Your smartphone will be smarter than you by 2017

GartnerIn four years’ time, your smartphone may be smarter than you. It will be able to predict your next move, next purchase or interpret actions based on what it knows, according to Gartner. This insight will be performed based on an individual’s data gathered using cognizant computing — the next step in personal cloud computing.

“Mobile phones have turned into smartphones thanks to two things: technology and apps,” Carolina Milanesi, Research Vice President of Gartner. “Technology has added features such as cameras, locations and sensors, while apps have connected those to an array of functions that, for the most part, add and improve our day to day life from a social, knowledge, entertainment and productivity point of view.” 

What smartphones can do through apps has improved and broadened thanks to the personal cloud. “We assume that apps will acquire knowledge over time and get better with improved predictions of what users need and want, with data collection and response happening in real-time,” she added.

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Global video game market to reach US$93b

GartnerThe worldwide video game marketplace, which includes video game console hardware and software, online, mobile and PC games, will reach US$93 billion in 2013, up from $79 billion in 2012, according to Gartner.

Driven by strong mobile gaming and video game console and software sales, the market is forecast to hit US$111 billion by 2015.

Mobile games are the fastest-growing segment of the market, with revenue set to nearly double between 2013 and 2015 from US$13.2 billion to US$22 billion.

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Touch-enabled notebooks top wish list

IDCTouch is in. Beyond touch screen phones, users in Asia-Pacific want touch-enabled notebooks.

According to an IDC Asia-Pacific end user survey, 82 percent of respondents prefer a touch-enabled notebook for their next purchase.

The annual survey that studies end user behaviour and usage on client devices. The usage explosion of smartphones and tablets, where touch screen is a prominent feature, is a key driver of taking these screens to the personal computer. The study also finds that the majority of PC users today, even in emerging markets, own a smartphone, especially for 26-35 year olds at 87 percent. 

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Lower-priced products to drive devices growth in 2013

GartnerLower-priced devices are driving the growth of worldwide combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones in 2013, according to Gartner. The global devices market is expected to hit 2.32 billion units, a 4.5 percent increase from 2012.

Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desk-based and notebook) are forecast to total 303 million units in 2013, an 11.2 percent decline from 2012, and the PC market, including ultramobiles, is forecast to drop 8.4 percent. Mobile phone shipments are projected to grow 3.7 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units.

Tablet shipments are expected to grow 42.7 percent this year, with shipments reaching 184 million units. Premium tablets are faced with continued price decline in the 7-inch form factor as a larger number of consumers prefer smaller form factors when it comes to content consumption.

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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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Myanmar’s devices market set for explosive growth

IDCMyanmar’s devices market is on target to take centre stage as the country hurtles towards becoming an ICT-driven nation, according to IDC.

Following the award of telecommunications licenses to Telenor and Ooredoo, SIM cards and service provision has dipped considerably towards levels even low-wage earners are able to afford. IDC expects this to drive a considerable uptake in demand for both mobile phones and tablets.

“The Myanmar government has set highly ambitious targets for mobile subscriber penetration over the next two years. At this point, they are on the right track, but there is still much work left to be done,” said Daniel Pang, ASEAN Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.

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Tablets to outship PCs in Q4

IDCTablets and smartphone shipment will continue to drive growth in 2013, according to IDC, which expects tablet shipment to surpass total PC shipment (desktop plus portable PCs) in Q4. The worldwide smart connected device market, comprising PCs, tablets, and smartphones, is forecast to grow 27.8 percent year over year in 2013, slightly lower than the 30.3 percent growth in 2012.

PCs shipment is still expected to be greater than tablet shipment for the full year, but IDC forecasts tablet shipments will surpass total PC shipments on an annual basis by the end of 2015. Smartphones will continue to ship in high volumes, surpassing 1.4 billion units in 2015 and accounting for 69 percent of all smart connected device shipments worldwide.

In terms of shipment value, the worldwide smart connected device market will again exhibit double-digit year-over-year growth of 10.6 percent in 2013, but this growth will gradually slow to just 3.1 percent in 2017. The tapering revenue forecast reflects the increasing impact of low-cost smartphones and the white box tablet market.

