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Market Trends - Stats

Gartner: Hybrid PCs on the Up

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Gartner: Hybrid PCs on the Up

Global hybrid device shipments are to reach 21.5 million in 2015 Gartner reports, a 70% increase over 2014 as customers find the combination of portability, productivity and flexibility increasingly attractive.

The "hybrid" category covers ultramobile/2-in-1 tablets and so-called hybrid ultramobiles (2-in-1 detachables and convertibles). According to the analyst hybrid utramobiles are the fastest growing mobile PC segment, with 77% shipment growth on 2015 shipments reaching 13.5m units. Meanwhile ultramobile tablet shipments should reach 8m.

Gartner adds hybrids account for 12% of 2015 mobile PC shipments, a figure set to reach 26% in 2019. The device category has seen non-stop growth since 2012, and as such 2019 sales are expected to reach 58m, up from 12.6m in 2014.

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Virtual Reality: The $4bn Opportunity

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Virtual Reality: The $4bn Opportunity

Virtual reality might bring about a very real business opportunity, CSS Insight reports, as the analyst predicts augmented and virtual reality devices are set to become a $4 billion market by 2018.

The forecast adds VR/AR hardware sales will reach 2.5 million in 2015 before growing to over 24m by 2018-- with virtual reality headset sales reaching 12m in 2017 while augmented reality smart glasses sales will be worth $1.2bn in the same year.

CSS Insight insists augmented and virtual reality are different technologies (VR involves immersive experiences, AR enhances the "real" world), but each has potential for "transformative" experiences. VR has the most near-future potential, since it has the weight several industry giants, including Facebook, Google, Sony and HTC, pushing gaming and general entertainment applications. However AR arguably has the most long-term potential, since it involves lower overall costs.

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Gartner: Cellular-Embedded Devices on the Up

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Gartner: Cellular-Embedded Devices on the Up

Mobile internet is not just for smartphones, Gartner says-- cellular-embedded mobile PC, tablet and mobile hot spot device shipments are up by 5.6% to 112 million in 2015 as demand for always-on internet connectivity drives further adoption.

"Mobile access is not just about smartphones," the analyst remarks. "Consumers and business users alike want to connect multiple mobile devices to the Internet at an affordable cost or at an acceptable data rate."

The growing number of non-smartphone devices-- and resultant connection needs-- represent, of course, an opportunity for vendors, retailers and telcos. Some companies are even going for collaborations, such as the case of HP, Qualcomm and T-Mobile, who offer a 200MB of free data monthly with the 4G-enabled HP Stream Book 13.

Global cellular-embedded mobile PC (notebooks and premium ultramobiles) should grow from 1.8m to 4.9m from 2014 through 2019, with penetration growing from 1.3% to 2.7% of total mobile PCs. Such totals should remain relatively low, as the majority of mobile PCs find desk-based use, and such tend to have fixed broadband access. However Gartner points out an opportunity in premium ultramobiles, which tend to be preferred by frequent travellers willing to pay extra for easy internet access.

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Gartner: Devices to Reach 2.5 Billion

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Gartner: Devices to Reach 2.5 Billion

Global combined device (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) shipments will reach 2.5 billion in 2015, Gartner reports-- a 2.8% increase over 2014 as market revenues drop by -7.2% to $226 billion.

The PC market sees a -2.4% shipment decline in 2015, reaching 306 million units.

"The fall in PC purchases is primarily due to expected price increases by vendors in Europe and other regions, which is forced by local currency depreciation against the dollar," the analyst says. "The currency squeeze is forcing PC vendors to increase their prices in order to remain profitable and, as result, it is suppressing purchases. We expect businesses will delay purchases of new PCs, and consumers will delay or 'de-feature' their purchases. However, this reduction in purchasing is not a downturn, it is a reshaping of the market driven by currency."

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IDC: W. European Mobile Market Reaches Saturation

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IDC: W. European Mobile Market Reaches Saturation

According to IDC the W. European mobile phone market fails to grow in 2014, making for a 2nd consecutive year of shipment declines-- a clear sign of saturation as overall 2014 shipments drop by -5.2% to 174.1 million units.

The feature phone segment is worst hit, with shipments dropping by 39% to 28.4m units and revenues worth $1.4 billion. IDC describes feature phones as nothing less than a niche segment, one representing just 16% of 2014 shipments and 2.2% of total market value.

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