• Technology Products Alert - October 2015

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 September 2, with 25,402 rises in a single day.

Jump to Monthly Stats
  • Economic worries threaten to force DRAM prices down faster
  • Total device shipments will fall 1% this year
  • Smartphone shipments are growing, but not as much as they used to

Individuals are replacing their devices less frequently nowadays, based on Gartner, which is predicting a 1% decline in shipments to 2.4 billion units across all devices this year. Last quarter, it predicting a 1.5% growth. The euro continues to buffer sales in certain categories, and recent fears over China and new markets have caused analysts concern about mid-term fortunes in the DRAM market.

PC shipments continue steadily to decline, as do tablets. Items that show real innovation continue to be strong. Ultramobiles are doing well, as an example, as are flash storage arrays in the enterprise market. 3-D printing, too, is moving from a distinct segment market to popular one, with an associated spike in sales, but numbers here remain relatively small. Almost every other sales are off, including even televisions, which are on the wane overall.

Western Europe bears the brunt of the downturn in a variety of market categories, with Japan also taking a hit. The euro continues to be relatively weak against the dollar, causing challenges to the channel to be economically effective when acquiring and shifting product inventory.


Exchange Rate


The euro had a good month against the pound, starting at 0.7284 and finishing higher, at 0.7413. In the interim, it reached its second highest peak early, on September 3, when it clocked 0.7361. From there, it ranged until September 20, when it finally dipped to meet its monthly low of 0.7226. After that, everything looked rosy for the euro, which climbed sharply until the end of the month.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

The picture was a little different against the dollar. Here, the euro started at 1.1218, rising and then plummeting quickly to a monthly low of 1.1132 on September 5. This heralded a steady rise to a monthly high of 1.1397 on September 19, followed by a sharp crash. The Euro reached 1.1145 on September 24, before recovering modestly to finish at 1.1243, very slightly up on the start of the month.

US Dollar (USD) per 1 Euro (EUR)

The Euro’s fortunes turned so dramatically toward the end of the month in part because of the Greek election. Alexis Tsipras’s radical-left Syriza party won a clear majority, cementing his place after he struck a deal on a new €86-billion bailout. This brings the promise of some security to the euro zone after much uncertainty about Greece’s future in the region over the last few months.

Euro (EUR) per 1 British Pound (GBP)

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

Price Changes


Price Changes and News throughout September, 2015

Phones and Tablets

Tablet shipments will reach 192 million units in 2015, down 13% from last year, according to Gartner, which also said mobile phones would increase a modest 1.4% this year. This latter prediction includes feature phones, however, which are contracting. Smartphone shipments are on track for a 14% increase in 2015, driven by a 43% growth in the Asia-Pacific market, but growth is still slower than we’ve seen in recent history.

Traditional PCs

The global PC market will reach 291 million units this year, a decline of 7.3% YoY, Gartner said. Growth will be flat in 2016. Desktop PCs are far from dead, though. IDC surveyed 600 Western European IT decision-makers, 84% of whom said they would consider purchasing the products. Average desktop lifetime is one year longer than that for a laptop, said the survey, adding that small form factors and mini PCs draw particular interest.

Premium Ultra Mobiles

The big news in the premium ultramobile market was the launch of Microsoft’s Surface 4, a faster version of its hybrid product, housing Intel’s latest generation Core processor. It also launched the SurfaceBook, a hybrid laptop product with separate graphics capabilities.

Premium ultramobile devices are the only category other than mobile phones to see overall market growth in 2015, according to Gartner. The company predicts sales of 44 million premium ultramobile devices (which include Apple’s MacBook Air) compared to 37 million units last year.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

Global semiconductor sales slipped 0.5% in August to $27.7 billion from $27.9 billion the previous month, said the Semiconductor Industry Association. YoY, global sales were 3% lower than August 2014’s $28.6 billion. Currency devaluation and a cyclical market have stifled sales, the organization said, but pointed out that cumulative sales from January to August 2015 are still higher than last year, which was a record year for semiconductor revenues. Europe did particularly poorly, with YoY sales slipping 12.4% in August, driven mostly by the weak euro. Month-on-month, August wasn’t quite so bad for Europe, which saw a more bearable 0.6% decline.


DRAMeXchange said that the average contract prices for DDR3 4Gb DRAM fell 3% to 18.5% dollars in September, from $19 in August. This reflects a temporary push to hold prices higher in August when inventory levels in the spot market were low, the firm said. Overall, the market continues to trend down. If the global economy continues to stagnate, demand will sputter and inventories of DRAM chips produced using newer, advanced processes will bloat. It’s all building up to a steeper slide in pricing, analysts warned. Nevertheless, Samsung still plans to start mass production on its 18 nm process next year, putting the pressure on major competitors SK Hynix and micron.


All-flash enterprise storage soared 113% YoY in EMEA, defying the weak euro and a generally weak storage market. Revenues from external storage systems (ESS) slipped 11% YoY during Q2 2015 to $1.63 billion, said IDC. Hyperconvergence and software-defined storage systems have been cannibalizing the enterprise storage hardware market in the region, the analyst firm said. The western European ESS market slumped 12% YoY during the quarter while its all-flash array market grew 115%.


Global TV shipments are on the wane, slipping 8% YoY to 48 million units in Q2 2015. This was the largest YoY quarterly decline since Q2 2009, when the financial crisis choked off demand. The market for LCD TVs is slowing, and now accounts for 99% of all TV shipments. Western Europe bore the brunt of the decline in the developed regions, although emerging markets outside China did worst of all.

Large-format LCD monitors are taking a bigger share of total monitor shipments. Branded monitor vendors are now using cheaper 32-inch TV panels to make higher-margin large screen monitor products, which is driving shipment growth. 32-inch models will represent 2.4% of monitor shipments in Q3 2015, compared to 0.03% in Q1 2014.


Gartner said that worldwide shipments of 3-D printers will reach almost 500,000 units in 2016, double the 244,533 units that it predicts for 2015. The market category is moving from a niche to a broad-based global market for enterprises and consumers, the firm said. Schools and universities are driving the market for lower-cost consumer 3-D printers under $2500.


Monthly Stats


New products rose from a standing start at the beginning of the month to reach 724 by September 4. They plateaued there before tumbling slightly to 298 on September 9, but then burst to a monthly high of 1007 on September 11. They once again stayed near this value for three days and then fell dramatically to a monthly near-low of 16 on September 17. They reached 723 on September 25, staying there for two days before slipping to end the month at 132. Dell introduced the largest proportion of new products by far during the month, followed by Fujitsu computers, a distant second.

Price rises reached a monthly high early in September, hitting 25,402 on September 2. The second highest point for product price increases came late in the month, on September 25, when 23,578 price increases were made. This persisted through September 27. The monthly low came on September 9, when just 2256 price increases occurred.

The peak in price decreases happened on September 9, when 26,715 price drops occurred. This narrowly beat the second-highest point which occurred on the first day of the month, with 25,388 price drops. The monthly low came on September 24, when 1528 price drops happened. Cisco increased and decreased prices the most throughout September.

New Products September 2015

Prices and Stock Movements September 2015



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