# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality


  1. New OMEN logo and computers
  2. Results of the 1st quarter of the smartphone market
  3. Chronicles of LG: results of the 1st quarter
  4. Updatable drivers
  5. Instead of a conclusion

New OMEN logo and computers

Every manufacturer has brands that target gamers. ASUS has ROG, Lenovo has Legion, Dell has Alienware, and HP has OMEN. The creation of a separate brand for games is quite logical, since relatively recently, computer games have changed their image, moving from entertainment for teenagers and men, who are not pampered with the naughty attention of a woman, to the mainstream arena. By the way, it’s interesting how different manufacturers approached the problem. This is the difference in marketing. Whereas Lenovo and ASUS created gaming brands from scratch, American corporations with classic marketing, where the value-creating product story is important, went shopping to the market.

Dell has been trying on Alienware for a long time since 2002, closing the deal in the spring of 2006. In the fall of that year, HP, in turn, acquired its gaming brand.

OMEN received its logo from the now defunct VoodooPC. Since 1991, Voodoo Computers has been making very high-performance and expensive custom computers. After the acquisition, HP decided to repurpose the brand, moving away from purely gaming solutions towards simply high-performance machines. Here you can evaluate in different ways, but I would characterize the further as the fact that inaccurate actions of management led to the discrediting of the brand, the loss of marketing uniqueness and positioning. HP recognized this and closed the Voodoo brand at the end of 2014, saying that its legacy and DNA will always live inside HP’s high-performance computers. In 2016, the OMEN gaming brand was introduced to the world, based on the “legacy of VoodooPC”. To further emphasize continuity, OMEN received the VoodooPC logo. A non-history user won’t understand a logo that really doesn’t fit well with the OMEN name. But substitute the name VoodooPC for OMEN and look at the logo. What does it resemble?

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

In combination with the word “voodoo”, the logo immediately denotes “tribal mask”, or tribal mask. In the mass unconscious, voodoo shamans are immediately drawn, dancing in front of the fire.

By the way, frankly speaking, the word “OMEN” itself is not very apt. Initially, the idea was good. OMEN is a sign that, according to beliefs, predicted the future, was a harbinger of change. Despite the fact that no one likes change and there is even a saying “so that you live in an era of change”, the word “omen” did not have a negative connotation. There were both auspicious and promising misfortunes.

However, it seems that the company has ignored popular culture. The 2006 film The Omen made it clear that the omen is something bad with a demonic little boy on a swing. Or maybe there was an idea behind this? Under the slogan “a little mysticism and Satanism will never be superfluous.”

In 2020, HP once again reflected on the development of the OMEN brand. Thanks to NVIDIA and the Max-Q line of cards, which drastically reduced the thickness of laptops, making them more elegant, “creative people” were added to the positioning. And that OMEN, that Alienware does not look very appropriate in this capacity. In an effort to rectify the situation, HP has so far seemed to slightly tweak the brand’s communication.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

For example, back in the positioning of the 2019 HP Omen laptop, it was about “overwhelming power for a high level of gaming.” And now here is the “new normal”. The picture “Learning” is especially amusing, that is, study, where the strategy is open and the girl plays. By the way, please note that only one picture was left for the men, and this is not about games, but the broader concept of “entertainment” was used.

The company also shared some interesting segmentation statistics. Most interested in “runners from reality to the world of games.” Mostly Western users in half of the cases are over 35 years old, 55% of them are women. My friend sadly joked that these are people who have failed in their own lives, so they try to realize themselves in Sims4 or House Flipper, where you buy a house in poor condition and make candy out of it for later resale. Although I would also classify myself as an “escapist”. The only difference is that I like to study virtual worlds, and not simulate life, which is already outside the window.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

In addition to changing communication, HP decided to abandon the tribal mask logo, moving simply to a diamond in different spellings. It turned out slightly impersonal, but neutral. There is a slight sense of déjà vu that the story is repeating itself that led to the abandonment of the VoodooPC brand. However, this time they are acting more subtly.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

In general, the event was dedicated to the launch of new desktop computers and a monitor. New powerful hardware, wide customization and upgrade options, new case designs. There was OMEN Obelisk, it became just OMEN 30L Desktop. 30L is the volume of the case, there is also 25L.

