Tag: pc

Mobile workplace is years off as PC is still king

old-pcs-100565082-primary.idgeWhile many in the channel are trying to get out of low-margin hardware sales, a new report shows that there is still money to be made from PCs.

Spiceworks’ has penned a report with the catchy title: “Future of the PC: Top computer brands adoption trends in the workplace” which shows that despite the popularity of smartphones and tablets, employees still use laptops and desktops as their primary work devices. Organisations aren’t planning to shift investments away from traditional PCs in the foreseeable future.

Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks, said although desktop PC growth is expected to stall a bit, they’re still the primary computing device of choice in many businesses.

Among the organisations surveyed in the US, Canada and the UK, 60 percent of employees currently use desktops as their primary work device, and laptops are favored by 27 percent.

In terms of future business investments, desktop investments are expected to be relatively flat in the next 12 months, but 43 percent of businesses surveyed said they expect to increase their laptop investments. Mobile devices, such as tablets (25 percent), smartphones (16 percent) and 2-in-1s (18 percent) are expected to see about half the growth of laptops.

“Growth in laptop sales presents a strong and viable opportunity for the channel. Forty-three percent of businesses are planning to increase their investments in laptops, which is nearly double the percent of organisations that intend to spend more on tablets or smartphones,” Tsai says.

“So while there is plenty of hype around mobile devices, both desktops or laptops will continue to be omnipresent in the workplace for the foreseeable future, and it’s an opportunity the channel should not ignore.”

As such, a mobile-dominated workplace is “at least three to five years off”, Tsai said.

The research said that 25 percent of companies plan to increase their investments in Dell PCs within the next 12 months, while 17 percent and 13 percent plan to increase spending with HP Inc. and Lenovo, respectively.

Among other PC vendors, 15 percent of those surveyed plan to increase their investments in Microsoft PCs, while eight percent plan to spend more on Apple laptops and desktops.

Respondents believe Dell, HP and Lenovo produce the most reliable devices – followed by performance, security and cost. Other factors, such as manageability, user-friendliness and ease of repair are slightly less important, and innovative features and style ranked the lowest as contributing factors.

Brexit stuffs up PC sales

1046922917The UK’s self-inflicted Brexit crisis has caused PC shipments to drop 11.8 percent, according to IDC beancounters.

IDC has added up some numbers and divided by its shoe size to discover the EMEA PC market has continued to stabilise in the second quarter of 2017 with shipments only dropping 0.6 per cent year over year. However this did not apply to the UK which is more battered than a Mars bar in an Edinburgh chippie.

A total of 15.91 million units of desktops, notebooks and workstations were shipped in Q2, down from 16.01m in the same three months of 2016.

Brexit-related uncertainties meanwhile dragged PC shipments down by 11.8 percent in the UK, while German shipments also contracted, claims IDC.

Notebook shipments were the region’s star performer, growing 3.1 percent annually with a particularly strong 5.2 percent growth in central and eastern Europe (CEE).

Desktop shipments continued on a downward trajectory according to IDC, with shipments falling 8.3 percent year on year in EMEA. CEE again saw the highest year-on-year shipment increase at 7.8 percent.

Western Europe was however subject to soft declines of 2.1 percent annually having previously posted two quarters of growth. Desktop shipments fell by 7.8 per cent annually while notebook sales grew marginally, according to IDC.

The PC market in France, Spain and Portugal all performed above the market watcher’s expectations, seeing year-on-year growth of 1.9 percent, 11.6 percent and 16.7 percent respectively. Benelux also enjoyed a 5.8 percent annual increase in shipments.

“The traditional EMEA PC market continued to stabilize for another quarter, thanks to strong notebook results stemming from a faster adoption of mobility, in both the consumer and commercial spaces.

Malini Paul, senior research analyst of western European personal computing devices at IDC said:  “The return of the CEE region to positive growth for two consecutive quarters, contributed significantly to the overall better than expected results in the EMEA market.”

According to IDC, the CEE region’s strong performance in PC shipments is thanks to a thriving retail market and some large public sector deals in the region.

