• Technology Products Alert - March 2016

Welcome to this monthly Technology Products Alert. This monthly alert will keep you up to date with market trends and IT channel news giving you the knowledge you need to save time and money buying IT.


Executive Summary



The largest number of price increases happened on February 23, with 29,137 rises in a single day.

Jump to Monthly Stats
  • iPhone has its first ever quarterly decline
  • Lenovo, a glimmer of hope in the ever decreasing notebook market
  • Wearables reap the benefits of growth

As we head towards the end of Q1 2016, a confident outlook for the euro and the IT market remains to be found.

The euro enjoyed a minute growth against the pound, but in spite of this increase, ended slightly higher than it began against the dollar. Smartphone growth was sluggish to say the least, while notebook shipments slumped and are expected to stay on this downwards slope. Revenue for the Semiconductor market continues to drop, inventory is damaging DRAM prices, panel deliveries have decreased, and cloud storage is consuming into demand for personal storage.

As a shimmer of light, Lenovo is attaining significant market share, detachable tablets are increasing in popularity and helping preserve both tablet and notebook sales revenue, while shipments of wearables carry on their growth, which is now into triple-figure rates.


Exchange Rate


The euro rose steadily in contrast to the pound in Feb, slipping only a few times in what was usually a month of upwards growth. Starting out at 0.7595, after a slight drop to 0.7571 on 2nd February, the euro increased swiftly to 0.7808 by the 11th February. Several minor increases and decreases followed until it dipped to 0.7724 on the 21st February. This was rapidly followed by an increase to the monthly peak of 0.7907 on the 25th February, before closing the month at 0.7859.

US Dollar (USD) per 1 Euro (EUR)

Exchange Rate Graph EUR vs USD for February 2016

Against the United States Dollar, the euro increased dramatically, from 1.0860 to the monthly high of 1.1312 on the 11th February. However, afterwards it hit a lengthy, gradual decline, eventually resting at 1.0907 at month’s end.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

Exchange Rate Graph EUR vs GBP for February 2016

The ECB guaranteed stimulus if the economic climate did not increase which, following the abrupt dip during the months end into negative inflation (-0. 2%) triggered by low energy prices, has all but affirmed the monthly policy conference on the 10th March will cause more policy reducing.

Euro (EUR) per 1 British Pound (GBP)

Exchange Rate Graph GBP vs EUR for February 2016

US Dollar (USD) per 1 British Pound (GBP)

Exchange Rate Graph GBP vs USD for February 2016  

Price Changes


Price Changes and News through February, 2016

Phones and Tablets

Smartphone sales to end users in Q4 2015 progressed just 9.7% YoY to 403m, claimed Gartner, although it was the segment’s slowest growth rate since 2008.

The report states, the twelve-month tally reached 1.4b, up 14.4% YoY, and while Samsung and Huawei were the only top-five vendors to increase sales, Apple’s iPhone experienced its first sales decline, down 4.4% YoY.

Sales of low cost smartphones in emerging markets, a more robust demand for superior smartphones, 85% of the emerging Asia/Pacific market upgrading midrange smartphones with the same category, and currency devaluations against the United States Dollar all factor to the slow quarter sales.

In other smartphone news, Hewlett Packard declared plans to target the security vigilant business market with its Elite x3 smartphone running Windows 10 and boasting finger-print and iris recognition security. A desk dock attachment will allow employees to use Microsoft Office programs with their keyboard, mouse and display, while the portable extender device permits a 12.5” display and keyboard with access to the phone’s files and apps.

Notebooks and PCs

Global notebook shipments dropped dramatically in 2015 due to the impact of currency depreciation, TrendForce reported, with shipments falling 6.3% YoY to 164.4m.

Lenovo the glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark year for notebook vendors, narrowing the business gap on HP with a 6.9% increase in unit shipments to grab 19.9% of the market. HP preserved its top spot with 20.5% of the market. The two suppliers are needing to continue their rivalry in 2016, while Dell is expected to retain third place thanks to robust US Chromebook sales.

Apple overtook ASUS and Acer to be the next biggest brand in the 2015 rankings, increasing the worldwide market share to 10.34% because of MacBook sales and strong demand in the US.

Premium Ultramobiles

A quarter of the 14m tablets shipped to Western European countries in Q4 2015 were detachable, and despite market volume being down 10.1%, value was down just 1.8% YoY. According to the same IDC analysis, Microsoft managed its position as the established detachable leader, while Apple achieved a good share of this market in Q4 with the introduction of the iPad Pro.

Worldwide shipments of wearables increased 126.9% YoY to 27.4m in Q4 2015, taking annual shipments up 171.6% to 78.1m YoY.

According to IDC, Fitbit maintained its position as undisturbed worldwide innovator with 21m annual deliveries, it shipped 8. 1m units in Q4. Apple’s Watch was number 3 annually with 11. 6m units shipped, and number two for the quarter (4. 1m units).

Gartner predicted that worldwide wearable sales will increase 18.4% YoY in 2016, predicting 274.6m products to be sold, an increase from 232m in 2015. Revenue is also forecasted to generate $28.7b, $11.5b (50. 5m units) of which is from smartwatches.

