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.
Megadistributor Avnet said it has been appointed as a global Lenovo route to market.
This follows Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s System x (X86) server business early in the month.
Avnet said it will sell Lenovo servers in over 40 different countries around the world.
As well as Lenovo System x systems, Avnet will sell BladeCenter and Flex System blades and switches, X86 integrated system, NextScale and iDataplex servers, software and maintenance.
But this does not mean Avnet is waving goodbye to IBM. It’s worked with Big Blue for nearly 30 years and will continue to distribute IBM Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power Flex servers, training, software and services.
Tony Madden, a senior VP at Avnet Global said: “Avnet is working closely with Lenovo to ensure a seamless transition for existing System x channel partners and their customers.”
While Intel turned in remarkably buoyant financial results last week, the news remains somewhat gloomy on the PC front.
Figures released by IDC showed that shipments to consumers in the potentially lucrative Asia Pacific region in the third quarter of this year fell by five percent compared to the same quarter last year.
Sales were up compared to the previous quarter by eight percent and totalled 26.6 million units.
China and India showed better than expected shipments in the quarter.
Handoko Andi, research manager for client devices at IDC said: “[Windows] XP migration helped boost commercial PC spending earlier this year. But in recent quarters, we have seen Microsoft add a lot to the entry level segment by launching the Windows 8.1 with Bing programme.”
Lenovo is numero uno iin the region, followed by Dell, HP, Acer and Asus. HP showed a decline of 16.1 percent in shipments in the region compared to the same quarter last year, while Acer showed an 11.2 percent decline.
Sales of notebooks in the third quarter of this year are only up by 2.6 percent compared to the same quarter last year, despite bullish talk by vendors like Microsoft and Intel.
Digitimes Research said shipments for the calendar third quarter amounted to 45.198 million units, with HP being the top dog worldwide.
HP had a market share of 21 percent, Lenovo 20.9 percent, Dell 12.5 percent, Acer 9.7 percent, Apple 8.5 percent, Asustek 8.3 percent and Toshiba 6.2 percent, the Taiwanese research unit estimated.
These of course are the brand names, but many of the notebooks are made by original design manufacturers (ODMs) based in Taiwan. These ODMs accounted for a significant 36,958 notebooks in the quarter.
The ODM battle is fought between Compal (34.5%), Wistron (15.7%), Inventec (6.7%) and Pegatron (5.7%).
Digitimes Research also breaks out the shipments in terms of screen sizes with 8.2 percent being sub 12 inch models, 13 percent 12 inch notebooks, 13 percent 13 inch units, 22.7 percent 14 inch units, 47.2 percent 15 inch notebooks and 6.1 percent 16 inches and above.
The market research unit does not, however, appear to have provided figures for touch and non touch screen machines.
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.
Apple and Samsung are going to have to fight hard to keep their place as leaders of the tablet pack.
Because, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research, other vendors including Asus, Lenovo and Amazon are fighting hard for third place and creeping up on the leaders.
These emerging vendors are set to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.8 percent between 2014 and 2019. Lenovo, for example will ship 21 million tablets by 2019.
Samsung saw a 35 percent decline in growth between Q1 2014 and the second quarter, while Apple saw a 19 percent decline.
In the first quarter, Apple and Samsung had a hefty 72 percent of the marketplace but their combined market share dropped to 66 percent and that’s the way things are headed.
In fact, ABI Research thinks that advanced and mature markets are experiencing a stall in growth, partly because tablets don’t need replacing every few years like notebook PCs.
Big Blue and Lenovo confirmed they have completed the sales of IBM’s X86 server business, as expected.
Under the terms of the deal, Lenovo will buy System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, X86 based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers as well as software, blade networking and maintenance operations.
IBM will keep its System z mainframes, its Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power based Flex servers and PureApplication and PureData appliances.
The two companies will collaborate in a deal where Lenovo will act as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for IBM, and will also resell some products from Big Blue’s storage and software portfolio.
The change starts today in most major markets. IBM said the deal will also be completed in most other territories in the next month or two.
Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s Intel based servers means that it’s now able to offer the entire range of X86 based systems, from humble notebooks up to high end servers.
A report from ABI Research said that sales of branded tabets such as those from Samsung and Apple only grew by 2.5 percent in the first half of this year.
The report said that sales of Apple iPads fell by 13 percent while sales of Samsung tablets grew by 26 percent year on year.
Jeff Orr, an analyst at ABI Research, said: “The roller coaster ride from the leading two tablet vendors has market watchers looking to other vendors to create sustainable growth. All eyes are on Lenovo as it is one of the few to demonstrate consistent growth over the past year.”
But there is some good news for Intel. It is showing progress towards the goal it set itself of 40 million devices using its microprocessor in 2013. Orr described 2014 as the “tipping point” for Intel’s mobile stategy.
”Forty million units is only a minor dent in ARM’s domination of tablets, though Intel is quickly becoming a formidable applications processor architecture competitor,” Orr said.
As we reported yesterday, Lenovo will acquire Intel’s X86 server business this week and that means it will be the biggest server company in mainland China.
Market research firm IDC released its figures for server sales in China for the first half of this year and Lenovo – which includes prior IBM system business – comes out the leader at 23.91 percent (see chart).
IDC said that the Lenovo/IBM X86 server line and IBM’s System x mainframes are highly complementary and Lenovo will use that synergy to sell more X86 systems into large organisations.
