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Market Trends - Stats

IDC: PCs Drive W. European Smart Connected Devices

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IDC: PCs Drive W. European Smart Connected Devices

According to IDC Q2 2014 W. European smart connected device (PCs, tablets and smartphones) shipments total 52.5 million units with 2.8% Y-o-Y growth, a quarter of "soft" growth and shifting device dynamics.

As the analyst puts it, Q2 2014 tablet demand is down by -12.5% Y-o-Y (reaching 7.6m units) due to longer product life cycles, as well as renewed attention to portable PCs, larger smartphones and aggressively priced low-end notebooks.

Two-in-One devices fare better, with shipments growing by 10.7% Y-o-Y.

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IDC: Smartphones Up, Tablets Slow Down

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IDC: Smartphones Up, Tablets Slow Down

According to IDC 2014 smartphone shipments are set to grow by 23.8% to 1.25 billion units while tablets and 2-in-1 devices will reach 2331 million units with 6.5% growth, down from previous predictions of 12.1% growth.

The analyst adds total smartphone volumes will total 1.8bn units with a  CAGR for the 2013-2018 period of 12.7%. Pushing such growth are emerging markets, as 2014 growth in mature territories is expected to crawl down to just 4.9%, compared to 32.4% in emerging markets.

"Mature markets have slowed considerably but still deliver strong revenues with ASPs over $400. Meanwhile, many emerging markets are still barreling along, but with ASPs of less than $250," IDC says. "The key for vendors now is to maintain a presence in the higher-margin mature markets, while establishing a sustainable presence within the fast-growing emerging markets. To enable this strategy, operating system companies are partnering with OEMs to provide low-cost handsets."

IDC expects emerging market smartphone volume will account for 73.5% of all shipments, with low-cost Android devices making 88.4% of said volume.

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Gartner: PCs Show "Relative" Revival

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Gartner: PCs Show

According to Gartner combined PC, tablet, ultramobile and mobile phone shipments will reach 2.4 billion in 2014, a 4.2% increase over 2013 with PC showing a "relative" revival as tablet shipments slow down.

"2014 will be marked by a relative revival of the global PC market," the analyst says. The PC market (covering desktops, notebooks and ultramobiles) saw 2013 declines of -9.5% , but will recover somewhat to shrink by -2.9%  in 2014.

"Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in W. Europe," Gartner continues. "This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets."

On the other hand tablets are to see "relative" slowdown in 2014, with shipments growing by 23.9% to 256m units as lower price points, not superior functionality, drive the next wave of adoption.

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Phablets to Take Over Mobile

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Phablets to Take Over Mobile

The salad days of the 3.5-inch smartphone are over BI Intelligence says-- phablets (aka smartphones with a 5-7-inch display) are taking over as the market trends towards larger quasi-tablet handsets.

According to the analyst global phablet shipments are to hit 1.5 billion in 2019 with a CAGR of 27% for the 2014-2019 period, nearly double the 15% CAGR predicted for regular smartphones over the same period. Phablets should make 59% of the 2019 smartphone market, up from 35% in 2014.

BI Intelligence adds phablets are already cannibalising global tablet sales-- and as tablet demand declines, phablet shipments should total three times as much as tablets by 2019.

How come oversized smartphones are so popular? One reason is larger displays allow for sustained on-the-go engagement on social networks and apps of the Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat variety. According to the analyst over 50% of phablet activity is tied to social networks.

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DigiTimes: Graphics Cards Shipments to Drop on Q2 2014

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DigiTimes: Graphics Cards Shipments to Drop on Q2 2014

DigiTimes reports global Q2 2014 graphics card shipments are set to fall by 30-40% Q-o-Q as vendor are suffering from excessive inventories, at least according to unnamed industry sources.

Apparently graphics card players and channel retailers are urging AMD and Nvidia should boost demand by slashing prices, but the two companies insist on reducing shipments in order to maintain profits and inventory-new shipment balance.

