May 2019

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 April 2019 that should help you get more from your IT procurement going forwards.


Executive Summary

  • Mobile phone shipment decline continues
  • Mobile phone shipment decline continues
  • Display panel subsegments enjoy growthDRAM facing more price drops


The largest number of price increases happened at the start of the month, April 1st, with 61,633.

Jump to Monthly Stats

There was more bad news than good for the IT channel this month as shipments of mobile phones, tablets, PCs, panels, and printer shipments all fell, DRAM prices continued to slide, and the memory and semiconductor industries posted large losses. There was some light, though, with premium ultramobile devices forecast for shipment growth and both smartwatch and curved monitor displays are up. The euro also ended up against the pound.


Exchange Rate

What started poorly ended positively for the euro against the pound this month. After dropping from 0.8597 on Apr 1 to a low of 0.8537 on Apr 3, the euro then rose, first to 0.8593 by Apr 5 and then to 0.8662 by Apr 17, before dipping, recovering, falling to 0.8622 by Apr 27, and ending the month at 0.8621.

British Pound (GBP) per 1 Euro (EUR)

It was the opposite against the USD. Starting at 1.1223, there was a minor dip before it rose steadily to 1.1307 by Apr 15. The euro then fell against the USD, hitting 1.1240 by Apr 20 and 1.1141 by Apr 25, where it sat flat for three days until a small rise saw it end the month at 1.1204.

US Dollar (USD) per 1 Euro (EUR)

Euro (EUR) per 1 British Pound (GBP)

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

According to both the Guardian and Reuters, there was a lot of good news coming out of the eurozone this month. The Italian recession was officially over thanks to 0.2% growth, eurozone unemployment fell to 7.7% (its lowest since the crash of 2008), and the eurozone economy grew at 0.4%.

Price Changes and News Through March 2019


Phones and Tablets

Gartner said that global mobile phone shipments will fall 0.5% YoY to 1.8bn units for 2019, and despite expecting a 1.2% YoY rise in 2020, the market will fall again, to under 1.8bn units for 2021. It also noted foldable phones will start to have a real impact in 2023, with 30m units shipping, accounting for 5% of high-end smartphone market sales.

IDC said global smartphone volumes were down 6.6% YoY to 310.8m units shipped in Q1, registering the industry’s sixth quarterly decline. Despite dropping 8.1% YoY, Samsung topped the Q1 vendor list with 71.9m units shipped and 23.1% market share, ahead of Huawei (+50.3% to 59.1m and 19%), Apple (-30.2% to 36.4m and 11.7%), Xiaomi (-10.2% to 25m and 8%) and vivo (+24% to 23.2m and 7.5%).

Gartner said tablet shipments will continue their annual decline with shipments to fall from 149.56m units in 2018 to 147.96m in 2019, 145.81m units by 2020, and 143.7m by 2021.

Traditional PCs

Global PC shipments fell 4.6% YoY in Q1 to 58.52m units, Gartner reported. Lenovo topped the list with 6.9% YoY growth to 13.16m units and 22.5% market share, ahead of HP, Dell, Apple and Asus.

Western Europe PC sales by volume fell 2.4% YoY in Q1 on the back of weak consumer demand and chip supply, according to Context. It added that the consumer market dropped 11.3% YoY, with the UK alone down 17.6% amid low confidence because of Brexit. Across the region, commercial sales enjoyed 4.6% YoY growth.

IDC on the other hand said Western Europe’s PC market grew 2.8% YoY in Q1, on the back of commercial sales enjoying +10.7% YoY.

Meanwhile, Gartner said global PCs shipments will fall 0.6% YoY in 2019 to 258.34m units, and continue to fall to 254.92m by 2021.

In other news, IDC said global gaming desktop, notebook and monitor devices will combine to grow 8.2% YoY in 2019 to 42.1m units, and continue to grow 9.8% YoY to 61.1m units shipped by 2023. In that year, desktops will account for 19m units, notebooks 31.5m, and monitors 10.6m, up from 15.5m, 20.1m, and 6.4m respectively in 2019.

Premium Ultramobiles & Wearables

According to Gartner, ultramobile tablets will grow over the coming years, up from 64.47m in 2018 to 68.86m in 2019, 74.43m in 2020, jumping to 79.87m units shipped in 2021.

