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Sign of the Times: PC Share of DRAM Market Dips Below 50 Percent for First TimeSeptember 14, 2012In yet another sign that the technology industry has entered the post-PC era, personal computers during the second quarter accounted for less than half of the market for DRAM—the first time in a generation that they didn’t consume the majority of the leading type of semiconductor memory.
PCs in the second quarter accounted for 49.0 of DRAM bit shipments, down from 50.2 percent in the first quarter, according to an IHS iSuppli DRAM Dynamics Brief from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
The fall is notable, given that the share of PCs hasn’t dipped below 50 percent since the 1980s, when personal computers were a new product whose sales were rising at rapid clip. After accounting for the overwhelming share of DRAM buying for decades, average PC share from the first quarter of 2008 until the fourth quarter of 2011 hovered at approximately 55 percent, with share fluctuating periodically but generally trending down.
iPhone 5 to Spur Record Apple Smartphone Shipments in Q4September 12, 2012The iPhone 5 represents a strong smartphone launch by Apple. IHS forecasts the iPhone 5 will be a major success in the market, helping to drive Apple’s smartphone shipments in 2012 to 149 million units, up 60 percent from 93 million in 2011
Historically, the release of a new iPhone hasgenerated a large quarter-on-quarter surge in iPhone sales. Apple's release strategy plays a major role in this upwelling, as prospective buyers hold off on purchasing during the time leading up to the rollout of the new device. This phenomenon depressed iPhone sales in the second quarter of this year.
Cumulative Android Smartphone Shipments Will Exceed 1 Billion in 2013September 11, 2012Just five years after Google Inc.’s Android appeared on the market in 2008, IHS forecasts that cumulative global shipments of smartphones using the operating system since it was introduced will amount to more than 1 billion in 2013.
Worldwide annual unit shipments of Android phones will rise to 451 million in 2013, up from 357 million in 2012, according to an IHS iSuppli Wireless Communications Smartphone Report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). These massive totals will mean that combined shipments for every year since the first smartphone using Android shipped in 2008 will reach 1.1 billion by the end of 2013, as presented in the figure below. In contrast, the No. 2 smartphone operating system, Apple Inc.’s iOS, will amount to 527 million in cumulative shipments in 2013 and won’t reach the 1 billion level until 2015.
Fast Facts on Apple’s iPhone 5 AnnouncementSeptember 11, 2012The arrival of the iPhone 5 will spur a rebound in Apple’s smartphone shipments in the third and fourth quarters following a decline in the second quarter. Apple in the second quarter suffered a 26 percent drop in shipments to 26 million units, down from 35 million in the first quarter.
“Apple’s smartphone shipments typically are weak during the quarter preceding the launch of a new iPhone model,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst, wireless communications, for IHS. “Buyers historically have delayed their purchases until the newest model is available. Then they rush out to get the latest and greatest version once it’s being sold, leading to a spike in demand. IHS predicts the same pattern will occur with the iPhone 5.”
Tablets and Smartphones Help Power Management Chip Market to Rebound in Q2September 07, 2012After six months of decline, the market for power management semiconductors likely recovered in the second quarter due to strong demand from electronic products including smartphones and media tablets, according to a preliminary estimate from the IHS iSuppli Power Management Market Tracker from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
Global revenue for power management semiconductors is preliminarily estimated to have reached $7.9 billion in the second quarter, a 9.7 percent increase from $7.2 billion in the first quarter. The positive performance for the period stands in marked contrast to the 10.7 percent decrease seen in the fourth quarter last year and the 4.0 percent contraction in revenue that followed in the first quarter of 2012, as shown in the figure below.
Subscriptions to Cloud Storage Services to Reach Half-Billion Level This YearSeptember 06, 2012Consumer subscriptions to cloud-based storage services are experiencing booming growth, with the global total rising to 500 million this year, spurring companies of all sizes and descriptions to enter the market.
A total of 500 million personal cloud storage subscriptions are expected this year, up from less than 300 million in 2011, according to insights from the IHS iSuppli Mobile and Wireless Communications Service at information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). The subscriptions are expected to jump to 625 million next year, a solid increase of 25 percent, with uninterrupted double-digit growth anticipated to follow until at least 2017. During that year, subscriptions to cloud storage are projected to hit 1.3 billion, as presented in the figure below.
As Wintel Dominance Wanes, the Microsoft/Intel Alliance FraysSeptember 04, 2012After a generation of setting the pace and calling the shots in the computer market, the Microsoft Corp./Intel Corp. cartel known as Wintel now finds itself playing catch-up in the new era of smartphones and media tablets, spurring a widening rift in the historic alliance.