“In the CEE region, the PC market reported high growth in the desktop space, resulting in an increase of 7.6 percent after more than nine long quarters of market decline. This success can be attributed to promotions in retail, continual growth of gaming, and a few large deals that took place the public and corporate segments,” said Nikolina Jurisic, product manager at IDC.

IDC also claims that the consolidation among the top five PC vendors in EMEA is progressing, with HP growing its market share by one percent year over year, driven by solid notebook results and a desktop growth in the consumer space.

Lenovo also improved market share by 1.1 percent, and saw double-digit growth in commercial notebook shipments. Dell also saw marginal increases in market share for the quarter.

UK PC prices up 40 percent

old-pcs-100565082-primary.idgeUK PC prices have shot up by over 40 percent in the last year due to the weakening pound, component shortages and a shift towards higher-value products.

The average selling price for PCs among UK distributors hit £475 in April and May, up from £335 a year earlier, according to analyst Context.

That represents a 42 percent hike – significantly more than any other country in western Europe, where PC ASPs only rose by an average of 19 percent.

Context senior analyst Marie-Christine Pygott said that European prices increases were driven by currency fluctuations, price increases by vendors to offset the effects of higher component costs, and a shift to higher-value products,

However, the UK increase was well above that of Germany, at 12 percent, and France, at seven percent. This was due to Brexit-fuelled price increases last year.

Spain and Italy saw ASPs price rise by 11 and 10 percent in the quarter. Other than the UK, the highest increase was seen in Sweden and Poland, at 18 percent.

UK prices would have been lower if it had not been for the currency fluctuations, Pygott said.

“We have seen vendors trying to de-spec products to offset the rising cost of components. The price increases may be less visible to consumers, but they will still be there in terms of an indirect increase.”

A shift to higher-value products, such as gaming systems in the consumer segment, and high-end notebooks in the commercial space, has also contributed to the rise, according to Context.

In  Q4 and Q1 in the UK volume sales did go down but actually revenues rose because of higher ASPs,” she said.

“Early Q2 has been weak in terms of both volume and revenue performance, but then April had fewer trading days due to Easter. We will wait to see how June pans out to see if it offsets this.”

 

Fujitsu and Lenovo close to PC deal

Bear+handshake+in+the+rain+bear+handshake+in+the+rain_32a091_4226811Fujitsu and Lenovo are working behind the scenes for a tie-in in the PC market.

In October Fujitsu revealed it was in discussion with Lenovo over “various possibilities” for its PC business, declaring that many “strategic cooperation” options were being explored.

Now Fujitsu president Tatsuya Tanaka has confirmed at a press conference that talks are in an “advanced stage”.

However, he did not say when he expected something tangible to be announced.

All he said were the pair were creating synergies, which is not the sort of thing you want your rivals or your wives to see.

He expected all this synergy making to be “wrapped” soon which will be no doubt a great relief.

Fujitsu separated its PC business earlier last year, spinning it out into Fujitsu Client Computing.

Lenovo wants to take on HP for top spot in the PC market, all the while shipment volumes have been shrinking.

Huawei recently announced its entrance to the market, looking to replicate the success it has seen in the tablet market where its shipment figures have continued to grow.

PC sales continue to dip but value increases

pc-sales-slumpWhile the number of PCs sold continues to fall the value of those sold has increased, according to figures from Context.

According to Context, the desktop market has been consistently pants over recent quarters with the consumer end of the business in the doldrums. The only positive signs comes from the enterprise market.

This has meant that volumes continue to decline but price rises caused by currency fluctuations and part shortages have meant that the revenues have increased.

Figures from Context covering PC sales across Western Europe in the first quarter found that year-on-year the volume of sales was down by 2.4 percent but revenues were up by 8.3 percent.

Most hardware manufacturers have been forced to put their prices up to try and cover costs, thanks to the falling pound. But higher end products have proved popular with powerful notebooks doing well in the enterprise space.

Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context said that revenue growth was driven by a significant rise in distributors’ average sell prices for the quarter.”

“Across the entire Western European region, average selling prices were up by 11 percent to €553 compared to Q1 2016. Across just the eurozone countries, ASPs for the quarter rose 7.3 percent to €535,” she said.

