December 2017

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


Executive Summary

  • Notebook shipments achieve growth
  • Tablet market continues decline
  • Semiconductor foundry revenue to reach over $57bn


The largest number of price increases happened on November 21, with 42,592 rises in a single day.

Jump to Monthly Stats

It was mostly positive for the IT channel this month. Despite losses to the western Europe printer market and the global TV display industry, DRAM revenue reached new heights, smartphone shipments and production volumes were on the up, enterprise storage had a successful quarter, notebooks posted shipment and revenue growth, and while tablets did continue to decline, there’s stability and some growth on the horizon.


Exchange Rate

After a strong start and mid-month recovery, the euro finished close to where it started against the GBP in November. It started at 0.8760, jumped to 0.8901 by Nov 3, fell to 0.8808 by Nov 7, recovered and rose to peak at 0.8969 by Nov 15, where after another dip and recovery, saw it fall from 0.8941 on Nov 27 to 0.8806 by Nov 30.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

It was all positive for the euro against the USD. Starting at 1.1629 and sitting flat until a jump from 1.1656 on Nov 13 to 1.1806 on Nov 15, the euro then took a minor dip to 1.1736 by Nov 21 before jumping to 1.1926 by Nov 26 and ending the month at 1.1873.

US Dollar (USD) per 1 Euro (EUR)

Euro (EUR) per 1 British Pound (GBP)

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

According to The Telegraph, the eurozone economy is continuing its boom with a PMI score at 57.5, the highest since April 2011, and employee hiring numbers at a 17-year high. GDP figures also reached 0.4% growth in Q3 and are expected to reach 0.8% growth in Q4, marking them the best end-of-year numbers in a decade.

Reuters and ABC News echoed this, though noted factory production PMI at 60.1 for November, up from 58.5 in October. They further added that the overall eurozone growth forecast for the year is at 2.2%, while inflation for the year to October sits at 1.4%.

Price Changes and News Through November, 2017


Phones and Tablets

Global smartphone shipments grew 2.7% YoY and 7.2% on the quarter in Q3 to 373.1m units, IDC reported. Samsung’s 83.3m units and 22.3% market share were nearly double that of Apple in second (46.7m units and 12.5% of the market), with Huawei (39.1m), OPPO (30.7m) and Xiaomi (27.6m) rounding out the top five. All five vendors posted positive YoY growth.

According to TrendForce, smartphone sales are on the up in 2H with Q3 production up 6% YoY to 384.19m units and estimates for Q4 to reach 424.7m units, up 6.3% YoY and taking 2017 numbers to 1.46bn units. Apple is expected to top Samsung in Q4 for the first time on the back of iPhone X demand and Samsung’s volume peaking in Q3.

In other news, IHS engineers dissected the new iPhone X 64GB model to find its bill of materials valued at $370.25, $50 more expensive than Apple’s previous most expensive model, the iPhone 8 Plus 256GB.

Global tablet shipments fell 5.4% YoY to 40m in Q3, IDC reported, marking it the industry’s twelfth consecutive YoY quarterly decline. Apple sat atop Samsung, Amazon, Huawei and Lenovo with 11.4% YoY growth to 10.3m units and 25.8% market share.

In Western Europe, IDC found the tablet market fell 5% YoY in Q3 to 7.76m units. In breaking down the numbers, the commercial segment enjoyed 3.4% growth while consumer dropped 7.1%, detachables fell 8.5%, and four of the top five vendors posted positive YoY shipment growth.

Looking forward, TrendForce said global tablet shipments will drop 5.4% in 2017 to 148.9m but increase 0.3% in 2018 to 149.3m units, ending what would have been five consecutive years of decline.

Traditional PCs

Global notebook shipments grew 6.8% on the quarter and 0.9% YoY in Q3 to 42.69m units, TrendForce reported. Annual shipments are forecast to reach 162.4m, up 0.7% YoY on the back of a strong 1H.

HP dominated the market with 17.6% growth on the quarter to 11m units and 25.8% market share, followed by Lenovo (20.1% market share), Dell (15.6%), Apple (10.4%) and ASUS (8.9%). All but ASUS posted positive QoQ growth.

PC sales to western Europe for October grew 11% YoY to over €1bn, Context reported. The UK enjoyed 12.8% YoY revenue growth for the month.

Meanwhile, ComputerWorld said Apple announced it sold a record number of Macs for the month of September, with 5.4m units.

Premium Ultramobiles& Wearables

ABI Research said the retail industry is next to incorporate workplace wearables with retail companies looking to improve floor staff processes and customer satisfaction. ABI forecast 10m units will be shipped to enterprise retail by 2022, up from just 2m in 2017.

