In the middle of 2022, Ren Zhengfei's "Cold Air Theory" speech in Huawei's interior was swiped across the entire network.
Ren Zhengfei believes that the next ten years should be a very painful historical period for Huawei. Whether it is in the supply chain or the market, Huawei is facing tremendous pressure. To survive has become Huawei's highest program.
Zooming in to the entire consumer electronics industry in 2022, Huawei, which is "spreading cold air", is just a microcosm of it. The weak demand in the mobile phone market and the PC market has turned the high-end dream of major hardware manufacturers to "be bigger and stronger" into a survival challenge of "should save as much as possible". It has become an industry consensus to shrink secondary businesses and give up potential markets. As for innovation, it has become the price that must be paid for this "cost reduction and efficiency increase" campaign.
Looking back at the various new products we have witnessed in the past year, it is difficult for us to find groundbreaking products like AirPods in 2016 and Switch in 2017. After putting together all kinds of new products, we have to admit that in 2022 There is less aggressive innovation and more conservative tinkering.
Chaos is only temporary, and no one wants to fall before dawn. At this time, manufacturers choose to take every step steadily and spend the winter dormant, which is faster than moving forward recklessly.
Changes are naturally sought in stability, and some new trends that can define 2023 are also quietly born in this year of stability.
- Involvement in mobile phones, soft power has become the last word
- New energy vehicles have crossed the historical turning point
- XR devices, waiting for the storm
- Personal computer, constantly exploring new forms
- Handheld games, breaking scene limitations
- Smart watches, marching outdoors
Involvement in mobile phones, soft power has become the last word
Elegance is the annual barrage selected by Station B in 2022. This year, users love to use "elegance" to praise people or things that have excellent skills and remain calm. No matter what the situation, they can find and maintain a calm and stable attitude. state.
However, as the foundation of the mobile Internet and the pearl of consumer electronics, the smartphone industry will not live gracefully in 2022, and it can even be said to be a bit embarrassing.
According to statistics from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, from January to November 2022, the total mobile phone shipments in the domestic market totaled 244 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 23.2%. Affected by repeated epidemics and the sluggish economic situation, it has become difficult for consumers to pay for the beautiful Double Eleven campaign reports of manufacturers.
On the other hand, smartphones have passed the brutal growth period of rapid growth, the incremental market is almost saturated, and smartphones have entered the era of competition in the stock market. This is a new chapter completely different from the past ten years. Manufacturers who run fast may not necessarily win, and manufacturers who can tell stories may not be popular, but manufacturers who move slowly and cannot tell stories will definitely be out.
Therefore, the top manufacturers of smartphone sales are highly consistent, and they are all telling the same story-high-end.
OPPO is tinkering with self-developed chips, and will continue to dive in the Mariana Trench; vivo launched the X-series signboard, trying to break the high-end dilemma; Huawei launched its own imaging brand XMAGE, and established the high-end again with the Mate 50 series after two years Benchmark; Xiaomi teamed up with Leica to come up with Xiaomi 12S Ultra, allowing consumers to re-understand Xiaomi's image…
Even Apple, which has never liked to mix in image wars, has replaced the iPhone 14 Pro with a 48-megapixel camera to avoid being too far behind the Android flagship that has entered the one-inch era.
Video involution will never stop, but after all, video is only the face of high-end narration, and its inner core is soft power such as system software.
The Smart Island function of the iPhone 14 Pro is the best embodiment of this soft power. This is not because the Smart Island is so easy to use, beautiful or advanced, but it represents a new design concept that blurs the relationship between software and The boundary of the hardware, thus forming a new user interaction, allowing the device to adapt to the user, rather than the user adapting to the device.
When the screen, performance, and charging experience of smartphones have developed to the limit of cost, it is difficult to attract users to change phones with 10% performance improvement and brightness improvement. It is more important for manufacturers who want to establish a high-end image.
In the new year, it may be difficult for us to see the popularity of 4K screens, 3nm chips, and 200W super charging, but it is foreseeable that smartphones will take another step forward in the direction of intelligence, ecology, and Internet.
