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CONTEXT Research Updates deliver timely insights on key market segments.

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

PC Research update


2019 PC sales in Western Europe continue last year's trends: commercial up, consumer weak

London, 18 February 2019 – Trends that characterized Western European PC distribution during 2018 are continuing in the first weeks of 2019, with good demand from commercial buyers offset by weaker consumer sales, according to the latest distribution data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.  

Displays


W Europe Unit Sales of Business-targeted Monitors up +19% in January 2019

London, 06 March 2019 - Unit sales of business-targeted monitors in January 2019 by Western Europe’s IT distributors grew by +19% year-on-year as increased specifications and lower average selling prices (ASP) boosted demand, according to the latest data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company. Consumer-targeted monitor unit sales grew +9% over the same period.

Imaging


Printer hardware sales through Western European distributors stay flat in Q4 2018

London, 25 February 2019 - Sales of printer hardware through distributors in Western Europe (WE) were flat at -0.1% year-on-year in Q4 2018, mainly driven by the negative performance registered in December, which was a short month due to the Christmas holidays, according to the latest distribution data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

Enterprise


Revenue growth in W Europe Server Computing

London, 21 February 2019 – Combined revenues from server computing products sold to enterprise customers through the distribution channel in Western Europe (WE) increased by +10.4% year-on-year in 2018, according to the latest distribution data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company. The product segments grouped in this meta-category are preconfigured server systems, random access memory (RAM), processors, hard-disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state disks (SSDs). The growth was driven by a number of trends, among them the ongoing adoption of SSD upgrades and an increase in sales of RAM upgrades

3D Printing


Industrial-class 3D-printer shipments up +22% in H1 2018

London, 24 October 2018 – On the heels of one of the largest general manufacturing shows in the world – September’s IMTS in Chicago -- and leading into one of the world’s most prominent additive-manufacturing trade events – November’s Formnext in September -- the INDUSTRIAL 3D-printer market finds itself on a good footing with shipments during the first half of the year up +22%. Shipments of INDUSTRIAL-class 3D printers which produce plastic/polymer components were +18% higher than a year ago, while those of INDUSTRIAL metal 3D printers were up +30% year-on-year.




2019 PC sales in Western Europe continue last year's trends: commercial up, consumer weak

London, 18 February 2019 – Trends that characterized Western European PC distribution during 2018 are continuing in the first weeks of 2019, with good demand from commercial buyers offset by weaker consumer sales, according to the latest distribution data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.   

Volume sales of commercial PCs were up by +5% year-on-year in January following year-on-year growth in each quarter of 2018. Although desktop sales were down by a small -1%, there was positive performance across most commercial categories: desktop workstations increased by +3%, notebook volumes were up by +8 % and notebook workstations were up by +16%. As in 2018, ultra-slim notebooks, characteried by a z-height of less than 18 mm, were strong growth drivers in the portable segment with sales rising by +50%, to give these models a 22% share of the  commercial notebook market.

On the other hand, sales of consumer PCs were weak with volumes falling by another -5% in January this year following quarterly year-on-year declines throughout 2018. Although the growth in some segments – including ultra-slim notebooks and Chromebooks – that was seen in 2018 continued, it was not strong enough to reverse the overall negative trend.

It is expected that commercial sales will remain the stronger in 2019 as Windows 10 refreshes continue and companies focus on improving security and implementing modern workplace solutions. However, while demand should stay healthy, the current Intel processor supply constraints are expected to have an impact on sell-through during the first half of 2019, although the extent of this will vary by country and vendor.

    




W Europe Unit Sales of Business-targeted Monitors up +19% in January 2019

London, 06 March 2019 - Unit sales of business-targeted monitors in January 2019 by Western Europe’s IT distributors grew by +19% year-on-year as increased specifications and lower average selling prices (ASP) boosted demand, according to the latest data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company. Consumer-targeted monitor unit sales grew +9% over the same period.

