• IT Supply Chain Insights – February 2018

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 January 12th to the 14th, with 36,817.

Jump to Monthly Stats
  • Global smartphone shipments are down
  • Gaming monitor shipments grew 80% YoY
  • 3D printer shipments enjoy industry-wide growth

January proved a mixed month for the IT channel with global smartphones, tablets and PC shipments all reporting negative figures while semiconductor revenue, NAND contact prices, panel shipments and 3D printers reported positive. Even the euro experienced polar opposites this month.


Exchange Rate


Exchange rates can play a significant role in fuelling price volatility in the IT supply chain; impacting everything from the cost of components going into a computer device to cross-border logistics charges. With most IT across the supply chain bought first in dollars, and then GBP, this impacts the final price.

In January, the euro started out at 0.8880 against GBP until the 16th, when it jumped up to 0.8896. It shortly went downhill, falling to 0.8726 by January 25th before ending the month down at 0.8769.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

Against the dollar, the euro fluctuated much more. It started at 1.2000 and rose slightly before falling to 1.1942 by January 9th and then gradually rising for the rest of the month. It then reached 1.12247 on January 14th, rising to 1.2430 by the 25th. It ended the month up from where it started at 1.2394.

Buyers can track currency movements to see if they are having an impact on the end price. This is not always immediate however, and buyers should bear in mind that currency fluctuations happening today, can still have an impact next month as vendors look to recoup any losses they may have incurred as a result.

US Dollar (USD) per 1 Euro (EUR)

Euro (EUR) per 1 British Pound (GBP)

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

Price Changes and News Through January 2018


Phones and Tablets

January was an ideal opportunity to survey some of the ups and downs of Q4 2017. It was a rocky road for phones and tablets, with global shipments dropping 6.3% YoY in Q4 to 403.5m units, taking annual shipments down 0.1% to 1.472bn units as a result.

Apple took the Q4 vendor top spot with 77.3m units and 19.2% market share, down -1.3% YoY, followed by Samsung (-4.4% to 74.1m and 18.4%), Huawei (-9.7% to 41m and 10.2%), Xiaomi (+96.9% to 28.1m and 7%) and OPPO (-13.2% to 27.4m and 6.8%).

Phones and tablets are one of the fastest changing categories in IT, driven by new technologies and additional features. Fingerprint sensors are just one area currently being explored. According to TrendForce, a continued focus by Android devices will see smartphones with fingerprints increase to 60% market saturation.

Premium Ultramobiles/Wearables

We often see trends in the consumer market influencing tech in the B2B world and this is true with wearables. We’re now seeing smart footwear dominating industries such as healthcare, transportation and warehousing and this will likely start to filter through to enterprise. ABI Research predicts shipments will rise from under 1m units in 2017 to 9m by 2022.

VR also continues to be a hot topic with TrendForce announcing that global shipments are expected to grow from 3.7m units in 2017 to 5m units in 2018, with Sony set to hold on to the top of the leaderboard over Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Meanwhile, Gartner announced that premium ultramobile shipments grew from 50m units in 2016 to 59m in 2017 and that it’s likely this will grow to 70m in 2018 and 80m in 2019.

Monthly Stats

New products started the year at 37 and dropped to a low of 3 before recovering, holding steady at 20, jumping to 167 on Jan 17, falling back to 24 by Jan 19-21 and down to 9 by Jan 23, before hitting a high of 582 on Jan 26-27 and falling to end the month down at 7.

Zebra Technologies led price increase while Cisco led price reduction by manufacturer.

Price increases per day started at 21,570, dropped to 3,260 on Jan 2, jumped to 30,187 on Jan 5-7, fell, hit a high of 36,817 on Jan 12-14 and a low of 2,084 by Jan 19-21. A minor recovery was quickly dashed, eventually falling to 1,422 by Jan 31.

Total price decreases per day started at 26,827, fell to a low of 3,492 on Jan 2, bounced back and help steady, before jumping from 7,101 on Jan 12-14 to a high of 42,330 on Jan 16. Prices then fell to 13,384 from Jan 19-21, jumped to 35,909 on Jan 26-28, and eventually ended the month at 1,501.

Stock up fell from 2,709 to a low of 1,658 on Jan 2 before recovering and holding steady before jumping to a high of 7,579 on Jan 23 and ending the month back down at 2,487.

Stock down followed suit, falling from 8,124 to 1,413 on Jan 2, jumping to 14,000 by Jan 4 where it sat stable, hit a high of 16,954 on Jan 15, and continuing to hold steady before falling from 15,905 on Jan 30 to 8,904 on Jan 31.

New Products January 2018

Prices and Stock Movements January 2018



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