Tag: tablets

Tablet growth slows

ipad3Despite phenomenal growth in sales during 2013, it seems that the tablet market will slow down during this year.

That’s according to market research company IDC that said the total tablet market – including stand alone units and 2-in-1 devices – will grow by 19.4 percent this year, down from 51.6 percent in 2013.

There is slowing growth at the consumer end of the market, and average selling prices (ASPs) have fallen rapidly in the tablet market.

Prices in 2013 dropped by 14.6 percent but IDC said price erosion “has started to slowly bottom out”, meaning ASPs will only fall by 3.6 percent this year.

Tom Mainelli, who runs devices and displays at IDC, said the white box tablet market will slow this year.  In mature markets, people are sticking with their current tablets and few feel the need to upgrade them, he said.

But there’s always a silver lining to every cloud. He said that commercial shipments are set to go up and while tablet growth has largely been confined to verticals like education, in the future tablets will penetrate SMEs globally.  And that will give a boost to Microsoft Windows.

Jitesh Ubrani, a research colleague of Mainelli, thinks that Android and iOS will stay as the dominant forces although Windows could grab more than a quarter of the market in the future.

Tablets continue their march forwards

cheap-tablets230 million smart connected devices – a term including smartphones, PCs and tablets – shipped in 2013 in Europe.

That’s according to a report from IDC today, which said that although growth was slightly down compared to 2012, the market continues to be one of the fastest growing IT sectors.

Tablets, particularly, will drive the sector during this year – shipments in Europe are likely to grow by 17.6 percent.  45 million units sold in Western Europe in 2013 – that’s a growth of 51.4 percent oer the previous year.  IDC thinks tablets will continue to show strong growth over the next three years.

The news is far gloomier for PCs – the market for consumer devices fell by 2.4 percent in Q4 2013. Enterprise sales, hwever, grew by 3.5 percent.

Smartphones are the undoubted king of the connected castle though. IDC said that they hogged 55 percent of the the sector, with 38 million units shipping  in Q4 2013.

Here is the breakdown of the market leaders in the sector, according to IDC.

There’s a little light at the end of the PC tunnel

IndiashareA report from IDC said that despite overall doom and gloom, there’s some pockets of the world where PC things are not that bad.

India, said IDC, showed a year on year growth of 4.8 percent for 2013, with 11.5 million units shipping.

Of course India has a population of over one billion people but it has never adopted the PC platform wholeheartedly.

The growth, said IDC, was largely due to state governments buying as part of a scheme to distribute free laptops to students.

And the enterprise segment managed 6.7 million units in 2013 – up 15.8 percent.

There are negative factors impacting the market, said IDC. Those include weak growth, slowdown in hiring people, the devaluation of the rupee and layoffs in the enterprise market.

And if you split out the consumer part of the market, that showed a year on uear decline of 7.4 percent.  The teapot in the broom cupboard are sales of smartphones and tablets.

Qualcomm beats the smartphone pack

Intel-logoStrategy Analytics said that Qualcomm grabbed 54 percent revenue share in the smartphone application processor market in 2013.

Apple had 16 percent share and MediaTek 10 percent share in a market that was worth $18 billion last year, a rise of 41 percent over 2012.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and 600 chip families along with its 400 and 200 ranges gave it a strong position.  Apple’s 64 bit A7 did well in the latter half of the year.  Samsung ranked number five, followed by Spreadtrum.

Intel had a minute 0.2 percent revenue share.

However, in the tablet processor sphere, Intel did somewhat better.  Qualcomm heads the pack in the non Apple market but Apple itself has the lead overall with 37 percent share.  Samsung has 10 percent revenue share, and Qualcomm 11 percent. Strategy Analytics did not give figures for Intel.

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.

Intel has lost the plot

Intel-logoOur sister publication, TechEye, reports this morning that Intel is selling its chips at or below cost in an attempt to wrest more market share in the tablet market.

The truth is that like its joined at the hip twin, Microsoft, Intel has lost the place.

We’re not able to quantify the amount of money Intel has spent in the last years attempting to get its microprocessors into smartphones and tablets – all to very little effect.

