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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Smartphones Hurt PC Sales

10:57 Posted by Troy Lolly , 1 comment
Published on Sunday, 04 August 2013 09:46
The Middle East and Africa region's PC market experienced another quarter of steep decline in Q2 2013 as the proliferation of mobile technology continues unabated. According to IDC, shipments of PCs into the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey slowed 18.3% year on year during the second quarter of 2013 to total 4.4 million units.

Desktops were the hardest hit, with shipments down 20.0% year on year to 1.8 million units, while notebook shipments declined 17.1% over the same period to total 2.6 million units. "A growing portion of end users, primarily from the consumer segment, are shifting their spending from PCs to tablets and smartphones," says Fouad Rafiq Charakla, a research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

This was accompanied by ongoing instability in several parts of the Middle East and Africa region, which resulted in PC spending by both the commercial and consumer segments plummeting at an even faster rate. "Intel and Microsoft have made keen efforts to revive the position of PCs against tablets, particularly in light of the latter adapting its operating system to a touch-screen interface," continues Charakla. "However, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS still outperform Microsoft’s Windows 8 when it comes to the number of applications the respective operating systems offer, which has a direct negative impact on the user experience. At the same time, the growing availability of aggressively priced tablet models, including those offered by multinational vendors, is continuing to encourage growing numbers of end users to switch to this increasingly popular form factor."

Despite declining price points on the numerous ultra-slim notebook models available in the market, this product category failed to catapult its own popularity at the planned pace. Indeed, a large portion of end users still prefer to buy portable PCs with optical drives, which most ultra-slim notebook models fail to offer. All key markets in the region experienced double-digit declines year on year. Turkey suffered a significant drop in PC shipments owing to the ongoing protests and social unrest in the country, while poor economic growth and high inflation caused a dramatic fall in PC shipments into South Africa. A change in the labor law by the government of Saudi Arabia forced a large number of expatriates to leave the country, causing its PC market to suffer tremendously. Meanwhile, in the UAE, a sharp decline in PC sales through the retail channel combined with instability in a number of key re-export destinations to drive a considerable decline in shipments into the country.

"Ongoing political instability in neighboring Syria continues to negatively impact the PC markets of Jordan and Lebanon," says Victoria Mendes, a research analyst for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey. "And the impact of this instability is being exacerbated by the cannibalization of these PC markets by tablet devices. The home segment suffered the most as consumer sentiment remains very low in these countries, while the absence of large commercial and public sector deals further contributed to the decline of the overall PC market across the Levant region." HP continued to lead the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey PC market during the second quarter of 2013, despite suffering a decline of 19.5% year on year.

Similarly, Dell posted a 17.5% year-on-year drop in shipments into the region, but was able to hold on to second place in the vendor rankings. Dell also managed to secure a large PC delivery into the Saudi education sector during the quarter. As was the case in previous quarters, Lenovo experienced the fastest growth in the region among the leading vendors, with its shipments increasing 17.1% year on year to maintain its position at number three. Samsung climbed to fourth place after posting year-on-year shipment growth of 7.9%, while a drastic 42.1% decline for Acer resulted in the vendor slipping down to fifth.


Friday, 5 February 2016

Internet of Things Opportunities

19:27 Posted by Anonymous No comments

Published on Sunday, 04 August 2013 09:31
The Internet plays an increasingly central role in the modern world, not only at the level of infrastructure, but also in culture, society and business. The Internet of Things extends that role to encompass an increasingly diverse range of devices and communications streams, many of which will be essentially machine-to-machine communications, rather than involving a person at either endpoint, according to Gartner. The analyst firm defines the Internet of Things as the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and interact with their internal states or the external environment.

"The volume of opportunities arising from the Internet of Things over the long term is generally agreed to be in the realm of very large to huge," says Stephen Prentice, vice president at Gartner. "Manufacturing opportunities, deployment, activation and ongoing management of millions of devices, and the analytical opportunities arising from massive streams of potentially real-time information all represent huge untapped business opportunities. Business and IT leaders should explore these developments, and focus not on what is new and different, but look more closely at what is essentially the same as existing business processes."

