Tag Archives: Sales

N.O.W: Moto X and the Rainbow of Colours

N.O.W: Moto X and the Rainbow of Colours

This week we experience every colour of the rainbow possible. The launch of the new Moto X by Motorola, gives us the opportunity to have a look at some of the new, and old, designs for the device. The current news regarding XBOX, is that everyone hates them. That said – Microsoft is still brave enough to announce a hardware spec change, months before. What do you think? And the new iPhone might see a fingerprint scanner added to the home button. Will your fingers be safe from thieves?

All content belongs to respective owners, images used within this video belong to their respective owners – used under fair usage.

The Candy Man – Property of Samm Davis Jr 20th Century Records

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Is it the end of the road for iPod? – Q3 Results

It’s been a quiet quarter for the American super giant, Apple. They haven’t released a product in over 9 months and the firm has been riding a wave of criticism from analysts and sceptics ever since the departure of the co-founder Steve Jobs. That might be the reason for the decline in their quarterly revenue from $43.6 billion to $35.3 billion in Q3. Although Apple’s sales are down from last quarter the year on year sales are holding steady. The Q3 2012 figures show that Apple only made a slight increase this year as the previous year stood at $35 billion.

Apple’s revenue is up but actually their profits are down. They firm took $6.9 billion in net income, nothing to stick your nose up at – but this is down from $8.8 billion of last year.

The sale of Macs and iPads are down overall however the sale of iPhone are up 20% at 31.2 million units in Q3. With Apple selling 19 million iOS tablets last quarter it only pushed out 14 million this time round. Apple’s Mac dropped by only 200,000 units to 3.8 million. Nevertheless the loyal iPod also took a blow. It has a taken a massive loss in the last few years since the introduction of iPhone. The iPod fell nearly 20% in Q3 and now is losing 32% year on year. Ouch. Apple’s once mega iPod product line-up has seen a massive decline in sales ever since the company went ‘mobile’ in 2007. The iPod is not the sole figure in the sudden drop in Apple profit. The company’s brands are down on all sides apart from the iPhone which exhibited growing strength. The decline in iPad sales can also be attributed to the rise in popularity of similar Android counterparts, which tend to be cheaper and have larger customisation.

Apple has taken a hit over the last 12 months. They have not unleashed a totally new product line to the world since the iPad in 2010 or if you’re picky you might be able to push and say the 2012 Macbook Pro with Retina display. But still…

Original Apple Macintosh - Apple has come a long way but is is tiring?
Original Apple Macintosh – Apple has come a long way but is is tiring?

Apple has yet to give us a sense of where is sees itself heading in the future. The company has always kept quiet in regards to its research and development but now this may be harming its sales. We know what the competition is up to – Microsoft told us about the XBOX One launch months in advanced, we know Google is experimenting with Glass and we can tell that Samsung will also inevitably move towards wearable. But Apple plays the silent game. The iPod has become less central to Apple’s strategy than during the early days. Apple relied on iPod as their figure in the digital market but now the iPod sits lonely; aside from the rest of the pack Apple has moved its focus towards iPad and iPhone. iPod isn’t dead yet but within a few years we could see Apple either merging the iPod line into other products or the line-up shrunk in size and variety. But we can’t tell.

We can’t be sure what is happening behind those walls at Cupertino and it is likely we never will. But the recent results show, the game Apple is playing has become more risky in the last couple of years as their competitors catch them up or overtake them. Apple needs to keep an eye on their fellow manufactures or they may become too engrossed in themselves to miss important developments in the rest of the market. Apple would be stupid to change their tactics completely and move towards doing the same as everyone else but they want to gain a little more awareness. Apple needs to ensure that it can stay fresh in the market and relevant. Apple is reportedly working on a new iWatch which they hope will bring back customers to the firm. It is inevitable that Apple will bounce back once it has a new product line up ready but want they need to be sure of and what they must retain is the key element Jobs instilled in the firm: that the company should be innovating products that people want before they even know it.

Let us know what you think about Apple and where iPod will end up…

Source: Apple

$8.33 billion, is that it?

Is that it, $8.33 billion in profits fort he bank this quarter; Samsung and its analysts didn’t seem too happy… Previously companies would have jumped at the chance to claim they have over $8 billion stored away in their treasury without sounding for nuclear apocalypse.

353920-samsung-galaxy-s4-release-event

Samsung has announced that its sales from April, May and June produced a profit of $8.33 billion for the Korean firm. The overall success and production of their Galaxy range of Android phones have been attributed to their gross sales and sudden rise to fame. However despite the latest figures showing the Android counterparts to the successful iPhone and Samsung’s own Galaxy S range outsold Cupertino’s offering; the sales of Samsung’s latest mega phone are less than ‘exciting’. While I can’t really fathom the inner workings of economics is does seem rather strange that one of the biggest firms of the day and best sellers is having their monetary earnings pulled up on as they continue to break sales records. That said, Samsung’s shares have dropped 15% since June 2012 and since the launch of their quarterly profit, fell another 3%.

