16-04-2015, 14:11 #1
[EN] PC Shipments Beat Expectations Despite Weak Currencies
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 68.5 million units in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), a year-on-year decline of -6.7%, and slightly ahead of previous projections, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Following a strong second half of 2014, which benefitted from the tailwind of the Windows XP refresh and pockets of price-driven consumer activity, the Q1 market faced multiple headwinds – including inventory build-up of Windows Bing based notebooks, commercial slow down following the XP refresh and constrained demand in many regions due to currency fluctuations and unfavorable economic indicators. As a result, growth and volume declined with Q1 shipments below 69 million units, the lowest recorded volume since Q1 2009.
"Despite the decline, PC shipment in the United States declined at a slower rate than all other regions in first quarter, outperforming worldwide trends for the eleventh consecutive quarter. The strength from key vendors, adoption of emerging products, improvements in the consumer market and in the broader economy are all positive signals," said Rajani Singh, Senior Research Analyst, Personal Computing.
“The upcoming launch of Windows 10 will consolidate the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In addition to the free upgrade for consumers for a year after the release, Windows 10 should be a net positive as there is pent-up demand for replacements of older PCs. Only part of the installed base needs to replace systems to keep the overall growth rate above zero for rest of the year.”
"Although shipments did exceed an already cautious forecast, the market unfortunately remains heavily dependent on pricing being a major driver, with entry SKU volume masking a still tenuous demand for higher priced systems that is needed to sustain a more diverse PC ecosystem. Pricing pressure is bringing many premium SKUs into formerly mid-level pricing tiers," said Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide PC Trackers. "As more vendors find it increasingly difficult to compete, we can expect additional consolidation in the PC market."
United States – With shipments totaling 14.2 million PCs in 1Q 2015, the U.S. market shrank -1.0% from the same quarter a year ago. Growth was centered in portables, particularly around emerging product categories such as Chromebooks, Bing, Ultraslims and Convertibles. Desktop shipments were also relatively sluggish this quarter.
Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) – Shipments of personal computers in EMEA contracted in the first quarter of 2015, as vendors focused on depleting attractively priced Bing inventory built up during 4Q 2014. The end of Bing promotions on 15 inch notebooks, unfavorable currency exchange rates and consequently an increase in prices of components, all led to a rise of average selling prices and decline in PC shipments. In addition, growth was constrained by a difficult year-on-year comparison. Where year-ago shipments were boosted by the end of support for Windows XP, those replacements have declined significantly in the current quarter – particularly in the commercial desktop segment.
Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) – volume was close to expectations as scaled-back IT spending due to the ongoing currency fluctuation hit many countries in the region. Outside of the Lunar New Year effect, China was also impacted by excess commercial notebook inventory from earlier quarters as the anti-corruption campaign continues to suppress commercial spending.
Japan – volume declined -44% from a year ago, a bit worse than forecast. A strong Q1 2014 was significantly bolstered by commercial projects and consumer buy-in before a tax-hike, which set the stage for very difficult year-over-year comparisons. A weak Yen further dampened purchasing across segments.
Lenovo held onto the top position with 13.4M units, and grew 3.4%. The vendor continued to aggressively court expansion outside of Asia, especially closing the gap with competition in EMEA. The company also moved ahead of Apple to capture the third position in the U.S.
HP remained in the number two position, shipping nearly 13 million PCs with growth surpassing 3%, driven primarily by resilient growth in US and EMEA. Although growth slowed from earlier in the year, HP & Lenovo continued to outpace the market and their nearest competitors.
Dell came in at the number 3 position, shipping over 9.2 million units, registering a year-over-year decline of -6.3%, its first negative quarter since 2013Q2. Strong results in the U.S. and EMEA in Q1 2014 contributed to a poor year-over-year comparison.
Acer though the vendor continued to see good acceptance of its Chrome offerings, Acer shipments slowed in the first quarter – particularly in EMEA where it had seen a strong rebound in mid-2014 but faced pressure from other market leaders in the fourth quarter.
ASUS had a solid quarter with worldwide volume of 4.8 million and growth of 4.4%, supported by growth in Asia. This brought the company just behind Acer – effectively a tie for fourth place.
16-04-2015, 15:37 #2
Cisco's Chamber: “It won’t be IBM or HP in servers, or Dell; we’ll beat them”
The total cost of ownership of Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure is 40% less than a white box solution with free software.
Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent just as John Chambers predicted
Cisco CEO said there would be " brutal" consolidation coming
By Jim Duffy
Network World Apr 15, 2015
ALLEN, TX -- Nokia’s $16.6 billion acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent is an example of the industry shifting just as Cisco predicted, its CEO said this week.
