Global IT spending to rise to US$3.7t in 2018

Global IT spending is expected to grow to US$3.7 trillion in 2018, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2017, according to Gartner.

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APAC PC market down 5.1% in Q2

PC shipment in the Asia-Pacific region surpassed 21,5 million units, down 5.1 percent in Q2 compared to the same period last year, according to Gartner.

The dip was due to primarily due to market dynamics in India and China. In India, the pent up demand after the demonetisation cooled down after Q1, coupled with the absence of a large tender deal compared to a year ago and higher PC prices, brought about weak market growth. China was hugely impacted by the rise in PC prices due to the component shortage.

Overall, global PC shipment totaled 61.1 million units in Q2, a 4.3 percent decline from the same quarter last year.

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China vendors corner India smartphone market

China-based vendors strengthened their grip in the India smartphone market, snaring 51.4 percent share of the smartphone shipment in Q1, according to IDC. They grew 16.9 percent sequentially and an impressive 142.6 percent over the same period last year.

In contrast, share of homegrown vendors dropped to 13.5 percent in the Q1 from 40.5 percent in the same quarter last year.

Overall, 27 million smartphones were shipped in Q1, a  14.8 percent growth over the same period last year. Unlike last year, shipment grew sequentially in the first quarter of 2017 by 4.7 percent recovering from demonetisation impact in Q4.

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Huawei smartphone strides ahead in China

Huawei has taken top spot again in China’s smartphone market, edging past Oppo after two quarters of trailing in second place. According to Canalys, the Chinese smartphone giant, which launched the P10 and P10 Plus during MWC, shipped close to 21 million units to secure an 18 percent market share in Q1.

Despite strong annual growth of 55 percent, Oppo fell to second place with shipments of just under 20 million units. Third-placed Vivo had the lowest annual growth of the top three, capturing a 15 percent share with its shipment of 17 million units.

“China’s smartphone market continues to grow, with shipments increasing by over nine percent year on year this quarter. But there is a clear indication that the market is consolidating. The top three vendors are pulling away at the head of the market, accounting for more than 50 percent of shipments for the first time this quarter,” said Lucio Chen, Research Analyst of Canalys.

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No more IDF

After nearly two decades, Intel has decided to bring the curtains down on its annual Intel Developer Forum(IDF). Even the China edition has been canned.

A highly anticipated and popular event, IDF was the platform for new product announcements.

“Intel has evolved its event portfolio and decided to retire the IDF program moving forward. Thank you for nearly 20 great years with the Intel Developer Forum! Intel has a number of resources available on intel.com, including a Resource and Design Center with documentation, software, and tools for designers, engineers, and developers. As always, our customers, partners, and developers should reach out to their Intel representative with questions,” according to the official IDF website.

HTC leads in China VR market

HTC has captured the top spot in the virtual reality (VR) headset market in China with 18 percent market share, according to Canalys. It shipped more than 50,000 of its Vive headsets in China.
Local vendor DeePoon came a close second, taking a 17 percent share with two headsets to compete with HTC. In 2016, almost 70 percent of DeePoon’s shipment were of its M2 smart VR headset.
Overall, around 300,000 VR headsets were shipped in 2016, making it the world’s second largest market with a share of around 15 percent.

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China smartphone market hits record high

The very popular Huawei Mate 9 helped propel Huawei to the top.
The very popular Huawei Mate 9 helped propel Huawei to the top.

Everybody knows China is big but with nearly half a billion smartphones shipped last year, the market is massive — that’s one smartphone for every three person in the world’s most populous country.

According to Canalys estimates, China reached 476.5 million unit shipment, growing year on year at 11.4 percent, far exceeding the annual growth rate of 1.9 percent in 2015. China shipment reached 131.6 million units in Q4, which is the highest single quarter total in history, accounting for nearly a third of worldwide shipment.

Huawei took the top spot in the market with 76.2 million shipment, a small lead ahead of runner-up Oppo with 73.2 million units, followed by Vivo in third place at 63.2 million units.

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China phone makers dominate India market in Q4

CanalysWhile Samsung remained at the top, China smartphone makers occupied four of the top five positions to snare the lion’s share in India in Q4, according to Canalys.

Their extremely price-competitive devices pushed out India makers, who have been hit hard by the Indian government’s decision to demonetise the INR500 and INR1,000 (US$7.30 and US$14.65) banknotes.

“Local brands’ target customers typically buy in cash and from independent retailers. With the short-term liquidity crunch caused by demonetisation, these retailers are suffering a slowdown in consumer spending. Local vendors are losing out as retailers look to shift their stock to fast-moving, current devices. In Q4 2015, Micromax, Intex and Lava took second, third and fifth place, accounting for almost 30 percent of the market. One year on and all three vendors have dropped out of the top five, with their collective share falling to around 11 percent,” said Rushabh Doshi, Analyst of Canalys.

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NVIDIA launches new Shield TV

SHIELD TVNVIDIA has unveiled at CES  a new Shield TV media streamer, which like its predecessors will not be available in the Asia-Pacific region. However,  a separate version of Shield, with custom software optimised for China, will be available later this year.