For most vendors, 2018 was a very successful year in terms of desktop monitor sales. As 2019 begins, distributors are seeing consistent growth in demand and, despite the focus on high-spec consumer and gaming monitors, business models continue to generate more revenue (61% in January 2019) as their declining average selling price (ASP) boosts demand.

In the first month of this year there were notable increases in sales to small and medium businesses and the business etail channel, both of which grew by over 25% year-on-year driven by sales of cheaper (€100–€150) 24" models. After a weak December, sales to corporate resellers also increased in January – but only by +8%, increasing revenues +10% year-on-year. In this segment also, sales are driven by low-end monitors costing less than €150: for instance, Philips saw growth of over 120% in year-on-year sales of its cheaper 23" models.

As the year progresses, revenues from desktop monitors are expected to continue to benefit from the PC refreshes that are accompanying the ongoing transition to Windows 10. The growing need for efficient use of space will also accelerate monitor sales, particularly the adoption of models with USB type C: in January 2019, such business-targeted monitors were responsible for almost 14% of revenues in WE distribution, and their sales increased by over +300% year-on-year in January, with corporate resellers driving this growth. Revenues are also likely to grow as vendors continue to compete by offering businesses more affordable models while looking for their own high-margin niche – be that curved or touchscreen monitors, or those aimed at supporting graphics or medical applications. 

 

       Business-targeted monitors: Revenue % share by USB port type, WE distribution

      




Printer hardware sales through Western European distributors stay flat in Q4 2018

London, 25 February 2019 - Sales of printer hardware through distributors in Western Europe (WE) were flat at -0.1% year-on-year in Q4 2018, mainly driven by the negative performance registered in December, which was a short month due to the Christmas holidays, according to the latest distribution data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

Laser devices reversed the trend seen earlier in the year by outperforming inkjet devices, and sales of consumer-targeted devices increased by +8.5%. Consumer printers steadily increased their market share and drove overall imaging growth in 2018.

Sales of multifunction printers (MFPs) were up by +2.2% year-on-year with continued growth for both laser and inkjet MFPs (sales were up by +4.1% and +1.7%, respectively). However, this was offset by the negative performance of single-function printers (SFPs) of which sales were down by -10.1% (-20.6% for inkjet SFPs and -7.2% for laser SFPs). This pattern confirms that the shift from single- to multifunction devices is continuing and is likely to be further consolidated going forward, particularly for lower spec models for which there is not a high demand from resellers, according to an UK Distributor (which has also informed that they are frequently asked if they can secure high volume, low spec, low price for export).

Sales of inkjet MFPs were better than during the same period in 2017. Monochrome and A3 MFPs were still driving inkjet growth with sales +42.2% and +13.8% higher than the previous year. Entry-level ranges (priced up to €400) continued to lead sales of consumer-targeted MFPs, accounting for 99.8% of units and generating €91 million. Sales in the higher price bands of this range also grew significantly, up by +38.8% for printers costing €150–200, +68.1% for those costing €200–300 and +40.7% for devices priced at €300–400. Sales of mid-level printers saw a double-digit increase in the €500–600 price band, which grew by +49.7% year-on-year.

Laser MFP volume sales were up by +4.1% in Q4 2018 driven by the exceptional performance of consumer-targeted devices (sales up by +111.6%), primarily because the ASP is continuing to decrease. The business-targeted models, which account for 72.1% of laser MFP sales and 89.4% of revenue, registered a sales drop of -13.2%, mainly because the ASP is continuing to increase, and which suggests businesses are replacing entry-level business-targeted models with mid and high-level consumer-targeted devices.

2018 saw the print industry continue to face the stark realities of digital disruption, however, sales of multifunction printers (MFPs) were up by +1.2% year-on-year in 2018 with continued growth for both laser and inkjet MFPs in 2018 (sales were up by +3% and +0.9%, respectively), which does not show a noticeable shift in sales towards the Managed Print Services (MPS). Nevertheless, according to the distribution channel, more and more resellers are looking at complimenting their offering by having an MPS proposition (partnering with vendors directly or indirectly, or through MPS dealers to support their business). However, vendors still need to expand their security assessment and monitoring services, along with partnering with traditional IT security providers, particularly in the area of threat intelligence to ensure that print security is treated with the same priority as the rest of the IT infrastructure. Print and digital convergence will drive increased demand for integrated document workflow in 2019, and despite the rapid adoption of digital and mobile technologies, many businesses remain reliant on print to some extent.

