Moor Insights & Strategy Two-week Update ending February 26, 2021

By Patrick Moorhead - March 4, 2021

I hope you all had a great couple of weeks!  

This week, I will be attending Samsung V.X. Live and Microsoft Ignite (with Anshel).  Anshel will also be attending Qualcomm Science of Sound.  Melody will be attending MIT FinTech Conference 2021.  

Over the last two weeks, I attended ZOHO days.  Mark attended the Z-Wave Alliance Summit.  Paul attended Automated Closed-Loop Hardware Optimization.  Anshel attended MWC Shanghai.  Two weeks ago, Anshel attended Qualcomm WhatsNextIn5G and Microsoft 24 Hour Holographic V.R. Surgery Event. I attended Oracle's CX and Marketing SaaS event. 

On March 9, 2021, Will will be moderating a virtual session at HPE Telco Day.  You can register here

Our MI&S team published 30 deliverables over the last two weeks: 

The press quoted us with 20 citations and 1 NPR video. Journalists wanted to hear about Apple, Celona, China, chips, Dell, GSMA, IBM, Intel, network virtualization, Nutanix, NVIDIA, Pure Storage, and Samsung.

Quick Insights:

AR/VR (Anshel Sag)

  • French XR headset manufacturer Lynx showed off footage from its new upcoming headset using a dual-camera rig to give people a real and actual perspective of what the content inside of the headset might look like. This headset could provide some competition to Microsoft's Hololens 2 as both are standalone X.R. headsets.
  • Japan's JVC joins Canon in bringing enterprise A.R. headsets to market with its own upcoming 120-degree FOV headset next month with a resolution of 1440P per eye and will work tethered to a P.C. and use SteamVR tracking.

Carrier/Wireless (Will Townsend)

  • HPE announced this week the telco industry's first Open RAN 5G solution stack to help ease and accelerate operator deployment. It's a compelling offering that reduces the overall footprint and power consumption of deploying radio access network infrastructure lowering capital and operating expenses for operators.
  • Private cellular networking is poised to ramp significantly in 2021. I believe startup Celona partnered with HPE is well-positioned to ease deployment and management with a managed service offering. I will be hosting an informative webinar with Celona to demystify deployment within the enterprise on March 9- REGISTER HERE.

Cloud Services (Rhett Dillingham) 

  • N/A


  • Storage- (Steve McDowell) 
    • Infrastructure earnings are coming out for 4Q2020, and it seems like there's a rebound happening in the storage sector. We're still waiting on HPE's earnings (due out on 3/2), but the overall picture from Pure Storage, NetApp, and Dell Technologies seems to show that 4Q was flat-to-slightly up year/year and was a big bump sequentially.  The big winners so far are Pure and NetApp, both of whom showed growth and beating consensus.  Pure Storage's CEO Charlie Giancarlo told us that he sees good stabilization in the storage market, and things will be close to normal by mid-year. I.T. organizations have reignited stalled digital transformation projects and have figured out how to work in the new normal. 
    • Dell Technologies's storage earnings were down slightly in Q4, but then we shouldn't look at that as a disappointment.  The key indicators are all ticking in the right direction. Dell's midrange PowerStore, launched with bad-timing just as the pandemic took hold, has lagged through the year.  In Q4, Dell saw the product more than quadruple in sales.  That bodes well for the product.  Given the strength demonstrated by Pure and NetApp in mid-range all-flash, it looks like it might be an excellent first half.
    • Here's one to watch:  Pliops is an Israeli startup that thinks they've figured out how to improve flash storage performance by 100X (that's not a typo) while reducing the flash controller's power consumption.  It might be onto something if you judge by its investors. This past week the company closed a $65M C-round backed by both Intel and NVIDIA. Pliops has also recently recruited Mellanox founder Eyal Waldman to its board.  NVIDIA has its eyes on this space, as its Mellanox DPUs are directly aiming towards disruption in the storage space, and, of course, Intel has its stake in the flash memory business.        
  • Networking- (Will Townsend) 
    • I spoke with Cisco's head of product development Todd Nightingale this week to learn about the company's efforts to lean into its portfolio to deliver Covid-19 vaccine delivery solutions for Renown Health in northern Nevada. Cisco is leveraging Wi-Fi 6, location-based service platform DNA Spaces, Meraki MV smart cameras, and a broad IoT portfolio. Cisco helps manage social distancing and accelerate vaccination delivery while ensuring its integrity with needed temperature monitoring and control.
  • Server- (Matt Kimball) 
    • N/A