Cisco CEO John Chambers has said that the IT industry in in for some “brutal” consolidation with perhaps only two or three of the top five companies standing in five years. Alcatel-Lucent may be vanishing if Nokia’s offer to swallow the company up is approved.
“The market is playing out just as we expected,” Chambers said during an exclusive interview with Network World at Cisco IT Data Center Day here. “It’s going to be brutal, with some musical chairs. They missed market transitions so now they have to move rapidly.”
Spotting market transitions is how Cisco separates itself from competitors, and it’s winning big deals for the company, Chambers says. Three customers at this week’s event spent $100 million in the last quarter to upgrade their networks to support Cisco’s current market transitions, like the Internet of Everything (IoE).
“This is purely about being prepared for the future,” Chambers said of the customer upgrades. “This isn’t about infrastructure, this is about the next generation of IT where the network enables it.”
IoE is currently on a $4.5 billion annual run rate at Cisco in incremental product pull through, growing at 40% to 50% per year, Chambers says. In addition to product sales, the opportunity is also in consulting services for customers looking to instrument just about everything with IP.
But it was a long row to hoe. Cisco first recognized the IoE opportunity almost a decade ago but is realizing the fruits of it only now.
“IoE took a little bit longer to take off than I thought,” Chamber said. “I had to buy people drinks eight years ago, or even three years ago. At CES last year it was a surprise; this year it was everything. World Economic Forum, one panel topic a year ago, 21 this year. The size of our deals are the biggest they’ve ever been. And when entire countries do that, that’s never occurred before.”
Chambers was referring to deals Cisco has to digitize France, Germany, India and other countries. The next major market transition will be to digitize everything, he says, so that anything can be processed anywhere as long as the network is at the center of it all.
“It’s not just about connectivity; it’s IoE, mobility, architectures, compute/networking/storage, apps anywhere in the network,” he says. “It’s security, data analytics processed anywhere, business process change. Everything is network-centric, it is the cloud of clouds.”
A focus on end-to-end architectures is another area where Cisco feels it left its competitors behind. The company had a 10 year lead before rivals attempted to catch up, Chambers says, though with limited success.
“Our competitors let us go almost a decade without challenging us on architectures and the ones who tried to copy our style – whether it’s an HP or a Juniper – got themselves spread too thin that they’re now going backwards,” he says.
When Cisco entered the server market with the Unified Computing System architecture in 2008, “HP said we’d be out in a year and we’re eating their lunch,” Chambers crowed.
Cisco’s chief competitor now is the anti-architecture ushered in by white box, bare metal switching and open source “free” software, as Chambers calls it. These cheap, easily replaceable systems are favored by webscale companies that grow capacity quickly and need to swap out or add horsepower rapidly.
“It won’t be IBM or HP in servers, or Dell; we’ll beat them,” Chambers says of Cisco’s next competition. “It’ll be an architectural play that allows us to beat them and to lead against white box and bare metal with free software. The total cost of ownership of (Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure) is 40% less than a white box solution with free software. That’s before architectures and business outcomes. I consider white box more of a challenge in the future than an HP or Juniper.”
Another competitor in SDNs is VMware, the virtualization company majority owned by Cisco storage partner EMC. VMware claims to have 400 customers for its NSX network virtualization overlay software, while Cisco claims over 300 customers for its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric.
Chambers doesn’t believe VMware’s acquisition of Nicira for the NSX product line was as successful as 400 customers might indicate.
“You have to look at large implementations vs. a give away for free or as part of a software license,” Chambers says. “Ask VMware how many NSX SDN implementations they have in volume. Four hundred is a great marketing term. Ask for 20 names to go talk to.
“It’s unfortunate that VMware threw a hurdle into our EMC relationship because if you watch the economic payback for their acquisitions, it’s been a disaster.”
VMware declined to comment.
16-04-2015, 20:39 #3
AMD tumbles as PC sales decline takes tollThe long-running decline in personal computer sales continues to take its toll on Advanced Micros Devices.
Shares in the US chipmaker fell more than 8 per cent on Thursday after the company posted bigger-than-expected sales and profit declines.
Like other companies whose fortunes are tied to the PC industry, AMD has struggled with lacklustre sales in its computing and graphics business and sought to expand into new areas.
The extent of its woes was underscored by its first quarter results.
Revenues fell more than 26 per cent to $1.03bn compared to the same period last year, while net loss widened from $20m, or 3 cents a share, to $180m, or 23 cents a share.