The truth is that the last thing smartphone manufacturers want to do is find themselves in the same position as PC makers did – that is to say in the grip of a virtual monopoly.

When Intel first mooted the idea of the Atom microprocessor, senior executives maintained in the face of overwhelming evidence that its introduction would cannibalise its existing notebook market.

We have some sympathy for Intel – it invests considerable amounts in very expensive factories employing tens of thousands of people.  But its clear lack of strategy in the face of the onward match of tablets and smartphones that don’t use its microprocessors is puzzling.

Ultraportables hold notebook hotspot

framedwindowsA report from ABI Research said that of the 22.5 million notebook shipments in 2013, the ultra portable segment held 12.3 percent of the market.

Selling prices worldwide averaged between $940 to $1,540 but the higher end represented the majority of the ultra portables sold.

Most of these machines use the Windows 8 OS, which “suffered fits and starts during 2013”, largely because of usability problems and “poor first impresions”.

ABI believes that many people and organisations are still waiting for hiccups in the OS to be sorted out.  And as tablet prices fall, many are testing the water with the slate form factor.

LTE mobile broadband will soon become a key differentiator as it reaches critical mass.

Samsung trims its notebook sails

Samsung HQ in CaliforniaIn further evidence that the market for X86 notebooks is on the wane, it appears that Korean giant Samsung has decided to cut down manufacturing the beasts.

According to Digitimes, it will only ship seven million notebooks during this year – that’s a drop of over 40 percent compared to 2013.

The wire said that Samsung wanted to ship 17 million notebooks last year but only managed to sell 12 million units.

Further, it has no plans to launch new notebooks in 2015, unless they are Chromebooks, Digitimes claimed.

Samsung was unavailable for comment.  Last week the giant released results that were slightly dented by a fall in demand for its range of smartphones.

Tablet sales soared in last quarter

ipad 3Rather as expected, global tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013 showed a 29.8 percent rise compared to the same quarter a year before.

That’s according to the research wing of Digitimes, which thinks 78.45 million units shipped during the period.

But the research doesn’t spell particularly good news for Apple.  It hogs 29.7 percent of shipments, other vendors account for 36.6 percent, while white box units represent 33.8 percent of the market.

According to Digitimes Research, the Android OS represent 51.2 percent of shipments, Apple’s iOS 44.9 percent and Microsoft Windows based tablets a trifling 3.9 percent.

Breaking the market share out, the research showed Apple at 29.7 percent, Samsung 17.4 percent, Amazon 5.4 percent, Lenovo 4.2 percent.  Acer, Dell and HP trailed with market shares of one percent or below.

Intel fails to shine

Brian KrzanichDespite getting swept up in hype over the internet of thongs, Intel’s predictions for 2014 are unlikely to bring much succour to its shareholders.

Reporting its fourth quarter results last night, its net profit rose 6.4 percent for the period ending in December but revenues only grew 2.6 percent.  Mind you, it still turned in a gross profit of 61 percent, which is no peanuts by any corporation’s standards.

CEO Brian Krzanich claimed the results were solid and the PC market is stabilising.

But its lucrative server market appears to be suffering with only a  one percent rise in its unit sales.  Krzanich said the firm had overestimated recovery in the corporate sector.

Intel is predicting a “flat” 2014 but Krzanich hopes that smartphone and tablet sales will pick up this year.  Both Intel and Microsoft have been outflanked by a change in habits from customers who prefer to swipe immediately rather than wait a good while for Intel-Microsoft tablets to boot up.

Smartphone shoppers smarter than average shopper

Amazon logoResearch from IDC suggests that your average smartphone shopper is smarter than your average bear.

And smartphones are turning out to be a bit of a nightmare for your average high street shop.

IDC analysed app and mobile of over 10,000 smartphone users during the holiday season.

One in three of the people IDC surveyed said they bought more online than from bricks and mortar outfits in the season, compared to the same period the year before.

Amazon did particularly well out of the trend.

Of those that were surveyed, 69 percent believed that smartphones were critical tools when you’re out shopping.  And 70 percent said they’d use their smartphones more in the future.

Five out of 10 people check reviews from their smartphones and shoppers tend to trust social networks for views.

