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CONTEXT Research Updates deliver timely insights on key market segments.

  • PCs
  • Displays
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  • 3D Printing

PC Research update


Education notebooks see strong decline in Q1 22 against high 2021 figures

London, 14 April 2022 – The volume of notebook sales in the education sector across Europe has declined sharply in the first 11 weeks of the year, although it remains higher than pre-pandemic levels, 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


Networking and server revenue sales on the rise in January as storage market slumps

London, 24 February 2022 – Enterprise networking and server revenue from sales through distribution surged in the first weeks of 2022, but the storage market declined significantly after two years’ solid performance, according to 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.




Education notebooks see strong decline in Q1 22 against high 2021 figures

London, 14 April 2022 – The volume of notebook sales in the education sector across Europe has declined sharply in the first 11 weeks of the year, although it remains higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

The latest four-week rolling average figures for unit sales versus a year ago saw the performance dip to nearly -50% in some weeks of 2022 to date. However, that can be explained by strong growth a year ago: a number of weeks in Q1 2021 saw a year-on-year rise of +450% or more. The UK, Italy and Spain—which drove the segment in the first two years of the pandemic—continue largely to do so in 2022.

A slowdown in government spending

Although CONTEXT is seeing a number of local education projects and deals continue in markets such as the UK and Spain, gone are the large government frameworks that characterised the segment in the first two years of the pandemic. In some countries, this has even led to an excess of notebook stock in the channel, particularly Chromebooks, as expectations of demand did not meet reality.

For the rest of the year, smaller projects will continue to roll out across the region. However, demand is less urgent, so 2022 performance overall in distribution will really depend on whether we see any of those large government initiatives return. With students back in classrooms and the pandemic easing, we can expect performance lower than the first two years of the crisis, but still in excess of pre-pandemic figures.

Across all verticals, the notebook category saw a slight uptick in revenue at the end of Q1, which is typical for a quarter end. But the quarter has been a mixed one overall, with fluctuations in weekly performance driven by supply issues and slowing consumer demand. We see stock levels rising and hear supply issues are improving. But often stock is spending a long time in transit, so when it does arrive it is old. Component shortages also remain.






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.




Networking and server revenue sales on the rise in January as storage market slumps

London, 24 February 2022 – Enterprise networking and server revenue from sales through distribution surged in the first weeks of 2022, but the storage market declined significantly after two years’ solid performance, according to CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

The latest CONTEXT data for January shows enterprise networking revenue move over 10% higher than 2021 baseline figures, while the figures for servers increased to over 20% higher. On the other hand, enterprise storage sales declined significantly, driven by soft performance in the traditional array segment, which posted a year-on-year decline of -11% and a drop of -17% compared to 2020 during January.

Switching segment drives networking sales

The switching segment is responsible for much of the recent revenue growth in the networking space. This follows a protracted period when sales were negatively impacted by the work-from-home (WFH) trend, as well as product availability and business uncertainty was above not only 2021 but also 2020 figures.

In terms of country figures, the UK (56.8%) showed a significant increase in year-on-year revenues in January, following a pick-up in performance in Q4 2021. The country was lagging other top European economies for most of 2021. Germany also recorded encouraging growth of 1.8% after a soft Q4 due to the persistent impact of COVID-19. However, both these countries and Poland, France, Italy and Spain have seen revenues exceed those of 2020 levels in January, which is good news for the industry.

Server sales rebound

After a poor Q4 2021, which ended with -13.3% revenue versus Q4 2020, the server market recovered significantly at the start of 2022. All countries saw increased revenues versus a year ago, with most reaching close to their 2020 figures.

Feedback from industry players suggests that the server space is still for now a supply-driven market and product availability challenges have created significant order backlogs. In this context, the positive January figures may be a result of orders stuck from Q4 finally going through. It’s also true that some server vendors had strong end-of-financial-quarter sales in January, which explain in part the solid market performance at the start of the year.




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

full content in research-updates/3d_printing page

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