A report said there were large falls in shipments of notebooks in January and February.
Digitise Research said that shipments for the five multinational brands and the top three manufacturers – original design manufacturers – fell by 13 percent and 18 percent in February.
One major reason, the analysts say is because there are high levels of stocks of models intended for home use left over from last year. Fluctuations in exchange rates also caused a decline in sale.
However, it appears that Hewlett Packard managed to buck the trend and in February its notebook shipments rose by 30 percent. It had managed to make adjustments to its overstock and also made significant sales of units for the educational market to India.
Lenovo fell behind HP in the top five, but it was Acer and Asustek which really took a hit, with falls in shipments of as much as 40 percent, Digitimes Research said.
The ODMs, who make notebooks to be rebranded by others, also saw their shipments fall during the period.
Only 221.4 million tablets will ship worldwide this year – a drop of 11.9 percent compared to 2014.
That’s according to Digitimes Research (DR), which predicts that Apple will continue to take the lead, managing to ship over 54 million units this year. While this sounds healthy, that’s a predicted decline of 16/6 percent.
The so-called “white box” market will see the biggest decline, with a drop of 20 percent. Margins on these products are super slim.
DR gives estimates for the different vendors’ shares of the market – with Apple accounting for 24.5 percent, Samsung 16.3 percent, Lenovo 5.3 percent, Asustek 4.2 percent, Google 1.7 percent, Acer 1.7 percent, and Amazon only 1.6 percent.
Meanwhile, a report in Chinese language Economic Daily News said that Amazon has cut orders of tablets, sourced by Compal and Quanta by as much as 30 percent.
Compaq has the lion’s share of Amazon tablet business, churning out 80 percent of them compared to Quanta’s 20 percent, the Economic Daily News said.
Sales of notebooks
during the fourth quarter of 2014 amounted to 46 million units.
That’s according to Digitimes Research, which said in a report that shipments were flat compared to the same quarter in 2013.
Of the notebooks shipped, Taiwanese original design manufacturers (ODMs) shipped 36.6 million, representing nearly 80 percent of the total marketplace.
ODMs make notebooks which are then rebranded by multinationals or sold as so called “white boxes”.
The chief ODMs were Quanta with 33 percent, Compal with 31.4 percent, Wistron with 15.8 percent, Inventec with 7.5 percent and Pegatron with 6.9 percent.
Digitimes Research said HP was the number one vendor in the quarter with 23 percent market share, Lenovo second, Dell third, Asustek fourth, Acer fifth, Apple sixth, Toshiba seventh, Samsung eighth and Fujitsu ninth.
Strong orders from both the enterprise and from the retail market meant growth in notebook sales during the month of November, largely due to HP’s position in the market.
That’s according to data from Digitimes Research which claims the top five multinational vendor and Taiwanese original design manufacturers (ODMs) showed shipments growing by 10 percent in the month, following a decline in shipments in October.
All the vendors are attempting to stem the growth of tablets and smartphones and the research outfit claimed HP ordered four million notebooks from its ODM partners in the month – with Quanta, Compal, and Investec benefiting from the push by the US giant.
The researchers claim that shipments of global tablets will be in stasis for 2014, when all the figures are added up. And it also predicts sales will decline in 2015.
Digitimes Research estimates that combined shipments of notebooks and tablets will be over 350 million units in 2015 but the major vendors incuding Apple, Lenovo, Samsung, HP, Asustek, Dell and Acer will take steps to secure their positions in the marketplace.
Lenovo and Asustek are expected to release Chromebooks next year that will cost $149.
The machines will be powered by Rockchip technology and that is in the embrace of Intel for design and distributing its SoFIA chips, according to Digitimes Research.
The price will be around 25 percent less than the cheapest machine on the block – the C720 from Acer.
But the move is also likely to put Intel at loggerheads with its long time partner Microsoft, which is desperate to knock the Google Chromebook project on the head, and has lowered its licensing fees in a bid to be competitive and keep its place in the notebook market.
The research outfit thinks that both machines will use an 11.6-inch screen. The Lenovo device is likely to appear early next year.
October was always one of the months where computer vendors expected to do well.