           Graph 1: Imaging unit sales and Y/Y change by category – WE distribution

     

Imaging sales and revenues grew in a few WE countries in Q4 2018, particularly in the United Kingdom which registered a double-digit increase in sales spread across nearly all categories (inkjet SFPs were the exception) and driven by the vendors which account for 83.2% of the British market: HP (sales up +68.3% year-on-year), Kyocera (+44.8%), Brother (+35.3%), Xerox (+24.6%), Lexmark (+18.6%) and Canon (+14.8%). Italy was one of the only other countries that saw growth in nearly every category (inkjet SFPs were again the exception) and there were strong performances from Samsung which changed its go to market strategy from resellers to distributors (sales up +109% year-on-year), Canon (+9.6%), Xerox (+7.7%) and HP (+7.4%), which share over 68.3% of the country’s printer market. 

But it was Belgium that registered the highest growth over this period – in terms of both units sold (up +32.7% year-on-year) and revenue (+29.1%) – with the increase driven by the three companies that dominate the country’s printer market and together hold a share of over 74%: Epson (sales up +140.6%), Samsung (+107.4%) and HP (+10.6%).

Norway saw revenue increase by +11.9% even though volumes were down by -11.5% year-on-year. This can be attributed to the increased number of sales in the mid- and high-level ranges (€800–900, €900–1000, €1200–1300, €1900–2100 and €2600–3100 price bands), which registered a three-digit increase overall (+115.9%).

Graph 2:  Y/Y change in imaging units sold through distributors by country – Top 5 WE countries 

Table 1:  Y/Y change in imaging units sold and revenue (Q4 2018) – WE distribution 

    




Revenue growth in W Europe Server Computing

London, 21 February 2019 – Combined revenues from server computing products sold to enterprise customers through the distribution channel in Western Europe (WE) increased by +10.4% year-on-year in 2018, according to the latest distribution data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company. The product segments grouped in this meta-category are preconfigured server systems, random access memory (RAM), processors, hard-disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state disks (SSDs). The growth was driven by a number of trends, among them the ongoing adoption of SSD upgrades and an increase in sales of RAM upgrades

                                 Server Computing Revenues: WE Distribution

               Year-on-Year Growth in Server Computing Revenues: WE Distribution

        

 

The combined server computing categories saw year-on-year revenue growth in every month of 2018 except December, which was a short month due to the Christmas holidays. The drivers of this growth, however, changed throughout the year. 

What was surprising was the resurgence of preconfigured server systems, from which revenues were up by +10.7% in 2018. While this was not consistent over the year, there was strong growth in several months including a year-on-year increase of +47.3% in September. Although the increased revenues were largely the result of server refreshes, there was no corresponding growth in unit sales and these declined steadily even as the value of server configurations increased due to the use of higher-value SSD and RAM components. 

Year-on-year revenue growth from RAM upgrades declined as the year went on, but only became negative in December resulting in an increase of +14.3% for 2018 as a whole. Supply constraints throughout the year meant that average selling prices (ASPs) remained high. 

Revenues from HDD upgrades were down by -6.4% year-on-year. The ongoing decline was expected – and is set to continue – as SSD upgrades are chosen over HDDs. This switch drove revenues for SSD upgrades up by +22.0% in 2018. However the revenue growth was not consistent, with falls in a few months in the middle of the year, because SSDs were also affected by supply issues which had an impact on ASPs. That said, the revenue shares of these two storage options are closing in on each other and we should expect a cross-over soon.

