Europe has seen a bleak view of the PC market with shipments falling by 20 percent year on year.
That’s the latest from Context, which said that the first quarter of 2013 saw the drop with the steepest decrease occurring in Central and Eastern Europe.
The research company said these areas were most hit as a result of continued inventory weaknesses in Russia, which contributed to a decline of 23 percent for the region over the first quarter of this year compared to last year.
Russia itself saw PC shipments drop by 29.1 percent followed by Poland with a drop of 19.1 percent.
Over in Western Europe the picture wasn’t any brighter with figures showing a decline of 22 percent and almost every country registering double-digit falls including Spain at one end with a fall of 35.2 percent and the UK at the other with a drop of 16.6 percent.
The Middle East and Africa however, had a better quarter, with a lesser decrease of 11 percent recorded including Turkey where shipments fell by only two percent.
However, the future remains bleak with the company projecting a similar trend for Q213 with inventory continuing to be an issue in certain countries.
It said vendors were expected to act cautiously with their sell-in levels to avoid excess stock accumulations especially prior to the third quarter back to school period.
App-Connected vehicles could reach 20 percent of consumer cars in Western Europe and North America by 2017, research has suggested.
In its latest report into this sector, Juniper Research said the trend will be driven by new standards, stereos, head units and high smartphone ownership, which could fuel around 90 million connected cars within the next five years.
It added that the success of new standards such as MirrorLink will be instrumental in creating the foundations for the connected car ecosystem to flourish.
Although traditional embedded telematic services will go some way to pushing this trend, Juniper said that smartphone tethering and in-vehicle Apps would be the key drivers, and have a knock on effect on the price of vehicle manufacturers’ own embedded telematics infotainment services.
“Sky-high smartphone ownership and a standardised approach to integrating apps into the vehicle head-unit mean that the barriers to making the connected car a reality have all but gone,” said the report’s author Anthony Cox.
However he pointed out that there would be negative factors holding back the growth and that was slow development of the new vehicle market in developed economies.
A beer spanning back from 170 years ago will be reproduced using modern techniques.
Booze boffins at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have set their sights on reproducing a beer that was found preserved in five bottles at the bottom of a Baltic Sea shipwreck.
They have now cracked open these bottles, which were rescued in 2010 from a shipwreck that is believed to have sunk in the Åland archipelago southwest of Finland in the 1840s, and are analysing the contents in a bid to recreate the original recipe for modern industrial production methods.
The beer, we doubt it was drinkable, was preserved as a result of the wreck’s darkness and low seabed temperatures. The salt water was kept at bay as a result of the pressure inside the corks.
Once the boffins have deciphered the formula and made a recipe, they will hand it over to the Stallhagen brewery of Åland for reproduction and sales.
It is thought that drinkers will be able to get their hands on the brew from June 2014 with all profits given to charities focusing on the sea and environment.
Touch-screen Windows 8 portable PCs are still failing to cut the mustard in Europe with cpeople preferring to spend their cash on tablets.
That’s the latest from IT market research company Context, which has said that this could lie in the fact that at the October Windows 8 launch last year, there was no significant support from leading hardware vendors for touch screens in portable PCs.
It added that at the time only 1.1 percent of all the Windows 8 portable PCs selling through distribution at the time of the launch were touch screen-enabled. By the end of January this year, this had only risen to 2.4 percent, while tablet sales had increased “significantly” over the same period.
However, the momentum is still upbeat with hardware vendors surveyed by Context claiming that they are anticipating some uptake in sales of touch screen enabled portable PCs by the third quarter of 2013 in time for the end of year holiday season.
The company warned that with the price of 15-inch and higher touch screens still expensive, making the portables a high-priced item, the cheaper tablets could potentially dampen touch screen sales.