New energy vehicles have crossed the historical turning point
At the end of 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published its "New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2021-2035)" article, which stated that the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in the passenger car market will reach about 25% in 2025. In the same year, the penetration rate of new energy vehicles barely exceeded 5%, and five years later, this value was only a pitiful 1%.
Three years later, it turns out that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's goal is still conservative.
According to the latest statistics from the Passenger Passenger Association, the new energy penetration rate of passenger vehicles has reached 27.6% in 2022, an increase of 12.6 percentage points compared to 2021. The Federation of Passenger Passengers predicts that even if state subsidies are abolished in 2023, new energy vehicles will continue to grow at a high rate, and their penetration rate will further expand to 36%.
There is no doubt that 2022 will be the year to witness the take-off of new energy vehicles. Among them, the "number one" BYD is far ahead of its competitors with a cumulative annual sales of 1.8685 million vehicles.
In contrast, Tesla's growth is slightly weaker. Tesla will deliver a total of 1.31 million vehicles worldwide in 2022, an increase of 40% year-on-year. However, even with price cuts and promotions in the fourth quarter, it still failed to reach its target of 50% growth for the whole year.
The current situation of new energy vehicles is improving, but it may be more difficult than ever to survive in the auto market in 2023.
After the cancellation of new energy subsidies, car companies including BYD, Geely, and GAC Aian raised their prices slightly by several thousand yuan. Some car companies chose to bear the difference in subsidies and maintain the original price to stimulate consumer consumption.
Unexpectedly, after the subsidy subsidy ebbed, Tesla played a price reduction promotion, which once again stirred up a storm in the already calm auto market. For Tesla, whose gross profit margin is as high as 27%, pricing is currently Tesla’s biggest weapon. If new cars or new technologies cannot be produced in the short term to attract consumers, then price cuts for the market are almost the only way for Tesla to recover from its decline. method.
The pressure came to the side of the new forces. "Loss" is a label that new forces have always wanted to get rid of, but it is difficult to take it off. Facing the menacing Tesla, it is difficult for new forces that "buy a car at a loss" to reduce costs to fight against it.
Although the supply of chips has stabilized after entering 2023, the soaring lithium carbonate material still keeps the cost of the whole vehicle high. Against such a background, the living space left for small players will further shrink. Once the economies of scale of the top brands are formed, and the new energy tail brands cannot make a breakthrough in sales, then the small players will not be far from being eliminated.
The "post-subsidy era" is a big test for new energy manufacturers. In the past, traditional manufacturers electrified land, and later Tesla cut prices to grab customers. The fierce market competition has drawn a new energy car company. Only by crossing the threshold of cost control ability can we be qualified to define a new way of life.
XR devices, waiting for the storm
VR and AR devices are like Blizzard's MOBA game "Heroes of the Storm", which has always been popular but has not been popular.
The best-selling VR device in 2022 is still the Oculus Quest 2 released by Meta two years ago. The affordable price and balanced performance make it firmly hold the door of the entry-level experience of VR. The price of 2000 yuan beats it.
Oculus Quest 2, which has sold over 10 million, has done a good job of popularizing VR. The public’s perception of VR has gradually changed from a strange helmet that only gamers would wear a few years ago to a family that can be accepted by more people. Entertainment devices.
It is a pity that this enthusiasm did not continue until 2022. According to the statistical report of CCS Insight, the global shipments of VR equipment in 2022 will only be 9.6 million units, a year-on-year decline of 12%. It seems that the short-lived metaverse concept of the year before last impressed the capital, but failed to impress the increasingly sharp-eyed consumers. Before the emergence of killer VR applications, it was still difficult for consumers to generously pay for an illusory concept.
However, it is too early to deny the value of the Metaverse. According to McKinsey's forecast, the output value of the metaverse industry will reach 4-5 trillion US dollars in 2030, and VR/AR equipment will be the cornerstone of this huge industry.
In the future, people will spend a lot of time living, studying, working, and consuming in a virtual network world. This sounds like a fantasy, but in fact, our current life has long been intertwined with virtual reality.
The first batch of college students taking classes at "Tencent Conference University" and "DingTalk University" are almost graduating. Migrant workers have become accustomed to remote meetings and remote collaboration. This generation of Internet residents is more accustomed to virtual life than ever before, and has even become A sense of dependence on the virtual world. Therefore, when a VR device that is close enough to the people and has a perfect enough experience appears, people may migrate to the Metaverse faster than the popularity of the mobile Internet.