“The slowdown in its handset business appears to be worse than expected and the disappointing result simply reinforces the market view that Samsung’s smartphone growth momentum is slowing,” – analysts said.

Compared to the Q2 of 2012 where they only stock piled $5.86 billion, the trend is very much up. But, shown by others, if you can’t keep up the pace then the money people start to worry. The expectations that Samsung would grow more than it did mean that the company is now beginning to worry that it won’t meet targets. But these predictions are never accurate and are more psychic feelings than anything. Nevertheless analysts, although despised, may play a large part in overall company finances. As Apple knows too well if they aren’t happy then their negative vibes affect company moral and share prices… Analysts have said the Samsung’s sales and figures are “worse than expected”.

Ignoring the analysts completely and looking at Samsung from a lighter perspective, the company has its goal and strategy sorted. It knows what to do and where to do it. It can innovate and push the market forward and also dish out great products. Its components and product side of the company won’t be doing that badly. And now Samsung enjoys a 95% control of the Android market with its Galaxy range.

Admittedly these signs may be a concern for the company, but undoubtedly it will continue to grow next year. But if these analysts are right and Samsung is slowing down, then it may face stiffer competition from smaller firms such as HTC and even those such as Huawei. Samsung might be top dog, but as we have seen with Apple they can easily fall.

Android doubles in size, tablets extend their lead and the PC is left all alone

The latest results from industry analysts, Gartner, have been announced today. They confirm the suspicions of many who commented on the last round of results that showed a steady PC decline. Shipment of all devices is expected to reach 2.35 billion in 2013, a 5.9% increase on 2012. Whilst touch screen markets continue to grow in market share the traditional PC seems to have fallen on hard times.

Windows and Mac OS showed a slow down in growth this year and Microsoft’s Windows OS is even expected to lose market share in the following years. 305 million traditional PC’s are expected to be shipped in 2013, a 10.6% decrease but the tablet sales will rise by 67.9% this year with a sales total of 202 million. This is still shorter than the expected PC sales but is a vast improvement over previous years. The mobile market will grow at a smaller rate of 4.3% and is expected to ship 1.8 billion units.

Ultra mobiles are expected to grow as well, these include MacBook Airs, and Chromebooks, analysts have predicted an 107% increase of ultra mobiles as people look to upgrade from netbooks and premium tablets. The ultra mobile has in some ways detracted from other devices but experts continue to believe the sales numbers will grow with the arrival of more efficient processors such as Hasswell by the end of the year.

“Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products. Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

Gartner predicted that the focus on not just hardware but software will mean we see a larger riff between lowered and higher end products, for example iPad mini already made up 60% of total iOS sales in Q1 2013. It is inevitable as devices get longer life cycles, that companies will have to try harder to want to make people upgrade – this is a challenge recognised by the market. Following the general limit on most company finances and the wider use of BYOD, experts have also predicted a rise in employees bringing their own devices to work from 65% to 72% by 2017.

Market fluctuation is common with technology. But the trend for our old friend the PC has been on the downward slope for several years now. The failure by Microsoft to efficiently market Windows 8 and create enough of a stir to warrant people’s attention is part of the blame. As well as an unfamiliar and non economic design for traditional PC’s Microsoft has stabbed themselves in the back slightly. That said it is the combination of consumer need and efficient updates that has brought us to where we are now. Consumers no longer want desktops tied down to a office space, with limited functionality. Tablets, mobile devices and laptops are becoming more popular as we all move around. It is only for professional needs that people many now require a desktop. That is why some felt Apple should have removed the Mac Pro lineup at WWDC to focus on true mass consumer tech. That said the continuation of the Mac Pro is a good sign, it signals Apple and the market still realise that the PC isn’t dead – not yet. We may all be carrying touch screen tablets and phones; but the day you need a good old keyboard and monitor, where would they have gone?

PC Sales collapse: Is it the end of an era?

The PC  has had its day – it is dead… Well actually not yet, before you sharpen your pitchforks and light the torches, steady your nerves. The PC is not dead, far from it – but today is one of the darker days in its history and most likely a sign of things to come. IDC, International Data Corporation, has today published its latest figures on the health of the PC market and its total sales.

