Bangladesh mobile operators began offering 4G services last month, albeit in limited areas, after gaining the necessary licences.
India has become the fastest growing smartphone market in the world with total shipment growing 14 percent to 124 million units in 2017, according to IDC.
By Edward Lim
The telecommunications market, except for mobile, is facing a slowdown in growth. According to IDC, the Pay TV services market, which consists of cable, satellite, Internet protocol (IP), and digital terrestrial TV services, will remain flat over from 2017 to 2021.
Dell and Asus are the leading lights in an overall weak PC monitor market in Q2.
Total shipment was 28.5 million units in Q2, a 6.4 percent decline from the corresponding period last year, according to IDC. Some of the market softness can be attributed to a strong Q2 last year.
IDC currently forecasts 117 million PC monitor units will be shipped for the full year of 2017 and expects to see a 2.2 percent decline year-over-year in worldwide shipment to 27.8 million units in Q2 2018. By 2020, worldwide shipment is expected to be less than 112 million units as the adoption of mobile devices at lower price points is expected to continue.
New Android mobile phone launches spurred growth in Australia, leading to year-on-year growth of 18.4 percent to 2.16 million units, exceeding expectations in Q2, according to IDC.
Smartphones accounted for nearly all of the shipped phones — totalling 2.06 million.
Android returned to being the most popular smartphone OS in Australia. Recently, iOS had overtaken Android as the most popular smartphone OS in Q4 2016 as it held over 54 percent of the market compared to 47 percent for Android.
Spurred by growing interest in artificial intelligence (AI), the Asia-Pacific (APAC) robotics market is expected to growth to US$162 billion in 2021, accounting for 70 percent of the world’s total robotics market in 2021, according to IDC. China is expected to dominate with 45.7 percent market share over the next five years.
From a technology perspective, APAC spending on robotic systems is expected to grow to US$92 billion in 2021.This includes industrial, service and consumer robots and after-market robotic hardware. Meanwhile, services-related spending, which encompasses application management, education and training, hardware deployment, system integration, and consulting, will grow to more than US$44 billion in 2021.
“The convergence of robotics and artificial intelligence technologies are accelerating the development of the next generation of intelligent robots for industrial, commercial, and consumer applications. Intelligent robots with innovative capabilities such as cognitive interaction, self-diagnosis, and learning are emerging and driving wider adoption of robotics in many industries including manufacturing, resources, healthcare, retail, and so on,” said Dr Jing Bing Zhang, Research Director of Robotics at IDC Manufacturing Insights.
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.
Singtel is one of four telcos identified as leaders in Asia Pacific (APAC) in 2016-17 by IDC in its report entitled IDC Telecom MarketScape for Next-Generation Service Providers 2016-17.
The report, which evaluates the leading regional and global telecommunications service providers (SPs) in APAC, also listed AT&T, BT and Orange alongside Singtel was “Leaders” of the next-generation telecom service providers in the region along with plenty of challengers in the market.
These service providers demonstrated a strong regional network presence, comprehensive suite of enterprise cloud and managed ICT service offerings, diverse portfolio of services in areas such as Internet of Things (IoT) and collaboration in the region, as well as a large base of mid and large-sized enterprises, multinational corporations (MNCs), and government clients across Asia Pacific.
Global IT services and business services revenues are expected to cross the US$1 trillion mark for the first time in 2018, according to IDC.
Worldwide services spending totals for 2016 are expected to stay within the US$900 billion range and by 2020 expected to near US$1.1 trillion.
With more than US$100 million worth of spending each this year, the largest services markets will be key horizontal business process outsourcing (BPO) and systems integration services, which will also generate the largest revenue pools over the 2016-2020 forecast period. Business Consulting Services is forecast to outpace both markets in terms of growth.
Move aside Huawei and Xiaomi because Oppo is now the leader in China’s smartphone market. And the number goes to vivo, another Chinese maker.
According to IDC, the China smartphone market grew 5.8 percent year-on-year and 3.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q3 with Oppo and vivo overtaking Huawei for the first time.
Oppo and vivo rose because the Chinese market has evolved beyond operator and online driven channels over to an offline structure that dovetails with Oppo and vivo’s strengths.
One of the hottest products recently is experiencing growing pains. Smartwatch shipment slid 51.6 percent to 2.7 million units in Q3 compared to the same period last year, according to IDC.
Although the decline is significant, it is worth noting that Q3 was the first time Apple’s Watch had widespread retail availability after a limited online launch. Meanwhile, the second generation Apple Watch was only available in the last two weeks of Q3.
“The sharp decline in smartwatch shipment volumes reflects the way platforms and vendors are realigning. Apple revealed a new look and feel to watchOS that did not arrive until the launch of the second generation watch at the end of September. Google’s decision to hold back Android Wear 2.0 has repercussions for its OEM partners as to whether to launch devices before or after the holidays. Samsung’s Gear S3, announced at IFA in September, has yet to be released. Collectively, this left vendors relying on older, aging devices to satisfy customers,” said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager of IDC’s Wearables team.
