gmail bringing more Google Assistant functionalities to the Bixby. Bixby will also become the hub that controls all Samsung’s new smart home appliances and robots.

5G

5G was talked and hyped a lot pre-show but 5G smartphones are not yet ready for primetime, which is visible in the show. Qualcomm announced there are over 30 5G ready devices having their hardware coming from plethora of vendors in 2019 but seemingly all announcements will happen in MWC 2019 or later. Strategy Analytics forecasts 5G smartphones to gain less than 1% share this year with ASP almost three times that of regular smartphone. Samsung announced that it will bring one of the first 5G smartphones to the market during 1st half 2019. Official revealing of that phone will likely take place at MWC this year.

Punch Hole Display

Punch hole displays are the main talking point in smartphone display technologies at the moment but only one device has been announced at CES. Hisense U30 was announced without much fanfare but it is the third phone with punch hole design display. Other speciality in the device is the 48Mpix rear camera which is a rarity in mid-range smartphones. 48MP sensor is excellent for high resolution daytime shots, but also to make use of pixel-binning to deliver better low-light shots. Other specs of the device are: 6/8GB RAM, 128GB internal memory, Snapdragon 675 processor and 4500mAh battery.

  Exhibit 1: Hisense U30

 

Punch hole display will be one of the main display trends this year replacing notch in some price tiers and Strategy Analytics EDT is following that landscape closely.

Foldable Display

No new announcements in this area at CES. Samsung and Royole reiterated their plans to come to market already during 1st half this year, but no other vendors joined them yet. Samsung showcased their device behind closed doors.

  Exhibit 2: Royole FlexPai

 

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