• IT Supply Chain Insights - August 2019

Welcome to this months IT Supply Chain Insights. This monthly newsletter keeps you up to date with market trends and IT channel news giving you the knowledge you need to buy IT for less.

Get extra insight by video, from our Supply Chain Director.


Executive Summary



The largest number of price increases happened on the 3rd June, with 60,509.Jump to Monthly Stats

It wasn’t all bad for the IT channel this month. While mobile phone, tablet and panel shipments were down and semiconductor and memory revenue fell hard, PC shipments registered growth. So did ultramobiles, printers and the flat panel display market. Even the euro enjoyed a late bloom against the pound.

Exchange Rate


After a rollercoaster start the euro enjoyed a strong finish against the pound. Starting at 0.8942 and rising to 0.8971 on July 3, after a minor dip the euro climbed to 0.8996 by July 10, fell to 0.8955 by July 13, jumped to a monthly high of 0.9032 by Jul 17, dropped 0.8966 on July 21-22 before the low of 0.8932 on July 25, only to then jump to 0.9162 on July 30 before settling at 0.9142 on July 31.

It was much more straightforward and depressing against the dollar. Starting from a high of 1.1321, the euro steadily declined to 1.1208 by July 9 and bounced back to 1.1268 on July 14, only to continue its spiral, falling to 1.1123 by July 27 and ending the month down at 1.1129.

According to Financial Times, the Eurozone economy grew 0.2% in Q2, down from the 0.4% estimate made in Q1. Unemployment also dropped another 0.1% in June on the month to 7.5%, the lowest it has been since July 2008.

Price Changes and News Through July 2019

Phones and Tablets

Global mobile phone shipments will drop from 1.81bn units in 2018 to 1.75bn in 2019, rebounding to 1.77bn units shipped by 2020, Gartner said. In other news, 5G phones will grow to account for 51% of the market by 2023.

According to IDC, global Q2 smartphone shipments will fall 2.3% YoY but up 6.5% on the quarter to 333.2m units. By vendor, Samsung topped the list with 5.5% YoY growth to 75.5m units and 22.7% of the market. Huawei came in second, followed by Apple, Xiaomi and OPPO.

In tablet news, IDC said global shipments fell 5% YoY in Q2 to 32.2m units. By vendor, Apple enjoyed a 6.1% YoY growth to 12.3m units and 38.1% of the market, ahead of Samsung (-3.1% YoY to 4.9m units and 15.2% market share), Huawei (-6.5% YoY to 3.3m units and 10.3%), Amazon (+46.3% YoY to 2.4m units and 7.5%) and Lenovo (-6.9% YoY to 1.9m units and 5.8%).

Traditional PCs

Global PC shipments enjoyed a 1.5% YoY growth to 62.97m units in Q2, Gartner reported. By vendor, Lenovo topped the market with 15.9% YoY growth to 15.77m units to claim 25% of the market, ahead of HP (+2.6% to 13.99m and 22.2%), Dell (+2.1% to 10.65m and 16.9%), Apple (-0.2% to 3.71m and 5.9%) and Acer (-9.9% to 3.1m and 4.9%).

In another report, Gartner predicted that global device shipments including PCs, ultramobiles and mobile phones will drop 3.3% YoY in 2019 to 2.2bn units, continuing to fall 3.8% YoY through to 2.15bn units by 2021. Traditional PCs will drop from 195.3m units shipped in 2018 to 187.2m in 2019 and 171.2m by 2021, it said

Premium Ultramobiles & Wearables

According to Gartner, premium ultramobiles will enjoy YoY growth from 69.8bn units shipped in 2019 to 81.4bn by 2021. Basic and utility ultramobiles on the other hand will drop from 146.1m units to 142.4m by 2021.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

Global semiconductor revenue will drop 9.6% YoY in 2019 to $428bn on the back of oversupply, Gartner said. Meanwhile, the SIA noted a 14.6% YoY drop in sales for May and a 1.9% month-on-month increase to $33.1bn. Regionally, Europe was down 0.4% YoY and -9% on the month.


According to Blocks & Files, Samsung’s DRAM and NAND sales revenue fell 34% YoY in Q2 to $10.44bn on the back of inventory reductions with the company also reporting an overall Q2 sales drop of 4% YoY to $47.63bn.


Blocks & Files said Western Digital’s HDD shipments fell from 34.1m in the first quarter to 27.7m in fiscal Q4. Capacity increases kept the revenue decline to a more acceptable delta: $2.13bn in Q4, down from $2.5bn in Q1. It also said Western Digital’s Q4 Flash revenue dropped to $1.5bn in Q4 from $2.53bn in Q1.


According to IHS, flat panel display area shipments will grow 2.9% YoY in 2019 to 227m2.

Meanwhile, in three separate reports, TrendForce said global LCD panel prices will continue to fall into Q3, panel prices may crash on the back of Q2 results and that generally, all TV panel prices will continue to drop.


The global printer industry is forecast to grow at 5.6% YoY to reach $366.1bn in value by 2022, EIN News reported.

Monthly Stats

The number of new products that came onto the market was relatively modest, with a spike on 22nd July at 25,829 new products launched  compared to only 237 new products launched on June 18.

The highest number of total price increases happened on July 22, with 65,142 price hikes occurring across a variety of product categories. At the opposite end of the scale, there were 31,164 product price decreases across 3 days between 19 – 21 July.