September 2017

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


Executive Summary

  • Smartphone shipments up 7%
  • Semiconductor revenue continues to grow
  • Printer shipments up globally but down in western Europe


The largest number of price increases happened on August 24, with 36,412 rises in a single day.

Jump to Monthly Stats

August proved another mixed month for the IT channel with shipments up for smartphones and wearables but down for personal computing devices. Semiconductor revenue and DRAM prices continued to increase, while panel shipments fell.


Exchange Rate

The euro started at 0.8940 and casually rose against the GBP, reaching 0.9274 by Aug 29. A quick slip saw it finish the month at 0.9207.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

It fared less well against the USD however, with the euro rising from 1.1814 to 1.1857 on Aug 3 only to drop to 1.1743 on Aug 9. A quick recovery to 1.1822 by Aug 13 was also dashed, falling to 1.1734 by Aug 16. A series of small increases helped the euro reach 1.2001 by Aug 29, only to fall back to 1.1882 on Aug 31.

The BBC said the eurozone inflation rose to 1.5% in August, up from 1.3% in July and higher than expected, although still not at the 2% the EBC had targeted. Unemployment remained at 9.1% for July, the report mentioned, the lowest it’s been in seven years.

In other news, CNBC reported PMI rose to 0.1 to 55.8 in August, helping manufacturing activity grew to its fastest pace since April 2011. PMI services did fall however, dropping from 55.4 in July to 549.

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, 2017


Phones and Tablets

Global smartphone shipments grew 7% YoY in Q2 to 350.9m units, IHS reported, with Samsung (+3% to 79.4m units & 23% market share) leading Apple (+2% to 41m units), Huawei (+20% to 38.5m), Oppo (+39% to 30.5m) and Vivo (+45% to 23.9m).

Gartner found 4G smartphone sales in emerging markets helped drive Q2 growth in end-user sales up 6.7% YoY to 366.2m. Android held 87.7% of the market and Apple came in second with 12.1% share.

TrendForce on the other hand said global smartphone production fell flat on the quarter in Q2 with 324m units, suggesting the stall came on the back of anticipation for the new flagship Apple iPhone models and Samsung Galaxy Note set for release later this year.

Looking forward, TrendForce predicts smartphone shipments to grow 1.7% YoY in 2017 to 1.49bn and reach 1.73bn shipments by 2021 (up 3.2%). IDC echoed this, forecasting an increase from 1.47bn units in 2016 to 1.7bn in 2021.

The global tablet market continued to slide in Q2, IDC reported. Shipments fell 3.4% YoY to 37.9m, despite Apple recording a 14.7% YoY increase to 11.4m units and 30.1% of the market. Samsung in second place dropped 0.8% YoY to 6m units and 15.8% of the market, followed by Huawei (+47.1% to 3m & 8%), Amazon (+51.7% to 2.4m and 6.4%) and Lenovo (-14.6% to 2.2m and 5.7%).

In Western Europe, IDC found tablet shipments fell just 0.5% YoY in Q2 to 7m units. Apple’s 12% growth to 1.9m units and 27% market share saw it take top spot.

Traditional PCs

Global shipments of personal computing devices will fall at a 1.7% rate until 2021, dropping from 435.1m units in 2016 to 398.3m. Breaking down the numbers, IDC said desktops will drop 3.5% and slate tablets will fall 6.8%, while notebooks (+0.7%) and detachable tablets (+14.3%) will enjoy some growth.

TrendForce said Q2 notebook shipments grew 5.7% on the quarter and 3.6% YoY with 39.96m units. HP led the market with 23.4% market share, followed by Lenovo (20.1%) and Dell (16.4%).

Premium Ultramobiles/Wearables

The wearable market is set to enjoy a 16.7% YoY shipment growth to 310.4m units and generating $30.5bn in sales revenue, Gartner reported. Bluetooth headsets (150m units), wristbands (44.1m) and smartwatches 41.5m) were the leading devices.

Smartwatches alone are set to account for $9.3bn in revenue, and grow to 80.96m units and $17.4bn in revenue by 2021. ABI Research reported enterprise wearables will generate $60bn in revenue by 2022, up from $10.6bn in 2017.

IDC found global wearable shipments grew 10.3% YoY to 26.3m in Q2, with Xiaomi’s 13.7% YoY growth to 3.5m units taking it to top spot. Apple, Fitbit, Garmin and Fossil rounded out the top five vendors.

