Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.6 million units in the first quarter of 2014, a 1.7 percent decline from the first quarter of 2013, according to preliminary results by Gartner. The severity of the decline eased compared with the past seven quarters.
All regions indicated a positive effect since the end of XP support stimulated the PC refresh of XP systems. Professional desktops, in particular, showed strength in the quarter. Among key countries, Japan was greatly affected by the end of XP support, registering a 35 percent year-over-year increase in PC shipments. The growth was also boosted by sales tax change. We expect the impact of XP migration worldwide to continue throughout 2014
While the PC market remains weak, it is showing signs of improvement compared to last year. The PC professional market generally improved in regions such as EMEA. The U.S. saw the gradual recovery of PC spending as the impact of tablets faded.
The PC market continued to be tough for many vendors. Economies of scale matter tremendously in this high-volume, low-profit market, which is forcing some vendors, such as Sony, out of the market. In contrast, all of the top five vendors, except Acer, registered year-over-year shipment growth. The top thee vendors — Lenovo, HP and Dell — have all confirmed the importance of the PC business as part of their overall business strategies.
Lenovo experienced the strongest growth among the top five vendors. Its shipments grew 10.9 percent and Lenovo extended its position as the worldwide leader. The company’s shipments grew in all regions except Asia/Pacific, where growth in China has been problematic. Overall, the China market again slowed, in part due to the long holiday in the middle of the quarter.
Science fiction? Well, no. All this and much more is feasible today. Internet-enabled white goods and wine coolers, remotely controlled lighting systems, alarms controlled from the internet, health reading devices and so on are all available today. Bringing them all together in a connected world is not the stuff of the future. It is in the here-and-now.
The Internet of Things is THE most exciting trend in the world can affect our daily lives. The trend is termed The Internet of Things (IoT) and it will affect every single human on the planet in time. It will allow connected cities, connected countries, more efficient allocation of resources and fundamentally change the way we live. It may even help us save the planet. It is that fundamental. And, according to one thought leader, 2014 will be the tipping point.
The market impact from the IoT is mind-boggling. Gartner believes that in just 6 short years the economic value-add from internet-enabling devices and delivering a connected world will amount to nearly $2 Trillion.
As it gains momentum the IoT is going to drive a tsunami of data. The growth in data that we have been experiencing in the last decade has largely been fueled by social media and unstructured content, with the proportion of enterprise data growth being relatively limited.
If businesses and governments are already struggling to keep up with data growth, and balancing the opportunities afforded with various cloud architectures, imagine what it is going to be like in 5 years’ time when they’ll be 500 billion connected devices all generating data! Some of this data will be ephemeral of course, but most will need storing, managing and mining.
In the last few years’ data storage as a topic has moved from an IT budget line item into a potential strategic enabler of growth. The CIO is keenly aware of this. However, as the tsunami of data hits, every C-suiter is going to need to understand this. NetApp has long been at the forefront of data storage efficiency technologies (such as snapshotting, de-duplication, compression and thin provisioning) and these will remain the foundation in this new world of IoT. There is no other way to address the need to store the quantity at an affordable cost. But it will also need highly sophisticated data analytics engines and mining applications. SAP Hana, Hadoop, MapR are just the tip of the iceberg. Making these apps effective requires a robust, highly scalable and performant underlying data management platform which can span private, public and hybrid clouds flexibly and transparently. The #1 storage operating system, Data ONTAP has been designed with these goals in mind from day 1. As every Sunday School attendee knows – the wise man built his house upon a rock, and as a every grown up CEO will get to know – the wise CIO builds his data center on a rock-solid data management platform.
50 years ago this week Isaac Asimov presented his vision of what the world might be like in 2014. Back in 1964 he outlined his predictions in an article for the New York Times. Asimov was a science fiction author and chemist, and although I don’t suppose anyone would have understood the term back then, he could well labelled a “futurologist” in today’s parlance. He was surprisingly accurate in those predictions. In some of them he was half-right and obviously he missed some completely, but in the main, he called a lot right. He may not have got the terminology completely correct but he essentially predicted the ubiquity of smart phones, the fledgling nature of robotics, the role of nuclear power and the advances in 3-D technology amongst many others. He predicted a world of wireless devices. By that he meant they would not use a conventional electrical cord and get power from a grid, but actually be powered by nuclear-charged long-lived batteries. Well he got those details a little wrong, but a world of internet-enabled wireless connected devices is precisely what we are talking about with the IoT. Read his predictions here. Given the rate of change in technology in the last decade, it would be pretty challenging to try and predict what the world might be like in 2064, so hats off to Asimov for his perspicuity.
The PC market has been on the decline for the past year, but there are new hints that the situation is improving — if only slightly. Both Gartner (shown here) and IDC estimate that worldwide computer shipments dropped roughly eight percent year-over-year in the third quarter. While that’s not exactly comforting to vendors, it’s better than the double-digit losses of the past several months; the analyst groups even saw flat or positive growth in countries like Japan and the US. Any further declines in some regions may be relatively gentle, Gartner says.
As for who’s out in front?
Heavyweights like Lenovo, HP and Dell grew thanks to improving business sales and some advance shipments of Windows 8.1 PCs. Acer and ASUS, meanwhile, were dealt the worst blow as their netbook sales continued to suffer from the rise of mobile OS tablets. Neither Gartner nor IDC is predicting a turnaround for the industry, but they suggest that PC builders are finally figuring out their places in a world where mobile devices rule.
Not only PC, but MAC also
Another interesting piece of data we glean in the report is that Apple (AAPL) experienced a PC shipment decline of 11.2% in the third quarter. Perhaps, iPhone and iPad are cannibalizing MAC sales. It’s something to watch in the upcoming quarterly results. Smartphones and tablets have compressed the tech giant’s margins, falling Mac sales might further the problem; although management recent said margins will be higher thanks to iPhone 5S sales. Nobody actually wants the 5C as its price has been cut by many vendors already.
The way of the VHS
The PC is going the way of the VHS. Investors would be better served focusing on tablet leaders and suppliers. Even smartphone sales are beginning to moderate.
- PC shipments fall for sixth straight quarter (nbcnews.com)
- The PC Industry Shrank Another 9%, Gartner Says (AAPL, HPQ) (businessinsider.com)
- The PC Industry Shrank Another 9%, Gartner Says (AAPL, HPQ) (embargozone.com)
- IDC and Gartner: Q3 2013 PC shipments not as bad as predicted, but still bad (neowin.net)
- PC sales continue to fall as smartphones, tablets cut demand (ctvnews.ca)
Very interesting article that gives all basic information about data management & information architecture. To increase the flexibility, the data management is key for a company.
- “Developing Researcher Skills in Research Data Management: Training for the Future – A DataPool Project Report” (digital-scholarship.org)
- Getting Your Web Site’s Structure Right (tc.eserver.org)
- No matter how big it gets, data still demands management and quality checks (blogs.techworld.com)
- Easy Enterprise Architecture (xpdianea.wordpress.com)
These are slides and speaking notes from a presentation I made recently to a corporate training group.
1) That any information architecture(iA)needs to span more than one insular organization or it, in and of itself, just becomes one more stand-alone methodology…
2) That structure paradoxically engenders freedom by eliminating useless redundancy of content and effort…
3) That lifting the burden of imposing structure off the backs of information creators not only defines a strategic direction, but also provides a tactical method…
4) That the unchecked proliferation of information is one of the most challenging issues for the 21st century…
Defining an Information Architecture
The solutions to most significantly complex problems are as much art as they are science. There is that about them that requires inspiration and often times a leap of faith… and a ball of string so we can back-track when we get…
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