August 2017

Welcome to this month's IT Market Alert from KnowledgeBus. This alert is designed to deliver some key market knowledge viewed during July 2017 that should help you get more from your IT procurement going forwards.


Executive Summary

  • Smartphone shipments on their way up
  • Global PC shipments continue to fall
  • Semiconductor revenue breaks records


The largest number of price increases happened on July 24, with 43,849 rises in a single day.

Jump to Monthly Stats

It was a relatively strong month for the IT channel in July. Smartphones shipments were set to rebound, personal computing devices were forecast to achieve positive growth, wearable sales rose, semiconductor revenue cracked $400bn, the AMOLED panel market rapidly expanding, and the euro ended strongly against both the GBP and USD.


Exchange Rate

Against the GBP the euro started at 0.8766, rising slowly to reach 0.8893 by Jul 12. It dropped to 0.8751 by Jul 16 and then enjoyed a large jump, reaching 0.8978 by Jul 23. A slight dip to 0.8927 on Jul 27 was followed by a rise to 0.8949 on Jul 31.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

Things were even more positive against the USD this month, with the euro starting at 1.1421, dropping to 1.1344 by Jul 5 and then gradually rising for the remainder of the month, hitting 1.1544 by Jul 18, 1.1670 by Jul 23 and ending the month up at 1.1769.

Similar to the currencies, the eurozone continued its strong performance in July. The Financial Times said unemployment was at its lowest in 8 years, and Reuters said business activity was strong despite losing some momentum, with PMI sitting at 55.7, down slightly from June’s 56.3. Reuters also reported inflation jumped to 1.3%, up from 1.2% in June, the fastest inflation has grown in four years.

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 July, 2017


Phones and Tablets

TrendForce has forecast the new iPhone smartphone models will reinvigorate the smartphone market after an indifferent 1H. Production volume is expected to jump more than 10% in 2H on 1H with a total annual volume forecast now set to reach 1.39b units. Gartner says global shipments will grow 5% YoY in 2017 to nearly 1.6b units.

According to Canalys, after six consecutive quarters of growth, Chinese smartphone vendors experienced a 3% YoY shipment decline in Q2 to 113m units.

The Independent said Q2 had the highest global smartphone sales on record, up 4% YoY to 347m units. Western Europe declined for a third consecutive quarter, though, falling 3% YoY to 28.7m units sold.

IDC reported global tablet shipments fell 3.4% YoY to 37.9m units in Q2. Apple led the market with 14.7% YoY growth to 11.4m units and 30.1% market share, followed by Samsung (-0.8% to 6m units), Huawei (+47.1% to 3m units), Amazon (+51.7% to 2.4m units) and Lenovo (-14.6% to 2.2m units).

Traditional PCs

Global PC shipments fell 4.3% YoY to 61.1m units in Q2, making it the 11th consecutive quarterly fall, Gartner reported. HP grew 3.3% to top the quarter with 12.69m units and 20.8% market share, above Lenovo (-8.4% to 12.18m & 19.9% share) and Dell (+1.4% to 9.55m & 15.6% share).

IDC reported global shipments of traditional PCs for Q2 reached 60.5m units, down 3.3% YoY, noting inventory build-up from component shortages as the reason for the continuous decline.

Global personal computing device shipments will fall just 0.3% YoY in 2017 but jump 1.6% in 2018, Gartner says. Traditional PCs will drop from 220m units in 2016 to 203m in 2017, and continue to fall to 191m by 2019. Premium ultramobiles will rise from 50m units shipped in 2016 to 59m in 2017 and 82m in 2019, taking the overall PC market from 270m in 2016 down to 262m in 2017 but back up to 272m by 2019.

Premium Ultramobiles/Wearables

According to ComputerWorld, the commercial market is driving 2-in-1 devices with detachable shipments set to grow 21.2% over the next four years.

Wearable shipments are expected to reach 125m units for 2017, Market Realist reported, with smartwatches to account for 57%.

Gartner says UK and Germany are driving smart home products in Western Europe, with 32% of all spending going on voice controlled products. Amazon Echo (28%) currently leads Google Home (24%) as the most trusted voice-controlled product.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

According to Gartner, global semiconductor revenue will reach $401.5bn in 2017 up 16.8% YoY in 2016, This will be the first time the market has reached $400bn. Previously, global semiconductor revenue reached $200bn in the year 2000 and grew to $300bn by 2010.