One of the drivers of investment has been the high-profile ransomware attack on the NHS, which was caused essentially because of the use of out-of-date Windows XP machines.

Dell claims client computing is still its core

michael-dell-2At the inaugural Dell EMC World event in Las Vegas this week, Dell pledged that client computing “remains core to our business” and said that the PC will be back with augmented reality, subscription payment models, and wireless charging.

Dell Technologies chief marketing officer Jeremy Burton said that the PC will evolve in the coming years, as well as some of the technology the vendor is ready to bring to market now.

He showed off the Latitude 7285, which Dell claims is the world’s first wireless-charging two-in-one laptop and the Canvas, a 27-inch monitor pitched at the design industry. The latter involves a stylus, for drawing, and a ‘totem’ dial-style tool for cursor control. He said:

“The PC is smack bang in the centre of what is going on in the world Augmented reality and virtual reality are technologies that are now at the tipping point. This will be a $45bn [annual] hardware market, and a $35bn software market by 2025.”

Dell is also looking to forge partnerships with other AR and VR players, and is launching a partner programme through which to formalise ties with industry specialists.

“We want to work with a broad ecosystem to make this a reality,” said Burton.

Michael Dell showed off VMware’s AirWatch enterprise mobility management which has been embedded into some of its client computing devices he also revealed that the vendor’s PC-as-a-service offering will be available across the world during 2017.

“We are announcing the global rollout of our PC-as-a-service, which combines the latest Dell PCs with financing services and support for a single predictable price per month,” he said.
Dell added: “To make it extremely clear: the PC remains core to our business and strategy – it is how work gets done.”

Context claims commercial users buying PCs

Beancounters at Context claim that PC sales through distribution across Western Europe in Q4 show that the commercial market is still buying PCs.

Apparently while consumer sales continue to slump, commercial PC sales continued to hold up towards the end of last year and gave a fillip for resellers.

Context pointed out that the fourth quarter is always traditionally a busy period in the PC hardware world and the market for Western Europe was hit by “soft consumer performance”, which dragged it down by two percent compared to last year.

Windows 10 is starting to become a significant driver of sales with distributors handling more Win 10 pre-installed machines in the fourth quarter, Context said.

Commercial sales were up by six percent year-on-year with all categories delivering growth.

Notebooks were up nine per cent, desktops two percent and workstations by one percent. Detachables, which includes the iPad Pro and Surface Pro also continue to remain in demand.

It is the consumer space which has been proven to be pants since 2016. Volume sales of PCs aimed at home users dropped by seven percent. All categories were down but the worst was desktops with a 16 percent fall.

Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context said that Windows 10 began to play a stronger role in the commercial segment in Q4 2016.

“38 percent of Windows Business PCs sold through Western European distributors during the quarter featured Windows 10 Pro compared to 22 percent in the third quarter.”

The performance of the enterprise market has given hope to those vendors that continue to fight for market share in the PC market and has been used as evidence by the likes of Lenovo that there is still gold in them thar hills.

Wobbly PC market stabilises in EMEA

Bike-blog--Young-child-on-010Figures just in from IDC show that the EMEA PC market stabilised in the fourth quarter.

After adding up some numbers and dividing by their shoe size, the IDC beancounters worked out that the market had declined only 0.2 percent annually, thanks to strong demand in the commercial space and a Chromebooks boom.

If it had not been for Brexit vote caused a slump in Blighty of 6.2 percent year on year everything in the region would have been good – another reason for suppliers to string up Nigel Farrage, Boris Johnson and Michael Grove.

“As the pound has become a turbulent currency following Brexit in the UK, the British traditional PC market was impacted negatively, down 6.2 percent,” said IDC.

In the final quarter of 2016, total PC shipments in EMEA reached 20.7 million, down 0.2 percent year on year. Notebooks performed well in the region, up 2.9 percent, and “strong demand” was triggered in the commercial space, which grew 10.1 percent.

During 2016, PC shipments fell 6.1 percent to 71.6 million units.