IDC said global wearable shipments grew 7.3% YoY in Q3 to 26.3m units, noting a growing trend toward devices capable of running third party applications. Xiaomi (-3.3% YoY) tied with Fitbit (-33% YoY) for first place with each reporting 3.6m units and 13.7% market share. Apple (2.7m), Huawei (1.6m) and Garmin (1.3m) rounded out the top five.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

Global semiconductor foundry revenue will reach $57.3bn for 2017, TrendForce reported, up 7.1% YoY and the fifth year in a row above 5% growth.

TSMC dominated the market with $32.04bn revenue and 55.9% market share, followed by GlobalFoundries ($4.99bn & 9.4%), UMC ($4.58bn & 8.5%), Samsung ($4.28bn & 7.7%) and SMIC ($2.91bn & 5.4%).


According to TrendForce, global DRAM revenue reached new heights in Q3, with average contract prices up 5% on the quarter taking revenue up 16.2%. Samsung accounted for 46.2% of all DRAM revenue with $8.79bn, followed by SK Hynix ($5.51bn) and Micron Group ($4.02bn).

In the mobile DRAM market, Samsung maintained its dominance with 61.5% of all revenue ($3.78bn), despite dropping 1% on the quarter, while SK Hynix in second posted 30% QoQ growth to $1.76bn. According to TrendForce, after price hikes were limited to below 5% in Q3, Q4 mobile DRAM prices are expected to jump 10-15%.


Q3 global enterprise storage systems posted 22.4% YoY growth in capacity shipments and 14% YoY growth in revenue to $11.76bn, IDC reported. Despite dropping 0.2%, HP took top spot with $2.37bn and 20.2% of the market, followed closely by Dell with $2.21bn and 18.8% of the market. NetApp in third posted 19.4% YoY growth in revenue to $700.7m and 6% of the market.


Global TV shipments fell 5% YoY to 54.8m units in Q3, IHS reported, though the increase of 4K sets saw revenue increase 1% and average selling prices up 6%.

Looking ahead, TrendForce said OLED TVs will dominate the high-end market with annual shipments to grow from 1.5m units in 2017 to 2.5m in 2018, while IHS forecast global HDR shipments to reach 47.9m by 2021, up 300% from 12.2m in 2017.

Meanwhile, TFT LCD panels are proving the go-to mobile PC display type. According to IHS, global shipments of TFT LCD panels over 9” grew from 20m units in 2016 to 55.6m in 2017, of which 51m units were notebook and tablet PCs, up 200% YoY.

In other news, IHS said demand for flat panel displays by area will grow 7.2% to 210m square metres in 2018, with AMOLED supply forecast to be 44% higher than demand in 2018 as net capacity grows 100% YoY to 4.4m square metres.


Western Europe’s printer shipments fell 3.2% YoY to 5.1m units in Q3, continuing the markets decline since Q2 2015. According to IDC, multifunction printers accounted for 85.1% of all shipments to the region, up from 83.3% in 2016. In the UK, IDC noted a 10.6% drop in laser shipments along with value falling 19.9%, while inkjet shipments enjoyed a 2.9% YoY growth.


Monthly Stats

New products started at 73, jumped to 263 on Nov 2, fell to 48 on Nov 3-5, recovered, fell and jumped to a high of 2,558 on Nov 13, only to fall to a low of 8 by Nov 16. A similar pattern followed, until falling from 615 on Nov 28 to 68 on Nov 29-30.

Zebra Technologies topped both price increase and price reduction by manufacturer.

Total price increases per day started at 30,547, dropped to 6,397 on Nov 2, sat at 13,584 from Nov 3-5 and jumped to a high of 38,835 on Nov 6, only to fall again, recover and stabilize, before hitting a low of 1,961 on Nov 17-19 and ending the month at 14,955.

Price decreases per day highlights include jumping from 13,747 to 23,550 on Nov 2, dropping to low of 1,171 from Nov 17-19 before hitting a high of 42,592 on Nov 21, and sitting at 18,289 on Nov 23-27 before ending the month up at 19,971.

Stock up started at 6,226, dropped to a low of 2,064 on Nov 2, recovered and held steady until jumping to 8,272 on Nov 20. Another drop, rise and recover saw stock up end the month up, rising from 4,294 on Nov 24-27 to 7,160 on Nov 29-30.

Stock down on the other hand fell from 13,732 on Nov 1 to 10,458 on Nov 2, recovered to sit between 14,600 and 17,200 until falling to the monthly of 10,144 on Nov 17-19. Another rise and fall, before peaking at 20,371 on Nov 28 and finishing at 14,990.

New Products November 2017

Prices and Stock Movements November 2017