Samsung is top global semiconductor buyer

GartnerSamsung Electronics is the world’s top semiconductor buyer, and together with second placed Apple, increased their combined semiconductor demand by 17 percent in 2013, according to Gartner.

The two companies consumed US$53.7 billion of semiconductors in 2013, an increase of $7.7 billion from 2012.

“Samsung Electronics and Apple have topped the semiconductor consumption table for three years running, with their share of the design total available market (TAM) rising from 12 per cent in 2011, to 17 per cent in 2013,” said Masatsune Yamaji, Principal Research Analyst of Gartner. “This increase clearly shows how fast the presence of these two companies has expanded over the last three years and why their decisions have technology and pricing implications for the whole semiconductor industry.”

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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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APAC PC shipment down 11.2% in Q3

GartnerAPAC PC shipment continued to head south with 28.1 million units in Q3, an 11.2 percent decline from Q3 of 2012, according to Gartner. Factors contributing to the drop were currency volatilities, especially in India and Indonesia, where currencies plunged to record lows. Vendors were careful in managing inventory, bearing in mind Windows 8.1 and new models based on Intel’s Bay Trail that will start shipping the following quarter.

Globally, PC shipment totaled 80.3 million units in Q3, an 8.6 percent decline from the same period last year. This marks the sixth consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments.

“The third quarter is often referred to as the ‘back-to-school’ quarter for PC sales, and sales this quarter dropped to their lowest volume since 2008,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst of Gartner. “Consumers’ shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets. A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets.”

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Tablets fail to lift flat PC market in Q2

Tablet shipment’s growth 42.9 percent iwas not enough to lift a sluggish PC market in Q2. Desktop and notebook shipments fell 7.4 percent and 13.9 percent respectively, according to Canalys, which believes that tablets will outsell notebooks by Q4.

PC shipment in the Asia Pacific region declined 0.5 percent year-on-year to just over 40 million units. The region was badly affected by slow shipment in China, which accounted for almost 45 percent of the region’s shipment and declined by about six percent.

Demand for smartphones and tablets is increasing around the world. Faced by an industry in transition, channel partners are exercising caution when planning and placing orders.

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Global printing dips but APeJ bucks trend

IDCWorldwide page volume from digital hardcopy devices has dipped to 2.98 trillion in 2012 from 3.03 trillion in 2011, a decline of 1.5 percent year over year, according to IDC.

However, in spite of the decline, the world continues to print at a good clip. Developed countries continued their negative page growth trend, driven by digital workflows, adoption of managed print services (MPS) and anemic economies. The silver lining for print volume in developed economies appears to be net new incremental pages from mobile devices.

While it may seem counter intuitive, smartphone and tablet users are generating more print volume compared to non-tablet/smartphone users.

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China pulls down APAC PC market in Q2

IDCThe PC market slowdown continued in Q2 with Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) dropping one percent last quarter and 11 percent year-on-year in Q2 to reach 26.7 million units, according to IDC’s preliminary results.

Weak sell-in amid ongoing consumer distractions, such as phones and tablets, as well as a slowing economy affected the PC market performance in China, which pulled the entire region down. While consumer sentiment in the rest of region was also tepid, a higher-than-expected shipment for a large education notebook project in India helped to offset some of this decline.

“The second half of this year still faces a number of challenges such as economic and channel conditions in China as well as uncertainty around an education project in India,” said Handoko Andi, Research Manager at IDC Asia/Pacific. “It’s possible for the market to bottom out and recover by 2014 as technology evolves, but IDC confidence is low at the moment given all of the forces tugging at each other right now.”

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. 

Vietnam’s PC market up in Q1

IDCIt looks like Indonesia is not the only market where PC sale is still heading north. Vietnam’s PC market grew by 13 percent in Q1 compared to the same period last year, according to IDC’s Vietnam Quarterly PC Tracker.

Nearly 500,000 PCs were shipped despite concerns over high inventory.

Anticipation of growing consumer demands in under-penetrated areas of Vietnam spurred vendors to increase consumer PC shipments. 

APAC shines in gloomy Q1 for servers

GartnerThe Asia/Pacific posted the strongest growth in server shipment (7.0 percent) and revenue (1.7 percent) year-on-year in Q1.

The US was the only other region to post growth, according to Gartner.

“While these two regions grew in both shipments and revenue, it was not enough to offset the declines of the other geographies – all of which declined in server shipments and revenue for the quarter,” said Jeffrey Hewitt, Research Vice President at Gartner. 

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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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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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Gartner: Worldwide server shipments up 3.6%, revenue down 2.8%

GartnerIn the third quarter of 2012 worldwide server shipments grew 3.6 percent year-on-year, while revenue decreased 2.8 from the third quarter of 2011, according to Gartner, Inc.

“The third quarter of 2012 again produced shipment growth on a worldwide level, but server revenue was weak due to ongoing economic weakness and market segment differences,” said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. “Only the North America and Asia/Pacific regions managed any revenue growth, and even those were essentially flat year to year, with North America showing a 1.1 percent increase and Asia/Pacific a 0.7 percent increase. The picture in terms of shipments was slightly more positive with North America, Latin America and Asia/Pacific all growing, but both EMEA and Japan continue to struggle and both saw shipments contract, compared to the same period last year.”

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HP Elitepad soars with Emirates

Emirates aims to deliver better customer service and flight experience with the HP ElitePad 900.

HP’s new tablets has won over an admirer. Emirates Airlines has started equipping its cabin crew with HP’s ElitePad 900 Windows 8 Enterprise tablets to improve customer service.

 

Running on Windows 8, the new tablets has enabled Emirates to create its Knowledge Driven Inflight Service (KIS) app, which allows air crew to deliver better customer experience. The HP ElitePad 900 tablets are synchronised with the corporate systems before take-off and upon landing, giving the crew updated information such as security, passenger seating and upgrades.

Updates from the HR systems provide supervisors with duty crew data, such as grades, nationalities and language competencies.

Designed for businesses, the HP ElitePad 900 is sleek, thin and light, and comes with enterprise-calibre data, device and identity protection for Emirates
customers with HP Client Security.

 

Mugshot: HP and Apple

Hewlett Packard makes Apples bear fruit

HP and printers are synonymous. For more than two decades, HP has been producing and delivering award winning printers — both inkjet and laser. Today, it carries many models that give companies more than just mere printing functions. Scanning, faxing and copying are functions that have been added to benefit both home and enterprise users.

This mug was given out in the early 1990s during the launch of one of its first printers to run on the Apple platform. It aptly reads “Hewlett Packard makes Apples bear fruit”.