NVIDIA’s Volta architecture is leaving quite an impression. According to a NVIDIA press release issued at SC17, the Volta-based NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU is available through every major computer maker and chosen by every major cloud to deliver artificial intelligence (AI) and high performance computing.
China’s top technology companies are betting big on the NVIDIA Volta platform.
Alibaba Cloud, Baidu, and Tencent are incorporating NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU accelerators into their data centres and cloud-service infrastructures to accelerate AI for a broad range of enterprise and consumer applications.
At the heart of the new Volta-based systems is the NVIDIA V100 data centre GPU. Built with 21 billion transistors, it provides a 5x improvement over the preceding NVIDIA Pascal architecture P100 GPU accelerators, while delivering the equivalent performance of 100 CPUs for deep learning. This performance surpasses by 4x the improvements that Moore’s law would have predicted over the same period of time.
Inspur, Lenovo and Huawei are using the NVIDIA HGX reference architecture to offer Volta-based accelerated systems for hyperscale data centres. Using HGX as a starter “recipe,” original equipment manufacturer and original design manufacturer partners can work with NVIDIA to more quickly design and bring to market a wide range of qualified GPU-accelerated AI systems for hyperscale data centres to meet the industry’s growing demand for AI cloud computing.
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.
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.
As a sign of its coming of age, the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) held annually in San Jose, California since 2009, is no longer a niche event but one that is drawing the who’s who of the technology industry.
NVIDIA’s shift of focus from being a visual computing company to an AI company has certainly played a big part in the expansion of the conference. It has attracted around 50 sponsors and 150 exhibitors on top of more than 7,000 participants.
However, it’s not the number of sponsors and exhibitors but rather the quality that is worthy of attention. The line-up of technology firms includes luminaries such as Adobe, Alibaba, Amazon, Autodesk, Cisco, Cray, Dell EMC, DreamWorks Animation, IBM Watson, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Verizon Labs, VMware, and Yahoo Research.
With AI being such a prime mover of autonomous vehicles, it is also not surprising that leading names in the automotive industry were also present — BMW Group, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda Research Institute, and Mercedes-Benz R&D North America.
Amid the various booths showcasing VR technologies was one by NASA Ames Research Center, which showed a VR demonstration on Mars.
While 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.
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.
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.
Worldwide PC shipment shed 9.6 percent to 64.8 million in Q1, according to Gartner. This was the sixth consecutive quarter of PC shipment declines, and the first time since 2007 that shipment volume fell below 65 million units.
In the Asia-Pacific, PC shipment dropped 5.1 percent to 23.3 million units. The ongoing fragile Chinese economy and weak global demand continued to dampen consumer sentiment in the region.
With high PC penetration in the major cities, it was a challenge to invoke PC replacements on the appeal of new technology. The PC life cycle is lengthening as many consumers are waiting until their PC breaks down before purchasing a new one.
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.
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.
Lenovo remained the top PC vendor amidst a 9.5 percent global PC shipment decline in Q2, according to Gartner. On the whole, Lenovo suffered along with the rest of the industry with a year-on-year shipment decline for the first time since Q2 2013.
HP also experienced a shipment decline after five consecutive quarters of PC shipment growth. It was impacted by tight inventory controls in the consumer market before the Windows 10 launch.
Worldwide PC shipment totalled 68.4 million units in Q2 with 2015 shipment expected to drop 4.4 percent.
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.
Hybrid devices are leading the growth in the mobile PC market and should reach 21.5 million units this year, an increase of 70 percent from 2014, according to Gartner. Eight million of these will be ultramobile tablets (two-in-one tablets) and 13.5 million hybrid ultramobiles (two-in-one detachable and convertible ultramobiles).
“This will make hybrid ultramobiles the fastest-growing segment of the mobile PC market with 77 percent year-on-year growth,” said Tracy Tsai, Research Director of Gartner.
“The combination of portability, productivity and flexibility of touch and a keyboard in one device is attracting some notebook and tablet users to replace their devices with hybrid form factors. PC vendors are expanding into this segment with a value proposition to compete with Apple and Android-based tablet vendors. Sales of hybrid devices have not stopped growing since 2012, totaling 12.6 million units in 2014 and expected to reach 58 million units in 2019,” she added.
Apple 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.
The combined market share of Chinese brands fell to a two-year low on a global basis, as growth in China slowed to single digit in the first quarter of 2015, according to Canalys
Apple increased its market share in China, extending its lead over its Chinese rivals Xiaomi and Huawei. Major local vendors face the strongest headwinds in their home market since the smart phone boom began in 2011. Lenovo (including Motorola), Yulong and ZTE recorded their lowest shipment volume to the Chinese market for the last two years.
“Consumers are losing their appetite for ultra-low-cost devices, as expectations increase in line with spending power and, combined with rising market saturation, this is resulting in a major shift to devices that provide better user experience,” said Jingwen Wang, Analyst of Canalys.
Can’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.
The stats are in – tablet shipment dropped 12 percent to 67 million units in Q4, according to Canalys. The desktop market fell back into a decline in Q4 as Windows XP upgrades waned. The notebook market held firm with another quarter of just one percent growth.