3D printing continues to gain traction globally and the market is expected to more than double to reach US$35.4 billion in 2020, according to IDC.
While 3D printers and materials will represent nearly half the total worldwide revenues throughout the IDC forecast, software and related services will also experience significant growth.
Revenues for computer-aided design (CAD) software are forecast to triple over the five-year forecast period while the market for on-demand parts services will nearly match this growth. The gains in both software and on-demand parts printing are being driven by the rapidly expanding use of 3D printing for design prototyping and products that require a high degree of customization in non-traditional environments.
The Philippines smartphone market jumped 20 percent in Q1, according to IDC. With a projected annual growth of 25 percent this year, this makes the country the fastest growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia (SEA).
“While many of the more mature smartphone markets of the world already displayed signs of saturation, the Philippines smartphone market continues to enjoy robust growth owing to a relatively low smartphone penetration rate (30 percent in 2015), active local brand presence, and healthy consumer spending,” said Jerome Dominguez, Market Analyst for Mobile Devices of IDC Philippines.
Local vendors continue to dominate the Philippines smartphone market as they flood it with the most affordable smartphone options.
Worldwide shipment of wearable devices are expected to reach 101.9 million units by the end of 2016, representing 29.0 percent growth over 2015, according to IDC.
The market for wearable devices will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3 percent, culminating in 213.6 million units shipped in 2020.
“Unlike the smartphone, which consolidated multiple technologies into one device, the wearables market is a collection of disparate devices,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst of IDC Mobile Device Trackers.
Virtual reality (VR) is not new but it has had a few false starts in recent years. However, it looks like 2016 is going to be a great year for VR.
According to IDC, worldwide shipment of VR hardware will hit 9.6 million units in 2016. Led by key products from Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Oculus, the category should generate hardware revenue of about US$2.3 billion this year.
While VR will drive nearly all of the hardware volume in 2016, augmented reality (AR) hardware is forecast to ramp up over the next few years. The combined AR/VR device market will see hardware shipments surge past 110 million units in 2020.
The economic gloom has hit the global enterprise client device market comprising thin and terminal clients. The market was down 6.8 percent in Q4, bringing 2015 decline to 6.9 percent, according to IDC.
This was due to project cutback or delay in the face of a faltering economic outlook and reduced public budgets.
The Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) provided the only bright spark in the downturn, growing just over 10 percent in 2015.
Wearable devices are all the rage. Fueled by the growing popularity of fitness trackers and the Apple Watch, the global wearable device market grew 126.9 percent in Q4, bringing total annual shipment to 78.1 million units, a rise of 171.6 percent, according to IDC.
“Triple-digit growth highlights growing interest in the wearables market from both end-users and vendors. “It shows that wearables are not just for the technophiles and early adopters; wearables can exist and are welcome in the mass market. And since wearables have yet to fully penetrate the mass market, there is still plenty of room for growth in multiple vectors: new vendors, form factors, applications, and use cases. This will help propel the market further,” said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager of IDC’s wearables team.
“What is warranted is continued innovation and development. The market can only get so far with ‘me too’ and ‘copycat’ wearable devices. End-users expect improvement from what they have now, and new applications to spur replacement and increased adoption. Historical data, like steps taken and calories burned, has been a very good start. Prescriptive data, like what else a user can do to live a healthier life, coupled with popular applications like social media, news, and navigation, will push wearables further, and attract more users,” he added.
Smartphone 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.
The year’s looking bad for tablets as worldwide demand is expected to slide 8.1-percent to just 211.3 million units, according to IDC.
The new forecast follows three consecutive quarters of declining worldwide tablet shipments in 2015. Despite the challenges facing the overall market, IDC expects detachable tablets will continue to represent a growing portion of total shipments.
“We’re witnessing a real market transition as end users shift their demand towards detachables and more broadly towards a productivity-based value proposition. The proliferation of detachable offerings from hardware vendors continues to help drive this switch. We’re starting to see the impact of competition within this space as the major platform vendors – Apple, Google and Microsoft – now have physical product offerings. With attractive price points, including the introduction of sub-US$100 detachables, and platform innovation being driven by competition, IDC is confident that the detachables segment will nearly double in size in the next year, recording more than 75 percent growth compared to 2015,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard , Research Director, Tablets, IDC.
Smartphone sale is rising in India with 28.3 million shipped in Q3, according to IDC. That’s a 21.4 percent increase from 23.3 million units for the same period last year.
In Q3, 4G enabled devices have witnessed almost a three-fold increase in unit shipment over the previous quarter.
“The growth in the smartphone market was helped by rising demand for affordable 4G smartphones,” said Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC.