“Business leaders find the diversity of current Internet of Things applications fails to make a compelling business case to explore or commit resources to this emergent area. Equally, existing 'serious' enterprise applications seem worlds apart from the apparently consumer-focused Internet of Things buzz," according to Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner. "However, over the past decade, the consumerization of IT has increasingly encroached on enterprise IT, steadily infiltrating and subverting enterprise infrastructure — first, with PCs, and then Wi-Fi, followed by the Internet, smartphones, media tablets and social networks. The days when technology originated in military and government circles and then filtered down via enterprises to individual end users are long gone, and the direction of technology migration has now been totally reversed, so skeptics would be well-advised to monitor these consumer-facing developments closely."

The sheer diversity of Internet of Things applications that have emerged to date is so broad that it is easy to become overwhelmed and yet find nothing that appears to relate directly to one's existing business. In reality, many applications that appear to be completely unique share an underlying functionality that is essentially common across the different applications. Much of the differentiation and value of the Internet of Things resides not in the device, nor even the connectivity, but in the data aggregation, data-processing and decision-making activities that take advantage of the data streams emanating from the device (or the ability to remotely influence that device).

IT leaders are the natural entry point for new technology ideas in the enterprise. They can use their understanding and insight to objectively assess where and how these new developments might benefit their organizations in reducing the costs of existing operations and processes, or creating entirely new revenue streams and value opportunities. The use of embedded systems in industry is well-established, and the Internet of Things extends these systems into significant new areas but also raises some confusion over the potential similarities.

"By understanding the various classes of devices that will likely populate the Internet of Things, the CIO will be well-placed to spot additional opportunities or see similarities that business colleagues may overlook," says Prentice. "By ignoring the details of each application and looking instead at the underlying characteristics of the different device types and how they can populate an Internet of Things infrastructure, the CIO or IT leader can bring clarity and insight to what appears to be a very confused set of possibilities. By simply classifying device types and functionalities, IT leaders make market segmentation and the identification of new business opportunities much simpler."


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Technology Platform of the Future

23:52 Posted by Anonymous No comments
Published on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 06:32

A nexus of converging forces — social, mobile, cloud and information — is building upon and transforming user behavior while creating new business opportunities, according to Gartner. Although these forces are innovative and disruptive on their own, together they are revolutionizing business and society, disrupting old business models and creating new leaders. As such, the nexus of forces is the basis of the technology platform of the future. "Information is the context for delivering enhanced social and mobile experiences," says Chris Howard, managing vice president at Gartner.

"Mobile devices are a platform for social networking and new ways of work. Social links people to their work and each other in new ways. Cloud enables delivery of information and functionality to users and systems. These forces of the nexus are intertwined to create a user-driven ecosystem of computing." Not that long ago, people's most sophisticated computing experience was at work and computing was limited at home. Now, in most cases, the opposite is true. The consumerization of IT is a result of the availability of devices, interfaces and applications with minimal learning curves.

As a result of using these devices, people have become more sophisticated users of technology. People expect access to similar functionality across all their roles and make fewer distinctions between work and nonwork activities. Social is one of the most compelling examples of how consumerization drives enterprise IT practices. It includes personal activities of sharing comments, links and recommendations with friends. Consumer vendors have been quick to see the influence of friends sharing recommendations on what to buy. Social technologies both drive and depend on the other three nexus forces:

Social provides an important need for mobility: Accessing social networks is one of the primary uses of mobile devices and social interactions have much more value when they are possible wherever the user is located.
Social depends on cloud for scale and access: Social networks benefit from scale, the kind of scale that is really only practical through cloud deployment.
Social feeds and depends on deep analysis: Social interactions provide a rich source of information about connections, preferences and intentions. As social networks get larger, participants need better tools to be able to manage the growing number of interactions, which drives the need for deeper social analytics.

Mobile computing is forcing the biggest change. Mass adoption forces new infrastructure, it spawns new businesses and it threatens the status quo. For business, the opportunities — and the stakes — are high. To a retailer, the same device that navigates a customer into a store can redirect the final sale to the competition. To a bank, the mobile phone is a new wallet that could make the credit card obsolete. To a sales organization, mobile computing keeps salespeople out in the field talking to customers. To a medical caregiver, a patient's vitals and behaviors may be constantly monitored, which increases the effectiveness and efficiency of treatment. Every industry is affected.