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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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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.”

Cellebrite introduces PC-based wireless retail solution

Cellebrite DeskTopCellebrite has introduced Cellebrite DeskTop, a PC-based version of its suite of applications that increase revenue, boost margins and improve customer satisfaction in the store and beyond.

Cellebrite DeskTop includes fast phone-to-phone content transfer, back-up, and restore, a fully automated phone trade-in programme, application content and delivery, and robust diagnostics to “detect and correct” phone problems, in an integrated solution running in a Microsoft Windows environment.

It reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) by offering retailers the flexibility of running on a general-purpose PC, eliminating the added cost associated with dedicated hardware. Users will also benefit from unprecedented system performance, including fast content transfer.

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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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Smartphones account for half of mobile device shipments in Japan in Q1

Smartphone shipments in Japan grew 4.0 percent year over year in Q1 to 6.8 million units to account for half of the overall mobile device market in Q1, according to IDC’s Japan Quarterly Mobile Device Tracker.

Total shipments in the Japan mobile device market for Q1 came to 13.6 million units, an increase of 9.7  percent on a year-over-year basis.

While the PC market declined by 4.6 percent in the quarter, the rapidly growing tablet market enjoyed year-over-year growth of 187.2 percent to slightly more than 2 million units. The tablet growth was largely driven by the availability of inexpensive new tablets and huge sales incentives from mobile operators to boost the shipping volumes of LTE (4G) tablets. 

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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. 

Malaysia’s PC market down 18% in Q1

IDCThe PC market in Malaysia dropped 18 percent in Q1, compared to the same period last year, according to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker. However, the 898,000 units sold in the quarter represented an 18 percent growth in sequential quarter.

A major delivery of mini-notebooks nationwide under the government’s Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) project was the only notable event in an otherwise lacklustre quarter. The education and enterprise segments both posted declines after flushing their budgets last quarter.

Retail spending on PCs was also curtailed by distractions from Chinese New Year festivities and the influx of smartphones and tablets into the market. However, the positive response to touch-based notebooks in retail was a notable silver lining in a gloomy retail climate. 

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. 

Philippines’ printer market bucks APAC trend

The market for printing devices in the Philippines grew by an astounding 34.5 percent in Q1, compared to the same period last year. This is a sharp contrast to overall Asia-Pacific region drop of 7.6 percent, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-on-year drop.

According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals (HCP) Tracker, about 233,400 units of single and multifunction printers (MFP) and copiers were shipped in Q1 versus 174,000 units in Q1 of 2012.

Eight out of 10 were of inkjet technology while laser and serial dot matrix (SDM) accounted for the remaining 12.9 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively. Total market revenue hit an all-time high of US$48.2 million.

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1b smart connected devices to be shipped to BRIC countries in 2014

The ASUS Transformer Book Trio is among the many smart devices launched at Computex.
The ASUS Transformer Book Trio is among the many smart devices launched at Computex.

At Computex in Taipei last week, tablets and mobile devices took centrestage. ASUS, maker of the Google Nexus 7, even introduced a tablet starting from just US$129. It looks like these vendors are right on track to tap a burgeoning demand for smart devices.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, global shipments of smart connected devices (PCs, tablets, and smartphones) are expected to surpass 1.7 billion units by 2014 with roughly 1 billion units delivered to emerging markets.

Within the emerging markets, the BRIC countries — China, India, Brazil, and Russia — are expected to generate shipments of 662 million units with a shipment value of more than US$206 billion. More than 650 million units are forecast to be shipped to developed markets, with the US, UK, and Japan capturing more than 400 million units with a shipment value of US$204 billion.

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ASUS aims to take gaming to “incredible” level

Gamers, rejoice! ASUS wants to take gaming experience to “incredible” level with its new lineup of gaming desktop and notebook PCs.

Announcing this to a global media gathering at TICC in Taipei, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih pointed out that ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) is not just about hardware but taking the gaming experience to new levels of incredible.

