Australia PC market bucks global trend by inching up 3.3%

Consumer and enterprise PC purchases are driving growth in the Australia PC market, which includes desktop, notebook and workstation.

The consumer segment grew 8.6 percent year over year (YoY) in Q2, according to IDC.

“The retail channel was negatively impacted by Dick Smith’s exit last year. This year however, promotional events such as Modern PC program run by Harvey Norman spiked growth in the consumer space. AMD’s new Ryzen series launch and EOFY sales further fuelled growth in this segment,” said Sagar Raghavendra, Client Devices Analyst of IDC Australia.

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NVIDIA brings GeForce 10-series GPUs to notebooks

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NVIDIA Technical Marketing Manager John Gillooly (front left) and GeForce Product Manager Gaurav Agarwal addressing the gathering of APAC editors in Bangkok.

Hot on the heels of its recently-launched GeForce 10-series, NVIDIA has brought that same Pascal generation of GeForce power and performance to notebooks.

At an APAC Editors’ Day held in Bangkok, NVIDIA shared the capabilities that these notebook GPUs bring as well as gave the editors an opportunity to try out the virtual reality features on HTC Vive headsets.

The new GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 GPUs for notebooks, providing gamers with a quantum leap forward in performance and power efficiency on the world’s fastest-growing gaming platform.

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Tablet market experiences steepest drop since inception

Source: ABI Research

​Tablet shipment has experienced the sharpest drop — 35 percent quarter-on-quarter decrease — since 2009. The consumer device also lost 16 percent year-on-year, according to ABI Research.

Apple and Samsung have been key market players and continue to dominate a significant majority of the tablet market.

“2015 is the pivotal year for smaller, competing vendors to step-up, build their business, and gain market share in advanced and emerging markets. The tablet market lacks a truly competitive playing field needing a strong third even fourth vendor to drive the market out of stagnation. Acer, ASUS and Lenovo all show promise for claiming those spots but need to focus on building their businesses especially in markets where purchase decisions are still largely to be made,” said Jeff Orr, Senior Practice Director of ABI Research.

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Global PC shipment down 7% in Q1

CanalysApple held on to its top spot despite a 16 percent drop in PC shipment in Q1. It shipped 17.2 million units, taking a 15 percent market share while Lenovo and HP came in second and third place respectively. Samsung was next with 9.5 million units shipped with Dell just behind with 9.4 million units.

Overall, the global PC market, including tablets, declined seven percent, according to Canalys.

“The growth drivers that previously helped the market through 2014 will have little effect this year. Vendors are struggling with exchange rate fluctuations which is making financial planning more difficult and forcing price increases. These challenges, combined with a softening of demand as Windows 10 draws nearer along with Microsoft’s free upgrade plans, means PC market declines will be greater in the second quarter than they were in the first,” said Tim Coulling, Senior Analyst of Canalys.

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End of notebook dominance

abi researchCan’t say that we did not see this coming. Tablets are set to overtake notebooks as the largest mobile computing category (includes tablets, MS Windows laptops, Chromebooks, and Ultraportable PCs), according to ABI Research.

Tablets, agreed by many to be in competition with Notebook PCs, will gain 52 percent majority of the mobile computing market by the end of 2015.

ABI Research forecasts the flat growth of notebooks, due to longer replacement cycles and device market competition, causing notebook devices to drop from 51 percent market share in 2013 to 48 percent in 2015, and further to 47 percent by 2016.

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NVIDIA updates mobile line-up with GeForce GTX 960M and 950M

NVIDIAIt was only a matter of time before NVIDIA updates its GTX 900M line-up. The GeForce GTX 960M and 950M are designed for lean and thin gaming notebooks.

They come with the same features found in the higher-end chips — BatteryBoost, ShadowPlay, Optimus, and DirectX 12 support.

Notebooks sporting the new GPU include those from Acer, Alienware, Asus, Clevo, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, and Razer,

APAC PC market down 6% in 2014

IDCIt’s not surprising but the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market dipped 6.3 percent to 101 million units in 2014, according to preliminary results from IDC. The fall is not as bad as in 2013, which saw a 10.3 percent drop.

In Q4, the market was flat year-on-year, reaching 25.9 million units, which was marginally higher than IDC’s initial forecasts.

“The good news is that 2015 should not contract as much as last year. While high retail channel inventory and uncertain economic conditions will still bear down on China, upcoming commercial sector activity should help offset that somewhat. India should still have post-elections momentum and yet another large education tender. Indonesia should similarly have post-elections momentum, although high inflation and currency fluctuations are downside risks,” said Handoko Andi Research Manager for Client Devices Research at IDC Asia-Pacific.”