The biggest disappointment was that Windows 10 “did not drive extensive renewals.” The money spinners were Chromebooks which led to “strong demand for notebooks” in the second half of the year thanks to a boom in the education market.

Although the whole EMEA region performed well in Q4, the same could not be said for the UK.

Senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing Malini Paul, said that the western European PC market performed better than expected in 2016’s Q4, thanks to notebooks in both the consumer and commercial segments.

“While promotions around Black Friday and the post-Christmas period supported the strong seasonality of the holiday period, fulfilling backlogs from 2016’s Q3 due to component shortages contributed to the sell-in uptake in the consumer space.”

IDC thinks PC sales worse than it thought

tarotreadingIDC has reached the conclusion that the PC market is a bigger mess than it originally thought and reshuffled its tarot cards for another prediction.

It now thinks that PC shipments  will decline by 7.3 percent year over year which is  two percent below what it was telling us before.

The outfit blames weak currencies, depressed commodity prices, political uncertainty, and delayed projects.

Microsoft is partly to blame because it handed out free copies of Windows 10 to everyone who asked, including a lot of people who didn’t.

IDC said that that “while a large share of enterprises are evaluating Windows 10, the pace of new PC purchases has not yet stabilised commercial PC shipments.”.

IDC now predicts just 255.6 million machines will ship in 2016, of which 103.3 million will be desktops. The firm reckons we’ll see “… progressively smaller declines through 2017 followed by stable volume in 2018.”

All up it seems that the PC market is such a mess that no one can effectively say how dire it will be, even half-way through the year. It also looks like most companies have written the year off as an an annus horribilis and only thinking about next year. Sooner or later the bigger companies will have to buy PCs but it looks like it will be much later.

 

PC market blighted by inventory problems

old-pcs-100565082-primary.idgeBeancounters at IDC claim that the reason that the PC market is not picking up is because there is far too much inventory out there.

IDC said that this high inventory, falling commodity prices and foreign exchange issues meant it was reducing its outlook for the PC market for 2016.

Expectations for early 2016 were already pretty grim, but a range of factors has prompted it to reduce its 2016 outlook “by a couple of percent”. Now, it predicts the global market will decline 5.4 percent annually.

IDC predicts that by 2018 the market will “effectively stabilise” but will not avoid some small declines in certain quarters before then.

The analyst pointed to the SMB and education sectors were star performers when it comes to PCs.

Jay Chou, IDC’s research manager said that in addition to specific devices, the SMB and education segments are expected to do better than the overall market.

“There have been indications of faster commercial adoption of Windows 10 than of past operating systems, and that should support some growth in the medium term. Similarly, IT access for students remains a priority, and will drive projects across regions – even though constrained government spending may limit some projects.”

Accounting scandal could be the last straw for Tosh PCs

toshiba-logoOne of the casualties of Toshiba’s accounting scandal could be the outfit’s mediocre PC business.

The company is desperate to cover a huge billion dollar accounting hole and it is thought that flogging its notebook division might help.

Tosh has said that it could be forced to divest non-core activities and “accelerate concentration and selection of business areas and promote restructuring to enhance efficiencies”.

Tim Coulling, senior analyst at Canalys, said the PC division was a key part of the probe and flogging it off made sense.

The question is, who would want it?

Toshiba shipped 2.5 million notebooks globally in Q1 2015 which is not bad but not great when you consider that figure is based on cooked books. However it does have a brand power in the West  which would make it an attractive target for a Chinese player looking to deepen its foothold in Europe or the US.

The downside is that Tosh’s PC business has not been performing well recently. Last year it said it wanted to get away from the consumer business and focus on B2B.

PC sales slip back into the doldrums

pc-sales-slumpPC sales plunged lower than a Hollywood starlet’s dress in the first quarter of this year, according to Gartner Group.

One big reason for the decline was businesses buying fewer desktop computers, according to the Gartner research firm. It noted companies have mostly finished replacing older PCs that used outdated Windows XP software.

PC sales may get a boost later this year when Microsoft releases its next version of Windows, analysts said, but they’re still expecting an overall decline in sales for this year.

