September 2021

Welcome to this month's IT Market Alert from KnowledgeBus. This alert is designed to deliver some key market knowledge viewed during August 2021 that should help you get more from your IT procurement going forwards.


Executive Summary

  • PSmartphone shipments continue to grow
  • Supply chain bites PC shipment forecasts
  • NAND flash components to hit record highs


The largest number of price increases happened from August 20-23rd, with 39,203.

Jump to Monthly Stats

Supply chain issues are still a problem in some areas as we move through 2021, with PCs taking the brunt of it. This has sent component prices soaring, with DRAM and NAND flash demand up. Nevertheless, some sectors are booming as businesses shifted out of pandemic mode. Printers in particular have had a good spring.

CONTEXT Research's numbers show saw weekly revenue trends decline in the UK during the first half of August along with the rest of Europe. The UK fared better than most, though, only dipping below the moving four-week 2019 average mid-month. German IT channel revenues has been under that critical pre-pandemic threshold for months now.


Exchange Rate

The euro's best days against the dollar in August were at the beginning, starting with a high of 1.1875 on Aug 2. It quickly lost traction, though, dipping to 1.1725 on Aug 10. It rallied briefly to 1.1794 on Aug 14 but couldn't sustain the rise, instead dipping to its monthly low of 1.1684 on Aug 19. It discovered new energy throughout the rest of August, rising steadily, but couldn't regain its initial strength, instead finishing at 1.1816.

There were some early similarities with the EUR/GBP in the early part of the month, but things changed toward the end of August. It began at 0.8543 on Aug 2 but, like the EUR/USD pair, fell off through Aug 10, reaching 0.8468. This was its monthly low, though, as its fortunes increased from then on. It rose to a monthly peak of 0.8582 on Aug 21 with intermittent spikes on Aug 13 and 17. The euro lost some lustre against the pound in the last week of the month, falling off to 0,8557 on Aug 26, but bounced back, almost regaining its high to finish the month at 0.8581.

The Euro's dip in the first part of August represented a four-month low against the dollar as traders prepared for the Federal Reserve to taper its stimulus measures early. It also reflected concerns over rising coronavirus infections that dampened investor confidence in Germany. The Euro's better fortunes against the dollar towards the end of the month were due in part to missed expectations in the US labour market. It also signalled a general nervousness about the pound as markets spooked by rising infections favoured safer currencies.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

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 August 2021


Phones and Tablets


IDC saw smartphone ships continue to grow, driven by strong recovery in emerging markets. It expects shipments to grow 7.4% to 1.37bn units in 2021. While developed markets including Western Europe are still down on their 2019 levels, growing markets including India, Japan, the Middle East and Africa are fuelling the recovery, it said.

The company also noted a weakening in EMEA-based consumer demand for tablets, causing the entire tablet sector to dip 1.7% YoY to 11.8m units. Nevertheless, tablet volumes remain 22.4% above the pre-pandemic Q2 2019 numbers. Samsung topped Q2 2021 EMEA tablet shipments, at 3.55m, followed by Apple (3m), and Lenovo (2.32m). Expect EMEA shipments to fall 10.9% YoY to 24.34m units in the second half of this year, it warned. However, as business working conditions become more relaxed, we can expect a rebound next year and a 6.3% CAGR through 2025 driven mostly by enterprise sales, it predicted.

Traditional PCs

IDC expected worldwide PC shipments to grow 14.2% to 347m units this year. The supply crunch is the main factor affecting a revision from its 18% forecast in May. It forecast a CAGR of 3.2% between 2021 and 2025, driven mainly by notebook PCs. The pandemic has significantly boosted the PC market's fortunes, with the company predicting half a billion units to ship in 2023, up 37% from a pre-pandemic prediction of 367m units for that year.

CONTEXT saw Western Europe education notebook sales jump 38% YoY in Q2.

