• IT Supply Chain Insights - June 2016


Executive Summary



The largest number of price increases happened on May 5, with 28,613 rises in a single day.

Jump to Monthly Stats
  • Ultramobiles continue shipment growth and market expansion
  • Intel eyes virtual reality with new ten-core chip
  • Western Europe printer market in decline

The turbulent IT channel provided as many peaks as it did troughs this month, while the euro experienced significant falls against both the pound and dollar.

TV panels, Wearables, Smartphones and premium ultramobiles all relished in growth. Lower SSD costs are helping adoption, annual spending on semiconductors is falling, flash prices have dropped and printer shipments to Western Europe fell.


Exchange Rate


The euro's sturdy start to the month in comparison to the pound did not stand to last, ending the month down after what looked like a promising start. Increasing from the start of 0.7831 to 0.7917 on 3rd May and remaining stable until 16th May, the euro dropped dramatically to 0.7678 by 19th May. A slight relief felt on the 23rd May did not last long, with one last drop to meet the month’s low of 0.7599 on 28th May, before limping in at 0.7626 on 31st May.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

Exchange Rate Graph EUR vs USD for April 2016

In contrast to the USD, the euro looked pitiful. Starting at 1.1444, the only but instant rise to 1.1541 happened on 3rd May. It then dropped continuously until it reached 1.111 on 28th May. The concluding three days of the month saw very little change, ending at 1.1141.

US Dollar (USD) per 1 Euro (EUR)

Exchange Rate Graph EUR vs GBP for April 2016

May was the second month in a row and the third in four months that the Eurozone’s inflation was stuck below zero, with consumer prices falling 0.1% YoY. Policymakers consented to more debt relief and bail out aid to Greece, and the countdown to the 23rd June UK referendum on the EU caused Ireland's manufacturing activity to reduce down to is lowest in three years.

Euro (EUR) per 1 British Pound (GBP)

Exchange Rate Graph GBP vs EUR for April 2016

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

Exchange Rate Graph GBP vs USD for April 2016  

Price Changes


Price Changes and News throughout May 2016

Phones and Tablets

Gartner reported, worldwide smartphone shipments reached 349m units in Q1 2016, up 3.9% YoY, and accounted for 78% of all mobile sales.

Inexpensive smartphones in emerging markets and affordable 4G smartphones have driven sales. Samsung were the star players with 81.1m and 23.2% of the smartphone market and Apple at following with 51.6m units and 14.8% market share. Huawei (28.8m and 8.3%), Oppo (16.1m and 4.6%) and Xiaomi (15m and 4.3%) rounded out the best five for units shipped in Q1.

Traditional PCs

The top notebook brand for Q1 was Lenovo, who surpassed HP for shipments regardless of the worldwide marketing continue to spiral downwards. TrendForce reported worldwide shipments fell 19% on Q4 and 7.3% and 7.3% YoY with 35.62m units.

Lenovo's leading 22.2% market share included a 10% shipment decline, while HP's 20.4% market share included a 21.1% quarterly shipment decline. Dell, Asus and Acer followed suit to conclude the top five, while Apple just missed out due to a 40% quarterly decline on MacBook shipments, leaving the brand with just 7.1% of the market.

A market analysis report by Gartner suggested that vendor need to look into the high-end, purpose-built gaming PC segment gaming for long-term profitability.

Premium Ultramobiles/Wearables

The ultramobile premium segment is predicted to achieve revenue growth this year, according to Gartner. The firm states It'll reach $34.6b revenue in 2016, up 16% on 2015 and will continue to increase to $57.6b by 2019.

Q1 shipments of detachable and convertible devices to Western Europe grew 44.7% YoY making up 18.4% of consumer and 21.9% consumer devices, up from 9.2% and 16.3% respectively a year ago, states IDC.

The worldwide wearable market increased 67.2% YoY in Q1 with 19.7m units. Fitbit (4.8m units and 24.5% market share) maintained its assertive position, accompanied by Xiaomi (3.7m and 19%), Apple (1.5m and 7.5%), Garmin (0.9m and 4.6%) and Samsung (0.7m and 3.6%).

IDC states, the wearable market is blossoming and developing, with the holistic smartwatches still not direct competition of the more specialised fitness bands, connected clothing and hearables.

Consentrating on smartwatches, Apple led the industry with 1.5m units and 46% of the industry, closely followed by Samsung's 0.7m units and 20.9% share, Motorola's 0.4m units and 10.9% share, Huawei's 0.2m units (4.7%) and Garmin's 0.1m units (3%) in Q1.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

Gartner revised its worldwide semiconductor spending forecast for 2016, where it suggested the industry would fall 2% to $62.8b, up from the 4.7% yearly decline that it originally forecast in Q1.