Tablet sale continued its decline for the fourth straight quarter, according to IDC. Q3 shipment of 48.7 million units represented a 12.6 drop year on year, further highlighting the challenges the tablet market is facing.
At the close of 2014, IDC estimated the installed base of tablets to be 581.9 million globally, which was up 36 percent from 2013 but slowing quickly. With mature markets such as North America, Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific well past 100 million active tablets per region, the opportunities for growth are getting fewer.
“We continue to get feedback that tablet users are holding onto devices upwards of four years. We believe the traditional slate tablet has a place in the personal computing world. However, as the smartphone installed base continues to grow and the devices get bigger and more capable, the need for smaller form factor slate tablets becomes less clear. With shipment volumes slowing over four consecutive quarters, the market appears to be in transition,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director of IDC.
Total spending on cloud IT infrastructure (server, storage, and Ethernet switch, excluding double counting between server and storage) will grow by 24.1 percent to reach US$32.6 billion in 2015, according to IDC.
This amount will account for a third of the overall end user spending on enterprise IT infrastructure, up from 27.9 percent in 2014. In comparison, spending on IT infrastructure deployed in traditional, non-cloud, environments will decline by 1.6 percent in 2015, although at US$66.8 billion will remain the largest segment of the market.
Spending on private cloud IT infrastructure in 2015 will grow by 15.8 percent year over year to US$12.1 billion, while spending on public cloud IT infrastructure will increase by 29.6 percent to US$20.5 billion.
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.
HP continued to lead the India x86 server market in Q1 2015 with 38 percent market share in terms of units, followed by Dell with 19 percent, according to IDC. Lenovo increased its share marginally due to large multi-million dollars deal in central government vertical.
White box players have also witnessed year on year growth as some of the organisations specially cloud providers are preferring them for reducing cost and greater control over their infrastructure.
Overalll, the x86 server market in India grew by 7.5 percent in terms of units and double-digit in revenue in Q1.
The numbers for the tablet and 2-in-1 market for Q1 in Australia look grim — total shipment was 770,772 units, representing a massive 40 percent quarter-on-quarter decline.
According to IDC, while the seasonal slump is customary, the magnitude of this decline is steeper than expected. Shipment decline of 25 percent year-on-year further reinforced the reality of a slow-down in demand for this product category.
However, drilling down into the segments reveals some positive signs. Whilst consumer shipments declined by 27 percent year-on-year, commercial shipments increased by a modest 1.2 percent.
Vietnam is the only growth market for PCs in Asia in Q4, according to IDC. A total of 610,000 PCs were shipped during this period, bringing annual total to 2.13 million units, a two-percent increase over 2014.
In the second half of 2014, promotions of Windows 8.1 with Bing notebooks and the slow but steady growth of convertibles led to an increase in volumes that helped to stabilise the PC market.
“While it helps to prevent the drop of PC shipment in Vietnam, aggressive moves from vendors generally took down the price further that impacts the margins too. Looking at 2015, we’re still expecting a resilient PC spending added with small but growing gaming market to keep the market stable,” said Yen Phan, Market Analyst for PCs at IDC Vietnam.
Smartphone shipment in India observed its first drop in Q4, according to IDC. The decline was attributed to a high channel inventory at the beginning of the quarter among general trade which in turn was caused by the surge witnessed in online sales during festive season.
Q4 was seen as a correction phase when the Smart Phone market shrank by four percent while the feature phone market plummeted by about 14 percent over the previous quarter. The overall mobile phone market stood at 64.3 million units in Q4, which reflects a sequential drop of 11 percent over Q3 and an annual drop of five percent in 2014.
The feature phone to smartphone migration trend is clearly visible as smartphones formed a healthy 35 percent of the overall mobile business in Q4, an increase of 13 percent fom a year ago.
It’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.”
Flash-based array is more than just a flash in the pan. The emergence of more robust offerings that can handle a wide range of increasingly complex workloads helped drive the worldwide flash-based array market to US$11.3 billion in 2014, according to IDC.
The impact that flash-based arrays will have on the datacentre is undeniable as more flash-based platforms are delivering enterprise-class data services, including snapshots, clones, encryption, replication, and quality of service (QoS) as well as storage efficiency features.
Once dominated by storage startups looking to carve out a niche with flash-optimised solutions, the promise of flash in the datacentre is driving traditional enterprise storage vendors, such as Dell, EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, NetApp, and Oracle, to all get on board and offer flash-optimised hybrid flash arrays, and in some cases, all-flash arrays.
The smartphone market continued to grow in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan in Q3, albeit at a modest six percent quarter on quarter, according to IDC.
During this period, India led with 23 million units shipped, and added around five million units to the market over Q2.
Emerging markets in the region also surged ahead with 23 million units shipped, accounting for 22 percent growth as tier-1 Chinese vendors extended their reach outside China.