Here are some slides with hardware and comparison. There will be Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. Can be combined. For example, the processor is from AMD, and the graphics are from Nvidia. In the US, the price starts from $ 1.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

They also showed a new monitor, which, in terms of its characteristics, will suit both players and designers – there is still IPS with a color gamut of 98% DCI-P3 and Quad HD resolution.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

To summarize, HP is trying to sit on two chairs by offering the same brand for gamers and so-called creators. Despite the fact that, based on the hardware requirements, these categories are the closest (with the exception of monitors: some like Full HD and low response, while others like a wide color gamut and color accuracy), they are diametrically different in ideology. And whether it will turn out to be friends is a big question.

Results of the 1st quarter of the smartphone market

In Spillikins, Eldar summed up the results of the first quarter as a whole. I would like to draw your attention to a number of points.

New leaders of a new reality

Firstly, against the background of the general decline, the achievements of Xiaomi, Vivo and realme are especially impressive.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

Canalys + realme data from Counterpointresearch

All three brands rely on models of middle and low price segments, significantly outperforming other manufacturers in terms of price / quality ratio. Now such growth can be attributed to the crisis and the desire of buyers to save money, but given that the world was already on the verge of a recession, the consequences of the pandemic are with us for a long time. This means that Samsung and Apple will continue to lose share. To a greater extent, this is a blow to Samsung, since Apple’s buyers are not only subconsciously confident in the superiority of iOS over Android, but in general they are initially less sensitive to price.

We had a little discussion in the editorial office. Someone believed that Samsung will maintain its leadership in the market this year. I am convinced that 4 BBK brands in total will seize the leadership, pushing Samsung into second place, although formally the company will remain on the first line for several more years.

Huawei locked in the home market

Huawei, disconnected from Google services and has ceased to be interesting in most markets, with the exception of China, apparently guided by the expression that “it was not me who was locked up with you, but you and me.” Huawei tears and dashes, terrorizing other companies. The Chinese smartphone market is consolidating, and almost all players are losing share to please Huawei, which has grown by 2% and occupied 40% of the market.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

Most manufacturers are struggling to keep their share. And abstract market shares do not reflect what is happening. The market falls in pieces. And Huawei picks up. By the way, pay attention to the share of Apple. Stability!

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

Another interesting finding that confirms Huawei’s activity is the fact that Huawei’s HiSilicon chipsets took first place in China, overtaking Qualcomm and MediaTek. It should be remembered here that HiSilicon Kirin is still only in Huawei smartphones. A couple more years, and China will be the country that defeated Huawei.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

Chronicles of LG: results of the 1st quarter

LG Velvet

We continue to monitor the mobile division of LG, which repositions the G-series in the LG Velvet and sends it to the mainstream segment. The premiere of the new smartphone is scheduled for May 7, but everything has long been leaked at the official level and even a press release has been released. Here it is, the official look (glass and aluminum frame), and inside will be the Snapdragon 765 5G, 48MP cameras, 8MP (ultra wide angle) and 5MP (depth sensor) cameras. 6.8-inch screen, 4300 mAh battery, 8 GB of RAM and microSD support. Dimensions 167,2 x 74,1 x 7,9 mm, weight 180 g. Supports 5G, but Wi-Fi only “ac”, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, USB Type-C.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

Of the unusual highlights, the smartphone will have:

  • “Voice Out Focus” when shooting video. Shooting in strong wind is shown as an example. It will be possible to remove the wind, and make the voice of a person clearer;
  • ASMR – the sensitivity of two microphones is set to maximum, then the sound is additionally processed and becomes more lively and rich;
  • Stereo speakers with the ability to adjust the sound balancing;
  • For a smartphone, you can purchase an additional screen cover, as well as a stylus. In vain they decided to sell the stylus separately. It’s just that people are unlikely to buy in addition, but there is a direct opportunity to play on the Galaxy Note field.