But, according to research from Digitimes Research, shipments fell by an average of 15 percent.
The slump in shipments affected not only the branded vendors like HP, Dell and the like, but also the top three original design manufacturers (ODMs) – those are manufacturers which make unbranded machines.
The researchers believe the fall was caused because many companies released cheaper notebooks in September.
HP, in particular, suffered a decline in shipments while dell, Asustek and Lenovo also showed a fall compared to the same month in 2013.
The researchers believe that HP will see its notebook business suffer in 2015 as a result of the decision to split the company in two.
A report said that during the third quarter of 2014, shipments of tablets worldwide amounted to 63.4 million unit only one percent up from the same quarter last year.
And the impetus for Apple iPads flatlined during the third quarter, largely affected by delays in shipments, according to Digitimes Research.
White box tablets only amounted to 26.2 million during the third quarter and that’s even after Intel subsidies in an attempt to boost market share.
Samsung is the second biggest supplier but the research suggests it will take a cautious approach to shipments during 2015.
The other biggest vendors for tablets are Asustek, Lenovo, Acer, Amazon and Dell.
Most analysts say that the tablet market is close to saturation in Western Europe and in North America – and there are few compelling reasons for people to upgrade from their existing models.
It looks as if Intel will stop providing pay outs – in euphemistic terms – subsidies, for people making mobile phones using its technology.
According to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, while Intel had an apparently sparkling set of financial results recently, it is going to restrict these payouts to all but the biggest players
It is significant that despite these sparkling results, Intel’s mobile unit, as we reported yesterday, was a loss making venture. Intel beancounters don’t like making losses.
Digitimes said that Intel is concentrating on reducing costs for the bill of materials making up smartphones. The writing on the wall for Intel has been clear to the chip giant for quite some time. Vendors using ARM chips and non-Windows operating systems feel a little bit freer to pursue their own path.
According to the same report, Asustek, one of the bigger Taiwanese vendors, ordered over seven million Intel Atom processors but the level of rebates remains unclear.
Asustek will almost certainly continue getting pay offs from Intel because it’s estimated it will soak up at least fifteen million processors during the calendar year 2015.
Things continue to look less than rosy on the notebook front with shipments worldwide expected to drop in the fourth quarter of this year.
That’s according to Digitimes Research, which said the downward movement is in spite of Intel and Microsoft applying subsidies in a big to boost demand.
The report suggests that global notebook shipments will drop 4.4 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The fourth quarter always used to be a buoyant period for the PC industry, but those rules now seem to be things of the past.
Digitimes Research said that Lenovo and Asustek will do better than the rest of the pack and are expected to show growth in the quarter.
Acer will see a hit, it reports while Lenovo appears to be having some success in Europe, shipping 10 million units in the quarter.
It appears that at the consumer end of the market few have been convinced that Windows 8.1 is the bee’s knees.
Just a day after HP decided to split itself in half, a report suggests that it is the only of the top five brands to see a decline in notebook shipments in September.
Data published by Digitimes Research said that, over all, the top five vendors showed growth of 19 percent last month. Asustek managed to grow its shipments by 70 percent compared to the same month in 2013 and Lenovo managed 40 percent growth.
There are some sea changes in the market in any case, said the research arm. Samsung and Toshiba have decided to retreat from some segments of the market. Samsung, for example, has given up the ghost on Chromebook sales in Europe.
Toshiba has exited several markets including South Krea, China and Russia.
The report said that adoption of Windows 8 has been pretty patchy, but Windows 10, due to arrrive in the second half of next year, might well give Microsoft a boost on the upgrade front. People can move from Windows 8 to Windows 10 without paying any more and that’s a tacit admission that it thinks it was a flop too.
A report claimed that HTC, which has wobbled quite a bit over the last few years, is set to cooperate with Google on its next tablet.
According to Taiwanese wire, Digitimes, the two companies will jointly launch the Nexus 10 tablet.
HTC hasn’t had a great deal of success in the tablet sphere and Google has consorted with other manufacturers including Asustek and Samsung to create previous versions of Nexus tablets.
The big question is whether it is too little and too late for HTC to make progress in the tablet arena, given that there are already so many players.