Premium Ultramobiles & Wearables

Canalys saw global wearable band shipments grow 5.6% to 40.9m units YoY in Q2 2021. Wristwatches are taking over from basic bands, it said, with the former growing 37.9% to 25.4m and the latter dipping 23.8% to 15.5m. Wristwatches now account for 62% of global wearable band shipments and has accounted for over 60% of all wearable band shipments for three consecutive quarters to date.

Apple led the global wristwatch market in Q2 with 7.9m shipments and 31.1% market share. That represented a 29.4% YoY shipment growth on a slight dip in market share. Huawei was next with 9% market share on 2.3bn shipments. Then came Garmin, Samsung, and Xiaomi, each with under 8% market share on shipments under 2m.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

The Semiconductor Industry Association saw global semiconductor industry sales rise $45.4bn YoY in July 2021, up 29% from $35.2bn the prior July. Month-on-month sales rose 2.1% to $44.5bn. Europe grew more than the average at 38% YoY, although month-to-month sales dipped 0.8% there.


TrendForce charted a significant growth in DRAM bit demand during 2020 driven by strong pandemic-fuelled notebook and desktop PC adoption. This drove global DRAM module revenues up 5% YoY to $16.9bn in 2020, it said.

Increased buyer activity in Q2 sustained upward momentum in DRAM pricing from Q1, the analyst firm said. The supply chain anticipates a further price hike and insufficient supply in the future as the chip shortage continues, it explained. Notebook vendors and cloud service providers both stoked Q2 revenues 26% to $24.1 billion QoQ. Supply chain constraints and ample buyer-side inventory will probably dampen demand in Q3, but ASPs will still rise by 3-8% in the quarter.


TrendForce saw NAND flash revenues rise 10.8% QoQ to $16.4bn in Q2, on ASPs up almost 7%. New server processor platforms from Intel and AMD contributed to rising demand, as did continuing orders from PC OEMs. It also noted a shortage in controller ICs during this period. Data centre clients will begin driving demand in Q3 as they buy more high-density enterprise SSDs. Continued notebook demand will also sustain rising bit shipments and ASPs, it added. Expect revenues to hit record highs in the third quarter.


Component shortages limited 1H 2021 curved monitor shipments, said TrendForce, adding that consumer demand also dropped during the period as countries began lifting some pandemic restrictions. Q2 shipments were down 6.1% QoQ to 3.41m units. Samsung retained its lead with 1.09m units and a 32% market share. AOC/Philips came in second with a 12% market share on shipments of 410,000 units. MSI and Dell took third place and fourth place respectively with 10% and 8% in market share.

TrendForce expects annual global shipments in this category to reach about 15.6m units, up 10% YoY.


UK printer shipments grew 19.1% to almost 750,000 units YoY in Q2 2021, up almost 118,000 units, said IDC. Business inkjet shipments grew an impressive 73.1%, while consumer inkjets rose 11.7%. A3 color laser devices more than doubled, while monochrome devices increased 8.3%.

This positive news mirrored Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) unit shipments, which grew 18.8% to 4.39m. Market value grew 47.1% to €2.16bn.

Monthly Stats

Price increases started low at 5,969 and saw a spiky start to the month, reaching 35,495 on Aug 4 before dropping again. They saw two rallies to 26,238 and 27,851 on Aug 10 and Aug 18 respectively, but reached their 39,203 high on Aug 20-23 before finishing the month at a low of 2,817.

Price decreases began the month at a relative high of 28,002 and after a dip, reached their monthly peak of 30,593 on Aug 05, staying there until Aug 08. Their monthly low of 6,301 came from Aug 13-15, and then they saw two more highs of 28,799 and 27,013 on Aug 24 and 30 respectively. Extreme Networks had the most price increases and reductions.

Stock up saw two notable bumps from a month that rarely broke 5,000: one on Aug 5 when it rose to 8,861 and another on Aug 20-23, when it hit 20,298. Stock down languished below 3,000 for much of the month after ranging between 3,880 and 13,410 in the first five days. It didn't break 10,000 again until Aug 20, when it hit 18,080, staying above the 10,000 mark until the very end of the month.

New Products August 2021

Prices and Stock Movements August 2021