In the first 3 months of 2013, total PC sales plummeted down 14% and is the biggest fall since IDC began tracking the market in 1994. Since the beginning of  2013 only 76.3 million PC units were sold in comparison to figures well exceeding 80 million last year. The firm highlighted the lacking consumer interest in Microsoft Corp’s new Windows 8 system, that the company had pinned their hopes upon so dearly. The PC began its humble life in 1973, with the first true personal computer, that could be available and affordable for business or extreme home use. The IBM SCAMP (Special Computer APL Machine Portable), led the market for PC’s to come – it was a first. The first computer that did not require its own mainframe and could operate on a single user computer. The consumer launch of SCAMP in 1975, named the INM 5100, became one of the first true personal computers – it boasted the ability to fit onto only one desk. Nevertheless the sales were mainly business users or engineers, a later computer designed by Xerox at the PARC facility, named the Xerox Alto would be the start of the general consumer PC market. It would feature a graphical user interface, and would not require programming; this served as a kick start for Apple’s later Macintosh computer and Microsofts Windows operating system. Many companies sold microcomputers that required programming – but home computers did not really appear until the 80’s.The Apple I and Apple II both talk markets by storm, but failed to deliver an experience capable by use of the general masses. In 1981 the IBM PC became a major success – used world wide and throughout business the IBM PC would become the stereotypical PC icon that we know today. Just at the same time Apple announced the Macintosh in ’84 and the war of the titans that exists to this day began. Rivalled camps set out to prove their band wagon is better than the others. IBM would adopt and work closely with Microsoft to bring about the Windows Operating system; Microsoft would make millions by licensing their software for use on any computer. Therefore in the late 90’s the idea of a 220px-Macintosh_128k_transparencyPC became less linked to IBM. Microsoft would advertise their software as the ecosystem built for professional use. While Apple who closely guarded their software became the unprofessional artistic tool for those who had too much money to spend.

The PC soared to major heights in the first years of the millennium. Microsoft’s Windows XP and Mac OS X brought the internet, networking and collaboration to the core of computing. The PC remained the top dog in the tech world. Once bought in to a ecosystem a consumer would be forced to continue to buy into the latest offerings of the likes of Apple or Microsoft through planned obsoletion. New iterations of Windows or Mac OS X, every time seen to be ‘better’ than the last. In 2007 Microsoft unveiled Vista, and opened a tin of  worms and headaches that would encourage many users to switch to a Mac. From that point on, the numerous driver errors, compatibility issues, corrupt hard drives and constant crashes – have propelled Microsoft in winning back consumers and regaining the crown.

But now this looks even less likely. In 207 Apple unveiled the iPhone and began the worldwide smartphone craze that exists today. Later they unveiled the iPad in 2010, which again opened the flood gates for the rest of the industry. At each new launch in the last couple of years, tablets and smartphones have become even more capable and cheaper. A tablet can word process, connect, create and surf. All the primary tasks of a PC can be accomplished on a tablet or mobile device. In attempts not to be left behind by the mobile revolution. Microsoft coined together Windows 8, a touch friendly and mobile based operating system that is primary for mobile PC’s. They bet their entirety on Windows 8. And it hasn’t pulled off. At a time were PC sales had already dipped due to the recession and tighter money spending as well as the consumer change to tablets and smartphones; Microsoft needed to pull something out of the bag:

“Unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only didn’t provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market.” IDC Vice President Bob O’Donnell

Windows 8 has failed to spark any fuse to reignite PC sales. Its user interface relies heavily on touch screens – and the added retail cost of these touch PC haswindows8 put many consumers off buying them. It has been a growing trend that consumers are mitigating content from the PC’s to mobile connected devices. Windows 8 was a rushed launch, its UI unfamiliar and prior knowledge was non existent, Microsoft is now in crisis over the future of Windows. In turn the manufacturers of PC’s have taken a beating, HP and Dell posted decrease in shipments of 20% and throughout the US a total decrease of sales by 18% since only the end of 2012. Apple has not been immune to the slump. Although it could be said that it was the father of the mobile revolution the sales of its highly popular iPad have cannibalised sales of their Mac range and they saw a decrease of 7.5%.

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide PC Shipments, First Quarter 2013  (Units Shipments are in thousands) 

Vendor

1Q13 Shipments

1Q13 Market Share

1Q12 Shipments

1Q12 Market Share

1Q13/1Q12 Growth

1. HP

11,997

15.7%

15,726

17.7%

-23.7%

2. Lenovo

11,700

15.3%

11,705

13.2%

0.0%

3. Dell

9,010

11.8%

10,110

11.4%

-10.9%

4. Acer Group

6,150

8.1%

8,952

10.1%

-31.3%

5. ASUS

4,363

5.7%

5,401

6.1%

-19.2%

Others

33,075

43.4%

36,739

41.5%

-10.0%

Total

76,294

100.0%

88,635

100.0%

-13.9%

 

The PC is now at its lowest record since 1994. The future of the PC in its current state is unknown. The elimination of cheap low end netbook at the end of 2012 left a gap to be filled in the PC market. This was absorbed by growing smartphone and tablet sales. Many place the popularity, affordability and portability of tablets down to the demise of the PC. Microsoft and vendors have failed to inspire reasons to continue fuelling the humble PC. In fact Microsoft has possibly increase the sales of tablets indirectly via the launch of Windows 8. The company and partners face a tough decision to make. Already Microsoft has shown it is not yet ready to successfully operate in a mobile industry. Its Windows Pro and Windows Phone 8 have become the runt of the mobile market. It may soon be time for the Big Blue to step aside. Either way – Microsoft and the PC vendors of the world will have to notice the decline in sales.  A world without PC’s could be a world less efficient and productive. The decline signals a change in consumer interest, and possibly the end of an era. May the process of change and innovation be the down fall of such major tech giants we know today. Well if Microsoft and Co. don’t make up their minds soon it may well be.