FinTech (Melody Brue)

  • At the February 24 American Banker's Forum on How venture capital sees Fintech Now, there was a heavy focus on how extensive Fintech is, how themes are emerging and how prices are being driven up in V.C. investments due to creating value in a thematic approach. Fintech valuations and SPACs are off the charts, but the recent comparison to the internet bubble is not on par, given there is the true market value being created. 
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified this week on Capitol Hill before the Senate Banking Committee. He says the Digital dollar is a "high-priority project for us."
  • The crypto world has been a laboratory experiment for these ideas, so the timing is no surprise with the recent jump in crypto – both in attention and value – as well as private sector banking innovation. 
  • In terms of use cases, it's a wide net. Anywhere a cash transaction happens now could become digital, opening up financial inclusion for the banked and unbanked – modernizing infrastructure to reach those underserved should be a driver of development.
  • At this point, dollars are already traded electronically, including privately issued currency, but a uniform currency is far more efficient. Imagine a small business having to transact in cash, digital dollars, Bitcoin, Ethereum: that's a transactional nightmare for them, even removed from the volatility of crypto's wild price swings.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee held an hours-long hearing examining what happened with the GameStop and other meme stock bubble burst. At the Congressional hearing – where Fintech had to answer voters, not investors, the companies and hedge funds were grilled. However, the main target of questioning was aimed at Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev and focused on the app's decision to halt certain stocks' trading and how it "gamifies" stock trading. Over 50 members of the House of Representatives participated. A large focus was placed on the lack of customer service that fintech apps have. Alex Kearns, a 20-year-old Robinhood user who thought he had lost $730,000 on the app, died by suicide in June 2020 after trying to reach someone at the company multiple times. Although Robinhood was sued and has paid reparations, the latest trade halting, and accompanying issues have brought the matter back to light. The fact is that when people have problems with their money, they want to talk to a real person about it, and fintech apps have fallen short on customer service. Congress concluded not much from the hearing, but it is the first of many. 
  • As I mentioned, it was close to happening last week; the value of Bitcoin hit $50K this week for the first time and is now trading at just over $54K, as the cryptocurrency's market value surpassed $1 trillion.

Home Automation/ Smart Home (Mark Vena) 