But Dell has been highly competitive in the Chinese market, and Lenovo’s entrance into this space is likely to lead to even more competition.
IDC thinks that Lenovo will integrate channels to market of IBM’s System x machines with its own routes to market and the entry of Lenovo as a player is likely to lead to better cooperation with Microsoft and VMWare.
And in the global market, Lenovo shows up as a leader with a market share of 11.7 percent.
Lenovo’s offer to buy the remainder of IBM’s X86 business is likely to be concluded this Wednesday.
IBM is disposing of the deal to the Chinese manufacturer for $1.8 billion and when the acquisition is complete, it will finally have washed its hands of all of its X86 business.
That doesn’t mean its out of the hardware business completely, of course. It will carry on selling its mainframes and a number of other high profit and enterprise standard appliances.
It was the first to launch an X86 personal computer back in the 1980s but its exclusive hold in the market was swiftly dented by competition from clone makers such as Dell and Compaq.
The deal will be completed because it waited approval from the European Union, China and the USA. But authorities in these territories have raised no objections to the sale.
When the deal is complete, it will catapult Lenovo into the major league of X86 players and will let it diversify its business by targeting the lucrative high end of the market.
Sales of PCs in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region showed growth in the second quarter, stopping a continuous seven quarter decline. That applies to both notebooks and desktop machnes.
So says market research company IDC, which said growth in the quarter amounted to 2.2 percent, up by 4.5 million units.
Oddly, the bulk of the growth came in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and Afghanistan. Why is that odd? Because, according to Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager at IDC, no vendor make any official shipments of PCs into these countries.
Saudi Arabia and Pakisan showed growth in the region. “The healthy shipments seen in most countries can either be attributed to a recovery from instability – be it economic political or social – or to previously low PC penetration rates. Bearing this in mind, Egypt and Nigeria are expected to be among the region’s fastest growing PC markets in 2014,” Charakla said.
The top dogs in the region are HP, Lenovo, and Dell. But the last suffered a shortfall year on year. Acer and Asus came fourth and fifth respectively.
US regulators have approved the sale of IBM’s server business to the Chinese outfit, Lenovo.
There had been fears that the deal would be put on ice because the US is currently going through a McCarthy era paranoia over all things Chinese. The NSA was scared that the Chinese would start installing backdoors into their servers, probably because that is just the sort of thing that they would do.
IBM has already divested $16 billion in annual revenue over the past decade from low-margin businesses like personal computers and printers.
However, despite the fact that there was some concern about the deal by the Committee on Foreign Investment agreed that it was probably safe.
Lenovo has been through the secretive CFIUS process three times before and has won approval each time. In this case, it is believed that it argued that all the top-secret server operations would remain under the control of IBM.
CFIUS, an interagency group chaired by the Treasury Secretary, reviews deals that could bring U.S. businesses under foreign ownership and is required by law to assess any transaction involving a state-owned firm.
Lenovo said in a statement that it remains on track to close the IBM server deal by the end of the year.
In fact the deal is more likely to help Lenovo sell its gear in China and the company is less concerned about its US sales. Lenovo has many contacts to sell goods to Chinese companies and Beijing is trying to localize its IT purchases in the wake of revelations about US spying.
Lenovo has chosen Arrow to distribute its storage and server products in the UK and Ireland.
The move means that Arrow will aim to sell Lenovo’s server and storage products to SMEs through the channel.
Nick Thurlow, who runs Arrow’s enterprise business said that the partnership makes commercial sense ofr his company. “Arrow looks forward to working with Lenovo as it expands its offerings for the next generation data centre.”
The vendors known as Lenovo and EMC chipped in. Darren Phelps, Lenovo channel man for the UK and Ireland said Arrow has experience in distributing large and small scale projects directly through channel programmes.
EMC channel man Terry Beale said that Lenovo’s servers have been certified within the EMC and VSPEX reference architecture.
What is means is that Arrow will distribute Lenovos entire server and storage range.
A report from market research firm IDC said there are indications that shipments of PCs in the European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) stabilised in the first quarter of this year.
21.8 million units shipped in EMEA, a decline of 1.1 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
But Western Europe showed a growth of 8.6 percent, spurred by business demand. If that percentage is taken as a pie, commerical units showed an increase of 15.1 percent, while the retail market showed growth of 2.1 percent.
It’s the end of support for Windows XP that drove the rebound, according to Chrystelle Labesque of IDC. And companies have started to invest in IT again, she said. There is more business confidence. Neverless, the overall PC market in central and eastern Europe and in the Middle East and Africa showed a year on year decline of 12 percent.
HP did well, as did Lenovo, while Dell was in third place and Acer in fourth place. Asus took the fifth place.
While Western Europe and the USA are showing signs of saturation for tablet sales, it looks like some regions are continuing to boom.
A report from IDC said that PC tablets grew 111 percent year on year in the last quarter of 2013 in the Middle East and African (MEA) markets.
Shipments amounted to 3.45 million units and both the home segment and the corporate segment showed steady growth. The educational market also saw growth.
Huawei won a deal to supply around 90,000 units in South Africa in the education sector.
Android wins the game – 2.8 million units shipped up 16 percent compared to the same quarter in 2012. iOS fell and Windows OS lost share in Q4 2013.
Top vendor was Samsung, followed by Apple, Lenovo, Asus and Huawei.
The PC market will fall further in 2014, while tablets will grow significantly, IDC said.