Q1 2020 Results

LG’s mobile division is still, as before, unprofitable. However, the company completed the relocation of factories to Vietnam, and also significantly reduced marketing activity, which allowed, according to managers, to minimize losses. And, of course, COVID-19 is to blame.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

The targets for the second quarter are modest, but objectively reflecting the situation in the market. The company expects a further decline in sales due to falling demand and the activation of other players, but the main task for all manufacturers is the same – to try to protect their market share.

In the second quarter, LG plans to launch a mass-market premium smartphone with “outstanding design and technology.” We are talking about the LG V60 ThinQ. LG is also going to strengthen its mid-range lineup with the launch of the LG Velvet and Q51 models. And also increase online sales.

By the way, it should be noted that LG now has two unprofitable divisions. For the last couple of quarters, there have been no sales of electric motors, telematics and other parts for the smart cars of the future. In general, everything is logical – what kind of cars if everyone is sitting at home. In general, the 1st quarter turned out to be a record one for the company. For the second time in its history, LG has managed to generate more than KRW 1 billion (approximately $ 827 million) in revenue. And this despite the fact that revenue decreased by 8%, but profit increased by 7%. Growth thanks to the household appliances segment. They sell less, but more profitable. Apple would approve.

Updatable drivers

Qualcomm showed an interesting Elite Gaming Program slide at the presentation of its new Snapdragon 865 and 765 chipsets.

# Echo69: leaders of the smartphone market in a new reality

Qualcomm said it will update graphics drivers in the new chipsets. It was served under the guise of “desktop-grade graphics features.”

By the way, few users pay attention to the fact that chipsets generally have drivers. I remember in one of the materials I mentioned that the phone has an old chipset with old drivers, which can affect performance. Judging by the comments, then few people understood what I mean. However, the idea here is the same as in computers. Maximum performance requires maximum optimization. Typically, the drivers are updated when the firmware arrives. The user is simply not informed about this. Now Qualcomm has decided to bring the graphics driver update (for starters) as one of the selling chips. In general, it is logical, since there is a certain category of users who feel a pleasant tingling sensation when the software is updated. They will now be able to download drivers.

Along the way, Qualcomm is addressing the issue of infrequent updates from manufacturers. I will assume that the drivers will still be stitched into the firmware. This is for those users who do not follow the updates.

And here is a trio of smartphones from Xiaomi – Mi 10 5G, Mi 10 Pro 5G and Redmi K30 Pro – received graphics updates. So far, the graphics driver update app is only available in Chinese app stores. According to the description, the new drivers will improve optimization in PUBG and Fortnite. Apparently, the drivers will soon become available globally.

On the one hand, Qualcomm is great, because, firstly, users will get the best software optimization for hardware. Secondly, they will feel the care of the manufacturer. Especially against the backdrop of Exynos, Kirin and MediaTek. And this can become a real competitive advantage. Judge for yourself, if you look from the side of the buyer not in the subject, what will you choose, what is regularly updated, or what is not updated?

On the other hand, how long will Qualcomm support its chipsets by updating? If it is only 1-2 years, then, in fact, the game is not worth the candle, since the top chipsets have such a performance that they can handle any games even without updates. But for low-end and mid-range chipsets (665, 710 and others), driver updates can play a significant role. Although when it comes to top-end chipsets, then perhaps Qualcomm is counting on the growth of AAA releases for mobile gaming?

In any case, it is necessary to test and compare whether there is a difference or not.

Instead of a conclusion

Coronavirus is a very nasty infection. First, a friend called from St. Petersburg and said that he and his wife were ill. Their VHI tested positive. And here it must be borne in mind that in St. Petersburg and the number of cases is much less than in Moscow, and a friend self-isolated according to all the rules, left the house every 10 days, wore gloves, a mask, clothes in which he went outside, sent them to a separate closet quarantined, and dumped the products in the bathtub and washed the packaging. Be careful and lucky!

And I propose to finish on a positive note. Elon Musk has a cool T-shirt, and he also had a son. Will grow up and live on Mars!

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