The new lineup includes:
1. G750 gaming notebook featuring the recently announced NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M mobile GPU.
2. Tytan G30 desktop which comes with up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 GPU.
3. Poseidon graphics card based on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 and 770, which combines with the new Formula motherboard to make the ultimate gaming machine.
4. Sonic Radar visualized audio positioning which helps gamers to identify where the enemy is coming from. this feature is available on all new ROG sound cards and motherboards.
5. Maximus VI Impact, a mini-ITX that works with the NVIDIA DirectCU in a small form factor.

Dell unveils mobility solutions to support BYOD initiatives

DellDell has unveiled new solutions that help organisations better plan, deploy and manage mobile and BYOD environments to help drive greater business value from their IT investments.

At Dell’s “The Power to Do More — Accelerating Results” event held in San Francisco today, company executives, industry leaders, global customers and channel partners shared insights and perspectives on Dell’s end-to-end strategy for meeting customers’ requirements. Additionally, interactive, customer-led discussions showcased Dell’s integrated technologies and scalable design point, which are proving instrumental in addressing emerging business demands and technology megatrends, including consumerization of IT, cloud computing, data insights, security and business intelligence.

“Dell is uniquely positioned to deliver highly differentiated, complete solutions — from clients to cloud and everything in between — that remove the barriers created by legacy technologies while empowering customers and partners to unlock new business opportunities,” said John Swainson, President of Dell Software. “Software is the catalyst to modernizing today’s IT environments, enabling organisations to do more and achieve greater business results.”

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IDC: Indonesia a growing market despite global PC slump

IDCDespite the reported decline of PC shipment globally, IDC believes that Indonesia will grow slightly in the coming years.

According to IDC WW Smart Connected Devices (PC) tracker, the trend of the PC market is moving towards flat to negative growth in China, India, and ASEAN.

“While the slowdown is a global phenomenon we have to accept as fact, it does not necessarily signal the beginning of the end for the PC market in Indonesia,” noted Wilhendra Akmam, Research Manager at IDC Indonesia.

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Gartner: 2.4b PCs, tablets and mobile phones to ship in 2013

GartnerWorldwide shipment of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are expected to top 2.4 billion units in 2013, a 9 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner. Device shipments are predicted to reach more than 2.9 billion units in 2017. However, the mix of these devices will significantly change over the forecast period.

The proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets.

“While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device,” said Carolina Milanesi, Research Vice President at Gartner. “As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis.”

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Gartner’s Top 5 IT predictions for China in 2013 and beyond

GartnerGartner has published its top five IT predictions for China in 2013 and beyond, as China’s IT market undergoes major transformation, especially in cloud and mobility. Analysts said that although China’s IT market has similarities with the global IT market, it also faces challenges and opportunities that are very specific to the Chinese marketplace.

Enterprise spending on IT in China is forecast to grow from US$117.8 billion in 2013 to reach $172.4 billion in 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent, compared to a global growth rate of 3 percent over the same period, according to Gartner.

“In common with many emerging markets, cloud and mobile initiatives are hot and enterprises are also making progress in adopting virtualisation technologies, a key stepping stone in the journey to cloud,” said Matthew Cheung, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Without the legacy systems that hamper many western enterprises, Chinese organisations have an opportunity to leapfrog in the adoption of new technologies. However, the current hype around cloud could also result in its failure to live up to market expectation in a few years time. In mobility, China is a market characterised by strong local flavors, especially in the fast growing smartphone and tablet markets.”

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Atomic makes last stand alone

Atomic, an Australian technology magazine targeted at PC enthusiasts, has just breathed its last — as a standalone publication. From the February issue, it will be merged with  PC & Tech Authority (PC&TA).

“With the media landscape shifting at such a fast pace, we felt it was vital that we prepare for the future by pouring all of our resources into one overriding consumer tech brand. It gives the team focus and allows us to invest in areas that deliver expert content, while creating a stronger footing in the consumer tech market,” said  Jeremy Vaughan, Managing Director of Haymarket Media.

Going forward, PC & Tech Authority will be carry more than 16 pages on PC component reviews and gaming content.

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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”.