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CONTEXT Research Updates deliver timely insights on key market segments.

  • PCs
  • Displays
  • Imaging
  • Enterprise
  • 3D Printing

PC Research update


Mobile computing sales set to recover by H2 2022

London, 1 June 2022 – Unit sales of mobile computing devices through distributors could return to growth by the second half of the year if supply issues ease and cost-of-living challenges have a reduced impact, according to CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.


Displays




London, 9 April 2021 – Sales of large-format displays (LFDs) in Western Europe (WE) during 2020 were significantly affected by the pandemic and there have been little signs of recovery in early Q1 2021, according to the latest data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company. Declining sales reflected the impact of lockdown measures as LFDs are heavily used in public settings. On the positive side, sales of interactive displays remained relatively stable and have begun to grow in the last few months.


Imaging


Printer volumes and revenues slump in Q1 2022 despite business rebound

London, 14 April 2022 – Volume and value sales of printers through European distribution fell by double digits year-on-year (YoY) in the first three months of 2022, although business revenues have remained largely above the 2021 average so far this year, according to CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.


Enterprise


Enterprise storage revenues could exceed 3% in Q2 2022

London, 13 June 2022 – Revenue from sales of storage hardware through European distributors could benefit from new market trends to reach year-on-year growth of 3.2% in Q2 2022, according to the latest figures from CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.


3D Printing


Industrial 3D Printer Accelerants in Q4 2021: Metals, China and Aerospace

Industrial metal 3D printers saw impressive +24% shipment growth in 2021

LONDON, 12 April 2022 –  Global shipments of Industrial* 3D printer systems accelerated again in Q4 2021 giving a clear sign that the global 3D printer market is being renewed and is no longer in recovery mode, according to CONTEXT, the market intelligence company.




Mobile computing sales set to recover by H2 2022

London, 1 June 2022 – Unit sales of mobile computing devices through distributors could return to growth by the second half of the year if supply issues ease and cost-of-living challenges have a reduced impact, according to CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

The figures come from CONTEXT’s new forecasting report which reveals that mobile demand is continuing to drive the PC market and should remain high, especially among businesses. However, organisations are being more discerning about purchases and economic and geopolitical uncertainty may hit consumer sales.

Availability and demand
Supply and demand remains a key issue. There are more products available than last year; European distributors are holding 7–9 weeks of stock but it’s not always the right stock. Some products that have been in transit for many months are outdated by the time they arrive. Russia’s war in Ukraine and additional Covid lockdowns in Asia have also added to supply chain headaches and costs.


However, there are some positives. Windows 11 migration will drive more PC sales in the second half of the year, as may an increased appetite for more sustainable and secure products.


Two scenarios
With these factors in mind, CONTEXT has developed two forecasts for the next year.


The first is based on a pessimistic scenario where supply improves but the disconnect between product availability and demand continues, desktop demand remains soft, and economic factors (such as inflation) hit consumer and commercial demand – especially the former. In this case, we could see mobile computing growth of −21.7% in Q2 2022 rise to −1% in Q3 and return to low positive values in Q4 2022 and Q1 2023. For desktop computers, growth would drop from −5.6% in Q2 2022 to −6.9% in Q3 before rising again – albeit not to positive levels.


The second, optimistic, scenario imagines improvements in supply and desktop demand, price drops, Q2 excess stock selling out, and economic factors having a smaller impact. In this situation, the growth in mobile computing unit sales could go from −7.1% in Q2 to 10.9% in Q3 2022 before stabilising in Q4 and tailing off in Q1 2023. Desktop growth would hover at −2.3% in Q2 2022 and stay at a similar level (−2.7%) in Q3 2022 before becoming positive in the following two quarters.

 






London, 9 April 2021 – Sales of large-format displays (LFDs) in Western Europe (WE) during 2020 were significantly affected by the pandemic and there have been little signs of recovery in early Q1 2021, according to the latest data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company. Declining sales reflected the impact of lockdown measures as LFDs are heavily used in public settings. On the positive side, sales of interactive displays remained relatively stable and have begun to grow in the last few months.

In early Q1 2021*, increased demand for cheaper LFDs coupled with reduced average selling prices (ASPs) helped to drive sales growth at the cost of revenues: overall sales declined by −1% year-on-year while revenues fell by more than −6%. Sales of displays whose ASPs fell noticeably – those with 75" and 65" screens – grew in early Q1 but, in the meantime, those of more mainstream models with 55" screens continued to fall.

Large format displays: volume sales and year-on-year growth, WE distribution

Lockdown definitely put brakes on an LFD market that was thriving in 2019; however, the last twelve months have also shown that collaboration is vital to deliver results during a pandemic. This has resulted in sales of interactives screens quickly returning to pre-pandemic levels once companies established new ways of working By Q4, these models were in higher demand and the trend has continued into early Q1 with +37% year-on-year growth in volume sales and +12% growth in revenues. It appears the pandemic has accelerated modernising and digitalisation in education as well as business; classrooms across Europe are being equipped with collaboration tools as schools and universities develop creative learning approaches for remote- and hybrid-learning environments. The challenges these ways of working pose for both teachers and students require new hardware and software. Despite economic slowdowns and shrinking government budgets, many countries have realised that investment in public education is now more important than ever. Sales of touchscreen displays designed for collaboration and classroom use more than doubled in Italy and Spain during early Q1 2021. Distributors in the UK, Germany and France saw less spectacular – but still good – increases (10- 15%). Price drops again played an important role in spurring demand, with significant reductions in the prices of many popular interactive displays – in some cases, models cost as much as −20% less than in 2019.

