The last week of 2020 is finally here, and as we bid goodbye to perhaps the most eventful year of our lifetime, we can only hope that 2021 has better things in store for us. Anyway, it’s time again for us to take stock of what happened in the world of tech in the very last week of 2020 in our weekly ‘Winners and losers’ column.
Before talking about the winner and loser for this week, let us take a quick look at all the major developments in tech in the week gone by.
Being the last week of the year, things were moderately sedate when it came to product launches in Europe and North America. That definitely wasn’t the case in Asia, though, where this week saw the official announcement of Oppo’s new Reno 5 series. Xiaomi also announced that it would soon unveil its new Snapdragon 888 toting flagship smartphone - the Mi 11 Pro before the end of 2020. In fact, Xiaomi quite likely will be the first smartphone vendor to launch a phone with the brand new SD888 chip.
This week also saw a major announcement from WhatsApp - the world’s most widely used instant messaging app. While it’s been quite some time since WhatsApp introduced video and voice calling features, the same features shall soon rollout to WhatsApp Web, the company announced. The next update comes from Motorola who earlier this week released the list of smartphones that are eligible for the official update to Android 11.
Let us now turn our attention to what we think are the winners and losers of this week.
Winner of the week: MediaTek after it surpassed Qualcomm in number of chipsets shipped
Surprising as it might sound to folks in Europe and the rest of the western world, MediaTek is actually giving Qualcomm a run for its money when it comes to sheer market share. While the company has traditionally played second-fiddle to Qualcomm over the years, it has been heavily focusing its attention on the low and mid-range smartphone segment. With large markets like India and China having enough demand for low-cost Android smartphones, it should not surprise you that MediaTek managed to outsell Qualcomm in the third quarter of 2020 in terms of the number of SoCsit shipped. While Qualcomm continues to maintain its lead in the high end and 5G segment, there is no denying that competitors like MediaTek and Exynos are fats caching up. Needless to say, MediaTek is our choice for the Winner of this week.
Loser of the week: Telegram says yes to advertising
While not as popular as WhatsApp, there is no denying that Telegram, the popular chat app is the first choice for many folks who are not too happy about WhatsApp’s Facebook connection. It has also managed to remain independent all these years, and the company continues to introduce newer features with each new variant.
Recently, however, Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov made an announcement via his Telegram channel that could, perhaps, change the way the privacy-conscious folks might view the app. In the announcement, Durov revealed that he is planning to open Telegram up for ads in the near future. This move is largely borne out of necessity because, with over 500 million users, it has become costly for Durov to continue running Telegem using his personal savings.
On the flip side, Durov maintains that the ads that they will implement on Telegram shall be unobtrusive and that folks who use the app for chats and messaging will never see an ad in the midst of a personal chat. Instead, he confirmed that the current plan is to enable ads for another component of Telegram that behaves more like a social networking platform and not a messaging platform. Nevertheless, the very fact that Telegram is considering opening up itself for ads could force many loyal users to switch loyalties. What do you think?
Well, that concludes our last Winners and Losers article for 2020. We hope you have had a great Christmas with family and friends and wish you all the best for the coming year!