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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.
Toshiba Puts Struggles of 2011 Behind it to Post Best NAND Industry Performance in Q1June 13, 2012After persevering through a devastating earthquake and two major revenue declines in 2011, Toshiba Corp. in the first quarter of 2012 made a noteworthy comeback in the NAND flash memory business, achieving market-leading double-digit growth that defied an industry-wide contraction in revenue. Toshiba of Japan posted NAND sales revenue of $1.71 billion in the first quarter, up 19 percent from $1.43 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.That growth performance—the best among all suppliers—gave the company a 34 percent share of the worldwide market, up from 28 percent in the fourth quarter, according to an IHS iSuppli Flash Market Brief report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
High Prices Generate Record Revenue for HDD Market in Q1June 12, 2012The global hard disk drive (HDD) industry surged to record revenue in the first quarter, thanks to higher average selling prices that compensated for the wreckage and loss in shipments left by the October floods in Thailand, according to an IHS iSuppli Storage Market Brief report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
HDD revenue for the first quarter reached $9.6 billion, an industry high that bested the previous record of $9.3 billion in the first quarter of 2010. The rise in HDD revenue occurred even though shipments during the first quarter of 145 million units were less than the 174 million units of the third quarter last year, just before destructive floods in October damaged a wide swath of HDD factories located in Thailand. A full recovery to pre-flood shipment levels is not expected until the third quarter, one full year after the disaster.
Hard Disk Drive Prices Not Expected to Return to Pre-Flood Levels Until 2014June 06, 2012
Although production of hard disk drives (HDDs) is rapidly recovering from the catastrophic Thailand floods that occurred in October, HDD average selling prices (ASPs) are not expected to decline to pre-disaster levels until 2014, according to an IHS iSuppli Memory & Storage Market Brief report at information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
In the wake of the floods, the ASP for the entire HDD market soared to $66 in the fourth quarter of 2011, up 28 percent from $51 in the third quarter. The ASP held steady at $66 in the first quarter, and is expected to decline marginally to $65 in the second quarter.
Bellwether Market for Power Management Chips ReboundsMay 23, 2012Following a calamitous decline during the last three months of 2011, the market for power management semiconductors recovered somewhat at the beginning of 2012 and is finally on its way to discernible growth in the second quarter, driven primarily by an expansion in the consumer and industrial sectors.
Revenue for power management semiconductors will reach $8.0 billion in the second quarter, up 6.7 percent from $7.5 billion in the first quarter, according to an IHS iSuppli Power Management Market Tracker report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
Irony Abounds in Q1 DRAM Market as Bankruptcy-Bound Elpida Dethrones Micron from Third RankMay 23, 2012In one of the more ironic developments ever to transpire in the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) market, now bankrupt Elpida Memory Inc. in the first quarter managed to outperform the overall industry and its close competitors, allowing it to rise one position to take the third rank among global suppliers. But if that weren’t incongruous enough, the company that Elpida displaced from the third rank was Micron Technology Inc.—the supplier most likely to acquire Elpida.
Japan’s Elpida stepped into third place by grabbing 12.6 percent market share on the strength of a nearly 1 percent increase in revenue compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, according to an IHS iSuppli DRAM Market Brief report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).