Interactive displays: year-on-year sales growth and ASP, WE distribution

The outlook for the industry is positive, despite the difficult environment which means the pace of recovery may remain slow. There are opportunities for the LFD industry as lockdowns gradually ease, societies begin to reopen, and the world finds out what the new normal will be. Digital signage will definitely be an effective tool for many restaurants, shops and large venues facing challenges such as safe and efficient communication and indoor traffic management. LFDs and interactive screens are likely to become integral parts of public spaces: necessities rather than novelties. The sector therefore has a good chance of making a full recovery – especially if current opportunities to innovate and contribute are fully realised.

‘* excludes last week of March 2021




Printer volumes and revenues slump in Q1 2022 despite business rebound

London, 14 April 2022 – Volume and value sales of printers through European distribution fell by double digits year-on-year (YoY) in the first three months of 2022, although business revenues have remained largely above the 2021 average so far this year, according to CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

CONTEXT’s latest data reveals a -29% YoY slump in unit sales for print hardware in Q1 2022 and a -10% drop in revenue. Our predicted worst-case scenario for the quarter was for a decline of -26% and -14% respectively.

 

This drop was driven in part by lower demand versus a year ago, especially in the consumer market which is reaching saturation, particularly for entry-level printers. Other factors include components and raw materials shortages which are increasing lead times. Why did revenue decline at a slower rate than volume sales? Because of a different product mix versus a year ago, and more sales of mid- and high-end devices, especially business printers. Price increases in the consumer market, driven by continued product shortages, also drove up the average selling price (ASP) of products. This was particularly noticeable for laser devices, which benefited from more sales of A3 business printers, especially laser SFPs.

 

Business sales rebound

Despite the overall decline, business revenue sales have been trending above the index 100 baseline since Week 3 of 2022, indicating improved performance versus the 2021 average. In recent weeks, the gap has widened between these and consumer sales figures, which still sit well below the baseline.

A changing product mix, with more high-end devices sold and price increases for entry-level and mid-range devices, resulted in a higher ASP and overall strong revenue performance for the business sector. The reopening of offices and IT budgets rebalanced towards office equipment are also playing their part in driving up revenue.

 

This meant business revenues declined by just -2% YoY in Q1, versus -22% in the consumer segment. Unit sales fared worse, with business volumes slumping -13% YoY and consumer sales dropping -36% over the same period.

 

Country-by-country

Most of the top European countries saw revenue trend downwards in Q1, either below the 2021 or 2020 trend lines, with the exception of Poland and Italy.

 

Poland has seen a sharp increase since Week 12 and is now sitting above the 2021 baseline. Italy is just below last year’s curve and trending up as well. It’s benefitting from publicly funded projects, and we expect this will continue, since new public tender offers have been issued for 100,000 A4 printers (worth around €55m), which should be closed in the next couple of months.

 

ANP: refillable ink bottles trend upwards

Finally, let’s look at data for the average number of pages printed (ANP). This is calculated from two factors: the yield of pages printed per cartridges/tank and toners, and the units sold for these consumable products. The end result provides a measure of potential pages printed.

 

There was a slight YoY decrease of -0.2% in printed pages in Q1 2022, with toners, ink cartridges, and tanks very close to last year's figures. Breaking down the ANP index by consumable type, it’s clear that ink cartridges and toners are following a similar pattern. Since March, toners have been above the index baseline.

 

The ANP performance of refillable ink bottles has steadily trended upwards since August last year, except for a slowdown in November and December. The index reached a peak of 162 in March 2022. In fact, ink tanks are still performing exceptionally well, steadily gaining market share over inkjet cartridge printers. As a result, refillable ink bottles have also seen a consistently positive performance thus far and this is expected to continue in 2022.




Enterprise storage revenues could exceed 3% in Q2 2022

London, 13 June 2022 – Revenue from sales of storage hardware through European distributors could benefit from new market trends to reach year-on-year growth of 3.2% in Q2 2022, according to the latest figures from CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

CONTEXT’s latest market predictions for enterprise storage and servers take into account the optimism of vendors who have largely been addressing component availability challenges and are upbeat about the coming year. Distributors and resellers are also keen to draw attention to the potential impact of digitization projects that are now on the horizon and the transition to faster, more powerful chips.

That said, availability of offerings with improved memory configuration is still an issue, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine may also take its toll.

Two scenarios

As always, CONTEXT has considered two possible scenarios for growth in Q2 and beyond.

In the worst-case outlook, product availability issues continue, as a result of lockdowns in China, while supply constraints remain; the war in Ukraine creates further uncertainty and cloud adoption does not translate into major sales for the sector. This scenario would lead to year-on-year decreases in sales of servers (predicted to fall by 1.1%) and storage (2.2%) in Q2 2022.

However, a more optimistic picture sees an improvement in storage array sales (thanks to newer technology and improved availability) as well as the impacts of product upgrades, refreshes and continued hybrid working overcoming that of lingering component availability issues. These conditions are likely to result in year-on-year revenue growth of 1.4% for enterprise servers and 3.2% for the storage in Q2 2022.




Industrial 3D Printer Accelerants in Q4 2021: Metals, China and Aerospace

full content in research-updates/3d_printing page

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