The new device is an Android open-platform media streamer that is claimed to deliver unmatched experiences in streaming, gaming and AI.

Sporting a sleek, new design and now shipping with both a remote and a game controller, the new Shield delivers rich visual experience with support for 4K HDR and three times the performance of other streamers.

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1 in 5 user interaction with smartphone will be via VPAs in 2019

google-nowAdvances in various technologies will drive users to interact with their smartphones in more intuitive ways, said Gartner. It expect that, by 2019, 20 percent of all user interactions with the smartphone will take place via virtual personal assistants (VPAs).

“The role of interactions will intensify through the growing popularity of VPAs among smartphone users and conversations made with smart machines,” said Annette Zimmermann, Research Director of Gartner.

Gartner’s annual mobile apps survey conducted in Q4 among 3,021 consumers across three countries (US, UK and China) found that 42 percent of respondents in the US and 32 percent in the UK used VPAs on their smartphones in the last three months. More than 37 percent of respondents (average across US and UK) used a VPA at least one or more times a day.

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Xiaomi: No money from smartphones

xiaomi-mi-maxMany of us may know Xiaomi as a leading China handphone maker with its unique business model of selling in batches online.

In an interesting revelation to Reuters, Xiaomi Global Vice President declared that the company does not make money from selling handsets.

He is essentially saying that Xiaomi is giving away smartphones because the focus is on “recurring revenue streams over many years”. The company is looking at revenue from other products, such as smart-home device, software and services.

Worldwide semiconductor spending to dip 0.7% in 2016

GartnerWorldwide semiconductor capital spending is expected to slide 0.7 percent in 2016, to US$64.3 billion, according to Gartner. This is up from the estimated 2 percent decline in Gartner’s previous quarterly forecast.

“Economic instability, inventory excess, weak demand for PC’s, tablets, and mobile products in the past three years has caused slow growth for the semiconductor industry. This slowdown in electronic product demand has driven semiconductor device manufacturers to be conservative in increasing production,” said David Christensen, Senior Research Analyst of Gartner.

“Looking ahead, it appears the second half of 2016 may see improved demand. However, following Brexit, semiconductor inventory levels may rise in the third and fourth quarters, which could lead to reduced production volumes,” he added.

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China’s world’s fastest supercomputer built without US chips

TaihulightChina has continued its lead in the race for the world’s fastest supercomputer with the Sunway TaihuLight, whose Linpack mark of 93 petaflops outperforms the former TOP500 champ, Tianhe-2, by a factor of three.

What’s more remarkable is that the new powerhouse is driven by a new ShenWei processor and custom interconnect, both of which were developed in China. This breaks a traditional reliance on US supercomputing technologies.

 

Located at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, it will be used for research and engineering work in areas such as climate, weather and earth systems modeling, life science research, advanced manufacturing, and data analytics.

Alibaba to take US$1b stake in Lazada

AlibabaLeading e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced that it would pay US$1 billion for a controlling stake in Singapore startup Lazada, which has e-commerce operations across Southeast Asia.

Established by Rocket Internet in 2011, Lazada is a popular e-commerce platform for a wide range of consumer products.

“With the investment in Lazada, Alibaba gains access to a platform with a large and growing consumer base outside China, a proven management team and a solid foundation for future growth in one of the most promising regions for e-commerce globally,” said Michael Evans, President of Alibaba.

Slower smartphone growth in 2016

Despite the launch of new models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, smartphone growth is expected to slow down this year.
Despite the launch of new models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, smartphone growth is expected to slow down this year.

Global smartphone sale is expected to experience just a single-digit growth this year, according to Gartner.

It estimates that global smartphone sale will reach 1.5 billion units, a seven percent increase from 2015. The total mobile phone market is predicted to reach 1.9 billion units in 2016.

“The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end. Historically, worsening economic conditions had negligible impact on smartphone sales and spend, but this is no longer the case. China and North America smartphone sales are on pace to be flat in 2016, exhibiting a 0.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent growth respectively,” said Ranjit Atwal, Research Director of Gartner.

While smartphone sales will continue to grow in emerging markets, the growth will slow down. Gartner predicts that, through 2019, 150 million users will delay upgrades to smartphones in emerging Asia-Pacific, until the functionality and price combination of a low-cost smartphone becomes more desirable. Continue reading “Slower smartphone growth in 2016”

China Telecom Beijing Research Institute and ZTE to collaborate on R&D

China TelecomChina Telecom Beijing Research Institute and ZTE have inked a strategic agreement to develop cutting edge technologies including SDN/NFV, 4G+/5G and IoT related.

They will work closely and share resources to develop better network technologies that will support China Telecom’s network construction and service reconstruction. The collaboration will also benefit the industry by bringing more advanced, cutting-edge technologies and innovations to market.

“As we enter the artificial intelligence era, operators are expected to provide a full range of network solutions. Through this partnership, we will be able to significantly advance SDN/NFV, 4G+/5G, cloud computing and big data technologies in the coming years. I believe the new technologies will become a reality through pilot deployments”, said  Zhang Chengliang, Vice President of China Telecom Beijing Research Institute.