According to the report, the fitness industry is expected to maintain is average retail prices over the next several years as cyclists, hikers and divers continue to pick sports watches over smartwatches. It expects the emerging head-mounted display market will progress well into mainstream adoption.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) released its 2015 worldwide sales and revenue report this month, making note Dec sales ($27. 6b) dropped 4.4% on Nov and Q4 sales ($82. 9b) dipped 5. 2% YoY, while annual sales revenue decreased just 0.2% YoY to $335.2b.

According to SIA, Logic was the major semiconductor category by sales in 2015 with $90.8b and 27% of the market, accompanied by memory ($77.2b) and micro-ICs ($61.3b) to make the top 3.

In addition SIA released their research of worldwide semiconductor sales for the first part of 2016, confirming a slow start to the year with January sales down 2.7% on December and 5.8% on January 2015.

ABI released its 2015 mobile processor shipment analysis, which, even though enjoying a 13% YoY increase in shipments, proved a demanding for suppliers like Qualcomm, whose market dropped 6% to 31% as a result of top clients (namely Samsung and Huawei), with the reliance on in-house cpus increasing.

Meanwhile, TrendForce is forecasting total capital expenditure between the top three semiconductor producers (Intel, TSMC and Samsung) will grow 5.4% YoY in 2016, almost tripling the sluggish industry average that is predicted to reach 2.1% growth.

The report also forecasts Samsung to continue to increase its attention to semiconductors, after enjoying a 20% rise in annual revenue for 2015, within the same year the annual profit for its smartphone business dropped 20.6%.


Despite Q4 notebook shipments seeming more dynamic than expected and Apple iPhone 6s shipments aiding market demand, DRAMeXchange (TrendForce) announced that reduced average selling prices and persistent market oversupply led to global DRAM revenue dipping 9.1% on the quarter in Q4 2015 to $10.27b.

Samsung claimed the best DRAM supplier position for both market share (46.4%) and revenue, although a 9.7% fall in revenues from Q3 to $4.76b in Q4. SK Hynix came in at number 2 with a 9.3% revenue decrease to $2.87b on the quarter and 27.9% market share.

In the mobile DRAM segment, DRAMeXchange recorded consistent smartphone shipments held the segment to only a 1% decline in worldwide revenue for Q4. Samsung appreciated a 1.3% escalation in revenue on Q3, whilst in second place SK Hynix experienced a 2.1% dip and Micron in third place decreased 7.7% for the equivalent period of time.

In contrast, PC DRAM suffered a 16% quarterly price dip in Q4, and Q1 2016 isn't looking any brighter. A DRAMeXchange analysis in PC DRAM found contract charges for DDR3 (-6.15%) and DDR4 (-8.82%) both fell in January in comparison to December Seasonality and a predicted 20% decline in worldwide notebook shipments are a burden on DRAM manufacturers to reduce contract prices and help move inventory.


Personal & entry-level storage (PELS) shipments fell 9.2% YoY in 2015 to 68.5m units, with annual revenue also decreased 15.1% YoY to $5.4b. Based on the IDC report, Q4 2015 was also unfavourable, with shipments down 6.8% to 19.1m units and revenue down 12.6% to $1.5b.

With cloud storage having negative effects on demand for PELS, 2015 was also the first full year of decline for the PELS market since the 2011 Thailand floods. In the breakdown of the market analysis, 99% of all shipments in Q4 were personal storage, to which competitive pricing led to the 3-5TB drives in the 3.5” segment overtaking the 1-2TB with 51.5% of units shipped. Western Digital led with 31.82% market share, followed closely by Seagate and Toshiba. These three vendors also experienced shrinking shipments YoY.


A recently available WitsView (TrendForce) report showed display panel shipments have dramatically dropped across all segments in January on December. Large-size LCD panels fell 16.8% to 54.47m, TV panels dropped 13.8% to 19.59m, monitor panels fell 17.5% to 10.18m, notebook panels down 19.8% to 11.97m and tablet panels dipped 17.7% to 15.73m units.


IDC stated that the Q4 unit shipments in the Western European printer and multifunction market were down 4.9% YoY, with both inkjet and laser shipment feeling the pain. Q4 2015 saw 6.5m units shipped, down 333,000, mostly as a result of tightening in the buyer market. Revenues rose 1% as a result of lasers, which helped to support the industry as inkjet revenues slid 14.3%.


Monthly Stats


New products were scattered across February, plummeting as quickly as they rose with just a little stability coming towards the end. After a sudden fall from 677 to 84 on 2nd February and again to 39 on 4th February, new products increased dramatically, reaching 546 by 5th February. A significant fall to 8 on 9th February was accompanied by creeping increases, peaking at 552 on 15th February. A small dip followed by a week of stability was accompanied by a drop to 35 on 25th February, and then an abrupt jump up to complete the month out at 354.

HP led total new products by brand with Dell and Microsoft following closely behind, while Cisco commanded both increase and decrease of price by manufacturer. Both the total price increase and decrease per day segments ebbed and flowed in concert. Price increases decreased to the lowest point of 3,734 on 19th-21st February before attaining the monthly peak of 29,137 on 23rd February, while price drops started high, peaking at 23,683 on 3rd February, and reached the depths at 1,889 on 25th February, before ending the month at 18,153.

New Products February 2016

New Products Graph for February 2016

Prices and Stock Movements February 2016

Prices and Stock Movements Graph for February 2016



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