June 2017

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


Executive Summary

  • Euro enjoys strong growth against both currencies
  • Notebooks enjoy shipment growth
  • Mobile DRAM registers revenue decline


The largest number of price increases happened on May 15, with 41,546 rises in a single day.

Jump to Monthly Stats

It was a mixed month for the IT channel in May. Smartphone and notebook shipments were up while tablets and PCs were down. Global DRAM revenues rose despite mobile DRAM revenue falling YoY, LCD panel shipments were up YoY but dived on the quarter, while printer sales in Western Europe registered another quarterly decline.


Exchange Rate

After starting at 0.8437 and hovering until falling to the monthly low of 0.8401 on May 10, the euro ended the month strongly against the GBP. Rising steadily until peaking at 0.8725 on May 27-28, a quick dip saw the euro end the month up at 0.8723.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

It was similar against the USD. Starting at 1.0900 and rising to 1.0994 on May 6-7 only to drop to a low of 1.0869 by May 11, the euro then rose strongly, eventually hitting 1.1229 by May 23. A slight drop and recovery saw the euro end the month at 1.1201.

Business and consumer confidence took a slight dip this month with the Financial Times and RT reporting the index down 0.5 points from April’s record post-financial crisis high of 109.7. Consumer prices were also down 0.5% to 1.4% this month, XM reported, along with core inflation dropping 0.2% to 1%. The Star on the other hand said the PMI remained positive, sitting at the six-year high of 56.8 for the second month in a row.

In other news, Reuters said the USD took a dip in late-May on the back of political uncertainty and rising oil prices.

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 May, 2017


Phones and Tablets

Global smartphone shipments grew 5.61% YoY to 338.9m units in Q1, IHS reported. Samsung topped the list 79.1m units (+0.1%), followed by Apple in second with 50.8m units (-0.8%) and Huawei in third with 34.6m units, up 21.7%. Oppo in fourth (+67.3% to 28.1m units) and Vivo in fifth (+56.3% to 22.5m units) were the two biggest movers on the list, as LG, Xiaomi, Lenovo, ZTE and TCL Alcatel rounded out the top ten with mixed results.

Global smartphone sales were up 9.1% YoY in Q1 to 380m units, Gartner said, further noting the top five vendors ranked in the same order as above. By OS, Android gained further ground with increases in unit sales (+34.4m to 327.1m units) and market share (+2% to 86.1%). While Apple sales grew 0.3m units, it lost 1.1% share to sit at 13.7%.

By shipment volume, IDC expects the smartphone market to recover in 2017 with 3% YoY growth to 1.52b units, and another 4.5% YoY in 2018.

In the tablet world, IDC said global shipments fell 8.5% YoY to 36.2m units in Q1, led by Apple’s 13th consecutive quarterly YoY shipment decline to 8.9m units.

In Western Europe, IDC reported the tablet market fell 1.7% YoY to 7.1m units in Q1. In positive news, detachables grew 5.8% YoY, the commercial segment grew 5.4% YoY and Android slate tablets had their first YoY growth since 2014 with 4.8%. Samsung claimed top spot for shipments to the region with 1.89m units, up 17.9% YoY, while Apple in second place dropped 11.5% YoY to 1.54m units.

TrendForce reported global Q1 tablet shipments fell 34.5% on the quarter and 9.3% YoY to sit at 31.95m units. The top five vendors all recorded significant declines on the quarter, with Apple topping the list at 8.92m units (-31.8%). Samsung sat in second with 6.1m units (-23.5%), while Huawei (-31.1%) edged Lenovo (-43.8%) by 0.5m to hold third with 2.1m units. Amazon rounded out the top five with 2m units shipped (-42.9%).

Traditional PCs

IDC has forecast shipments of personal computing devices to fall 1.4% to 405.2m units by 2021. Over the same period, notebooks will grow 0.9% and detachable tablets up 16.4%, while desktops will drop 3% and slate tablets will fall 6.9%.

In Western Europe, Context said that while PC volume sales fell 2.4% in Q1 YoY, the region’s revenues increased 8.3%. In the UK, volume fell 9.8% as revenue rose 14.6%.

TrendForce reported that global notebook shipments enjoyed a 6.1% YoY growth in Q1 to 37.81m units. Although down 15.6% on the quarter, looking forward TrendForce expects notebooks to enjoy a 1 - 3% YoY growth in Q2.

