• IT Supply Chain Insights - March 2017

Welcome to this monthly IT Supply Chain Insights. 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 1, with 17,632 rises in a single day.

Jump to Monthly Stats
  • Smartphone shipments to continue growing
  • HP enjoys quarterly sales growth in personal PC market
  • Semiconductor revenue reaches record high

February was a mostly positive month for the IT channel. Smartphone shipment growth is predicted to increase, semiconductor revenue achieved record levels, DRAM prices continue to sit high, SSD prices are up and LCD TV panel shipments saw growth.

However, on the down side, tablets including hybrids have and will continue to fall, and the euro was down against both the GBP and USD.


Exchange Rate


The euro started sturdy but ended down against the GBP this month. Rising from 0.8553 to 0.8634 by 4th February it soon fell, hitting 0.8479 by 16th February. A quick recovery was short lived, rising to 0.8551 by 19th February then plummeting away at 0.8445 on 22nd February. The euro then recovered somewhat to conclude the month at 0.8522.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)


The euro did not fare well against the USD either. It fell ever so slightly gradually from 1.0781 on the 1st February to 1.0532 by 22nd February. A slight rebound concluded the month at 1.0594

US Dollar (USD) per 1 Euro (EUR)



Irrespective of falling against both markets, its suggested it is still a positive time for the Eurozone, from news outlets. The Financial Times said the single economy has now relished in 14 consecutive quarters of growth and little unemployment was holding strong. The Nation and CNBC stated business activity was at a six-year high and that job creation was at the its best in over nine years.

Euro (EUR) per 1 British Pound (GBP)


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



Price Changes


Price Changes and News Throughout February, 2017

Phones and Tablets

Gartner reported, worldwide smartphone shipments for Q4 2016 increased 7% YoY to 432m units and 5% on the year to 1.5b units. Samsung was overtaken by Apple by 0.1% to claim the quarter’s top smartphone vendor spot with 77.04m units and 17.9% market share.

On the contrary IDC said 2016 recorded its lowest ever smartphone shipment increase with just 2.5% YoY. Looking ahead, shipments will increase to 4.2% to at least 1.5b units in 2017 and will continue to grow to achieve 1.77b units by 2021.

To celebrate the iPhone’s 10th year, three new models will be produced by Apple in 2017, with 100m of its forecasted 230m units shipped to have AMOLED displays. The 3 models are a 4.7” LCD with 2GB memory and a 5.5” LCD with 3GB memory, both with up to 256GB storage, while the third, the major draw card, will be a 5.8” AMOLED display with 3GB memory, 64/256GB storage, 3D sensing (with facial recognition and AR features) and a redesign featuring no home button, says TrendForce.

Q4 was a sorrowful time for tablet shipments with hybrid/detachables experiencing their first holiday season deterioration. Global shipments reached 52.9m units for the quarter, down 20.1% YoY, while annual shipments of 174.8m units were down 15.6% YoY.

By vendor, Apple (-18.8% to 13. 1m units and 24.7% market share), Samsung (-11.4% to 8m units and 12-15.1% market share) and Amazon (-0.6% to 5.2m units and 9.7% market) all experienced shipment dips, while Lenovo grew 14.8% to take fourth with 3.7m units and Huawei in fifth progressed 43.5% to 3.2m units and 6% of the market.

Worldwide tablet shipments for 2016 were down just 6.6% YoY to 157.4m units, TrendForce reported. Even with a 14.1% drop to 42.55m units shipped, Apple had sturdier than expected results to preserve 27% of the market. Samsung’s 27m units (-19.4%) saw it come in second with 17.2% of the market.

Traditional PCs

HP announced a second consecutive quarter of growth for personal PC sales this month up 4% YoY to $12.7b. The increase comes from higher-priced gaming buyers and a rise in demand for detachables, says fortune. However, HP is now expecting a larger than normal drop in sales for the next Q.

Shipments of personal computing devices (laptops, notebooks, desktops, workstations) and tablets joint, will fall at a 0.8% CAGR over the next few years from 435m units in 2016 to 418.2m units by 2021, according to IDC.

