June 2018

Welcome to this month's IT Market Alert from the IT Edition of KnowledgeBus. This alert is designed to deliver some key market knowledge viewed during May 2018 that should help you get more from your IT procurement going forwards.


Executive Summary

  • Samsung to release its most expensive smartphone
  • Western Europe PC sales down
  • Monitor shipments on the up


The largest number of price increases happened on May 25th to the 27th, with 39,535.

Jump to Monthly Stats

Another mixed month in the IT channel saw a series of Q1 results and annual predictions. Smartphone shipments fell in Q1 and are expected to be down YoY in 2018 but rise again in 2019. Tablets continued their decline despite growth for detachable devices. PCs were down and will continue to fall over the next five years, just as semiconductor and DRAM revenues are expected to break new heights and SSD adoption continued to grow. Both LCD panels and global printer shipments increased.


Exchange Rate

It was a rollercoaster of a month for the euro against the GBP in May. After jumping from 0.8794 on May 1 to 0.9936 on May 5-6 the euro fell, hitting 0.8750 by May 9, rose to 0.8810 on May 11 and 0.8812 by May 14, before dropping to 0.8729 by May 17. Staying low, the euro recovered slightly, rising to 0.8772 by May 22 before dropping to a monthly low of 0.8718 by May 29, only to jump back and end the month at 0.8778.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

It was all bad news against the USD. Starting at 1.2029, the euro dived to 1.1856 by May 9. After a slight recovery to 1.1962 by May 14, the currency slid all the way down to a low of 1.1571 by May 29, before a quick rise to end the month at 1.1680.

US Dollar (USD) per 1 Euro (EUR)

Euro (EUR) per 1 British Pound (GBP)

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

The eurozone economy has gone backwards, with the Financial Post saying it feels like the crisis days of 2012 again on the back of Italian political turmoil and the euro slipping to a 10-month low. The Wall Street Journal on the other hand said consumer prices were up 1.9% YoY, and inflation rose to 1.1% from 0.7% in April. FXStreet noted the PMI was down in May to 55.5 from 56.2 in April.

Price Changes and News Through March 2018


Phones and Tablets

Global smartphone shipments fell 2.9% YoY in Q1 to 334.3m units, IDC reported, on the back of a slowing Chinese market. Despite dropping 2.4% YoY, Samsung led the market with 78.2m units shipped and 23.4% market share, followed by Apple (+2.8% to 52.2m units and 15.6% share), Huawei (+13.8% to 39.3m and 11.8%) Xiaomi (+87.8% to 28m and 8.4%) and Oppo (-7.5% to 23.9m and 7.1%).

Gartner reported smartphone sales to end users grew 1.3% YoY in Q1 to 383.5m units, with Samsung (78.56m units and 20.5% market share), ahead of Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo.

In another report IDC said the global smartphone market will decline 0.2% YoY in 2018 to 1.462bn units, but expects 2.5% growth in 2019 through to 2022 to 1.654bn units.

In tablet news, TrendForce said global shipments fell 35% in Q1 on the quarter to 31.29m units but expects 11.4% growth in Q2 on the back of demand by the education market. YoY TrendForce predicts 2018 to grow 1.5%.

By vendor, Apple took top spot with 9.1m units and 29.1% market share, down 30.8% on the quarter, followed by Samsung (-23.7% to 5.4m units), Huawei (-35.3% to 2.5m), Amazon (-56.5% to 2.4m) and Lenovo (-22.5% to 2m).

In Western Europe, IDC said the Q1 tablet market fell 8.1% YoY to 6.6m units. Samsung led the market with despite dropping 13.1% YoY to 1.89m units and 26.5% market share, followed by Apple (+3.5% to 1.54m and 21.7%), Lenovo (-8.8% to 0.55m), Huawei (+56.6% to 0.27m) and Amazon (+41.5% to 0.23m).

Global slate tablet shipments will continue to decline over the next five years, IDC said, from 128m units in 2018 to 102.9m units by 2022.

Traditional PCs

According to TrendForce, global notebooks shipments fell 15.7% QoQ and 1.4% YoY in Q1 to sit at 37.27m units. HP grew 4.4% YoY to hold 24.1% market share, above Lenovo (-1.6% YoY to 21.2%), Dell (+14.5% to 16.6%), Asus (-9.3% to 8.9%) and Apple (-15.1% to 7.7%).

IDC said combined global shipments of personal computing devices and tablets will fall 3.5% YoY in 2018 to 408.3m units and continue at -1.8% to 386.2m units by 2022.

