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Market Trends - Stats

IDC: Personal Computing Devices on the Decline

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IDC: Personal Computing Devices on the Decline

According to IDC global shipments of what it calls personal computing devices (PCDs)-- combined traditional PCs and tablets-- are forecast to decline from 435 million units in 2016 to 418.2m by 2021, making a CAGR of -0.8%.

The forecast follows a stronger-than-expected shipments for traditional PCs in 2016. A combination of aggressive promotion in H2 2016 and a tightening component supply for notebooks helped drive stronger volume across both consumer and commercial segments in Q4. As a result, commercial notebook shipments ended on a positive note with 2% Y-o-Y growth, while consumer notebooks declined by just -1% Y-o-Y.

On the tablet side, slate shipments continue to decline as expected while detachable/hybrid devices see "dramatic" decline in Q4 2016. This is due to the segment's dependence on individual product launch cycles from the likes of Apple and Microsoft. The lack of Q4 product refreshes lead to a -26.1% Y-o-Y decline for hybrids and a "more tempered" outlook for the entire tablet market, even if IDC believes the growing popularity of hybrids will lead to a return to growth over the next 5 years.

 

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ABI: Standalone Headsets Drive VR Market

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ABI: Standalone Headsets Drive VR Market

Virtual Reality (VR) is set to "thrive off a swath of new and compelling content choices" after a content-starved market launch, ABI Research reports-- total VR device shipments are forecast to reach 110 million by 2021.

Currently mobile-reliant VR devices (such as the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream) lead the market, but the analyst predicts standalone headsets will see a 405% CAGR through 2021, compared to the 42% CAGR of mobile VR. The global market already has new players such as Royole and Pico, and many other Chinese vendors are expected to expand into VR.

“Mobile VR built a solid foundation for the overall market over the past few years, but standalone VR devices will eventually drive it,” ABI adds. “Low cost and high accessibility has, and will continue to, drive VR adoption with mobile devices and associated VR accessories. However, a trend toward standalone devices is surfacing, and will continue over the next five years until mobile and standalone VR devices see parity in terms of shipments.”

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Gartner: Flat Device Shipments for 2017!

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Gartner: Flat Device Shipments for 2017!

Gartner has no good news for the year in the global device market-- combined PC, tablet, ultramobile and mobile phone shipments appear destined to remain flat, reaching 2.3 billion, the same amount as 2016 estimates.

In addition, traditional device shipments are only projected to start growing in 2018, thanks to a "small increase" in ultramobiles and mobile phone shipments. The PC market will see a replacement cycle by 2018 to return to some growth, thanks to attractive premium ultramobile functionality and price points. In the meantime smartphones will also grow, if through customers in emerging markets replacing what is essentially their main computing device.

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Gartner: Device Shipments to Decline Again

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Gartner: Device Shipments to Decline Again

According to Gartner global combined device (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) shipments are to decline by -3% in 2016, marking a second consecutive year of decline following the -0.75% drop of 2015.

"The global devices market is not on pace to return to single-digit growth soon," the analyst says. As such growth is set to remain flat during the next 5 years, with all segments declining in 2016 except for the single-digit growth shown by premium ultramobiles and entry-level phones.

PC shipments are forecast to drop by -8% in 2016 due to a combination of the install base bottoming out and a halting replacement cycle. That said, 2016 also sees the effect of currency depreciation on the market diminish, leading to flat Q2 2016 market growth (-0.9% Y-o-Y) in W. Europe after 4 consecutive quarters of decline.

However Gartner warns the PC market will remain difficult in W. Europe following the Brexit vote. Vendors will mitigate the currency depreciation of the pound by taking advantage of a likely PC component cost drop and "de-feature" PCs to keep prices down. As a result, PC prices in the UK should increase by less than 10% in 2017.

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Gartner: PC Leaders Must Overhaul Business or Get Out!

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Gartner: PC Leaders Must Overhaul Business or Get Out!

The leading PC vendors face a "stark choice," Gartner warns-- they must either overhaul their businesses in order to adapt to an over saturated market or leave the PC market by 2020.

"The PC business model as we have traditionally known it is broken. The top 8 mobile PC vendors have gained 11% market share over the past 5 years-- from 65% in 2011 to 76% in H1 2016; but this has come at the expense of profitable revenue," the analyst says. "While this does not mean that the PC market is finished, the installed base of PCs will continue to decline over the next 5 years, with a continuing erosion of PC vendors' revenue and profit."

The analyst continues traditional means of gaining shipment share-- competing on price to stimulate demand-- will not work in the PC market of 2020. This is due to multiple factors, such as users extending PC lifetimes until end of life, the cloud replacing business applications and storage, and, most crucially, price and specification are not reason enough for users to upgrade PCs. In fact, there is only one "true differentiation," and that is "a new and better customer experience."

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IDC: Tablets to Rebound on 2018

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IDC: Tablets to Rebound on 2018

Tablets might be on the decline during 2016, but IDC has a positive report for the future-- the device category will return to growth come 2018 and continue at least until 2020, thanks to the popularity of detachable/hybrid tablets.

"Appealing to the commercial audience will be key as detachable tablets aim to take a larger piece of the traditional PC market," the analyst says. "Windows and iOS already have solid detachable offerings and with the latest version of Android, Google will also have a horse in the race as they finally offer better multitasking support and added security features."

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How to Survive in a Post-Tablet World

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How to Survive in a Post-Tablet World

As tablet shipments continue sliding vendors need to "strategise survival tactics for their product portfolios," ABI Research says-- even if room can still be found for mid-term growth.

A number of companies have managed to find different means to survive. For instance, Amazon and Huawei continue making tablet despite dwindling figures, as does Xiaomi in conjunction with a Microsoft tie-up involving Android devices with pre-installed Office and Skype.

“Amazon and Huawei may successfully buck the trend, but each company is taking a drastically different stance on how to best accomplish this,” the analyst says. “Amazon managed to move away from raising revenue through hardware to recurring digital content sales, but Huawei, and even Lenovo for that matter, are instead looking to form a wider product suite that includes tablets in addition to their legacy PC and smartphone products.”

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Gartner: Smartphone Sales Growth Down to Single Digits in 2016

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Gartner: Smartphone Sales Growth Down to Single Digits in 2016

Gartner reports global smartphone sales will show single-digit growth of 7% in 2016-- a first  marking an end to the era of double-digit smartphone growth according to the analyst.

Smartphone sales for 2016 are forecast to reach 1.5 billion units, while total mobile phone sales are set to reach 1.9bn. Also showing barely positive results is the combined device (PC, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) market, as global shipments are expected to grow by just 0.6% to 2.4bn units in 2016, with end-user spending declining by -1.6%.

"Historically, worsening economic conditions had negligible impact on smartphone sales and spend, but this is no longer the case," Gartner remarks. "China and N America smartphone sales are on pace to be flat in 2016, exhibiting 0.7% and 0.4% growth respectively."

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Gartner: User Spending on Devices to Decline in 2016

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Gartner: User Spending on Devices to Decline in 2016

Gartner predicts global end user spending on devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) will see a first decline of -0.5% in 2016, even as shipments reach 2.4 billion units, a 1.9% increase over 2015.

Such results are due to country-level economic conditions. As the analyst puts it, “vendors can no longer market their products with the mind of only targeting the mature and emerging market. Driven by economic variations the market is splitting into four categories-- economically challenged mature markets, economically stable mature markets and the same for emerging markets. Russia and Brazil will fall into the category of economically challenged emerging markets while India will be stable, and Japan will belong to the economically challenged mature market.”

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