  • Why console gamers are upgrading in a big way: the latest Call of Duty game collection may now be too big to fit the base 500GB PlayStation 4 hard drive. According to the official Call of Duty blog, if you want to have the latest Call of Duty: Warzone update and the full Black Ops: Cold War and Modern Warfare package on your PS4, you'll have to uninstall content you don't use. To be fair, PS4 Pros and the newer PS4 Slim have all come with a 1 T.B. hard drive since 2017, so it should be able to have the full experience.
  • You just don't see these types of problems on Windows-based PCs: Apple is once again releasing an update to prevent a charging problem from killing MacBooks.  This time, it's to fix a problem where 2019 and later MacBook Pros, and 2020 and later MacBook Airs were being damaged when connected to third-party USB-C hubs and docks. Most of the issues seemed to come from using a third-party dock, and while some of them seem to be from pretty obscure brands, there are a few recognizable ones reported to have killed laptops. For its part, Apple calls them "non-compliant powered USB-C hubs and docks" in the new update's notes.
  • Google T.V., the search giant's latest attempt at T.V. software, will include a new "Basic T.V." mode that strips out a T.V.'s smart features in favor of providing simple access to live T.V. and HDMI inputs. It's a potential boon to anyone that ever wanted to dumb-down its smart T.V. because it prefers an external streamer or because it values privacy. Google T.V. debuted on the new Chromecast, where it offered a new interface built on Google's existing Android T.V. software, but will soon be offered as built-in software for TCL and Sony's upcoming T.V.s. 
  • Smart home users deserve better: iRobot, the maker of the robotic Roomba vacuums, has confirmed to The Verge that a software update has been causing issues for some users of its i7 and s9 robots working on another one to prevent future problems. The catch? It might be a bit before things get sorted out, with iRobot expecting the update to roll out "over the next several weeks.
  • Microsoft is announcing two new versions of Office today: a consumer Office 2021 version and Office LTSC for commercial customers. Office 2021 will be available later this year for both Windows and macOS. Like the previous Office 2019 release, it's designed for those who don't want to subscribe to the cloud-powered Microsoft 365 variants. Don't expect any significant U.I. changes here, either. The dark mode is the apparent change visually, but Microsoft will still focus most of its interface and cloud-powered features on the Microsoft 365 versions of Office first.
  • The Apple T.V. app is now available for Google's 2020 Chromecast. Owners of the excellent low-cost ($50) device can download Apple T.V. and start using it.
  • The next major update to Windows 10, version 21H1, will be delivered in the first half of 2021 and focuses on improving remote work scenarios. Microsoft traditionally provides two significant Windows updates per year, with the most prominent features dropping in the spring and a smaller update in the fall. While I.T. admins are used to this approach, Microsoft appears to be reversing this cadence for 2021.
  • More than a "bit" surprising: the world's largest phone show, Mobile World Congress, moves forward with an in-person event in June, despite the risks that it could turn into a Covid-19 superspreader event.  Over 100,000 people usually attend MWC. John Hoffman, the GSM Association CEO (which organizes the show), says those numbers will be scaled back. He is expecting that approximately 50,000 people will travel to Barcelona.
  • Brydge has announced a new firmware update for its Pro Plus iPad keyboards (one of my favorite iPad accessories) that promises to improve the trackpad experience hugely. The update brings "native" multitouch to the trackpads, meaning you can use the same kind of multi-finger gestures on a Brydge device like Apple's own Magic Keyboard.

IIoT and IoT (Bill Curtis)

  • N/A

Machine Learning/ Artificial Intelligence (Paul Smith-Goodson) 

  • As A.I. models continue to grow in complexity, energy consumption grows with it. IBM has developed a new class of energy-efficient A.I. accelerators that increase compute power without requiring too high energy. IBM presented at ISSSCC 2021 the world's first silicon chip that incorporates ultra-low precision hybrid FP8 (HFP8) formats for training deep-learning models in silicon technology node. Expanding on its previous research, IBM has reduced precision formats to 8-bit for training and 4-bits for inference. This is a prototype chip, and I am awaiting the publication of a paper for further evaluation.

Personal Computing/ Collaboration (Anshel Sag) 

  • According to Facebook, over 60 different titles for the Quest platform have earned revenue over $1 million; this is compared to 35 in only September of last year. Additionally, six titles have earned over $10M+ which did not exist back in September of 2020, and over ten titles earned over $5M+
  • DARPA has begun a 5G open-source stack project in partnership with the Linux Foundation, which I assume can only be to help standardize 5G software more consistently to ensure better interoperability and competition
  • T-Mobile's 5G S.A. network has significantly improved rural area coverage and reliability with its 600 MHz band. Latencies in urban and rural areas saw significant decreases as well. 
  • NVIDIA's new RTX 3060 GPU will be firmware and driver limited by 50% in Crypto mining to encourage miners to buy NVIDIA's mining-only GPUs so that it does not buy up gaming graphics card supplies to run its farms. However, this may anger many gamers and miners even though it may improve the gaming graphics card supply

Quantum Computing (Paul Smith-Goodson)