Of course, according to the current development speed of XR equipment and the volume of virtual content, the "Metaverse Migration" is still impossible to happen in the short term. So how long do we have to wait? The Quest Pro just released by Meta, the PlayStation VR2 to be released by Sony, and the mysterious XR device hidden by Apple may be able to find a relatively clear answer to this question.
The former two represent the possibility of creating and socializing VR devices in the consumer field at this stage, as well as the possibility of game content, while Apple XR devices, which are rumored to have breakthroughs in display effects, wearing experience and interactive design, are It may redefine the human-computer interaction of XR devices in the same way that the iPhone defines smartphones.
According to the current leaked news, the price of the Apple XR device will exceed 10,000 yuan, specially prepared for developers and geeks who are keen on cutting-edge technology, and this mysterious device will also be the most important product of Apple this year, other new products will be Concede for it. Although its audience will not be the general public, it also means that it also has less cost constraints as a mass product, and can boldly explore the boundaries between virtuality and reality.
Whether the metaverse is the next generation of the Internet, we will soon know the answer.
Personal computer, constantly exploring new forms
After experiencing the mining frenzy and the remote learning office boom, the personal computer market in 2022 has returned from frenzy to calm.
Several statistical agencies predict that global shipments of personal computers in 2022 will decrease by about 20% compared with 2021. A large part of the reason for the sluggish market performance is that many users have already replaced their computers due to the need for telecommuting when the epidemic spread, so the demand for new ones is relatively reduced now.
To stimulate users to upgrade, manufacturers need to speed up the exploration of new forms of personal computers to meet the increasingly segmented production needs of users.
In this regard, Apple, which has fully completed the transition to the Arm architecture on the MacBook, has gone further than the Windows camp.
The high energy-efficiency performance of Arm’s architecture meets users’ requirements for long battery life. For users who need to work on the move for a long time, MacBook has a unique productivity advantage, which also makes Apple the only one of the top five computer manufacturers in the world. growing manufacturers.
The emergence of the epidemic has changed the way of life and work of many people. Offices are no longer limited to cubicles or studios. They may also be on the way to commute, in street corner cafes, or even on sofas at home. The scene of people working is slowly changing. Slowly becoming diversified, the form of personal computers should also adapt to this change.
Better cameras, chips with higher energy efficiency, 5G communication modules, folding screens, three-in-one forms…the emergence of these functions is slowly helping personal computers evolve into the form people need most. On the other hand, tablet PCs are also developing towards the direction of replacing notebook computers, constantly innovating in software and hardware.
People's demand for desktop productivity will always exist. Whether it is a PC that is getting closer to a tablet in form, or a tablet that is gradually catching up with a PC in performance, it shows that people's exploration of the ultimate computing terminal has never stopped.
Handheld games, breaking scene limitations
Before the advent of the 5G era, we had many fantasies about "super-speed" 5G. Among them, playing 3A masterpiece cloud games anytime, anywhere poked the hearts of many players. However, after three years of 5G commercial use, cloud play of 3A games is still in the experimental stage , 5G, which is only a little faster than 4G, cannot currently support such a big dream.
Nevertheless, the vision of playing games anytime, anywhere is still full of appeal to players, so the game consoles that have almost become the tears of the times have once again become popular, but this time everyone is no longer playing 3DS or 3DS with mosaic screens. PSV, but Steam Deck that can run Cyberpunk 2077.
Steam Deck is a game console released by Valve, Steam's parent company, in July 2021. However, due to Valve's repeated ticket delays, Steam Deck was not officially shipped until February this year to meet players around the world.
The half-year wait did not dampen the enthusiasm of the players, but aroused more people's interest in this handheld machine that is in line with the Steam platform.
With its excellent performance and the advantage of being natively adapted to the Steam platform, Steam Deck was snapped up by players as soon as it was released. In the 43 weeks since Steam Deck was released, it has been the weekly sales champion for 32 weeks on the Steam platform. Sales data has exceeded one million units.