Conservative capital spending plans, threating manufacturing by the Chinese government and consolidation and merger and acquisition activity all dramatically affect the competitive landscape of worldwide semiconductor manufacturing. The report also suggests a 4.4% growth in 2017, driven by demand for 10 nanometer (nm) and 3D NAND process development.

TrendForce reported, NAND flash contract pricing dropped 10% in Q1 YoY, and overall revenues the industry dropped 2.9% to $8.06b. Plummeting smartphone shipments sent eMMC and Client-SSD pricing down 13-18% on the quarter. Global DRAM revenue also fell 16.6% QoQ in Q1 to $8.56b in revenue. Samsung retained its top position with 46.4% market share, even with revenue falling 16.6% on the quarter to $3.97b. SK Hynix came in second with 27.1% market share and a 19.2% quarterly revenue decline to $2.32b.


Intel has produced its fastest ever processor made for the PC gaming and virtual reality markets this month. The newest Core i7 Extreme Edition i7-6950X is the top line for the Broadwell-Eline series which has been designed for enthusiasts with it record breaking ten cores. The new ten-core chip has a clock speed of 3GHz, 25mb of cache and is valued at US $1,700.


SSDs will undoubtedly be in 40% of the notebook market by the conclusion of 2016 due to their falling prices making them a more desirable for cost performance than HDDs says DrameXchange (TrendForce). According to the report 128GB SSDs are going to be priced lower than the 500GB HSSs by Q4 and 256GB SSDs will be level with 1TB HDDs in cost terms. The report also noted Q1 shipments of client SSDs exceeded expectations with 22.6m units.

Samsung still looks to revolutionise the SSD market following the announcement of its new 512GB SSD that's half the size of a postage stamp and has read/write speeds as much as 1500mb/s.


Chinese brands aided in the worldwide growth of the LCD TV market, accounting for 28% of the 16.2m units shipped. HIS states, following a 63.5% decline in February, Chinese brands rebounded 88.9% from 2.4m to 4.5m units.

All TV panel shipments were found to have fallen in April by 7.2% and by 5% YoY to 20.82m united. The report also acknowledged that regardless of Taiwan’s February earthquake, panel maker Innolux continued to enjoy growth, up 6.8% on March with 3.47m units and a rapid expansion of its 4k panel shipments, which grew 70% to 0.7m units.

LG led panel suppliers in April with shipments of 4.4m units, down 8% on March, while BOE Technology came in second with 3.63m units, a decline of 20.4%.

In other news, TrendForce reported a rise in gate-on-array, a thin-film transistor (TFT) technology that really helps to cut costs, it's expected to be at least 50% of the large LCD panel shipments in the next half of 2016.


Western Europe printer and multifunction printer (MFP) market fell 7.7% in Q1 YoY to 5m units shipped, while revenue dropped 2.5% YoY, reported IDC. 79.7% of all shipments to the region were accounted for by MFP products, the lowest in three quarters. Business inkjet shipments did rebound offering something positive for the region with 6.4% growth.

MFP market in the UK the fell 11.4%, with the company inkjet segment increasing less than the remaining of the region at only 2.6%, and both laser and broader UK inkjet markets declining.

According to IDC the global hardcopy peripherals market also fell YoY in Q1. Shipments were down 10.6% to 23.11m units. Inkjets fell 11.1% and laser 10.5% YoY.

Other notable Q1 printer highlights include 8.4% YoY growth for high-end colour laser devices, Epson grew 6.7% YoY and HP increased its laser business 3% in North America 39% of the industry share.


Monthly Stats


New products experienced a month of rapid rises and falls, with the bright spots including a decline from 387 to 127 on 2nd May, a leap to 481 on 10th May, falling to 29 on 11th May and reaching its month peak of 530 by 17th May. Following little stability, new products ended the month at 211.

New products were dominated by HP by brand and price reduction by manufacturer, while Cisco led price increase by manufacturer.

Daily total price increases jumped from 9,302 to 19,982 on 2nd May, falling to 2,586 on 3rd May and achieving the month high of 28,613 by 5th May. The remaining portion of the month was less dramatic, but did see a drop to 792 on 26th May before finishing at 9,656.

Daily price decreases enjoyed a term of stability in what was otherwise an equally volatile month. Highlights came from a rise from 10,199 to the month high of 23,755 on 2nd May, and a low point on 5th May. They saw some stability at 12,191 on 13th-15th May and 20234 on 19th-22nd May, and a remarkable fall on 29th May toc conclude the month at 1,265.

A lot of the rapid fluctuation in stock movements occurred in initial and concluding weeks of the month. Stock up fell on 2nd May and soared on 11th May, while stock down dropped to its low point on 31st May.

New Products May 2016

New Products Graph for March 2016

Prices and Stock Movements May 2016

Prices and Stock Movements Graph for March 2016




Get this monthly IT supply chain news direct to your inbox

Subscribe now

Recent Issues