ABI Research said that although 2014 was “lacklustre”, it predicted that there will be solid growth during the next five years with shipments of tablets close to 290 million units in 2019.
But the growth is not for every vendor – Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Google will show year on year falls in shipments.
On the other hand, Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft and Samsung are predicted to show higher volumes in 2014.
Senior analyst Jeff Orr doesn’t have good news for Apple. He said: “Historically, Apple has counted approximately 35 percent of its iPad sales in the last calendar quarter of the year. Unless Apple can pull off a 32+ million unit quarter, sales for 2014 will be down for the first year since the iPad launched.”
He said that Apple probably shipped 68 million iPads in 2014, but managed to sell 74 million in 2013.
On the operating systems front, Android has 54 percent of branded tablets, Apple iOS has fallen to 41 percent, and Windows 8 has a meagre five percent of shipments.
Nunes said that if you can get the affordability right on flash, if you can drive it down and cross over spinning disk, people will buy it.
Flash is a far better alternative because it is faster and has better service levels and HP’s efforts to improve the cost-efficiency of its arrays are paying off.
The maker of expensive printer ink has shipped more flash capacity over the last few quarters than it has 15,000 RPM disks. These disks have historically been the medium of choice for mission-critical applications requiring fast storage. Now HP wants Flash to outsell its 10,000 RPM business and this could become a reality in a year.
An average enterprise should have the ability to deploy flash for more workloads without having to cut corners elsewhere.
Nunes said HP is also working on ways to make flash more scalable. The company’s flagship all-flash array, the 3PAR StoreServ 7450, offers 480 terabytes of raw storage capacity that can accommodate nearly 1.4 petabytes of data thanks to built-in optimization software.
Nunes said that HP’s 3PAR operating system also includes functionality that avoids the performance degradation all-flash arrays tend to suffer past a certain capacity threshold.
HP recently introduced a new add-on for its 3PAR arrays called Personas that make it possible for admins to change how information is exposed to applications with a few straightforward commands.
Personas evolved from virtualization technology with the kind of functionality and management features that users expect when managing servers. “Personas is not an emulation layer, it is not a management UI over a totally different architecture,” he said. “It’s the same thing that served up your VMware environments and KVM environments except it’s now serves up” blocks and files.
Shareholders and HP agreed to bury the hatchet so that they could sue the former owners of Autonomy. US district judge has said that such a deal was wrong because it absolves HP completely from any blame.
Judge Charles Breyer concluded in a San Francisco court filing that the shareholders appear to be relinquishing a whole universe of potential claims regarding HP governance and practices with no factual predicates that overlap the Autonomy acquisition – the subject of this litigation.
He rejected the motion for preliminary approval of the second amended settlement. Judge Breyer added that HP had abdicated its duty to ensure that shareholders’ rights were being protected.
HP bought UK data search and analysis firm Autonomy for $10 billion, but a year later it claimed it found “serious accounting improprieties” and had to write off $8.8bn from the transaction.
Autonomy has denied any wrongdoing and argued that it played by the rules and HP knew about its accounting practices prior to the buyout.
HP said it was disappointed the court did not approve the settlement as submitted, the court recognised that a settlement releasing the HP directors and officers from Autonomy-related claims ‘represents a fair and reasonable resolution of the litigation’ HP remains committed to holding the architects of the Autonomy fraud accountable.
Digitimes said that Lenovo, Huawei and Inspur are likely to ship a total of two million units in 2015, knocking Dell off the number two slot.
Earlier this year, Lenovo bought IBM’s X86 business and that means the company is likely to ship a million server boxes in 2015.
Meanwhile HP, the market intelligence firm said, will show a decline in server shipments of 10 percent this year.
By the end of next year, the combined shipments worldwide from Chinese vendors is likely to amount to nearly 20 percent.
Meanwhile, the multinationals are threatened by ODMs (original design manufacturers) like Quanta, which are squeezing the Dells and HPs of this world by selling units direct at a knockdown price.
IDC said shipments of terminal clients and thin clients amounted to 1.35 million units in the third quarter of this year, falling by 1.8 percent and bucking predictions.
While Windows XP made some move from PCs to thin clients, public projects were delayed and that accounts for the slippage.
Thin clients represent a massive 97 percent of enterprise client devices. Within the thin client umbrella, those without operating systems – so called zero clients – still hold 24.6 percent share.
The winners in the thin client race for the third quarter are HP, Dell, Ncomputing, Centerm and Igel. Of these, Dell saw growth of 16.6 percent compared to the same quarter last year, while Ncomputing’s share slumped by 44.7 percent. HP more or less held its own although its share fell 4.3 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
With revenues of $8.8 billion, up 5.1 percent from the same period last year, 25 exabytes shipped in the quarter, said IDC. Capacity shipments soared by 42 percent during the quarter, compared to Q3 2013.
IDC said sub $100K external array revenues grew by over six percent during the quarter, but shipments ODMs (original design manufacturers) directly to hyperscale datacentres showed positive growth.
EMC remains at the top spot for the quarter, followed by HP, Dell, IBM and Netapp.
ODM direct sales accounted for 24 percent of the market however, outstripping the traditional vendors. And this trend is continuing, as we’ve reported previously, with ODMs also shipping more and more servers directly and bypassing the brand names,
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.
