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Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Maintain Steady Growth in Third Quarter: IDC

Worldwide external disk storage systems factory revenues posted year-over-year growth of 3.3%, totaling just over $5.9 billion, in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker. For the quarter, the total disk storage systems market posted just under $7.9 billion in revenues, representing 3.7% growth from the prior year's third quarter. Total disk storage systems capacity shipped reach 7,104 petabytes, growing 24.4% year over year.

"The external disk storage system market continues to exhibit steady growth, posting solid third quarter factory revenues of just over $5.9 billion," said Liz Conner, senior research analyst, Storage Systems. "End users continue to invest in storage infrastructures despite persistent concerns surrounding global and regional economies. Helping to drive the worldwide market in the third quarter was the double-digit growth in multi-protocol storage architecture and strong demand for upper mid-range and high-end storage."

Worldwide WLAN Market Growth Continues Unabated in Third Quarter of 2012: IDC

The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments experienced year-over-year growth of 14.6% in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12). According to the 3Q12 results published in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, the enterprise segment continued on its path of torrid growth with an impressive 24.0% increase over the same period last year. This was the sixth quarter in a row with annual growth in access of 20%.

"While the growth in the third quarter was marginally slower than what we have seen in the last couple of years, it was still a stellar quarter by any standards for the enterprise WLAN market," said Rohit Mehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure, at IDC. "Almost all major and emerging vendors contributed to this strong performance of the enterprise WLAN segment in the third quarter, a period that was highlighted by two significant events: the IPO of Ruckus Wireless, and the acquisition of cloud-networking start-up Meraki by market leader Cisco."

APUs Make Up Nearly 75% of AMD's Processor Sales

Despite losing in market share to Intel, AMD has reason to cheer as its APU gambit is beginning to pay off. According to the latest architecture- and core count-specific sales figures for AMD given out by Mercury Research detailing Q3-2013 in context of two preceding quarters, APUs make for nearly 75% of AMD's processor sales, and the company's recently-launched "Trinity" line of desktop and mobile APUs are off to a flying start.

The most popular chips in AMD's stable are its "Bobcat" Zacate series low-power APUs, which are being built into entry-level computing devices such as netbooks, nettops, and all-in-one desktops. The chips make up 39 percent of AMD's sales in Q3, followed by another APU line, the A-Series "Trinity", which is available in desktop and mobile variants, offers a combination of a fast integrated graphics processor with up to four CPU cores, and makes up 26.1 percent of AMD's sales. AMD's A-Series "Llano" can still be bought in the market, and makes up 7.4 percent of AMD's sales in Q3.

DRAM Price Decline Results in 8.5% QoQ Decrease in DRAM Industry Value

According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, as PC shipments are continually adjusted downwards and yearly growth has decreased by 5% YoY, demand for the peak season is not as strong as expected and the oversupply situation continues to worsen. As a result, contract price for 2 Gb chips fell by 22.5% in the third quarter, from US$1.11 in July to US$0.86 in September. Server and mobile DRAM are also showing falling price trends, resulting in an 8.5% drop in the value of the DRAM industry compared to the previous quarter; DRAM suppliers' revenues are falling across the board. However, looking at third quarter demand, with strong shipments for mobile devices like smartphones and tablet PCs, mobile DRAM accounted for 25% of total DRAM output, a significant increase from less than 20% in the second quarter. Consequently, market share is on the rise for memory makers with higher mobile DRAM ratios, like Samsung and Elpida. For the DRAM industry, improving core competitiveness lies in proper product adjustment, the key to profitability with such bleak market conditions.

NAND Flash Shipments Valued at $4.626 Billion, Samsung Leads in Shipments

Market research firm TrendForce released NAND flash shipment figures for 3Q 2012. The global NAND flash market is valued at US $4.626 billion, a healthy 6.6% growth over the previous quarter. A TrendForce DRAMeXchange report provided a break-down of shipments of NAND flash by manufacturers. Leading the pack is Samsung, with 41.2% market-share, registering a 1.8% QoQ growth. Trailing behind is Toshiba, with 24.7% market share, and a significant 12.9% QoQ growth. In September, Toshiba cut prices and scaled up production, which may have contributed to the growth. Micron holds 14.4% of the market with 2.8% growth, SK Hynix 11.6% with 6.4% growth (the company began mass-production of SSD-grade NAND flash this quarter), and Intel with 7.6% of the market-share, growing at 19.7%. Bear in mind, these numbers represent NAND flash components used not only in SSDs, but also USB flash drives, memory cards, etc.