Premium Ultramobiles/Wearables

A report by IDC predicts strong growth for detachable tablets. Enjoying a 21.4m shipments in 2016, representing 4.0% of the market. In 2021, that number is predicted to rise to 56.1m units, accounting for 13.4% of the market. That’s a 21.2% CAGR compared to the personal computing device market’s overall 0.8% decrease.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

The worldwide semiconductor industry reached its peak for annual sales in 2016, up 1.1% YoY to $338.9b, says The Semiconductor Industry Association. The market for sales was led by Logic with 27% and $91.5b, closely followed by memory ($76.8b) and micro-ICs ($60.6b). In 2016 sensors and actuators saw the largest growth, up 22.7% YoY while NAND flash also relished 11% increase in sales to $32b. Regionally, China (+9.2%) and Japan (+3.8%) enjoyed growth, while Europe (-4.5%), Americas (-4.7%) and the AsiaPac/other (-1.7%), all dropped.


TrendForce reported that DRAM revenue was up 18.2% for Q4 on the quarter, with the best vendors (Samsung, SK Hynix and Micro) combining for $5.9b and 47.5% of the market.

TrendForce also noted mobile DRAM revenue rose 20% in Q4 to $5.51b, where Samsung held 61.3% of the worldwide market. All the DRAM industry is expected to relish the 2017 profit, with Samsung set to carry on down its path of victory as it accelerates towards 18nm technology. Mobile DRAM prices are set to increase 10% YoY by the end of 2017.


A continuation of the shortage of worldwide supply of the 2D-NAND flash market, plus the severe shortage at the end of 2016 means SSDs and eMMcs will relish in a 10-20% increase in contract price in Q2 on the quarter, states TrendForce.


Worldwide LCD TV panel shipments relish in a slight YoY growth in 2016, with robust sales in North America helping the market upsurge shipments by 1.6% to 219.2m units.

By vendor, Samsung were top dog with 47.9m units shipped in 2016, presentation little movement from 2015. LGE, in second place dropped 4.1% YoY to 28.2m units, Hisense in third rising one spot after improving shipments 3.9% to 13.3m units, then in forth- TCL (+0.8% to 13.2m) and Sony (-3.7% to 11.7m) making the top five.

AMOLED production is officially set to be the next star with the flat panel industry planning to invest $9.5b in AMOLED specific manufacturing equipment in 2017, says IHS.

The top position for large TFT-LCD display suppliers was taken by Chinese manufacturer BOE taking 22.3% of the market. BOE also grabbed the top position for IT displays with 29% of all 9”+ tablet, notebook PCs and monitor shipments, but were only third for TV panels behind LG (21.5%) and Innolux (16.3%), reported IHS.


Against hardware unit sales increasing 6% YoY, HP’s printing business revenue was in decline 3% YoY in 2016 to $4.5b, reported Zacks.

The worldwide printing ink market is set to increase massively over the next few years. The mandate for ink will reach 4,989.7 kilo tons and $20.16b value by 2020, reports The Recycler.


Monthly Stats


Monthly Statistics

Manufacturer price increases were led by HP, while price reductions were led by Zebra.

Daily price increases started at 17,632, dropped to 8,081, bouncing back to sit at 17,345 from 3rd-6th February and then declining until finally reaching 935 by 15th February. The remainder of the month hovered around 4,000, with some rises in-between plus a leap to 15,957 on 27th February closely followed by a dip to conclude the month at 7,245.

On the 2nd February price decreases saw an immediate jump from 2,227 to 14,695, falling gradually for the rest of the month. A few highlights included reaching a peak of 16,354 on 9th February, plummeting out at 532 on 21st February, and ending the month at 3,219.

Stock up started at 2,505, instantly leaping to 28,658 on 2nd February, and then decreasing to sit at 1,645 from 3rd-6th February. Another peak and trough, repeating for the rest of the month, with highlights including a peak of 31,836 on 13th February, a trough of 1,207 on 21st February and concluding the month down at 2,300.

Stock decreases dropped from 26,597 to the monthly low of 1,964 on 2nd February, rebounding to a peak of 32,097 on Feb 3-6, and saw a continual rise and fall until concluding the month dropping from 27,676 on Feb 27 to 5,652 on 28th February.

Prices and Stock Movements February 2017



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