Tag: Notebooks

Chromebooks start to shine brightly

google-ICNotebooks using the conventional Wintel model seem to be past history, but Chromebooks are selling like there’s no tomorrow.

That’s the conclusion of research by ABI Research, which said that shipments of Chromebooks soared by 67 percent in a quarter.

Acer is the top dog in the sector, followed by Samsung and HP – those three accounted for 74 percent of shipment share during the first half of this year.  That isn’t going to change in the second half of this year, said ABI.

So-called vertical markets like schools are a driving force, and Chromebooks also sell well in emerging markets. But ABI said that North America will account for 78 percent of the Chromebook market and other regions such as Asia Pacific and Western Europe are set to grow shipment market share over the next five years.

Stephanie Van Vactor, an analyst at ABI, said that while Chromebooks might be a temporary fad like the netbook, but the price and design mean that it’s attractive to the world+dog.

“People are hungry for a product that is cost effective but also provide the versatility and functionality of a laptop,” she said.

Bring your own device use grows

tesco-hudl-tabletAs many as 40 percent of US citizens who work for large corporations use their own smartphones, desktops, laptops, and tablets to do business.

That’s according to IT market research company Gartner, which recently surveyed over 4,300 people about their technology and attitudes.

Amanda Sabia, a principal research analyst at Gartner, noted in her report that the lines beween work and play are becoming ever more blurred.

The Gartner survey demonstrated that personal desktop PCs were used the most for work at 42 percent, smartphones by 40 percent, laptops at 36 percent and tablets at 26 percent.

But it appears that enterprises aren’t putting pressure on people to use their own devices with only 25 percent of employees asked to do so by their employers.

The trend is firmly in favour of smartphones and tablets, with 32 percent of those surveyed likely to buy a smartphone, 23 percent to buy a notebook, 20 percent to buy a tablet and 14 percent a desktop PC.

Four out of five of those surveyed have downloaded mobile apps, said Gartner.

Bleak outlook for notebooks – report

notebooksThings 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.

Notebook shipments creep up

notebooksSales 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.

We’re all running out of juice!

alkaline batteryAs we’re soon going to be swamped by even more smartphones, tablets, wearable devices and notebooks there’s an urgent need for better battery technologies real soon now.

That’s according to ABI Research which said that by 2019 there will be eight billion devices on the planet – a billion more than there are people right now.

If you’ve got a smartphone, you probably realise that the smarter they get the more electricity they take and that trend is going nowhere but upwards over the next few years.

ABI Research points out that the holy grail doesn’t lie with lithium and graphite batteries, nor with micro USB chargers.  But it claims that silicon anode batteries from the likes of Leyden Energy and Amprius, as well as germanium based devices may hold out hope for the charging nightmare we even now face, in 2014.

“The opportunity is enormous,” said Nick Spencer, a senior director at ABI Research. “The average advanced market home has over 10 untethered devices with rechargeable batteries today.” Spencer reckons that if wearables take off, along with electric cars and the internet of things, the demand will be even greater.

But, thinks TechEye, we’ve been promised better battery technology for years and thus far no-one has picked up that particular baton. So let’s see how it all pans out.

HP notebook sales decline

notebooksJust 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.

Glare from Windows 10 to affect sales

framedwindowsIf you’re thinking of buying a notebook now, complete with Windows 8.1 and current Intel chips, it may be time to postpone your buying decision.

That’s what Digitimes says is likely to be the effect of Microsoft’s move to release Windows 10 – formerly known as Windows 9 – next year.

According to the Taiwanese wire, suppliers to notebook manufacturers now expect to see fewer sales in this quarter than they’d expected.

In addition to the introduction of Windows 10, Intel is expected to introduce 14 nanometre Y series Broadwell chips at the end of December.

As Windows 8.x has been greeted with apathy and in some cases contempt, few people will be rushing to spend their hard earned cash on what’s going to become out of date technology any month now.

Microsoft turns on the heat on notebooks

Microsoft campusA report said Microsoft is cutting the licence cost on Windows 8.1 in a bid to offer notebooks costing $250 or less.

Digitimes Research said manufacturers will be offered Windows 8.1 with Bing with a tentative release date of February next year.

Microsoft has the problem that people who already produce notebooks running the Windows 8.1 operating system can’t compete with tablets at retail prices of $250 or lower.  So it is aiming to mollify its partners by limiting the cheap version to notebooks with screen sizes 14-inches and below.

That’s unlikely to mollify manufacturers of notebooks – their margins are already cut to the bone.

Microsoft has been pursuing this strategy since the Computex show in June last year, but so far there hasn’t been much sign of progress.  It is worried about Google with its Chromebook device but Microsoft’s core revenues depend on fat Windows licensing fees.