Premium Ultramobiles & Wearables

Demand for detachable tablets will continue to grow with global shipments set to rise from 23.9m units in 2018 to 35m units by 2022, IDC reported.

Meanwhile, global spending on AR/VR will grow 92% YoY to $27bn in 2018 and continue to grow at 71.6% through 2022, IDC said

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

Global semiconductor revenue is expected to reach new heights in 2018, with IDC predicting 7.7% YoY growth to $450bn, and continue at 2.9% to $482bn by 2022.


Mobile DRAM revenue reached new heights in Q1, TrendForce reported, growing 5.3% on the quarter to $8.435bn. Taking 56.5% of market share was Samsung, with $4.766bn, up 5.2% QoQ, followed by SK Hynix with $2.122bn (25.2% share) and Micron Group with $1.4bn (16%).

In another report TrendForce said Q1 DRAM revenue rose 5.4% on the quarter to $23.076bn, with Samsung (46%), SK Hynix (28.7%) and Micron Group (20.8%) claiming the top three spots.

Global NAND flash revenue fell 3% QoQ in Q1 and is expected to keep falling in Q2 on the back of oversupply. According to the TrendForce report, Samsung took home the most revenue with $5.824bn, down -5.6% QoQ, ahead of Toshiba, WDC, Micron and SK Hynix.


Enterprise SSD shipments are expected to reach 30m units in 2018, up from under 20m in 2016 at a bit shipment growth of over 50% per year, TrendForce reported. Oversupply in Q2 is expected to see contract prices fall 10% on Q1.

In another report, TrendForce said oversupply of NAND flash has led to a decline in SSD prices, which has increased demand and will help SSD adoption in notebooks exceed 50% by the end of the year.


Global large display panel shipments were up 6% and 10% by area YoY in Q1 but were down 4% and 7% respectively, on the quarter. According to IHS, these were better-than-expected results, which also saw LG lead the market for shipments by area (22%), and BOE lead the market by unit shipments (22%).

In another report, IHS said Q1 global TV shipments grew 7.9% YoY to 50.6m units, with LCD enjoying 7.5% YoY increase to 50.1m and OLED up 115.8% to 0.47m units.

TrendForce said LCD panel prices are falling and will continue to do so, with 65”+ panels to drop 14%.


Western Europe Q1 multifunction printer shipments slipped 1.6% YoY to 4.9m units, IDC reported. The UK experienced a drop of 1.6% YoY, to 0.805m units.

Global printer shipments grew 1.7% YoY to 23.79m, recording its sixth quarterly YoY growth. According to the IDC report, HP led the market with 9.733m units and 40.9% of the market, followed by Canon (4.44m and 18.7%), Epson (4.39m and 18.5%), Brother (1.78m and 7.5%) and Kyocera (0.546m and 2.3%).


Monthly Stats

New products started at 328, dropped to 5 by May 3 and 0 by May 8, jumped to 38 but fell again, hit 1,642 on May 15 and a high of 7,680 on May 17, only to fall to 13 on May 18-20, down to 8 by May 25-27 and 0 by May 29 before ending the month down at 4.

Cisco topped price increase while Zebra Technologies topped price reductions by manufacturer.

Price increases per day started at 74,878, fell to 32,475 on May 2 and 4,997 by May 3, and jumped to 30,148 on May 4-6 before hitting a low of 329 by May 11-13. A jump to 25,883 on May 14 was followed by a series of movements, sitting at 14,238 on May 18-20, dropping to 2,707 on May 23, jumping to 39,535 on May 25-27 and hitting 907 by May 30 only to bounce back and finish the month at 27,239.

Total price decreases per day highlights included starting at 8,162 and rising to 9,631 on May 2 before dropping to 658 on May 3, hitting a low of 433 on May 8 before jumping to a monthly high of 25,309 on May 10. Similar movements followed, until ending the month jumping from 4,493 on May 29 to 9,155 on May 30 and 15,673 on May 31

Stock up highlights included starting at 3,515, jumping to 7,311, falling to 1,043 and then sitting at 5,361 from May 4-6, dropping to a low of 475 on May 11-13, hitting a high of 52,718 on May 15, holding steady at 8,050 on May 18-20 and ending the month at 7,646.

Stock down fell from a high of 39,608 on May 1 to 2,873 by May 3, hit a low of 1,488 on May 11-13, rebounded, held steady, fell and ended the month at 17,037.

New Products May 2018

Prices and Stock Movements May 2018