• IT Supply Chain Insights - November 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 18th October, with 41,649.Jump to Monthly Stats

October reports suggest a positive outlook for the IT channel compared to recent times. Smartphone shipments grew for the first time in five quarters, tablets and PCs were on the up, wearables continued to soar, SSDs posted revenue growth despite decline in shipments, semiconductor revenues were down but expected to bounce back, and 3D printer demand was set to grow through to the end of the year.

Exchange Rate


What started off positive ended very flat for the euro against the pound this month. Starting at 0.8882 and rising to a high of 0.8981 by Oct 9, the euro then fell to 0.8603 on Oct 19, staying low until ending the month at 0.8623.

It was the complete opposite against the dollar. The euro started 1.0908 and rose, hitting 1.0979 by Oct 7, 1.1034 by Oct 13, and 1.1165 by Oct 19. It dipped to 1.1076 on Oct 26 and recovered to sit at 1.1156 on Oct 31.

According to both Financial Times and MarketWatch, the euro economy grew 0.2% on the quarter in Q3 and is up +1.1% YoY, while inflation dropped 0.7% in October and unemployment remained stable at 7.5% in September.

Price Changes and News Through October 2019

Phones and Tablets

Global smartphone shipments grew for the first time since early 2018 in Q3, rising 1.2% YoY to 360.1m units, IHS reported.

Samsung topped the vendor list with 78m, up 10% YoY, ahead of Huawei (+28% to 66.8m units shipped), Apple (-2% to 45.9m), Xiaomi (-6% to 31.4m) and Oppo (+2% to 28.6m).

In tablet news, IDC reported global tablet shipments grew 1.9% YoY in Q3 to 37.6m units, where Apple enjoyed 21.8% YoY growth to 11.8m units and 31.4% market share. Amazon came in second on the list with +25.6% YoY to 5.5m units, ahead of Samsung (-13.9% YoY to 4.6m), Huawei (-4.4% to 3.6m) and Lenovo (+7.6% to 2.5m).

Traditional PCs

According to Gartner, global PC shipments grew in 1.1% YoY in Q3 to 68m units. Lenovo topped the list with 5.8% YoY growth 16.8m units shipped, ahead of HP (+4.6% to 15.26m), Dell (+5.5% to 11.32m), Apple (-3.7% to 5.1m) and Acer (+3.3% to 4.2m).

The report also noted that the EMEA PC market enjoyed 3% YoY growth in Q3 to 19.4 million units shipped and that business demand remained strong across Western Europe, except for the UK, where it explained Brexit uncertainties are taking their toll.

IDC charted a 3% YoY rise in global traditional PC shipments (desktops, notebooks, and workstations) to 70.4m units. Lenovo topped its list with 24.6% market share.

Gaming PC shipments to Western Europe fell flat in Q2 with a decline of 0.1% YoY, IDC reported, less than EMEA’s 1.2% drop to 1.9m units. Looking ahead, EMEA gaming PC shipments will grow 1.5% YoY for 2019 and continue at 6.8% YoY to 11.1m units by 2023, it said.

Premium Ultramobiles & Wearables

Global wearables sales will grow 27% YoY in 2020 to $51.5bn, predicted Gartner. Smartwatches will maintain market dominance claiming nearly half of all spending.

Wearable shipments to Europe grew 154.4% YoY in Q2 to 13.4m units, IDC said. Earwear was the fastest growing segment, taking 52.3% of all shipments. Apple led the market with 4.83m units and 36% market share, ahead of Samsung, Fitbit, Garmin and Huawei.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

According to IHS, global semiconductor revenue will rebound in 2020 on the back of 5G technology adoption. Following a 12.8% YoY drop to $422.8bn in 2019, revenue is expected to grow 5.9% in 2020 to $448bn.

Global Q3 semiconductor revenue was up 8.2% on the quarter but down 14.6% YoY to $106.7bn, the SIA reported. September posted $35.6bn in sales, up 3.4% on August but down 14.6% YoY. All regions enjoyed growth in September on the month but fell dramatically YoY, including Europe’s -6.4%, China's -12,9%, and America's -30.4% YoY.


According to The Investor, SK Hynix’s operating profit fell 93% YoY in Q3 to $404m on the back of falling DRAM prices. In September, the average selling price for DDR4 8GB was $2.94, down 60% YoY from $8.19 in September 2018.



Despite shipments dropping 8.4%, global SSD revenue grew 9.7% on the quarter to $57.9bn in Q2, IHS reported.

IHS also reported a 4% YoY decline in Q2 revenue and a 10% drop in shipments from external server storage, and expects a further 1.5% YoY drop to the end of the year. Looking ahead, IHS forecasts global server external data centre storage revenue to grow at a 9% CAGR from $40bn in 2018 to $62bn in 2023.


The global PC monitor market fell 2.2% YoY in Q2 to 30.1m units and is expected to fall 1% YoY for 2019 to 122m units, IDC said. Dell topped the Q2 vendor list for shipments with 1.1% growth to 6.4m units and 21.4% market share, ahead of HP, TPV, Lenovo and LG.

July and August consumer desktop monitor sales in Western Europe were up 4% YoY with the UK alone up 25.7% YoY, Context said.

Meanwhile, demand for AMOLED displays in smartphone continues to grow, with TrendForce expecting adoption to grow from 32.8% in 2019 to 38% of the market in 2020.


Global 3D printer shipments are expected to grow more than 10% YoY in 2H 2019, Context reported. In separating the categories, industrial will enjoy 14% growth, design up 13%, and professional up 15% YoY, while personal will likely fall flat after dropping 10% YoY in Q2.

Monthly Stats

New p started at 19 and rose to 239 by Oct 3, fell to 6 by Oct 8, and jumped to a monthly high of 971 on Oct 11-13, before falling to a low of 5 on Oct 16. Another jump, drop and recovery saw new products end the month up at 72.

HP once again topped both price increase and price reduction by manufacturer lists.

Total price increase started at 14,197 and rose to 30,310 by Oct 3, dropped to 11,282 on Oct 4-6, jumped to 40,991 on Oct 7, and dropped back to 8,793 by Oct 8. This trend continued, including dropping to a low of 4,479 on Oct 24, rising to a high of 46,527 on Oct 28, and falling to 9,198 on Oct 31.

Price decrease highlights included starting at 26,785 and dropping to a low of 10,498 on Oct 3. They recovered to a high of 41,649 on Oct 18-20, only to fall to end the month down at 19,291.

Stock up started at 3,932 and jumped a high of 8,027 on Oct 2 before falling back and holding steady until ending the month up slightly at 4,355.

Stock down highlights included falling from a high of 16,788 on Oct 1 to 12,816 on Oct 2, where it held steady for the rest of the month before a dip to 10,384 on Oct 29 and ending down at 12,770 by Oct 31.




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