Gartner added that there had been an sales of laptop computers and hybrid models that combine features of tablets and laptops. That could help drive a gradual return to growth by next year.

Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa estimates PC makers shipped 71.7 million computers in the first quarter, down 5.2 percent from a year earlier.

Some computer makers are doing better than others. China’s Lenovo saw an increase in worldwide sales, as did its nearest competitor, the maker of expensive printer ink HP.. However smaller companies, including Dell, saw sales decline.

Global PC sales have fallen steadily over the last three years, but Gartner are projecting a return to growth in 2016. Tablet users are giving up on the technology and are moving back to notebooks.

HP won PC battle in 2014

HPThings went better for the notebook industry last year, according to a report from Taiwanese research house Trendforce.
That was largely due to people replacing Windows XP systems and the market itself promoting low priced notebooks.
The survey said shipments of notebooks in 2014 hit 175.5 million, a year n year growth of 3.6 percent.
The leader in the X86 pack was HP, followed by Lenovo, Dell, Asus and Acer.
But the real stellar performer in 2014 was Apple, because it lowered some prices.  It showed year on year growth of 46.4 percent, and increased its market share to 9.3 percent.
Here, according to Trendforce, are the top runners and riders in the notebook race.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 14.25.58

 

Microsoft’s profit falls thanks to strong dollar

dollarSoftware giant Microsoft reported a fall in its quarterly profit as sluggish PC sales dampened demand for Windows software and the company struggled with the impact of the strong US dollar.

Shares of the world’s largest software company, which have surged to 14-year highs in the past few months, fell three percent.

The fall did not seem to faze the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street who seemed to be expecting it. Not much can really stand up to a high dollar pressure and most thought the numbers were good enough.

Microsoft’s flagship Windows business has been under pressure for three years as PC sales have declined, although the market appears to be stabilising in recent months.

Currency shifts against the strong U.S. dollar also crimped profit in the fiscal second quarter, ended December 31, although Microsoft did not specify by how much. Microsoft gets almost three-quarters of its revenue from overseas, but a significant amount of that is still in US dollars.

Commercial licensing is chiefly sales of Windows and Office to business customers, which is Microsoft’s biggest revenue generator.

Microsoft reported profit of $5.86 billion for the latest quarter, compared with $6.56 billion last year.

Sales rose eight percent to $26.47 billion, largely due to the acquisition of Nokia’s phone handset business last year.

Analysts had expected revenue of $26.3 billion including some restructuring costs.

 

Intel scrambles PC and mobile processor divisions

ScrambledEggIntel has decided to merge its PC and mobile processor divisions under one roof, claiming that the line between tablets and laptops has blurred.

Starting from next year, Intel will form a  division called the Client Computing Group, which will include the teams that develop its Core processors for desktops and laptops, as well as those that develop its Atom chips for smartphones and tablets.

According to an internal email from CEO Brian Krzanich, the changes are supposed to improve lines of communication between product teams and help Intel better reach manufacturers that use its products.

Krzanich said that the market was evolving and Intel must change faster to stay ahead.

He claimed that the days when Intel served the PC market with its Core processors and the smartphone and tablet markets with its low-power Atom chips, were gone. The emergence of hybrid computers, which can switch between a laptop and a tablet, has done much to blur the boundary, he reckons

Intel’s Core M processors, for instance, are used in traditional laptops but also in hybrid computers and tablets. The current structure of the company no longer matches where the market is headed, he said.

Kirk Skaugen, who leads what is called the PC Client Group, will run the Client Computing Group when it’s formed.

The Mobile and Communications Groupwill be broken up. The teams that develop mobile processors will join the new client group, while the remainder, which builds modems, will be part of a new wireless R&D group.

Herman Eul, who leads the mobile group today, will oversee the move to the new structure until at least the end of the first quarter, with a new role for him to be announced after that.

The Mobile and Communications Group reported an operating loss of more than US$1 billion in the third quarter, in part because it has been making payments to tablet makers to encourage them to use its chips. Because of those and other efforts, Intel has said it aims to get its processors into 40 million new tablets this year.