The server refresh mentioned above also helped drive revenues from server processor upgrades, as did the transition to Intel Xeon scalable processors. An additional factor, especially important from September 2018 onwards, was Intel’s warning of upcoming shortages, which encouraged customers to take precautions.

  Monthly Revenue Share for Server Computing Categories Through WE Distribution

       

When looking at the revenue share over time, it becomes clear that over the past two years, RAM has played a more important role within server computing. This was helped along with the increase of average ASPs due to supply constraints. Similarly, we can see that the revenue share of SSDs have certainly increased compared to the slow but steady decline of HDD revenues. 

One thing that looks almost consistent, though, is the revenue share by preconfigured server systems. As we have seen a continuous decline in units, it confirms the increase of achieved ASPs we have been seeing throughout this time.




Industrial-class 3D-printer shipments up +22% in H1 2018

Polymer INDUSTRIAL 3D-printer shipments up +18% year-on-year, led by growth from HP and Carbon; metal-focused INDUSTRIAL 3D-printer shipments up +30%, led by GE and EOS.

London, 24 October 2018 – On the heels of one of the largest general manufacturing shows in the world – September’s IMTS in Chicago -- and leading into one of the world’s most prominent additive-manufacturing trade events – November’s Formnext in September -- the INDUSTRIAL 3D-printer market finds itself on a good footing with shipments during the first half of the year up +22%. Shipments of INDUSTRIAL-class 3D printers which produce plastic/polymer components were +18% higher than a year ago, while those of INDUSTRIAL metal 3D printers were up +30% year-on-year.

Polymer-based 3D printers accounted for 68% of all INDUSTRIAL printers shipped during the first half of 2018, and the ongoing rise of shipments from HP and Carbon more than took up the slack from Stratasys which, although it remains the industry leader, continued to struggle. While Q2 was fantastic for 3D Systems, the leading publicly traded company in this market, most of its growth came from shipments of DESIGN and PROFESSIONAL printers. The company began shipping new products – including the much-anticipated Figure 4 systems – in Q3, so the second half of the year is expected to be strong. While most companies focused shipments on North America and Western Europe, UnionTech remained solid largely because of its focus on China.

     Chart 1: H1 2018 Global INDUSTRIAL polymer 3D-printer shipments by company

                           

The period continued to see even stronger interest in and growing demand for metal INDUSTRIAL 3D printers, with shipments +30% higher than a year ago. All major vendors witnessed growth with EOS and GE Additive as joint leaders by market share. While they did not ship in bulk in the first half of the year, Desktop Metal has now begun supplying their lower-priced Studio system; with a strong and growing backlog of orders, this company is expected to enter the global Top 5 before the end of the year. Having just introduced its Metal Jet technology to the world, HP will also join leaders EOS, GE Additive, SLM, 3D Systems, TRUMPF and Renishaw in the years to come. HP will enter the metals side of industrial 3D printing in a slow and methodical fashion and the full market impact is not expected to be clear before 2020. Like Desktop Metal’s first product (as well as its larger and more exciting Production System which is set to hit the market next year) HP’s Metal Jet focuses on mainstream manufacturing across all sectors, rather than just the aerospace, automotive and medical industries where metal 3D printing already thrives.

       Chart 2: H1 2018 Global INDUSTRIAL metal 3D-printer shipments by company

                             

 

INDUSTRIAL-class models are not the only 3D printers on the market: many of the companies mentioned above also offer DESIGN and PROFESSIONAL printers, and there is an almost entirely different set of vendors that sell PERSONAL 3D Printers. However, INDUSTRIAL 3D-printer shipments represented 70% of total printer revenues in H1 2018. “The INDUSTRIAL class of 3D printers is currently the most closely monitored, due to its ability to disrupt the $12T global manufacturing industry,” notes Chris Connery, VP for Global Analysis at CONTEXT.

 

* 3D-printer segment by ASP: INDUSTRIAL ≥ $100K, DESIGN = $20K–$100K, PROFESSIONAL = $2.5K–$20K, PERSONAL ≤ $2.5K

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