Taiwan-based notebook ODMs have been accelerating their paces building partnerships with Internet of things (IoT) startup companies and are providing financial, production and technological support to these players, looking to enhance their presence in the industry. The ODMs are expected to achieve some results in the second half, at the earliest. Since most of the startup companies are not able to commercialize their innovations due to lack of funding or production support, some ODMs are directly partnering with them and some have established small project teams to help these players.
BENGALURU: Global personal computers vendor Dell ranked top in shipments and sale of PCs, notebooks and workstations in the fourth quarter (October-December) of the calendar year 2014. “Dell ranked No.1 PC vendor in the commercial segment and No.2 in the consumer segment,” the US-based company said in a statement on Monday, quoting from IDC India PC market tracker for the quarter (Q4).
TAIPEI — Taiwan’s Acer Inc. (宏碁) achieved a record-high notebook market share of 34.8 percent in Thailand in the fourth quarter of 2014, the company said Wednesday, citing data from research firm IDC. Acer’s record-high share also marks “a new chapter for the brand’s continuous market leadership for over a decade” in Thailand, the New Taipei-based company said in a statement that did not disclose the market shares of other vendors or the overall market volume during the quarter.
PC shipments so far in the first quarter of 2015 have been short of expectations because many vendors are still clearing inventories and demand in Europe and emerging markets including China and Southeast Asia is weak. Consequently, shipments in the quarter are likely to drop over 20% sequentially, according to sources from ODMs and component makers. With PC products still lacking innovative features that could attract consumers, and smartphones and tablets continuing cannibalizing the PC shipments have been weak since the beginning of 2015.
CHANDIGARH: Leading personal computer player Lenovo today announced the launch of a financing support scheme to help consumers especially youth to buy computers and laptops. “As part of the initiative, Lenovo is providing an end-to-end package to make computers more accessible to youth across these markets. This includes an attractive finance scheme, Internet access and huge-scale promotion to drive awareness,” said company’s Director- Home and Small Business, Shailendra Katyal here today.
Security researchers warned that an adware program called Superfish, which was preloaded on some Lenovo consumer laptops, opened computers to attack. However, it seems that the same poorly designed and flawed traffic interception mechanism used by Superfish is also used in other software programs. Superfish uses a man-in-the-middle proxy component to interfere with encrypted HTTPS connections, undermining the trust between users and websites. It does this by installing its own root certificate in Windows and uses that certificate to re-sign SSL certificates presented by legitimate websites.
There have always been worries that the Chinese government could use its power to force homegrown technology companies like ZTE, Huawei, Qihoo 360 and Lenovo to spy on user communications, but now a bombshell has landed that shows Lenovo is forcing adware onto users’ computers on the company’s own volition.
Computer giant Lenovo has come under fire from users and security pundits after its consumer laptops were found to contain pre-installed adware/malware which could be used to intercept and hijack encrypted Transport Layer Security communications in Microsoft Windows. The ‘Superfish’ adware is a third-party application that was, until last month, installed on all Lenovo consumer laptops.
Mr. Peter Chang, Regional Head, South Asia and Country Manager, System Business Group, ASUS India said, “Being a value notebook with a premium feel, EeeBook has received tremendous response beyond our comprehensions. This is an exciting phase for us with the form of reception we are getting from the market. To cater to the same, we are today releasing the second lot on Flipkart. We will continue to pump up the units to counter the demand and to satisfy the ever growing appetite of our existing and prospective customers.”
ASUS today announced the EeeBook X205, an affordable 11.6-inch notebook with a full-size keyboard, large touchpad, and powered by a quad core Intel® Atom™ processor. Connected Standby technology provides users with a smartphone-like computing experience, giving them an almost instant resume from sleep mode, and the ability to be socially connected at any time – even with the notebook in standby mode. EeeBook X205 ships with Windows 8.1 with Bing, and is fully-compatible with a wide range of software and hardware.
There were an estimated 46.059 million notebooks shipped globally during the fourth quarter of 2014, increasing by 3.1% on quarter and remaining unchanged on year, according to Digitimes Research. Hewlett-Packard (HP) was the largest vendor accounting for 23.0% of the shipments, followed by Lenovo with 22.4%, Dell with 11.4%, Asustek Computer with 10.0%, Acer with 8.7%, Apple with 8.4%, Toshiba with 5.6%, Samsung Electronics with 2.2% and Fujitsu with 1.3%, Digitimes Research indicated.
Although Windows 10 and Intel’s 14nm-based Skylake CPUs are both expected to launch in the third quarter, sources from the upstream supply chain are conservative about the new Wintel combination’s ability to stimulate the replacement of PCs and expect their shipments for notebooks in 2015 to remain at around the same level as in 2014 with the only exception being Apple’s Mac series products.
BENGALURU: Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is raising the pitch for “Make-in-India” campaign, the world’s third largest PC maker, Dell, is struggling to use its manufacturing capacity in India to the hilt. Reason: unfavourable conditions. “If the country wants to get real benefit from local manufacturing, we need to revise the existing inverted duty structure,” Alok Ohrie, Dell’s India MD, told ET.
TAIPEI — Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. may have made lower than expected shipments of its low-cost EeeBook laptop in the fourth quarter of 2014 due to competition from tablets and smartphones, according to Digitimes Research. Only about 200,000 units of the EeeBook X205 were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2014, the Taipei-based research firm predicted in a report Tuesday.
Taiwan-based notebook ODM Compal Electronics is negotiating an increase in ODM prices by 5-15% with clients, with the adjustment needed to reflect ongoing wage hikes in China and expected to take effect after the 2015 Lunar New Year holiday in late February, according to company president Ray Chen. Compal had weak gross margins and operating profit margins for the third quarter of 2014 as its US-based clients launched new products, which required the ODM to spend extra resources to recruit sufficient workers for related production, Chen said, adding competition for workers between IT players has always been fierce.
Notebook orders from channel retailers and regional brands in Russia have been decreasing due to impacts of the Russian rouble’s drastic devaluation, according to Taiwan-based ODMs. Because of economic sanctions by the US and European Union and the dropping crude oil pricing, Russia, whose economy heavily relies on oil exports, is facing an economic decline.
In the third quarter of 2014, the New Zealand PC market shipments came in at 187,000 units, according to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly tracker. This resulted in a year over year growth of 12.9%, which was more than IDC’s forecast by 3.8%. The top five New Zealand PC vendors are Dell, Toshiba, Apple and Acer Group, but HP remained the market leader by a significant amount.
The days of personal computers (PCs) and laptops may be numbered. “The PC is already on its way out; laptops have started to disappear,” said Barry Lerner, South Pacific regional chief information officer of Huawei Australia. “We’re going into the small (mobile) devices, and the tablets. Businesses and customers will start to utilize cloud.”
Despite aggressively attempting to advance into the PC and server industries, ARM-based CPU platforms will not be able to achieve any significant results within the next two years in the two segments; however ARM and Intel have found a new business opportunities in the Internet of things (IoT) segment and both expect growth in that area, according to sources from the supply chain.