Although its recent smartphones have been hailed as good bits of kit, it seems that a lack of coordination and marketing know how has prevented HTC doing as well as it should have.
KMS Components has entered administration, with Deloitte acting for the company.
The distie, which specialised in products from Asustek, Microsoft, and other big names has stopped trading, with a notification on its website saying that Deloitte names Richard Hawes and Matthew Smith are the joint administrators.
The Welsh company was operating more or less normally until yesterday.
A statement on the web site says: “Richard Michael Hawes and Matthew David Smith were appointed Joint Administrators of KMS Components Limited on 8 January 2014. The affairs, business and property of the Company are being managed by the Joint Administrators.
The Joint Administrators act as agents of the Company only and contract without personal liability.
The Joint Administrators are authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). All licensed Insolvency Practitioners of Deloitte LLP are licensed in the UK.”
There’s no word about the fate of the staff.
Windows 8.1 is unlikely to save Microsoft’s bacon and slowness in delivering an adequate OS has damaged its reputation, a report suggests.
According to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, unnamed sources in the supply chain are suggesting that there will be little or no improvement in the PC market not only this year, but into next year too.
It isn’t all Microsoft’s fault, however. Sales of PCs are in decline because people are using tablets and smartphones more.
Even though the unnamed sources think that things are looking gloomy, nevertheless a number of vendors including HP, Lenovo, Acer and Asustek are introducing devices tailored to Windows 8.1, says Digitimes, here.
IDC released figures estimating that worldwide PC shipments accounted for 81.6 million units in Q3 of 2013 – that’s a drop of 7.6 percent, compared to the previous year.
But IDC said it had expected a decline of 9.5 percent for the quarter. It said that shipments were weak in the early part of the quarter but business buys and channel intake of Windows 8.1 based systems happened in September.
IDC said emerging markets continued to be weak, while the channel and vendors were stock heavy on Ivy Bridge systems and eroded by lower priced smartphones and tablets.
Upgrades from Windows XP boosted shipments in the enterprise desktop section.
Rajani Singh, senior research analyst at IDC, said that the US market hasn’t changed that much. There may be a small increase in the fourth quarter, he said. But that will be followed “by a challenging 2014”.
In EMEA the PC market continued to decline with weak consumer demand a shift to tablets. The channel maintained lean inventories during the period.
The only bright light were “pockets of investments” despite companies still being reluctant to spend any money.
Lenovo is the top vendor and is expanding into the channel, while HP and Dell were numbers two and three. Acer and Asus both were weakened by lack of spend by consumers. Asus doesn’t have a significant corporate user base.
Asustek has cut its Q2 forecast for notebook and tablet shipments and unsurprisingly it is blaming soft demand for Windows 8 for its woes.
The company now expects its second-quarter notebook shipments to fall 10 percent sequentially to 4.23 million units. Back in May the Taiwanese outfit said it hopes to ship 4.8 million notebooks in the second quarter.
Surprisingly tablet shipments were also revised downward by 10 percent to 2.7 million units. Since Asus is moaning about Windows and it is expected to have a strong Android lineup, this may indicate that demand for Windows 8 tablets is even worse than expected – and it wasn’t very optimistic to begin with.
The gloomy figures were delivered by Asustek CFO David Chang during a shareholder meeting on Monday, but he also had a caveat. Chang pointed out that notebook and tablet shipments are poised to grow significantly in the third quarter, thanks to new product launches. Fourth quarter sales should remain flat, or see small gains. Despite the revised forecast, Chang said the company is on track to meet its original goal of shipping 20 to 25 million notebooks and 12 million tablets this year, reports Focus Taiwan.
Asustek CEO Jerry Shen also hinted at a strategic shift from PCs to tablets, which already make up 15 to 20 percent of the company’s revenue. By the second half of the year they might contribute between 20 and 30 percent, as the company managed to boost margins on tablets to a similar level to notebook margins. Shen said this was done by clever research and development, with a pinch of cost cutting.
Needless to say this is very good news for Asus, as the company already has a top notch Android tablet portfolio, from the low-end to its posh Transformer series. Cutting tablet production costs is also good news for Windows tablets in the long run, but they won’t do well this year.