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APAC PC market up 8% in Q3

IDCSpurred by consumer PC demand in China and India, the APAC (excluding Japan) PC market rose eight percent in Q3, according to IDC’s preliminary results. However, shipment dropped five percent year-on-year compared to Q3 2014 to 26.6 million units.

In India, positive consumer sentiment after the elections resulted in high retail walk-ins while vendors in China pushed volumes in spite of a poor sell-out. Asean was a mixed bag with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand experiencing double-digit annual declines, while other countries such as Vietnam did well.

“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. This programme has helped consumers buy licensed OS PC in many countries in the region,” said Handoko Andi, Research Manager for Client Devices Research at IDC Asia/Pacific.

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APAC PC market matches Q2 expectations

IDCThe Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market grew two percent from last quarter and declined 10 percent year-on-year in Q2 to reach 24.3 million units, coming in marginally higher than IDC’s initial forecasts, according to the research firm’s preliminary results.
In India, shipments to an ongoing large education project came in earlier than expected, adding about 100,000 units to the commercial PC segment. Thailand’s coup d’état, on the other hand, resulted in a steep double-digit annual decline as channels were wary to take in shipments. Microsoft’s Bing programme is ramping up in the region’s emerging markets, with Malaysia being the first to come in strong this quarter.
“The ongoing economic slowness in the emerging markets sets the tone of the overall PC demand and inhibited the region’s year-on-year growth. There are pockets of optimism coming from mature markets such as ANZ, Singapore, and Hong Kong, where the smartphones and tablets near saturation. However, the region’s growth has been adversely impacted with the rise of large-screen smartphones in China and most ASEAN countries,” said Handoko Andi, Research Manager for Client Devices Research of IDC Asia/Pacific.

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APAC PC market dips for 8th consecutive quarter

IDCThe Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market declined eight percent sequentially and 11 percent year-on-year in 2014 Q1 to reach 23.8 million units, according to preliminary results from IDC.

Elections in some of the bigger markets contributed to the region’s overall decline. In India, an ongoing large education project was postponed due to the upcoming elections, shaving off about half a million units from the commercial PC segment. In Thailand, political unrest continued to have an adverse impact on the economy, while in Indonesia, government funds were diverted in the run-up to the elections, resulting in lower commercial spending in PCs there this quarter.

“However, as these markets stabilise after the elections, IDC expects commercial activity to resume in the second half as a result of pent-up demand,” said Handoko Andi, Research Manager for Client Devices of IDC Asia/Pacific. “On the consumer side, ongoing distractions from smartphones and tablets as well as cautious channel intake impacted most markets in the region, especially in Southeast Asia.”

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APAC PC market shrank 10% in 2013

IDCThe Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market declined 10 percent in 2013 to reach 108 million units, according to preliminary results from IDC.

The economic sluggishness in big emerging markets in the region adversely affected buying sentiments, with education sector projects being a lone bright spot in the commercial space, without which the region could have dropped even further. On the consumer side, smartphone and tablet distractions spread throughout the region this year, further contributing to the sharp decline in the PC market.

In Q4, the market came in two percent below IDC’s initial forecasts with a nine percent year-on-year decline. While most of the region was generally in line with forecasts, Thailand stood out as an exception, as the market there was plagued by the ongoing political turmoil. Shipment volumes this quarter will likely be the lowest in Thailand in the last four years.

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Android-based tablets outship iPads in Q2

Three in 10 PC shipped in Q2 were tablets. According to Canalys, more than 34 million tablets were shipped in Q2, a 43 percent year-on-year increase. Even more impressive is the fact that tablets now account for 31 percent of worldwide PC shipments.

The charge is led by Android-based tablets as Apple’s tablet shipments declined 14 percent in Q2 and saw its market share shaved to 43 percent. The chasing pack of Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo, and Acer each grew annually by over 200 percent, driven by increasing demand for small-screen tablets.

Canalys estimates that 68 percent of tablets shipped in Q2 had a screen size smaller than nine inches. “Consumers have been evaluating tablets and the results are now in,” said Tim Coulling, Senior Analyst at Canalys . “With touchscreens contributing to a high proportion of the build cost of a tablet, small-screen products can be priced very aggressively.”

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Lenovo nudges HP off global PC perch

IDCLenovo became the number one PC vendor in Q2 as HP slid to second with Dell coming in third.

According to IDC‘s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Lenovo continued its streak of gains following channel expansion and solid product development. In Q2, it made impressive gains outside of Asia Pacific except Japan (APeJ). However, the headwinds in China continued to affect its home turf significantly. Lenovo ended the quarter with a double-digit decline in APeJ. Overall growth has slowed from prior quarters, and slipped into negative territory this quarter, but still outpaced the market and top competitors.

HP slipped to second place, but growth improved from recent quarters. It was boosted by shipments to India as part of large education projects. Despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding its restructuring, Dell performed above market with a decline of 4.5 percent. As with HP, this was a significant improvement from the past year that was aided by improving growth in the US. It managed to perform above market in all key regions except APeJ.