Despite a flurry of activities to adjust to the changed realities of the technology industry, Wintel is expected to suffer a declining share of the “new” computer market, a category consisting not just of PCs but also of the much faster-growing smartphone and media tablet segments. Microsoft’s share of the operating system market for the three products combined is expected to slip to 33 percent in 2016, down from 44 percent in 2011, according to an IHS iSuppli DRAM Dynamics Report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
Wireless Infrastructure Gear Market Lifted by LTE in 2012August 30, 2012Global spending by wireless carriers on infrastructure equipment is expected to rise a solid 8.3 percent this year and reach $45.5 billion, driven primarily by investments among carriers in developed nations on the next-generation 4G long term evolution (LTE) technology, according to an IHS iSuppli Wireless Communications Special Report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
The spending on infrastructure, considered a bellwether for gauging the overall prospects of the wireless industry moving forward, continues the strong 7.7 percent expansion of last year, when carrier expenditures amounted to $42.0 billion. Growth will moderate somewhat during the next few years to the 3.0 percent range, with total carrier spending on infrastructure equipment reaching $50.6 billion by 2016.
Rapid Advance of LTE Spurs Convergence of Electronic ProductsAugust 29, 2012With its worldwide subscriber rolls expected to quadruple this year and increase by a factor of 70 by 2016, 4G long term evolution (LTE) will play a pivotal role in the development of the wireless industry by driving the convergence of electronic devices, including smartphones, media tablets and mobile PCs.
Global 4G LTE subscribers this year are forecast to reach 73.3 million, up a whopping 334 percent from 16.9 million in 2011, according to an IHS iSuppli Consumer and Communications Market Tracker Report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). Another round of impressive triple-digit growth, equivalent to 181 percent, is expected in 2013 when 4G LTE subscribers total 205.7 million. By 2016, 4G LTE subscribers will reach nearly 1.2 billion strong, as shown in the figure below.
Smartphones See Accelerated Rise to DominanceAugust 28, 2012
Driven by increased demand from developed regions for high-end models, along with an unexpectedly strong push from emerging economies for lower-cost products, smartphones are expected to rise to account for the majority of global cellphone shipments in 2013—two years earlier than previously predicted.
Smartphone shipments in 2013 are forecast to account for 54 percent of the total cellphone market, up from 46 percent in 2012 and 35 percent in 2011, according to an IHS iSuppli Wireless Communications Market Tracker Report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). The year 2013 will mark the first time that smartphones will make up more than half of all cellphone shipments.
Western Digital Shakes off Thai Flood Impact, Retakes Hard Drive Market Lead in Q2August 28, 2012Six months after losing the top spot in the global hard disk drive (HDD) segment due to the Thai flooding disaster, Western Digital Corp. in the second quarter recovered its market lead from chief rival Seagate Technology, according to an IHS iSuppli Storage Space Market Brief from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
Western Digital produced approximately 71.0 million HDD units in the second quarter, including production from Hitachi GST, a company acquired by Western Digital earlier in the year. Revenue for Western Digital amounted to $4.8 billion—a company record.
In comparison, Seagate shipped 65.9 million HDD units during the same period, with revenue reaching $4.5 billion—also a record in Seagate’s books.
China: Where the iPhone is an Also-RanAugust 23, 2012Consumers everywhere love the iPhone, with its strong sales in almost every region of the world, keeping Apple Inc. in first or second place in the global smartphone rankings. However, there is one country where Apple isn’t No. 1 or No. 2—and doesn’t rank even among the Top 5.
Are we talking about some obscure nation where the locals don’t have access to essentials like iPhones?
No, we’re talking about the world’s most populous and economically vibrant country: China.
In China, Apple ranked in seventh place among smartphone brands during the first half of 2012
Mobile DRAM Market Expands as Usage Increases in Smartphones and TabletsAugust 07, 2012With its relatively robust market growth and increasing usage in hot products like smartphones and media tablets, mobile DRAM is playing a more prominent role in the memory business—including acting as a key factor in Micron Technology Inc.’s recent acquisition of Elpida Memory Inc.
Mobile DRAM is set to hit a record $6.56 billion in revenue this year, up 10 percent from $5.98 billion in 2011, according to an IHS iSuppli Mobile & Embedded Memory Market Brief from information and analysis provider IHS. (NYSE: IHS).This compares to 3 percent revenue growth for standard DRAM.