  • Since this story has appeared in several other places, I'll mention that IoQ talks to raise funds through a SPAC. If this happens, it will be the first quantum computing public offers. It is likely to spur similar actions by a few startups.  Pretty exciting stuff, in my opinion, and will be the demarcation that moves quantum from mostly pure research to commercialization.
  • QML is at the forefront of discovering cancer treatment biomarkers. Crown Bioscience, JSR Life Sciences, and Cambridge Quantum Computing have formed a partnership to explore the use of quantum computing to identify multi-gene biomarkers for oncology drug testing. CrownBio is the domain expert with data accumulated from preclinical and translational research, while CQC has expertise in quantum algorithms and  QML. The idea is for CQC to develop algorithms that can examine Crown's historical and current genetic data for cancer treatment biomarkers. Based on similar quantum applications, the probability of success is high.
  • Quantum Computing (QCI) has announced an application accelerator branded as Qatalyst. It is available as an API that allows developers to create quantum applications at an abstract level higher than the existing low-level tools.  The APIs also will enable developers to incorporate Qatalyst into workflows. This will provide quantum-lite users access to complex math problems.  Qatalyst supports superconducting, trapped ion, and quantum annealing systems.
  • NEC Corporation and an Austrian startup called ParityQC are partnering to solve optimization problems on Parity's proprietary operating system, ParityOS. NEC will be using ParityQC architecture for its superconducting quantum platform. NEC believes it will be able to develop scalable quantum annealers by 2023 that will be able to solve complex and large-scale combinatorial optimization problems in such sectors as financial portfolio optimization and manufacturing logistics and planning. ParityOS is hardware agnostic and can be used on superconducting atoms, trapped ions, and quantum dot platforms.
  • Samsung is continually researching battery technology for its Galaxy phones, tablets, and other devices. It recently partnered with Honeywell Quantum Solutions and researchers from Imperial College London to see how quantum could be used for battery research. Honeywell's Model H1, a trapped ion quantum computer, was used to run very deep circuits with up to 100 two-qubit gates. Running a  circuit that deep is impressive and used to model a simulation of dynamics in an interacting spin model to examine magnetism. Professor Kim said the Honeywell system performed well, and the data gathered successfully aligned with its expectations for the model. 

Security (Chris Wilder)

  • N/A

Columns Published (Forbes, UPLOAD VR, and others)        

  1. IBM Smoothing The Road To Hybrid Cloud With Expanded Red Hat Capabilities On IBM Power Systems, by Patrick Moorhead
  2. HP Inc. Acquires HyperX PC Gaming Accessories Maker For $425M, by Patrick Moorhead
  3. NVIDIA Attempts To Improve Gaming Card Supply With Two Big Actions, by Patrick Moorhead
  4. What I Still Wish The M1-Based MacBooks Could Do, by Patrick Moorhead
  5. Surprise! The Samsung S21 Ultra Is Great For The Enterprise, Too, by Patrick Moorhead
  6. Cisco Seeks To Enable An Inclusive Covid-19 Recovery, by Will Townsend
  7. Pure Storage's Steady Hand: Fiscal Q4 And Product Updates, by Steve McDowell
  8. How Qualcomm Plans To Make AR Viewers Smarter And More Useful, by Anshel Sag
  9. Spring Forward With These Smart Home Gift Ideas, by Mark Vena
  10. IBM Adds Future Developer And Software Details To Its Quantum Roadmap, by Paul Smith-Goodson

Blogs Published (MI&S)                                                              