Total PC shipments (desktops, notebooks and tablets) fell six percent in Q4 to reach 148 million units, resulting in full-year 2014 shipments of 528 million units, up three percent on 2013.
Apple regained the top spot in the PC market on the strength of holiday sales, with just under 27 million units shipped. Lenovo’s shipments grew six percent year on year to almost 20 million units as it increased its market share to 13.3 percent. Samsung dropped out of the top three to make way for HP, with growth of 17 percent driving shipments over 17 million units, its best quarter since Q3 2011.
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.”
Lenovo maintained its pole position in the PC market, holding off HP and Dell. However, the gap between Lenovo and HP narrowed as HP garnered 18.8 percent of the market in Q4, relative to Lenovo’s 19.4 percent, according to Gartner. Dell remained third with 12.7 percent market share.
Overall, worldwide PC shipment totalled 83.7 million units in Q4, a one-percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2013. These results indicate a slow, but consistent improvement following more than two years of decline.
“The PC market is quietly stabilising after the installed base reduction driven by users diversifying their device portfolios. Installed base PC displacement by tablets peaked in 2013 and the first half of 2014. Now that tablets have mostly penetrated some key markets, consumer spending is slowly shifting back to PCs,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst of Gartner.
Q3 is a stunning quarter for smartphones as global shipment broke the 300 million unit barrier for the first time. This represented year-on-year growth of 23 percent, according to Canalys.
While Samsung and Apple remain the market leaders, the tussle for the third spot is heating up with was Xiaomi (six percent) followed closely by Lenovo and Huawei at five percent each.
“The global market is becoming more competitive, with vendors beyond Samsung and Apple enjoying growing success. A year ago, in Q3 2013, Samsung and Apple together accounted for 48 percent of worldwide smart phone shipments. While still impressive, in Q3 2014 this had slipped to 38 percent. This trend is likely to continue. It is down to the strong value proposition and increasing quality of products offered across all price points by competing vendors, most notably Chinese companies. In fact, six of the top 10 global vendors in Q3 are based in China,” said Chris Jones, Vice President and Principal Analyst of Canalys.
Spurred 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.
Lenovo is now the biggest x86 server provider in China, following the completion of its acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business. And IDC believes this acquisition will enrich Lenovo’s x86 server portfolio and strengthen its products and channels.
According to the research firm’s latest data, Lenovo shipped 99,101 units in the first half of 2014 and is ranked 4th among all vendors in the same category.
Combining IBM and Lenovo’s shipments in this period of time would make Lenovo the biggest vendor in China x86 server market with a market share of 23.9 percent.
Strong demand for consumer PCs has helped the India PC market grow to 2.55 million units in Q2, jumping 23.6 percent over Q1 2014, according to IDC.
Overall consumer PC market recorded 1.16 million units, a quarter-on-quarter growth of 12.8 percent over Q1.
“The overall sentiments have picked up and IDC observes improved discretionary spending from consumers across devices. It is expected to have a positive influence on the market as we enter the festival season starting Onam,” said Manish Yaday, Market Analyst of Client Devices at IDC India.
Worldwide PC shipment hit 123.9 million units in Q2, representing year-on-year growth of 14 percent, according to Canalys. With no sequential growth, the positive effect that tablets have had on overall PC shipments is beginning to wear off.
Tablet shipment in Asia Pacific (including China) came in 8 percent below Q1 numbers, mainly due to a fall in shipment by Apple and Samsung.
Apple continued to lead the market with a 14 percent market share, though a 10 percent increase in Mac shipments could not make up for a decline in iPad sales, resulting in the company’s overall shipments declining by 5 percent.
Apple and Samsung, beware! Chinese smartphone vendors are hot on your heels. According to IDC, a wide range of Chinese OEMs more than outpaced the market in Q2, with Huawei nearly doubling its shipment from a year ago, followed by Lenovo.
Huawei’s growth is spurred by 4G LTE pick up, particularly in China, as all three national carriers subsidised 4G handsets to encourage consumers to upgrade from 3G. Outside of China, large volumes of its lower-cost Y series fueled growth across most regions. The company continues to focus on broadening its global reach and the Q2 results show that the momentum is undoubtedly there.
Lenovo had a record quarter in China despite tremendous pressure from local brands. During the quarter, Lenovo saw increased success from the A788T and the 3G A388T. While its Motorola acquisition is undergoing approval, Lenovo continued to gain traction in international markets. Though less than five percent of Lenovo’s shipments were registered outside of China in Q2 2013, this share nearly tripled this Q2, with emerging markets, particularly BRIC countries, picking up the largest volumes.
The 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.
Samsung has retained its pole position in ABI Research’s tablet vendor Competitive Assessment. In the analysis of 23 leading tablet vendors, ABI Research ranked companies on several criteria for product implementation and vendor innovation. The Korean giant prevailed in the innovation category and finished second in the implementation strategy.
Close behind Samsung in second place is Apple. Clearly dominating in shipment volume, Apple has been a strong contender in the tablet ecosystem. Apple places number one in implementation strategy but comes in close second for innovation. The two leading tablet makers have managed to stay ahead of other tablet OEM vendors.
In third place is Lenovo, which has done a great job of expanding its tablet portfolio by marketing to a large audience range and providing unique user interfaces.