Samsung Regains Smartphone LeadershipJuly 26, 2012
Six months after losing the top position in the smartphone market to Apple, Samsung in the second quarter regained leadership as its sales rose 5 percent to 36 million units, up from 34 million in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Apple suffered a 26 percent decline in shipments to 26 million units, down from 35 million in the first quarter.
Samsung’s modest increase was propelled by strong growth in high-end smartphone shipments.
Apple’s shipments in the second quarter were impacted by a combination of factors, including macroeconomic variables, increased competition from newer smartphone offerings and delayed purchasing among consumers who are waiting for the availability of the next iPhone model. All this led to a buildup of channel inventory, resulting in lower-than-expected iPhone volumes.
Risks Come with Rewards in Micron’s Purchase of ElpidaJuly 23, 2012Micron Technology Inc.’s recent purchase of bankrupt Japanese entity Elpida Memory Inc. is a bold move not without risk, even though Micron will emerge from the acquisition considerably larger with more than double its original manufacturing capacity for dynamic random access memory (DRAM), according to an IHS iSuppli DRAM Market Brief from information and analysis provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
U.S.-based Micron’s buyout of Elpida on July 2 is expected to boost the Idaho firm’s DRAM production volume to approximately 370,000 wafer starts per month over the long term, up a notable 131 percent from 160,000 wafer starts prior to the purchase.
Hard Drive-Based PCs Maintain Near-Term Dominance over SSDs in Notebook MarketJuly 20, 2012
Despite sluggish sales, conventional notebook PCs equipped with hard disk drives (HDD) as their main storage medium are unlikely to have their market share threatened in the near term by Microsoft’s new Surface tablet PC or by rival notebooks that entirely eliminate HDDs and instead employ solid state drives (SSD), according to an IHS iSuppli Storage Market Brief from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
Among all notebook PCs outfitted with either HDD or SSD as their storage media, models with hard disks larger than 500 gigabytes (GB) and priced from $450 to $550 accounted for the biggest share of the market in the first quarter, at 32 percent. The second-biggest segment of 26 percent belonged to notebooks integrating hard disk drives larger than 320GB and priced between $350 and $450. Only 3 percent of the market belonged to 128GB SSD laptops or very high-end HDD notebook PCs both priced above $900.
China’s Domestic PC Shipments Rise at Triple the Global Rate in 2012July 17, 2012China’s domestic PC shipments in 2012 are set to rise at three times the rate of the global market, driven by strong economic growth and insatiable demand from the commercial sector, according to an IHS iSuppli China Research report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
PC shipments for consumption in China for 2012 are projected to reach 83.6 million units, up 13.1 percent from 73.9 million units last year. In comparison, global shipments are set to increase by only 4.4 percent this year.
Domestic shipments of both desktop and notebook PCs to the Chinese market have been growing at robust double-digit rates for several years, and the healthy pace of expansion is set to continue for at least two more years before the market moderates slightly to a 9 percent increase in 2015.
DRAM Pricing Strengthens as Inventory Level FallsJuly 17, 2012
Pricing for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is set to increase as a key indicator shows that inventory levels are falling relative to demand, according to an IHS iSuppli DRAM Dynamics Market Brief from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
The steady upturn of the DRAM market is reflected in the current Weeks of DRAM Inventory Index, which dropped to 11.6 weeks in the first quarter this year, down 4 percent from 12.1 weeks in the fourth quarter of 2011, as shown in the figure below. It was the second consecutive quarter of improvement since the index hit 12.9 weeks in the third quarter last year. The decline also represents a significant turnaround from the major increases in the indices that ruled during most of 2011.
With Elpida Acquisition, Micron Becomes No. 2 DRAM SupplierJuly 02, 2012With its planned purchase of Elpida Memory Inc. of Japan, U.S.-based Micron Technology Inc. will become the world’s second largest supplier of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), according to new calculations based on first-quarter rankings from the IHS iSuppli Memory & Storage service.
Micron had been ranked the No.-4 global DRAM supplier in the first quarter, with $759 million in revenue and a 12.2 percent share of the market.
Elpida Bankruptcy Brings Unusual Stability to DRAM PricingJune 27, 2012
StormPricing in the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) market has become markedly less volatile since the February bankruptcy of major supplier Elpida Memory Inc., deviating from long-term trends in statistically significant ways, according to an IHS iSuppli Market Brief from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
DRAM pricing appears to have flattened since the announcement by Elpida that it owed billions of dollars in debt, even though the Japanese maker had been the third-largest DRAM supplier in terms of sales even as late as the first quarter this year.