Further impacting graphic card sales is a drop in GPU demand for Bitcoin mining, the sources continue. Cryptocurrency production used to be a GPU-intensive activity, but a change in the difficulty of the mining process resulted in the reduction of need for GPU grunt.

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Analysts: iPad Sales in Decline?

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Analysts: iPad Sales in Decline?

The iPad is the second most important source of Apple income, following the iPhone with 20% of overall company sales. However a number of Apple analysts predict iPad sales have hit a wall and will soon go in decline.

According to Fortune 34 Apple analysts (21 Wall Street professionals and 13 amateurs) expect iPad sales declines of at least -0.7% Y-o-Y in the Q2 2014 Apple results report.

The overall consensus for Q2 2014 iPad sales sands at 19.3-19.4 million units. Some analysts are more optimistic (Asymco predicts sales of 21.8m with 12% Y-o-Y growth), while others are pessimistic (Braeburn declares sales of 15m, a -23% Y-o-Y decline).

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Gartner: combined Devices to Reach 2.5bn in 2014

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Gartner: combined Devices to Reach 2.5bn in 2014

According to Gartner as traditional PCs continue to fall and substitution from PC to tablet declines global 2014 combined device (PC, tablet, ultramobiles, mobile phones) shipments are to reach 2.5 billion units with 6.9% growth.

"Tablet substitution of notebooks will start to dissipate from this year onward as consumers and businesses align the right device with the right usage pattern," the analyst says. "As they do this, we will see where dedicated devices (such as tablets), or hybrid devices (detachable or convertible devices), fit in the overall portfolio of devices."

Meanwhile the device market saturates, meaning pressures on margins continue to increase and vendors look at different ways to cope. Either way prices will fall, even if customers also value useful device features such as better portability or connectivity.

Mobile phones remain the largest segment, with 2014 shipments reaching 1.9bn units with 4.9% growth. Gartner projects 2014 growth as coming from the lower-end premium and the higher-end basic segments. A lack of "compelling" hardware innovation only marginally extended 2013 upgrade cycles, but customers in emerging markets including MEA and E. Europe should offset weak(er) mature markets as they upgrade their devices.

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iPad Replacement: Like TVs, Not iPhones?

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iPad Replacement: Like TVs, Not iPhones?

According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) the iPad replacement cycle is more akin to Macs or TVs not iPhones, as consumers appear to stick longer to their older tablets.

The report comes from a survey of 2000 US iPhone, iPad or Mac buyers in 2013. It shows iPhones have an approximate 2-year lifespan, as tied to contract duration. Once the contract ends customers get a new model, even if the previous device was in good condition.

On the other hand iPad and Mac users tend to be loyal to their devices for longer, buying a new one only after 2-4 years. And unlike iPhone users recycling older devices via sale or trade-in services, iPad users are twice more likely to give obsolete devices to friends or family members.

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Context: Tablets Outsell Laptops in European Q4

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Context: Tablets Outsell Laptops in European Q4

European tablet sales manage to beat laptops for the first time in Q4 2013 according to Context, with sales reaching a record high of 4.5 million units to account for 57% of the combined notebook, netbook and tablet segment.

However the device segment sees plummeting growth despite such sales numbers-- growth from Q1 2013 to Q4 2014 is down from 204.5% to 39.1% due to such devices becoming increasingly commoditised.

Android leads as OS of choice, taking over 69.8% European market share with 82.2% growth. Budget 7-inch Android devices are the most popular, with Q4 2013 sales growing by 100% Y-o-Y to 1.59m units. Larger 10.1-inch (38.7% growth) and 8-inch (578% growth) tablets are also popular.

On the other hand the iPad has 28.9% share as it grows by just 2.7%. Surface Q4 2013 share remains flat at 0.9%, even if might see slow growth in the future through growing interest from the enterprise segment.

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