  1. Qualcomm Drops 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report, by Patrick Moorhead
  2. Oracle Is Now Bringing The Cloud To The Enterprise Edge, by Patrick Moorhead
  3. A New Look Inside The Brain Of Qualcomm's Licensing Head, by Patrick Moorhead
  4. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro One Month In Review: A Solid Step Up, by Patrick Moorhead
  5. NI Launches Far-Reaching Initiative To Change The Face Of Engineering, by Patrick Moorhead
  6. Box Gets Into The Digital Signature Game With SignRequest Acquisition, by Patrick Moorhead
  7. Qualcomm Revs Its Engines At Its Automotive Redefined Event, by Patrick Moorhead
  8. Poly Fills The Enterprise-Consumer Collaboration Device Gap With Poly Studio P Series, by Patrick Moorhead
  9. Kraft Heinz Company Delivers A Taste Of The Future With A Transformational Data Hub, by Patrick Moorhead
  10. My Apple M1 Mac Mini Purchase After 90 Days: Any Regrets? By Mark Vena
  11. IBM Upgrades Entry Enterprise Flash Storage, by Steve McDowell
  12. GameStopped: Trading App Fiasco Shows "Free Trades" Does Not Mean Trading Freely, by Melody Brue
  13. Connectivity Powers Tractor Supply Company's Success, by Will Townsend

Research Paper

  • N/A


The G2 on 5G by Moor Insights & Strategy, with Anshel Sag and Will Townsend

  • Episode 40 - February 26, 2021
    • FCC overhauls broadband coverage maps to address the digital divide in the U.S. -  will 5G FWA play a role?
    • New T-Mobile MAX and 55+ Unlimited 5G Plans
    • Making sense of the CBand auction - a recap of Will's RCR Wireless Analyst Angle contribution - Verizon rings in at $45B+
    • GSMA Says China will reach 822 million 5G Subscribers by 2025
    • DARPA and the Linux Foundation collaborate to accelerate 5G deployment for the U.S. federal government  
    • The FCC is considering another mid-band auction, this time at 3.45 GHz (100 MHz)

DataCentric Podcast by Moor Insights & Strategywith Matt Kimball and Steve McDowell

  • Commvault CEO Sanjay Mirchandani – Guest Sanjay Mirchandani, CEO, Commvault
    • A unique perspective on the data management and data protection market and how Commvault's strategy aligns with that vision.
    • The new realities of a hybrid/multi-cloud world, re-thinking business continuity in the wake of Covid-19, why storage is critical to data protection, and how Commvault is thinking about the future.
  • Inside Pure Storage's FlashBlade and FlashArray Announcements
    • Pure Storage vice presidents Amy Fowler and Scott Baker talk about what's happening in enterprise storage and changing with Pure's latest release. Amy is Pure's vice president for strategy and solutions in Pure Storage's FlashBlade business, while Scott is the vice president of product marketing for Pure's FlashArray Portfolio. 
    • The participants discuss why FlashBlade is a "Unified Fast File & Object" (UFFO) solution and what makes it different from traditional storage technologies. We talk about where FlashBlade fits and why. 

SmartTechCheck Podcast by Moor Insights & Strategywith Mark Vena

  • N/A

The Six-Five Podcast by Moor Insights & Strategy and Futurum Research, with Patrick Moorhead and Daniel Newman

  • Tech Stonks and Earnings
    • NVIDIA Bifurcates Gaming and Crypto Cards
    • QCOM Fixed Wireless
    • M1 MacBooks Versus Latest Intel Evo Notebooks
    • New Adds to Amazon Sustainability Pledge
    • Google Pays and FaceBook Blocks Australia Media
    • Austin Storms Disrupt Samsung, Infineon, NXP
  • Game or Mine Ethereum‪?
    • NVIDIA Bifurcates Gaming and Crypto Cards
    • QCOM Fixed Wireless
    • M1 MacBooks Versus Latest Intel Evo Notebooks
    • New Adds to Amazon Sustainability Pledge
    • Google Pays and FaceBook Blocks Australia Media
    • Austin Storms Disrupt Samsung, Infineon, NXP

Moor Insights & Strategy Podcast

Press Citations: 