Gartner said that growth seen in the second quarter of this year was “a short lived phenomenon and marginal revenue growth…highlights the fragility of demand”.
But despite this, revenues grew for the third consecutive quarter following 10 previous quarters where revenues declined.
HP managed to grow its revenue lead in the regions with 6.4 percent growth, although shipments declined by 8.2 percent. The growth was largely accounted for by demand for rack optimised and blade system.
Dell managed to displace IBM as second in place in terms of both revenues and shipments. It managed to grow nine percent in revenues and 3.4 percent in shipments. IBM, of course, is ridding itself of its X86 business to Lenovo, while its RISC shipments were hit by a fall in demand for Unix systems. Its lucrative mainframe business is in stasis as Big Blue readies new launches.
Gartner thinks one of the problems is that IT departments in enterprises are struggling because there are datacentre modernisation initiatives which means they are taking their eyes off the ball in the traditional server marketplace.
If RISC, the Intel Itanium and Unix revenues are counted as one, they fell in the quarter by 13.2 percent.
HP conducted a re-basing exercise after Lynch left. The process was led by Chris Yelland, a senior HP executive who had been parachuted in to Autonomy shortly after the acquisition and went on to run its finance team.
The findings of the re-basing exercise was produced on December 19 2012 by a member of the revenues team at HP Autonomy. According to Lynch, it raises questions about HP’s reasoning for its $8.8 billion writedown of Autonomy in November 2012, $5.5 billion of which was stated to be due to “accounting misrepresentations” at the company.
“The document was completed a month after HP made those allegations and any future valuation of the company would have had to include them. HP’s own court filings repeatedly assert the rebasing analysis includes the effects of the allegations,” he said.
In a series of spreadsheets, HP placed Autonomy’s deals into different columns, according to whether it believed revenues were correctly booked under the UK’s IFRS accounting standards or whether they would meet US GAAP rules, the accounting standard used by HP.
Lynch said that the way HP labelled columns in this document shows Meg Whitman’s attempt to blame Autonomy and HP’s former management for her own mismanagement is no longer tenable.
HP believed about $350 million worth of deals at Autonomy between 2010 and the first three quarters of 2011 were booked improperly. Deals worth $8.4 million were considered “Not IFRS compliant confirmed,” whereby HP believed they fell short of UK accounting standards.
More than $252.4 million worth of revenues was considered “Not IFRS compliant probable”. This suggests that the US company considered the accounting for these Autonomy deals was suspicious, but had not conclusively found it did not meet UK accounting standards.
In addition, $83.6 million worth of deals were placed in a category labelled “Management Difference/US GAAP difference,” where these transactions had been removed for not meeting the requirements set by US GAAP accounting standards.
Lynch also objected to the reasons why HP considered some deals improper.
The document placed Autonomy transactions in several different categories, such as “hardware resale”: deals where PCs and other devices were, in the majority of cases, sold without Autonomy software being preloaded. Although these sales generated revenues, they often made an overall loss.
HP claimed hardware deals such as these were not commercially sound and were used purely to inflate revenue however, Autonomy has argued they served a marketing purpose, such as helping to establish commercial links with blue-chip customers.
HP also did not like how Autonomy booked part of the revenue from a continuing contract as an upfront licence payment, and “reciprocal deals”, whereby Autonomy sold software to a company while claiming to buy a product or service from that same customer.
HP said that Autonomy used early-payment discounts to encourage customers to pay future hosting fees early, then booked these as revenue immediately when they should have been spread across future periods.
HP has not revealed the precise calculations that led to its writedown on the company, more than $5 billion of which was due to alleged accounting improprieties.
Lynch claims the document raised doubts as to the reasons why HP took its writedown and the size of the charge. “Three years post-acquisition, Meg Whitman needs to explain the exact calculation of the writedown to her shareholders, as well as to the relevant authorities where accounts have been restated and attempts made to reclaim tax on the basis of her allegations,” he said.
The maker of expensive printer ink has announced a cunning plan to help retain important customers by allowing them to leave behind their Integrity.
HP will offer versions of two computer server lines under H-P’s Integrity moniker—Superdome and NonStop—that will be powered by Intel’s Xeon chips. HP’s Integrity machines now use Intel’s Itanium chips.
HP’s new Superdome model has sockets to plug in 16 Xeon chips and offers nine times the performance of a conventional H-P system with eight Xeon chips, the company said. H-P has developed accessory chips and software to speed up communications between chips and improve reliability.
Revenue from these “business-critical” servers, declined 29 percent in the quarter ended in October over a year earlier. However, Superdome and NonStop servers are still used by banks, telecommunications carriers and other companies particularly concerned with reliability.
Integrity only made $929 million in revenue in the fiscal year ended October 31, which was nothing compared to the $12.5 billion generated from more popular x86 servers.
HP needs to keep these customers sweet because they buy software, services and other hardware from H-P that hinges on the applications running on the Superdome and NonStop machines.
Under the plan HP will keep developing Itanium-based systems but will help its clients move Intel’s mainstream Xeon technology.
Intel, which introduced its last Itanium model in late 2012, has disclosed plans for a successor, which is code-named Kittson. The chipmaker hasn’t said when that product will arrive nor described models it may develop after that.
For Superdome, HP is encouraging customers to move to the Linux operating system or other software. HP is porting NonStop software to run on Xeon chips. The company is offering services to help customers migrate to the new technology in both cases.