However, mobile does not stand alone as an isolated phenomenon. People will interact with multiple screens working in concert. Sensor data will transparently enhance the experience, integrating the virtual and physical worlds contextually. The information gathered in this immersive world will have tremendous value and, ultimately, the lasting relationship will be between a user and a cloud-based ecosystem.

Cloud computing represents the glue for all the forces of the nexus. It is the model for delivery of whatever computing resources are needed and for activities that grow out of such delivery. Without cloud computing, social interactions would have no place to happen at scale, mobile access would fail to be able to connect to a wide variety of data and functions, and information still would be stuck inside internal systems.

The model of cloud computing is what Gartner calls a "global-class" phenomenon because it focuses on outcomes connected across the globe rather than technologies and outcomes centered on an internal enterprise strategy. In a global-class computing world, everything shifts to the culture of the consumer and the externalized view of computing.

Mobile independent software vendors using cloud services have more options to access information and processes than ever before — without having to own it all. Crowd sourcing can be done through mobile communities because the cloud allows them all to exist in the same "work space" rather than being isolated in enterprise or single-PC environments. The cloud is the carrier ecosystem for a wide variety of data forms, both structured and unstructured. This data can be gathered from cloud-based communities, through cloud services, from mobile endpoints, and all in a consistent and globally available environment.

Information is not stored anywhere in particular. Rather, it is stored everywhere. For years, technologists have discussed the ubiquity of information without realizing how to take full advantage of it. That time is here now. Social, mobile and cloud make information accessible, shareable and consumable by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Knowing how to capture the power of the ubiquity of information and utilize the smaller subsets applicable to a company, a product and customers, at a specific point in time, will be critical to new opportunities and for avoiding risks.

Developing a discipline of innovation through information enables organizations to respond to environmental, customer, employee or product changes as they occur. It will enable companies to leap ahead of their competition in operational or business performance. An enterprise can succeed or fail based on how it responds to trends such as social media, cloud computing or mobile.

"The combination of pervasive mobility, near-ubiquitous connectivity, industrial compute services and information access decreases the gap between idea and action," adds Howard. "To take advantage of the nexus of forces and respond effectively, organizations must face the challenges of modernizing their systems, skills and mindsets. Organizations that ignore this will be displaced by those that can move into the opportunity space more quickly — and the pace is accelerating."


Sunday, 31 January 2016

Mobile Phones Sales Plummet

22:35 Posted by Rohit Sharma , , No comments
Worldwide sales of mobile phones reached 419 million units in the second quarter of 2012, a 2.3 percent decline from the second quarter of 2011, according to Gartner. Smartphone sales accounted for 36.7 percent of total mobile phone sales and grew 42.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012. "Demand slowed further in the second quarter of 2012," says Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. "The challenging economic environment and users postponing upgrades to take advantage of high-profile device launches and promotions available later in the year slowed demand across markets. Demand of feature phones continued to decline, weakening the overall mobile phone market.

"High-profile smartphone launches from key manufacturers such as the anticipated Apple iPhone 5, along with Chinese manufacturers pushing 3G and preparing for major device launches in the second half of 2012, will drive the smartphone market upward. However, feature phones will continue to see pressure," Gupta adds. In the second quarter of 2012, Samsung's mobile phone sales remained strong — up 29.5 percent from the second quarter of 2011 and managed to extend its lead over both Apple and Nokia quarter on quarter.

This quarter's growth was driven by sales of Galaxy smartphones, meaning smartphones now account for 50.4 percent of all Samsung mobile devices, or 45.6 million units. Demand for the new Galaxy S3 was strong, with a reported 10 million units reached in the two months after its release. In the second quarter of 2012, consumer demand for the Apple iPhone weakened as sales fell 12.6 percent from the first quarter of 2012, but grew 47.4 percent year on year.

Depending on the exact launch date of the new iPhone, Apple may experience another weaker-than-usual quarter in the third quarter of 2012, while Apple will be ready to take advantage of the strong holiday sales in North America and Western Europe that have historically remained immune to economic pressure. "Samsung and Apple continued to dominate the smartphone market, together taking about half the market share and widening the gap to other manufacturers.” says Gupta. "In the race to be top smartphone manufacturer in 2012, Samsung has increased its lead over Apple and its open OS market share increased to one-and-a-half times that of Apple in the second quarter of 2012."