The company said:
Computing and Graphics segment revenue decreased 20 percent sequentially and 38 percent from Q1 2014. The sequential decrease was primarily due to lower desktop and notebook processor sales and the annual decrease was driven by lower desktop processor sales and GPU channel sales.
AMD's results come just two days after Intel reported flat revenue growth for the first quarter and a slight increase in profits.
Shares in AMD, which had a market value of $20bn at its peak in 2006, were down 8 per cent at $2.64.
17-04-2015, 15:32 #4
AMD withdraws from high-density server businessAMD has pulled out of the market for high-density servers, reversing a strategy it embarked on three years ago with its acquisition of SeaMicro.
AMD delivered the news Thursday as it announced financial results for the quarter. Its revenue slumped 26 percent from this time last year to $1.03 billion, and its net loss increased to $180 million, the company said.
AMD paid $334 million to buy SeaMicro, which had developed a new type of high-density server aimed at large-scale cloud and Internet service providers.
The purchase was made under former CEO Rory Read, and has now been reversed by Lisa Su, who took over the CEO job last October.
AMD said the move is part of its effort to “simplify and sharpen” its investment focus. As a result, it is taking a charge of $75 million.
AMD Sheds SeaMicro Microserver Business
The decision comes just over three years after AMD spent $334 million to buy SeaMicro, a small company that was making small, dense and highly efficient servers that packed hundreds of Intel Atom and Xeon processors and was aimed at the growing Web scale data centers run by the likes of Google and Facebook.
It also comes about 18 months after AMD officials announced the biggest win for its SeaMicro business when Verizon said in October 2013 that it was basing its new public cloud server and storage infrastructure on SeaMicro's SM15000 servers and the company's Freedom Fabric architecture.
However, despite the Verizon win, it no longer made fiscal sense to keep the dense server unit as the company looks to invest in "stickier businesses," AMD CEO Lisa Su said during a conference call with analysts and journalists April 16 to discuss the vendor's first-quarter financial numbers.
"Microservers have not developed as we had thought a few years ago," Su said, adding that AMD will focus its server efforts not only on its x86 and ARM-based chips, but also in innovations in its embedded and semi-custom processor businesses.
AMD had a difficult first quarter, with revenue falling 26 percent, to $1.03 billion, and losses increasing to $180 million. The company was hit by the slowdown in global PC sales—particularly desktops—as well as slowing sales of semi-custom systems-on-a-chip (SoCs), which last year helped AMD generate profits during some quarters after being adopted by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo for their latest gaming consoles. AMD also saw lower server chip sales, according to officials.
Última edição por 5ms; 17-04-2015 às 15:42.
17-04-2015, 15:58 #5Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, said former CEO Rory Read, who took over AMD in 2011, did a good job stabilizing the company and putting in place some solid growth strategies. He and Su also have brought in some good executives. However, the problem, King told eWEEK, is that AMD is up against a large and strong competitor in Intel, and many of the growth opportunities the company has bet on—like microservers—are not growing as quickly as hoped.
"The problems continue," King said, adding that AMD "would constitute a really good acquisition for someone at this point, though I don't know who it could be."
Rumors circulated late last month that Apple might be interested in buying AMD, but King said that made little sense, given Apple's lack of interest in the data center.
What does make sense is AMD's exiting the microserver business, he said. The hardware technology was good—the SeaMicro SM15000 system housed compute, storage and networking in a 10U (17.5-inch) rack system that offered 64 sockets for AMD's eight-core Opterons or quad-core Xeons from Intel, 160 gigabits of I/O and more than 5 petabytes of storage. The real prize in the SeaMicro deal was the Freedom Fabric, a 1.28-terabyte supercompute fabric. AMD is keeping the fabric technology as part of its IP portfolio, Su said.
The trouble comes from a chip maker getting into the server business, King said.
"There are inherent problems when a vendor known for doing one thing decides to go into a business that directly competes with those of its customers," he said.
The decision to drop the SeaMicro business will be a costly one, according to Devinder Kumar, senior vice president and CFO at AMD. Of the $87 million AMD has to pay in charges for the quarter, $75 million is related to exiting the microserver business, he said.
Still, AMD will continue to pursue the server business with both its x86 Opteron servers and its upcoming AMD-based "Seattle" SoC, which is due out later this year, said Su, who took over from Read as CEO about six months ago. The Seattle chip is sampling with hardware and software makers and is due out in the second half of the year.
"It's clear the x86 server market is a very large market, and one in which we have historically been successful," she said, adding that AMD "can be successful in the mid-term."