Source: TrendForce

Ultrabooks Market to Reach $75.8 Billion by 2016 From Just $1.3 Billion in 2011

MarketResearch.com has announced the addition of "Ultrabooks Market to 2016 -- Financial and Technological Support from Intel Corporation Coupled with Demand from Business Users Segment Will Drive Growth," to their collection of market reports.

GBI Research's new report, "Ultrabooks Market to 2016 -- Financial and Technological Support from Intel Corporation Coupled with Demand from Business Users Segment Will Drive Growth," provides key information and analysis on the Ultrabooks market. The Ultrabook is defined by Intel as being any notebook using Intel processors and meeting certain chip manufacturer specifications. However, in general the term is being used for notebooks that are lightweight (less than four pounds), ultra-thin (less than 2.1cm thick) and have screen sizes varying from 13 to 15 inches. GBI Research expects the global Ultrabooks market to reach $75.8 billion in revenue in 2016, from just $1.3 billion in 2011, growing at a CAGR of 69.2% during 2012-2016.

Imagination Technologies Still Biggest in GPU IP, According to Jon Peddie Research

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated mobile devices graphics chip shipments for the first half of 2012. Mobile devices include smartphones, tablets, and game consoles.

The market for portable devices (mobile devices that we can carry) continues to soar in spite of economic difficulties and general uncertainty. Although portable devices are not necessarily replacing the PC, they are outselling the PC. All of these devices have a graphics processor (GPU) integrated in the device's system on a chip (SoC) application processor.

Total Flash Memory Market Declines Slightly in 2012

The NAND and NOR flash memory market landscape is shifting rapidly, with increasingly sophisticated mobile handsets playing a leading role in driving industry trends and determining which suppliers will be successful, according to an IHS iSuppli Mobile & Embedded Market Tracker Report from information and analytics provider IHS.

Revenue for the flash memory market by year-end is projected to decline to $24.3 billion, down 4.7 percent from 25.5 percent from $25.5 billion in 2011. The NAND segment this year will account for $20.8 billion and the NOR sector will make up the remainder at $3.5 billion.

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Declined 8 Percent in Third Quarter of 2012

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 87.5 million units in the third quarter of 2012, a decline of 8.3 percent compared with the third quarter of 2011, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.

"A continuing slowdown in consumer PC shipments played a big part in the overall PC market decline," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "The third quarter was also a transitional quarter before Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system release, so shipments were less vigorous as vendors and their channel partners liquidated inventory.

HP Details Turnaround Strategy, Provides 2013 Outlook

At HP's (NYSE: HPQ) annual Securities Analyst Meeting, being held today in San Francisco, the company's leadership is mapping out strategic priorities for the future and providing a detailed multiyear roadmap to turn the company around.

During her keynote, HP's president and chief executive officer Meg Whitman outlined progress made over the past year to stabilize the business and lay the foundation for a multiyear turnaround. The operating and organizational models have been integrated, centralized and streamlined, and a talented executive team is in place to execute the strategy.

Toshiba Cuts NAND Flash Prices by up to 25 Percent

Apparently, Toshiba's strategy of inflating NAND flash pricing by cutting down production by 30 percent, stimulating similar reductions across the industry, backfired. Taking advantage of Toshiba's production cuts, Micron Technology ramped up its production, gaining market share. The Idahoan company's increased market share at Toshiba's expense ensured that SSD makers with Toshiba NAND flash create variants of their products with Micron's chips. Toshiba's latest move, according to a TweakTown report, is to scale its NAND flash production back up, and cut NAND flash prices down by 20 - 25 percent. Such a price-cut could result in further SSD price-cuts across the board, as the industry would end up with large inventories of Toshiba- and Micron-branded NAND flash chips.

Source: TweakTown

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Appoints Joe Chen as New Sales Head for Greater China

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced that Joe Chen has been appointed as the new Vice President of Sales for the Greater China region, joining the company from Marvell Technology, a leading provider of storage, communications and consumer semiconductor products.