Worldwide Mobile Device Sales by Vendor in 2Q12 (Thousands of Units)

2Q12 Market Share (%)
2Q11 Market Share (%)
LG Electronics
Huawei Device
TCL Communications
Research In Motion

Source: Gartner (August 2012)

Nokia's mobile phone sales declined 14.8 percent in the second quarter of 2012. Nokia is battling with white-box and new emerging device manufacturers to defend its feature phones sales. Nokia succeeded, to a certain extent, in winning feature phone market share as its sales grew quarter-on-quarter. While posting sequential growth in the feature phone market, Nokia's Lumia devices continue to struggle to find a place in consumers' minds as a replacement for Android.

"Declining smartphone sales is worsening Nokia's overall position, as it had already lost the No. 1 position to Samsung in the previous quarter and is facing reduced profitability due to continuous declining sales of premium smartphones," says Gupta. In the smartphone OS market, Android extended its lead with an increase of 20.7 percentage points in market share in the second quarter of 2012.

While Apple's iOS market share slightly grew year over year (0.6 percent), it declined 3.7 percentage points quarter on quarter, as users postponed their upgrade decisions in most markets ahead of the upcoming launch of the iPhone 5. The analyst firm says the arrival of the iPhone 5 should provide an upgrade opportunity yet as the expected new design with a larger screen and likely other stylistic changes to the form factor will make a strong case for iPhone 4 users to upgrade.

Worldwide Mobile Device Sales by Operating System in 2Q12 (Thousands of Units)

Operating System
2Q12 Market Share (%)
2Q11 Market Share (%)
Research In Motion

Source: Gartner

EMEA IT Spend Will Grow 1.4%

22:33 Posted by Rohit Sharma No comments
IT spending in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will reach US $1.154 trillion in 2013, a 1.4 percent increase from 2012 projected spending of $1.138 trillion, according to Gartner. Despite the ongoing economic malaise, the analyst firm sees pockets of growth in IT in Europe, mainly driven by devices and software. Big data will also change the landscape of IT – creating new jobs. “This year is a pessimistic year for IT spending in Europe,” says Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner. “In 2012, we estimate IT spending will decline 3.6 percent in EMEA and 5.9 percent in Western Europe.

However, the EMEA region will return to growth in 2013 and continue to grow through 2016 when spending will reach $1.247 trillion.”  The mobile device market is currently the bright spot of the IT industry. “We are seeing tablets and smartphones significantly outpace purchases of traditional PCs,” says Sondergaard. The spending on mobile devices (notebook PCs, mobile phones, ultra mobiles and tablets) in EMEA will amount to $136 billion in 2012, reaching $188 billion in 2016.

In Western Europe, both consumers and businesses are adding tablets to their portfolio of mobile devices - increasing the total mobile device market growth by 8 percent in 2012. This contrasts with a decline of 5 percent in the mobile PC market in Western Europe. In Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa, mobile phone shipments will dominate the market, with tablet adoption increasing through to 2016. By 2016, two-thirds of the workforce will have a smartphone or tablet device. This will change the way consumers buy software and transform the market. Traditional software providers will have to rewrite their applications for these tablet-based environments, and there will be a strong increase in software spending.

The EMEA IT spending in software will grow 3.1 percent in 2013, nearly reaching the $100 billion mark in 2016. Consumers and workers becoming more mobile will lead to a complete change of architecture. Information will expand and accelerate driven by the Nexus of Forces, becoming a higher strategic priority for businesses. “The nexus of Forces are the confluence and integration of cloud, mobile, social and information that will transform IT architecture and create a new information layer in our economy that will create new jobs, new revenue, and require new skills,” says Sondergaard.

Over the next three years, together with the North America and Japan, EMEA will be the most active region in using big data. By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs will be created globally to support big data, creating 1.3 million IT jobs in EMEA, including 1.2 million IT jobs in Western Europe alone. However, public education systems, as well as training within companies, are not sufficient to satisfy that demand. “We expect organizations will be unable to fill out these positions, and we estimate that only 31 percent of the IT jobs will be filled in Western Europe. It places a requirement on our education systems and on companies to start to train those roles. We need these kinds of roles across all businesses to analyze data and information, which will ultimately generate new revenue,” notes Sondergaard.