Tag: dodo

There is “no reason to believe” in tablets

Dodo-birdTablets have gone the way of the Dodo and the hula hoop according to bean counters at Canalys.

The analyst said that in Q2 of this year, global shipments slumped 11 percent annually to 42.5 million units. Shipments in all global regions fell annually in the quarter, and the outlook for the months ahead is not positive.

There is “no reason to believe that growth will return in the short term,” the analyst said.

The market has been killed off by a move to large-screen mobiles and the fact that larger devices will have to compete against a range of two-in-one devices optimised for Windows 10.

Canalys’ senior analyst Tim Coulling insists that the market may not be dead, but might just be resting. He suggests nailing it to its perch in case it goes Vrooom.

“Despite the sudden downturn in shipments, tablets are certainly here to stay,” he said. “Yes, they have matured and commoditised quickly, but there are still opportunities for vendors to profit from the category.

“Unlike consumers, businesses have been slow when it comes to mass adoption of tablets. They are willing to spend more on products that satisfy a specific need and meet key requirements, around durability for example. In the consumer space, demand for premium tablets in established markets has noticeably slowed but is not going to disappear.”

LG kills off Plasma TVs

additional-oxford-dodo-bookLG will end the production of plasma display televisions by end-November in order to focus its efforts on liquid crystal display and OLED televisions.

LG Electronics said in a regulatory filing the decision reflects a decline in demand for plasma televisions. The move was widely expected as LCD TVs have become the mainstay product in the global market while Plasma has become the Betamax of the telly world.

It is not the only company that thinks that plasma is a Norwegian Blue. Samsung SDI, a sister company of LG’s TV rival Samsung , also said in July that it will shut down its plasma panel production business by Nov. 30 due to the decline in overall demand.

The first prototype for a plasma display monitor was invented in July 1964 at the University of Illinois by professors Donald Bitzer and Gene Slottow. However, it was not until after the advent of digital and other technologies that successful plasma televisions became possible. Plasma display is an emissive flat panel display where light is created by phosphors excited by a plasma discharge between two flat panels of glass.

While many companies have successfully manufactured different sizes of plasma displays through early 2000, during 2006 through 2008, Panasonic came out with a 103 inch plasma display, which is the third largest display of plasma in the world, and it was marketed by Jumbo Electronics in Dubai.

By 2006 plasma TVs were overtaken by the LCDs, but in the 40-inch series and above slice, plasma displays had established the control over the market share. It was considered that LCD technology was most suited to small size televisions only while the plasma technology was highly competitive in larger sizes, especially in 40-inches and above.

That changed as bigger LCD screens proved just as good and cheaper.


Sony kills ebook reader

additional-oxford-dodo-bookSony has confirmed that it will not make any more eBook readers, not even in Japan where it can still sell them.

There will never be such a gizmo with the catchy title PRS-T4 and the Sony Reader PRS-T3 will be sold until it runs out. Since that was launched last autumn and only in the EU, Sony could not have have many left.

Sony pioneered the idea of an E-ink ereader in 2004 when it launched the Sony Librie in 2004.

The company worked with E-ink and Toppan Printing Co of Japan for several years to develop the first generation of the 6″ screen which was used in the Librie, and later the Sony Reader, Kindle, Nook, and other ereaders.

Sony released the first 6″ screen, it also followed it up with several cutting edge devices. It was also the first to adopt Epub, and to combine an E-ink screen with a touchscreen and a frontlight.

But Sony was largely aced by the Nook-Kindle price war in June 2010 and lost out in the price drop that followed.


Inkjet market going the way of the Dodo

Dodo-birdIt is starting to look like inkjets are going the way of the Dodo and the Rubik’s Cube.

Figures from Context show that all-in-one inkjet sales in the UK slid 11.8 percent by volume in 2012. That figure is better than the rest of the EU where all-in-one inkjet sales fell by 14 per cent.

Wireless versions of InkJets are doing slightly better because they are popular in homes and small offices because they can be located easily, connecting to multiple devices without cabling.

As you might expect, HP is still the leading vendor of wireless all-in-one inkjets, although Epson and Canon are doing a little better. However, the InkJet market has been looking shaky for a year.

In August Lexmark announced that it was pulling out of the market completely. Lexmark made its name on the “flog a cheap printer make your money back on the ink” model which was pioneered by HP. The fact that it left the market was seen as the beginning of the end. If Lexmark could kill off an entire business, unit sales numbers must have been dramatically bad.

Other companies have been seeing the writing on the wall for about three years. Consumer inkjet sales were proving so bad that it was better to try and flog the technology to corporate. Epson spent a fortune on its WorkForce high-end inkjets and did OK. HP, which has pitched its products to the business market for years, should have been doing fine too.

However, HP CEO Meg Whitman blamed part of the company’s recent and dismal earnings announcement as a steep decline in HP printer sales. She said that this lack of interest from consumers meant HP was going to de-emphasise products for lower-end customers. It seems business customers are no longer that interested either.

It is not quite so clear why the inkjet market has been so completely gutted. There have been moves to claim that the low end market and the consumer space have become completely paperless. Pictures which once would have been printed are now saved and shared across the net. Hard copy is less likely to be needed.

Some of that might be true, but the cost and quality of laser printing has also dropped. Cartridges require filling less often and are frequently cheaper than inkjets. Mostly it is because in the consumer market inkjet sales were tied to PC sales. Cheap inkjets were often sold as packages with PCs.

It also might indicate that there was a gradual realisation among consumers that inkjets really are a waste of cash in the long term. While the high-end inkjet technology was good, particularly for photographs, most of the great unwashed would not pay over £250 for a decent inkjet with all the sub-$100 models floating around. The cheap and nasty machines poisoned the market for the others.