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China smartphone sale hit record high in Q4

IDCSmartphone sale hit a record 117.3 million in China in Q4. This represents an eight percent growth compared to the same period last year.

The phenomenal increase was partly driven by China’s annual singles day online shopping festival in November and Huawei’s strong shipments in the quarter. China’s Q4 growth boosted the calendar year 2015 growth to three percent.

“Xiaomi, Huawei and Apple are the top smartphone players in 2015. This is a stark contrast to the top players in 2013, which was Samsung, Lenovo and Coolpad – with Samsung clearly dominating other players. With operators reducing smartphone subsidy and given the volatility of consumers’ brand preference in the market, the smartphone scene has changed significantly since then,” said Tay Xiaohan, Senior Market Analyst of IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.

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China to surpass the US in 3D printer market

IDCChina is set to overtake the US to become the biggest 3D printer market this year.

3D printer shipments in the China market passed 34,000 units in 2014, and is expected to reach 77,000 units in 2015, a growth rate over 120 percent, according to IDC.

This growth rate is largely driven by sales of desktop 3D printers priced under US$5,000. As the Chinese government continue to promote 3D printer awareness and usage within schools and educational institutions, the desktop 3D printer market is expected to maintain an annual growth trend in the coming years.

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APAC consumes half of world’s mobile accessories

abi researchEvery other piece of mobile accessory in the world is sold in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. To be precise, APAC accounts for 52.9 percent of all mobile accessories shipment, according to ABI Research.

Admittedly, the region does have a huge population but the sales figures are still staggering as global revenues for mobile accessories are expected to hit US$81.5 billion this year.

Driving the demand are cost competitive smartphones. China holds huge opportunities for accessories due to its large existing and potential consumer base, rapid growth of smartphone and tablet adoption, a growing online retail market and increasing disposable incomes.

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Alibaba joins Microsoft and AWS as leaders in China cloud market

ForresterThe public cloud market in China will more than double in the next five years, from US$1.8 billion this year to US$3.8 billion in 2020, according to Forrester.

Two-thirds of Chinese software decision-makers surveyed by Forrester are making increased use of public cloud platforms a top priority over the next 12 months.

Enterprise public cloud platform vendors in China are improving in terms of their service diversity, simple abstraction for operational efficiency, and operational autonomy for on-demand elasticity. Forrester has evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of 11 cloud vendors Alibaba, AWS, ChinaC, DaoCloud, JD.com, Microsoft, MoPaaS, QingCloud, Tencent, UCloud, and UnitedStack.

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Huawei surges to top spot in China smartphone market

CanalysHuawei has dethroned Xiaomi as China’s top smart phone vendor in Q3. This is Huawei’s first time at the summit of China’s smartphone, according to Canalys.

The company powered its way to first place with 81 percent year-on-year shipment growth, extending its strong performance in the previous quarter. In contrast, Xiaomi’s shipments shrank year on year as it struggled to sustain its high growth.

“Huawei’s ascent to China’s smart phone throne is a remarkable feat, especially in the context of an increasingly cutthroat and maturing Chinese smart phone market. On the other hand, Xiaomi, with its worldwide target of 80 million smart phone shipments for 2015, is under tremendous pressure to keep growing as an international player as it is slowing down in its key home market,” said Jessie Ding, Research Analyst of Canalys.

Camera drones thriving in China

The Parrot Bebop is a fine example of a camera drone that consumers are snapping up.
The Parrot Bebop is a fine example of a camera drone that consumers are snapping up.

Camera drones are getting the attention, or rather causing concern among governments and the general public. While the public is usually perturbed by the invasion of privacy, governments has security and safety concerns.

That’s why it’s surprising that China’s camera drone market is thriving and used in areas such as film and television, geological exploration, and emergency response.

According to IDC, with a growing demand for more sophisticated products, Chinese consumers view camera drones as a trendy and in vogue product.

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Xiaomi nudges Apple off China smartphone perch

xiaomi logoXiaomi continued its phenomenal growth to regained its crown as the largest smart phone vendor in China with 15.9 percent market share in Q2, according to Canalys.

One in three smartphones shipped were from Xiaomi or Huawei, which grew 48 percent quarter on quarter to snag 15.7 percent of the market. Apple fell to third place, followed by Samsung and Vivo.

“The China smart phone market continues to mature, remaining stagnant quarter on quarter. Competition among major brands has never been so intense. Huawei recorded the highest smart phone shipments in its history without compromising its product margin or profitability. Apple and Samsung have both increased their sales activities in the China market, expanding rapidly in channel coverage through flagship stores and small to medium size phone retailers respectively. Xiaomi is under immense pressure to maintain its top position in the quarters to come,” said Jingwen Wang, Analyst of Canalys.

NVIDIA to establish deep learning lab with China partners

NVIDIANVIDIA is teaming up with China high performance computing firm Sugon and the Institute of Computing Technology, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to jointly operate a deep learning laboratory.

The laboratory will promote deep learning by developing and optimising software and hardware, as well as implementing training in deep learning and parallel computing.

NVIDIA is a prime mover in the drive towards deep learning with its powerful GPUs.