  1. Apple, Mac clones/ Medium:
  2. Celona, Inseego / StreetInsider Townsend)
  3. Celona, Inseego / Marketwatch (Will Townsend)
  4. China, chip shortage/ The Sun:
  5. Chips, PS5, Xbox / The Gamer
  6. Dell, 5G / Austin American Statesman
  7. Dell, Earnings / Siliconangle (Steve McDowell)
  8. GSMA, Mobile World Congress (Anshel Sag)/ PC Mag:
  9. GSMA, Mobile World Congress (Anshel Sag)/ SDX Central:
  10. IBM, Cloud / TechTarget
  11. Intel, Open Ran, 5G / (Will Townsend)
  12. Intel, outlook/ GuruFocus:
  13. Network virtualization (Will Townsend)/ SDX Central:
  14. Nutanix, Earnings / (Steve McDowell)
  15. NVIDIA, Gaming / Venturebeat
  16. NVIDIA, Earnings / Silicon Angle
  17. Pure Storage, Netapp, Cloud / Silicon Angle (Steve McDowell)
  18. Samsung / Austin American Statesman


New Gear or Software We are Using and Testing that is Public Knowledge 

  • Apple MacBook Pro 13" M1, MacBook Air M1, MacBook Mini M1, iPhone 12 mini 
  • Cash App's Crypto Boost
  • Dell XPS 13 EVO laptop
  • EK-Quantum Power Kit RX 6800/6900 D-RGB P360 - AMD Edition
  • HP Spectre EVO 13 laptop
  • Huawei P40 Pro 
  • IBM Qiskit software
  • Intel ATX12VO motherboard & PSU
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Razer EVO laptop
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, S21, and S21 Ultra
  • Sony blogger camera
  • TCL 10 5G U.W.
  • Xbox Series X 

 Events MI&S Plans on Attending In-Person or Virtually (New) 

  • March 2021
    • Intel Desktop Processor and Gaming Briefing, March 2 (Mark Vena)
    • Microsoft Ignite, March 2-4 (Anshel Sag, Patrick Moorhead)
    • Qualcomm Science of Sound March 4 (Anshel Sag)
    • Samsung V.X. Live, March 4 (Patrick Moorhead)
    • MIT FinTech Conference 2021, March 5-6 (Melody Brue)
    • VMware Analyst Summit, March 8 (Patrick Moorhead)
    • Verizon Investor Day, March 10 (Will Townsend)
    • T-Mobile Analyst Day, March 11 (Will Townsend)
    • AT&T Analyst Day, March 12 (Will Townsend)
    • Cisco LIVE, March 30 (Patrick Moorhead, Will Townsend)
    • CCA Mobile Carriers Show,  March 30-31 (Will Townsend)
  • April 2021
    • Quantum Tech, April 12-14 (Paul Smith-Goodson)


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The Team 

Analysts and Analysts In-Residence

  1. Patrick Moorhead, Founder, President, Principal Analyst; Broad technology coverage and deep insights into Cloud & SaaS, IoT, Personal Computing, Semiconductors, Automotive 
  2. Bill Curtis, Analyst In-Residence, IIoT, and Deep IoT Technology 
  3. Rhett Dillingham, Senior Analyst, Cloud Services 
  4. Matt Kimball, Senior Analyst, Datacenter Servers, CI, and HCI 
  5. Melody Brue, Senior Analyst, Financial Tech
  6. Steve McDowell, Senior Analyst, Datacenter Storage, and Storage Technologies 
  7. Anshel Sag, Senior Analyst; V.R., P.C. Gaming, Mobile Platforms 
  8. Paul Smith-Goodson, Senior Analyst; Machine Learning, A.I. and Quantum Computing 
  9. Will Townsend, Senior Analyst; Carrier Equipment and Services, DC Networking 
  10. Chris Wilder, Senior Analyst, Security 
  11. Mark Vena, Senior Analyst, Smart Home, and Home Security 


  1. Dan Pickens, Business Director 
  2. Paula Moorhead, Marketing Director, Website, and Social Media 
  3. Walker Pickens, Media Relations, and Writer 
  4. Zane Pickett, Office Manager, A.P., AR, travel, writer 
  5. Lee LeClercq Williams, Business Associate 
Patrick Moorhead
+ posts

Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.