The Semiconductor Industry Association says global sales reached $21.9bn in May, up 22.5% YoY and 1.9% on April.

According to Investopedia, Samsung has topped Intel as the largest chipmaker by revenue. According to the report, Samsung posted Q2 sales of $15.7bn for its semiconductor unit, while Intel fell to $14.8bn.


After stronger-than-expected DRAM demand and enjoying 35% YoY increase in Q2 revenue, manufacturer SK Hynix announced it is expecting 20% shipments growth over the next year, with a key focus on server chips over smartphone chips.

Investopedia says Intel will remain behind Samsung for memory chip manufacturing revenue and profit until at least the end of 2017.


Three years after acquiring Xyratex, the maker of ClusterStor, Seagate has sold its ClusterStor HPC storage business to Cray. According to NetworkWorld, Cray, which already uses the technology, will take over development, manufacturing, support and sales of the technology. Bringing it in-house will allow the company to compete with the likes of Dell EMC in the HPC industry.

IBM has unveiled a new magnetic tape storage system that will hold 330TB of uncompressed data on a palm-sized cartridge. Known as a standard backup solution in enterprise storage, magnetic tape is also actively being used in cloud storage backup and recovery, TechRepublic reported.


The global AMOLED panel market will grow 63% YoY in 2017 to reach $25.2bn and continue to grow to $40b by 2021, IHS says.

TrendForce reported global LCD TV panel shipments reached 123.23m units in 1H 2017, down just 0.1% YoY. LG topped the vendor list with 25.27m units, down 1.1% YoY, while Innolux jumped into second with +2.2% YoY growth to 20.25m units. BOE dropped to third with 19.5m units (-13.1% YoY) and Samsung came in fourth with 18.41m units (-14% YoY). China Star Optoelectronics rounded out the top five up 22.2% to 18.172m units.

In other news, Foxconn has announced a $10bn investment in building an LCD panel manufacturing facility in Wisconsin, USA. The move is seen as an investment to remain competitive by cutting down supply chain logistics in key regional markets.


Sales of laser printers in Western Europe dropped 5% YoY in Q2, Context reported, with Belgium (-36%), Norway (-34%) and Finland (-28%) hit the hardest. The UK (+8%) and Denmark (+3%) were the only countries to record positive sales growth. HP led the market with 41% share, followed by Brother (18%) and Samsung (16%).


Monthly Stats

New products started at 110, jumped to 303 on July 3, dropped to 72 on Jul 4, recovered, sat at 234 on Jul 8-9 and then soared to 4608 on Jul 10. Dropping back down to eventually land at 59 by Jul 18, a quick rise to 1183 on Jul 20 was followed by another drop, rise, and fall to low of 30 on Jul 25 before ending up at 1043 on Jul 31.

Honeywell Bull, QNAP and PNY led price increases by manufacturer while Cisco, V7 and Kingston Technology topped the price reductions list.

Total price increases per day started at 7880, fell to 5609 on Jul 3, rose to 22,737 by Jul 10, fell, jumped to 37,057 on Jul 12 and then dropped to 1897 on Jul 14-16. A series of rises and falls followed with highlights including jumping to 43,849 on Jul 24, dropping to 1856 on Jul 27 and then recovering to end the month up 14,429.

Price decreases per day started at 29,605 but dropped to 12,872 on Jul 3. A recovery followed, before dropping to 9381 on Jul 7-9. This trend continued for the rest of the month, with highlights including dropping to a low of 519 on Jul 14-16, hitting a high of 30,135 on Jul 26, sitting steady at 27,738 on Jul 28-30 and ending the month at 17,287.

Stock up started and finished at a similar point this month. July highlights include starting at 4172, dropping to 2575 on Jul 3, jumping to 8004 on Jul 12, dropping to 877 on Jul 14-16, peaking at 9154 on Jul 20 and ending the month back down at 4076.

Stock down started at 12,015, dropped to 10,957 on Jul 4, recovered, fell to a low of 8322 on Jul 14-16, hit a high of 16,736 on Jul 20, sat at 12,036 from Jul 21-23 and then sat relatively stable until ending the month up at 13,406.

New Products July 2017

Prices and Stock Movements July 2017