IDC’s results were born out by Dan Wagner, founder and CEO of Powa Technologies. He said: “The traditional stores really need to up their game to compete in the new shopping paradigm that we are entering. Customer engagement is the key to survival in 2014, at present customers who walk through the doors of high street shops are unknown to them.

“This needs to change fast, customer engagement holds the critical path to growth in fierce market conditions. It is vital for retailers to know the buying behaviour of the person who has walked through the door: are they a loyal customer? What are they interested in? Online retailers have all this information and utilise it to engage their customers very effectively as the sales figures have born out.”

Android to hit one billion users

pc-sales-slumpA report from market research company Gartner said gadgets including PCs, tablets, ultramobile and phones will grow by 7.6 percent this year.

And the Android OS is set to exceed a billion users during the course of the year. By 2017, Gartner said, 75 percent of Android volumes will come from emerging market.

It’s not good for companies tied to the traditional PC market however. Ranjit Atwal, a research director of Gartner, said users were moving away from traditional PCs such as desktops and  notebooks and the better flexibility of hybrids, tablets and light notebooks are seen as better by many.

Gartner says 1.9 billion mobile phones will ship this yer, and smaller tablets will edge larger tablets out and compete with hybrids, said Atwal.

The report shows an inexorable move away from PCs – both notebooks and desktops from 341,273 thousands of units in 2012 to 268,491 thousand in 2015.

The tablet market will grow by 47 percent this year with lower average selling prices.  The PC market will be flat this year, but will get a boost from Windows ultramobiles.

Samsung readies a tablet blitz

Samsung rules the roostGiant chaebol Samsung is readying an assault on the low end tablet market with a range of cheapo machines intended to consolidate its place in the sector.

It will introduce a Galaxy Tab 3 Lite – a seven inch unit – which is set to be priced at $129, Taiwanese wire Digitimes reports. The machine will have a 1024×600 display, use a 1.2GHz Cortex A9 microprocessor, come with 1GB of storage, have a three megapixel camera and Android 4.2, the wire reports.

But it’s not leaving it there, it seems.  It will also introduce more seven inch as well as eight inch, 10 inch and 12 inch models this year.

Samsung remains second in the tablet market, behind Apple, but wants to be number one.

Unlike Apple, and many other players in the tablet market, Samsung has its own fabs and can source memory, microprocessor, display and other components as well as use its own machine assembly lines.

Ryman gets net boost

Theo Paphitis, RymanStationery outfit Ryman saw its business grow by only 1.7 percent over Christmas, compared to the same period a year ago.

But subsidiary Robery Dyas, which Ryman bought in 2012, did somewhat better, clocking an increase of 5.2 percent, season on season.

The third string to the Theo Paphitis bow, Boux Avenue, saw its business grew by 20.2 percent. It has 21 stores here in the UK, and four abroad. Robert Dyas has 96 shops in the UK, while Ryman has 237 across the nation.

The periods cover from the 1st of November to Christmas Eve, 2013.

Paphitis said he was delighted with the performance of these three businesses – which came via footfall and mouse click or swipe.

He said that the businesses saw “significant increases” online and it managed to make more sales and better margins without having to discount stuff.

Intel thinks wearables will save its bacon

Brian KrzanichThe CEO of ailing chip company Intel has expressed the view that now the PC is at the end of the road, if it brings wearable technology out of its capacious hat it will be saved.

Brian Krzanich, the newly fledged CEO of Intel, told Recode.net that it would show off some technology at next week’s CES show in Lost Wages that would have people spinning in the aisles.

As well as showing off some wearable stuff, Intel will also tell the world about more Quark chips which are likely to wheedle their way into wearable gadgets, and, who knows, even end up in intelligent toothbrushes or condoms.

Krzanich acknowledged in the interview that Intel was identified as the PC company over the last 20 years and said the battle was worth fighting and winning. “But the market moved.”

What he means, of course, is that the market moved but Intel forgot to move so got overtaken by a heap of tablets and smartphones far divorced from X86 technology.

Krzanich doesn’t recognise that it has lost the smartphone and tablet market and claims Intel chips will be in 40 million tablets sold in 2014.

The chips won’t even be made in Intel fabs, he told Remote.net.