Compared with the next-generation hosts with tens of millions of sales, Steam Deck is obviously just a fledgling novice, but compared with many game console opponents, Steam Deck is undoubtedly a benchmark product, and its best-selling also marks Desktop games are no longer limited to desktops, and future game scenarios will become more diversified, and this diversification is not brought about by 5G, but thanks to high-performance chips and highly integrated body design.
With the increase in the number of games compatible with handhelds and the improvement in the performance of game consoles, handheld entertainment is likely to become a trend again, becoming an entertainment scene that is as important as desktop entertainment and living room entertainment. Players waiting for "complex scenes" bring the comfort of the ninth art. After all, it's not easy for the most time-poor adults to be able to play games for an extra minute.
Smart watches, marching into subdivided fields
After the haze of the epidemic has dissipated, the demand for outdoor sports is gradually rising. Going out for a walk is the first step for us to regain our sense of happiness in the post-epidemic era.
The strong demand for outdoor travel has naturally led to the demand for outdoor sports records and active health management. Outdoor sports have therefore become the next subdivision of high-end smart watches represented by Apple Watch Ultra.
At the beginning of the birth of the smart watch, we had hoped that it would become the next-generation smart terminal to replace the smart phone and achieve the goal of miniaturization and integration of equipment. But soon people realized that a smart watch is neither a supercomputing terminal nor a substitute for a timekeeping device. It has unique device attributes—it is more natural and intimate than a smartphone when it is close to the wrist. People need to find a smart watch for it. Suitable location.
Exploring the field of sports and health is an important change for smart watches. The positioning of wrist health assistants has helped smart watches jump from a market of tens of millions to a market of billions. According to statistics from relevant agencies, the global smart watch market in the first three quarters of 2022 The shipment volume of mobile phones has exceeded 100 million units, and it has become another important market for mobile phone manufacturers to compete for.
Although the cake is big, the growth rate of smart watches has slowed down. With the popularization of sensors and health algorithms, the function homogeneity of smart watches is becoming more and more obvious. Health data such as blood oxygen, blood pressure, and heart rate that can be recorded by high-end smart watches can also be achieved by entry-level bracelets. Smart watches want to To continue to develop upwards, you have to differentiate in function.
The Apple Watch Ultra, which is larger, stronger and lasts longer than the ordinary Apple Watch, is Apple's answer to the status of the smart watch. This time, smart watches have gone out of the urban area. They are not only notification windows for white-collar workers, heart rate meters for sportsmen, but also diving computers for divers and compass for climbers. The outdoor sports record market, which was originally firmly occupied by professional sports watches such as Garmin, ushered in the strongest challenger.
In addition, manufacturers such as Huawei and OPPO are also paying attention to subdivided fields such as blood pressure measurement and ski records, and each has produced products with unique functions.
Converting more smartphone users to smartwatch users is currently the top priority for manufacturers. Therefore, the product design of smart watches will be more and more detailed, and the functions and forms of watches will also be adjusted more according to the segmented fields, so that all kinds of users such as outdoor sports enthusiasts or people with high blood pressure can find suitable products. own watch. It is believed that in the near future, smart watches will enter the era of thousands of watches.
snow melt will turn into spring
In the past three years, the social order has been continuously shattered and reconstructed by the epidemic. Our lives have been dismantled and reinstalled. Disorder has become the norm of life, and technology has become our weapon against disorder.
The vegetable market has turned into a fresh food e-commerce app, and the movie theater has turned into bytes flowing in the streaming media. The classrooms and cubicles that were once thought to be irreplaceable have been replaced by a series of meeting room numbers. We use technology to temporarily piece together After the epidemic dissipated, some digital parts became life itself again.
Kevin Kelly mentioned in the book "Inevitable" that at the core of every significant change in our lives is some kind of technology, and technology has become a catalyst for human beings. When we tend to separate, technology accelerates the establishment of weak connections and dissolves the sense of isolation caused by separation; and when we meet again, technology will also become a strong link, allowing life to return to normal as soon as possible.
The trend of technological recovery has emerged, and the speed of recovery may still be relatively slow, but when we find the confidence to restart our lives, the regrets left by the cold winter will eventually be taken over by the good.
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