Processors, MEMs, Semiconductors

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) released two reports this month. The first reported February sales were down 7.3% on the month and down 10.6% YoY to $32.9b. The second stated Q1 sales were down 15.5% YoY and 13% on the quarter, to $96.8bn. The report further said March sales were down 13% YoY and -1.8% on the month to $32.3bn. By region, all markets posted negative Q1 results, with Europe dropping 6.8% and the Americas dropping -26.6% YoY.


Global DRAM contract prices will continue to decline across the board, TrendForce reported, with Q1 down by over 20%. This will continue well into 2H 2019. According to the report, PC and Server DRAM are looking at -20% in Q2 and a further -10% for Q3.

The Register said the recent memory chip collapse has hit Samsung’s revenue forecasts in Q1, with its Device Solutions business dropping 27% YoY to $17.6bn.


According to Techradarpro, Micron has released its new consumer-focused 15TB SSD at lower-than-expected prices, coming in lower than similar-sized enterprise drives, in an attempt to slowly close the SSD-HDD price gap.


Global PC monitor shipments fell 2.1% YoY to 31.4m units in Q4 2018, IDC reported. Looking ahead, Q4 2019 is expected to drop by 2.7% YOY to 30.5m units, taking the annual figures down to 118m units for 2019, and further, to 114m units for 2020.

According to the report, curved monitors enjoyed 15.4% QoQ and 27.1% YoY growth to take 6.2% of the market share, while by vendor, Dell topped the list with +10.7% YoY growth to 6.78m units and 21.6% market share, ahead of HP (+1.5% to 4.57m & 14.6%), Lenovo (-2,4% to 3.99m & 12.7%), TPV (-5.6% to 3.71m & 11.8%), and LG (-8.5% to 2.57m & 8.2%).

In other news, Western Europe’s LFD panel sales are up 14% YoY in Q1, Context reported, further noting an increase in panels with higher resolution and brighter displays on the back of lower prices. Looking at the technology, the UK alone saw a 142% YoY increase in UHD Standard LFD panels, a 15% increase in high brightness standard LDF panels, and a 9% increase in video walls.

Meanwhile, IHS reported that smartwatch display shipments enjoyed 42% YoY growth to 149m units for 2018, while. In another report, it said flat panel displays grew 10.5% YoY in 2018 to 221m square meters, with OLED up 65.5% YoY to 3m2 and LCD up 10.7% to 154m2. Desktop monitors also enjoyed 11.9% growth, and while smartphone display shipments fell 0.1bn to 1.6bn in terms of units, area grew 6.1% YoY.


According to Channel Pro, Sharp enjoyed the highest growth of all office equipment supplies for 2018, most notably enjoying a 16% YoY growth in multifunction printer shipments. Despite the good news for Sharp, in Q4 the printer market dropped 4.8% YoY to 26.7m units, with all but HP (+3.6%) said to have posted declines, the biggest coming from Epson with -15.2% YoY.


Monthly Stats

New Products started at 168, dropped to a low of 3 on Apr 5-7, jumped to 935 on Apr 8, fell, rose to a high of 5,106 on Apr 15, fell, dropped to 8 by Apr 23 and sat at 35 from Apr 26-28 before ending the month down at 22.

Extreme Networks led price increase by manufacturer ahead of NVIDIA and Sony while HP topped V7 and Brother for price reductions by manufacturer.

Total price increases started by falling from a monthly high of 61,633 on Apr 1 to 5,623 by Apr 5-7, recovering, hitting a low of 2,575 by Apr 23 before recovering again, only to fall and end the month down at 9,972.

Price decreases per day rose from 6,606 on Apr 1 to a high of 34,463 on Apr 4, dropped and held steady, hit a low of 4,655 on Apr 19, and ended the month up at 15,297.

Stock up started at 6,274, fell, jumped to 14,217 on Apr 4, fell, and hit a monthly high of 29,434 on Apr 15 before hitting a low of 359 on Apr 23 and ending the month at 3,174.

Stock down highlights included a 17,705 start, dropping to 9,599 on Apr 2, recovering and holding steady, rising to a high of 27,000 on Apr 16 before hitting a low of 4,253 on Apr 23 and ending the month down at 11,686.

New Products March 2019

Prices and Stock Movements March 2019