AR and VR revenue will more than double each year over the next four years, IDC said, growing from $11.4bn in 2017 to $215bn by 2021.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

The Semiconductor Industry Association said Q2 revenue was up 23.7% YoY and 5.8% on the quarter when it reached $97.9bn. All regions achieved YoY growth for the month of June, with the Americas (33.3%) leading China (25.5%), Pacific/Other (19%), Europe (18.3%) and Japan (18%).


Q2 PC DRAM contract prices rose 10% and global DRAM revenue rose 16.9% on the quarter, TrendForce reported. Samsung enjoyed 20.7% growth to $7.6bn, while SK Hynix in second registered 27.3%.

In another report TrendForce said global NAND flash contract prices also enjoyed 8% growth on the quarter. Mobile DRAM revenue rose 14.8% in Q2 on the quarter.


Western Digital continued its acquisition program with the purchase of the Tegile storage array and Upthere cloud consumer storage businesses, The Register reported. Research firm Trendfocus estimated global HDD shipments between 96m and 98m in Q2, representing a 0.6-2.6% decline in shipments.


Global LCD TV shipments reached 47.37m units in Q2 TrendForce reported, up 7.6% on Q1 but down 5.2% YoY. On the quarter, Samsung (-6.9% to 9.45m), LG (-3.1% to 6.2m), TCL (+21.1% to 3.44m), Sharp (+95.3% to 2.52m) and Sony (+15.9% to 2.48m) rounded out the top five vendors. The reported also suggested LCD panel shipments will reach 214m units for 2017, down 2.3% on an earlier prediction of 219m units.

According to TrendForce, LCD panel prices fell 2-7% across the board in August on the month.

Meanwhile IHS has forecast shipments of smartphones with the new 18:9 widescreen panels will reach 611m units by 2021, up from 170m units in 2017, and in another report, IHS found the growth of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs and smartphones will boost the OLED encapsulation materials market 4.7% YoY to $117 million in 2017, and a further 16% to $232.5m by 2021.


Global hardcopy shipments achieved 0.7% YoY growth to 23.3m units in Q2, IDC said. Inkjet (+2.9%) and laser (+1.7%) shipments helping the market into positive numbers. HP (8.58m units) led the market with Canon (4.89m), Epson (3.95m), Brother (1.77m) and Samsung (0.85m) rounding out the top five vendors.

Meanwhile, Western Europe’s laser sales fell 5% YoY in Q2, Context reported, with Belgium (-36%), Norway (-34%) and Finland (-28%) the hardest hit. The UK (+8) and Denmark (+3) were the only two countries to post growth.


Monthly Stats

New products started at 1089, dropped to 57 on Aug 2, jumped to 156 on Aug 3, fell to 17 on August 5-6, recovered and fell again. A jump from 236 on Aug 10 to 2103 on Aug 11, 2082 on Aug 12-13 and a rise to a high of 6724 on Aug 14, preceded another fall 92 by Aug 17, where new products sat below 100 until the end of the month.

Cisco topped both the price increases and price reductions by manufacturer lists.

Total price increases per day started at 19,916, fell to 7041 on Aug 3, rose to 26,178 on Aug 4-6 and again to 32,555 on Aug 7, dropped slightly, and then fell to 12,075 on Aug 11-13. Continuing in a similar trend, highlights for the rest of the month include a high of 36,412 on Aug 24, a low of 2626 on Aug 29 and a strong finish to the month at 24,777.

Price decreases per day started at 31,379, fell to 21,365 on Aug 2, hit 33,038 on Aug 3 and then sat at 10,762 on Aug 4-6. A series of rises and falls followed, including dropping from 25,660 on Aug 21 to a low of 4107 on Aug 23 and ending the month falling from 17,968 on Aug 30 to 7951 on Aug 31.

Highlights for Stock increases this month included dropping from 5956 to 4054 on Aug 2, sitting at 4721 on Aug 4-6 and holding steady at 5789 from Aug 17-19 before reaching a high of 8574 on Aug 24, a low of 804 on Aug 29, and ending the month at 5062.

Stock down fell from 14,779 to 13,817 on Aug 2, sat at 14,063 on Aug 4-6, dropped to 12,360 by Aug 10, jumped to 18,974 on Aug 11-13 and then sat between 13,800 and 14,600 from Aug 14 until falling to 5142 on Aug 29, and recovering to 15,635 on Aug 31.

New Products August 2017

Prices and Stock Movements August 2017