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Thailand’s PC market declines 20% in Q1

IDCSluggish demand in Thailand’s consumer market helped drive PC shipment down 20 percent in Q1, compared to the same period last year.

According to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker, PC shipment reached only 800,000 units in Q1.

“Channel partners reacted quickly to the slowdown by reducing PC buy-in to make room for faster-moving devices like tablets” said Jarit Sidhu, Market Analyst for Client Devices Research at IDC Thailand. 

Android and Windows tablets picking up steam in ANZ

IDCThe ANZ tablets market grew a phenomenal 147 percent year-on-year in Q1, bringing the total market size up to 1.14 million units, according to IDC. This tremendous growth was due to increased demand of smaller, cheaper Android tablets, as well as Windows tablets.

“Users now have better access to a wide range of low to high-end tablets as well as different operating systems compared to last year. In 2012, an user would usually choose between an Apple iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab but now, a year later, brands like ASUS, Acer and Microsoft would also appear on the user’s radar,” said Suzanne Tai, Associate Market Analyst of IDC’s ANZ Infrastructure Research Group. “Whitebox tablets have picked up significantly as well, driven with heavy promotions by retailers such as Aldi, Harvey Norman, K-Mart, and Warehouse Stationary.”

“Android is growing its foothold in the marketplace, thanks to Samsung’s aggressiveness with promotions and channel strategies, as well as the influx of whitebox tablets. Additionally, Windows tablets are also gaining traction with entry of new models, pilot rollouts and implementations in commercial sector especially in education.”

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PC sales in ANZ dip in Q1

IDCThe PC market is weakening as demand for tablets and other mobile devices strengthen. In Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), the PC market closed Q1 with a 21 percent and 27 percent dip respectively compared to the same quarter last year, according to IDC.

This decline is all the more ominous in view of recent cuts to the Australian Federal interest rate and the quarter being the end of financial year in New Zealand.

“The softness in PC sales across the consumer and commercial space reflects a declining demand for PCs,” said Amy Cheah, Market Analyst of IDC Australia. “More consumers are skipping or delaying PC purchase as tablets become the more common alternative for mobile access. Vendors, as a result, took a more cautious approach this quarter, cutting back on shipments given the slow moving inventory situation.”

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New NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs extend battery life, enhance performance, enrich experience

GeForce 700MFive new NVIDIA notebook GPUs deliver a trifecta of technologies that seamlessly and automatically maximise a consumer’s notebook performance and experience. With no effort or input from the notebook user, the technologies work in the background to save battery life, enhance performance and enrich the visual experience — providing the best notebook experience the GPU can deliver. They include:

  • New NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 technology, which intelligently adjusts GPU clock speed to maximise graphics performance.
  • NVIDIA Optimus technology, which enables extra-long battery life by switching the GPU on and off so it runs only when needed.
  • GeForce Experience™ software, which adjusts in-game settings for the best performance and visual quality specific to a user’s notebook and keeps GeForce drivers up to date.

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Acer enters professional workstation market

AcerAcer has expanded its commercial offering with the Veriton P series and new Altos servers, which support a wide range of computing configurations and feature the Intel Xeon E3 and E5 processors, ECC memory, RAID support, and backup components to maximise the performance and run time.

“With a full range of high-performance products and a flexible operating strategy in place our new workstation and server lineup promises immediate benefits for the most demanding clients. We will be able to reach out to many more customers in the SMB, Enterprise, Education and Government sectors,” said Walter Deppeler, Senior Corporate VP and Head of Commercial Business at Acer.

The new Veriton P Series Workstations provide robust computing and rendering for the individual user. The Veriton P series targets customers ranging from small offices to large scale corporations and public organisations and pack NVIDIA’s professional 3D and 2D graphics cards with support across the Intel range of Xeon processors.

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Gartner: Declining worldwide PC shipments in Q4 of 2012 signal structural shift

GartnerWorldwide PC shipments totaled 90.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 4.9 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2011, according to preliminary results by Gartner. Analysts said the PC industry’s problems point to something beyond a weak economy.

PC shipments in Asia/Pacific totalled 29.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 1.8 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2011. Vendors struggled to offer compelling products to convince buyers to upgrade and attract new buyers as consumers’ interest continues to be on smartphones and tablets. The introduction of Windows 8 met with lukewarm response and availability was primarily on the higher-end models, which were priced beyond the mainstream price point for volume sales.

“Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by ‘cannibalizing’ PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Whereas as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC. There will be some individuals who retain both, but we believe they will be exception and not the norm. Therefore, we hypothesise that buyers will not replace secondary PCs in the household, instead allowing them to age out and shifting consumption to a tablet.”

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