Premium Ultramobiles/Wearables

According to IHS, Google’s Daydream smartphone VR will establish itself a viable competitor to Samsung’s Gear VR in H2, predicting Daydream View headset sales to grow from 120,000 in 2016 to 2.23m in 2017. That said, Samsung will remain market leader, despite an expected 9.6% YoY drop to 4.12m in consumer sales.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

Global semiconductor revenue for 2016 grew 2.6% YoY to reach $343.5b, Gartner reported. Intel led the market with +4.6% to $54.09b and 15.7% market share, holding off Samsung in second with +5.9% to $40.1b and 11.7% market share. Qualcomm came in third with $15.4b (-4.1%) and 4.5% of the market.

In other news, TrendForce said that data centres currently comprise 35% of the demand for server processors manufactured today, with the remainder coming from enterprises. Data centres will buy over 50% of server processors by 2020


Revenue for the global mobile DRAM market fell 1.7% to $5.41b in Q1 on the quarter TrendForce reported, despite contract prices increasing. Samsung dominated the segment with 58.4% market share (-2.9%) and $3.1b in revenue (-6.3%).

According to TrendForce, global DRAM revenue across the board rose 13.4% on the quarter, noting the increase coming on the back of severe supply shortages driving average PC DRAM contract prices up over 30%.

Advances in smartphone technologies and DRAM manufacturing processes have seen the mobile industry accelerate demand for LPDDR4 and LPDDR4X memory. According to TrendForce, Samsung is the established leader following its Q4 release of 18nm LPDDr4x products, while competitor SK Hynix and its 21nm LPDDR4X sits just behind.


Intel led the enterprise-grade SSD market in Q1 with over 40% of all shipments on the back of lowering 3D-NAND prices and emphasis on how well they complement their server processors. Not without competition, TrendForce Samsung took second with 25% of the market while Western Digital, following its takeover of SanDisk, sat in third with 20%. Enterprise-grade SSDs made up just 10% of all SSDs shipped in Q1.


Global Q1 LCD TV panel shipments fell 31% on the quarter and 8.3% YoY to 44.05m units. Blaming poor shipments to China as the leading cause, TrendForce said it’s not looking any brighter ahead either, predicting 2017 to hit just 219m units.

Samsung ranked first for shipments with 10.1m units, down 35% on the quarter, followed by LG with 6.4m units, down 12%, and TCL with 2.8m units, down 23%.

In other news, Future Source said 4K UHD TV sales will increase 38% YoY in 2017 to account for over a third of all global TV panel sales, ABI Research has forecast HDR TV panel shipments to overtake 4K panel on the back of 41% growth to 245m units by 2022, while IHS said AMOLED TV panel shipments will reach 10m units by 2023, up 42% from 2017.


Western Europe’s printer and multifunction market fell 0.9% to 5m units shipped in Q1 YoY IDC said, with the negative trend continuing since Q2 2015. The UK market was on par with the greater region, led by the inkjet (-0.8%) and laser (-1.2%) markets.

On the back of an expected 39% YoY shipment growth in 2017, Context predicts global 3D printer shipments will grow 42% and revenue increase 33% over the next five years.

Meanwhile, China’s first 3D printer designed commercial airline took flight in May 2017, leaving IDC to raise questions as to what’s next for the Chinese 3D printer market.


Monthly Stats

New products started at 1,096 and dropped to 33 on May 2, before slowly increasing to 502 by May 8. Falling again before recovering to sit at 1,237 by May 15, this trend continued with highlights for the month including peaking at 2,048 on May 25, dropping to 13 on May 30 and ending the month at 116.

Honeywell Bull, Dell and Getac led price increases by manufacturer while HP, APC and Canon topped the price reductions list.

Total price increases per day started at 10,375, dropped to 6,238, rose to 21,774 and fell again to 5,951 all by May 4. After jumping to 24,507 on May 5-7 and falling to a low of 1,459 on May 10, the rest of the month continued to rise and fall, including dropping to 1,713 on May 30 and ending the month on a high at 43,289.

Price decreases per day dropped from a high of 39,648 to 2,579 on May 2, jumped to 21,580 on May 5-7 and following another rise to 35,714 on May 9, fell to 4,298 on May 10. This continued until dropping to a low of 197 on May 30 and rising to 12,388 on May 31.

Stock up started at 6,275, dropped to 1,144 on May 2, jumped to 10,240 on May 5-7, and then dropped 4,736 on May 8, where it hovered for the rest of the month minus a fall to 73 on May 30. Stock up ended the month up at 7,031.

Stock down fell immediacy from 15,865 to 6,888 on May 2, jumped to 14,558 on May 3, dipped to sit at 12,810 on May 5-7 and then rose to 21,341 on May 12-14. Despite minor fluctuations and a drop to 1,044 on May 30, stock down stayed above 10,000 for the remainder of the month, sitting at 16,803 on May 31.

New Products May 2017

Prices and Stock Movements May 2017