Tablet sales slow down

cheap-tabletsSales of tablets are set to slow down next year because the market is saturated with devices.

So says Taiwanese market research company Market Intelligence and Consulting (MIC). MIC is a Taiwanese government quango and is in a position to know because most tablets are made in Taiwan and mainland China. Many are so-called “white box” units – often sold at rock bottom prices and unbranded.

And it also forecasts that the global PC market will shrink next year because enterprises are slowing down buying the gear, according to a report in English language newspaper the Taipei Times.

MIC said global shipments will be 293 million units next year, which represents a 9.2 increase from sales this year. But the rate of increase is in decline.

One of the reasons is that smartphones are getting bigger.

Meanwhile, MIC said worldwide shipments of PCs will be 295 million units, that’s down from shipments this year. Sales this year got a boost because Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP.

Notebook sales slow in the third quarter

notebooksWhile the computer industry saw comparatively small growth for notebooks in the second quarter, it looks like the third quarter will be much slower.

The third quarter always used to be buoyant for PC sales until sales started to slow a few years ago as smartphones and tablets came into their ascendancy.

Taiwanese wire Digitimes reports that ODMs (original design manufacturers) largely based on the island has fallen quite short of expectations.

It attributes the growth in the second quarter not to a rise in interest in the platforms any more, but because Windows XP was phased out in the spring.

People realised that if they were going to buy a notebook, it would be as well to do it then and move to a new Windows operating system.

Reports earlier this week suggested that sales of tablets in North American and western European markets had reached a degree of stasis too.  Most people who wanted a tablet have got one.

PC sales up. Secretly

A not so mobile X86 PCSales 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.

Phablets will beat tablets

cheap-tabletsPhablets are smartphones with screen sizes between 5.5 inches and seven inches. And, according to market research company IDC, 175 million of them will ship this year, beating the 170 million portable PCs expected to ship this year.

It’s a horrible word, phablet.

But next year the devices will ship 318 million units, more than the 233 million tablets IDC predicts will ship in 2015.

Melissa Chau, research manager at IDC, said Apple is expected to announce it’s entering the fray in the next couple of the weeks. And by 2018, she said, phablets will grow market share from 14 percent now to 32.2 percent then.

Average selling prices for phablets and smartphones are set to drop and will dominate the portable sector in 2018, with 75.6 percent of the market.

Microsoft slashes Windows fees

tablet-POS-cash-registerA report said that notebook sales – particularly in Europe – are set to grow strongly after Microsoft said it will cut licensing fees for low end models to $15 a unit.

According to Digitimes, the enterprise market has finally decided to upgrade its user base as a result of Windows stopping XP support last April.

That’s going to benefit Taiwanese original design manufacturers (ODMs) and vendors such as Acer, Asustek, Quanta Wistron and Inventec.

But it’s too early to say that notebook sales – which have declined in volume over the last two years – will ever reach the dizzying position they once commanded.

That’s partly because of a determined move by large enterprises to institute bring your own device (BYOD) models – which aids large companies by diminishing the capital amounts they spend on kit.

The Digitimes article is here.

Taiwan slows notebook shipments

notebooksThe tiny island of Taiwan accounts for 83.91 percent of global notebook shipments through original design manufacturers (ODMs).

And according to a report from Digitimes Research, all is not well on the notebook front.  The report claimed that ODMs will ship 33,476 million notebooks in Q2 of this year.

But that’s down 8.4 percent compared to the equivalent period last year.

The usual suspects remain Quanta, Compal and Wistron – and, Digitimes Research said – of those three Compal is likely to see the most growth in the second quarter.

PC market stays in the doldrums

A not so mobile X86 PCHopes that the mobile PC market would show some spunk in the fourth quarter of 2013 were dashed by insipid sales.

According to market research company IHS, although the quarter showed the strongest global sequential growth in four years,  the results were still disappointing.

Shipments of mobile PCs worldwide amounted to 52.6 million units and that’s a rise of 9.4 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013.  But the industry, said IHS, wanted to sell 55.3 million units in the quarter. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, sales showed a five percent decline – the sixth year on year decline.

So what’s the problem?  According to Craig Stice, director of computers at IHS, Bay Trail and other platforms were expected to bring cheaperPs to the world.  But the vendors wanted to keep stock levels lean and entry level PCs failed to show high volume.

IHS counts its mobile PC sector as including laptops and PC tablets but as the world+dog knows, people think smartphones and non PC tablets are more appealing.

The industry is hoping against hope that when Windows XP shuffles off its mortal coil, people will buy more PC kit.