“Joe will play a key role in driving our sales strategy in the growing markets in Asia”
In this role, Chen will be responsible for sales in the Greater China region consisting of China and Taiwan. He will build and mentor a top-quality regional sales team, and grow and maintain successful and trusted partnerships with existing and new customers to expand the company’s market share in Asia. Chen reports to Chuck Fox, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at GLOBALFOUNDRIES.

Lenovo Acquires CCE to Build PC+ Leader in Brazil

Lenovo Group, the world’s second largest and fastest growing major PC company today announced the acquisition of the CCE business. CCE is widely known in Brazil as a leader in PCs and consumer electronics. The acquisition significantly expands Lenovo’s presence in the world’s third-largest PC market, with a manufacturing presence and a full suite of consumer products across all four screens – PC, tablet, smart phone and TV – that define the new “PC+ era”. At the same time, it aligns profitable, fast-growing, consumer focused CCE with a global partner that will boost its overall strength, innovation capability, product portfolio and supply chain resources.

Brazilian customers will clearly and immediately benefit from better, even more competitively priced products, coming faster to market from a provider with an excellent combined heritage: a strong understanding of the Brazilian consumer on one hand and a deep innovation capability, unmatched legacy of quality, and global supply chain on the other.

Graphics Add-in Board Shipments Seasonally Down from Last Quarter Reports JPR

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated graphics Add-in Board (AIB) shipments and sales’ market share for Q2’12. The JPR AIB Report tracks computer graphics boards, which carry discrete graphics chips. They are used in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, and other devices such as scientific instruments. They may be sold as after-market products directly to customers or they may be factory installed. In all cases, they represent the higher-end of the graphics industry as discrete chips rather than integrated processors.

We found that AIB shipments during Q1 2012 did behave according to past years with regard to seasonality, but in unit shipments was lower on a year-to-year comparison and on a quarter-to-quarter comparison for the quarter. Overall, for the AIB, and PC market in general, 2012 has been, and is forecasted to have a decline in shipments due to the popularity of notebooks and worldwide economic depression.

Graphics Shipments in Q2 Increased 2.5% Over Last Quarter and 5.5% Over Last Year

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated graphics chip shipments and suppliers' market share for Q2'12.

The news was good, for most. Intel had gains in both desktop (13.6%) and notebook (3.8%) led mostly by Sandy Bridge. Nvidia gained in the notebook discrete segment (6%), and AMD saw gains in the discrete desktop category (2.5%).

Microsoft Reports Record Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Revenue

Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $18.06 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. Operating income and loss per share for the quarter were $192 million and $0.06 per share.

The financial results reflect the previously announced non-cash, non-tax-deductible income statement charge of $6.19 billion for the impairment of goodwill and the deferral of $540 million of revenue related to the Windows Upgrade Offer. Adjusting for these items, non-GAAP fourth quarter revenue, operating income, and earnings per share were $18.60 billion, $6.93 billion, and $0.73 per share, which represented increases of 7%, 12%, and 6%, respectively, over the prior year period.

Dell Updates as Industry-leading Supplier of Displays Portfolio

Dell today announced the immediate availability of new displays that combine performance and value to enable customers amazing viewing experiences. The six new displays join Dell’s industry-leading portfolio of solutions, which has once again ranked #1 in flat-panel display market share in North Americai, and #2 in flat-panel shipments worldwideii, according to DisplaySearch.

The newest additions to Dell’s industry-leading portfolio of displays, the new P and E displays offer customers diverse solutions that help them get the most out of every environment.

AMD Appoints Arun Iyengar as General Manager of Newly-Formed Embedded Solutions Group

To further capitalize on the opportunity for Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) in embedded applications and form factors, AMD today announced the formation of a new Embedded Solutions Group and appointed Arun Iyengar as its corporate vice president and general manager. The AMD Embedded Solutions Group will operate as a separate business within AMD's Global Business Units under AMD Senior Vice President Lisa Su.

"AMD APUs have been extremely well received by embedded system designers who require more graphic-intensive displays and compute power, while continuing to increase our engagement with ecosystem partners to deliver a complete solution," said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Global Business Units. "Arun's appointment and dedicated focus on expanding our differentiated embedded offerings will help ensure we are seizing the opportunity to expand in this rapidly growing market."

Lenovo Reports Fourth Quarter and Record Full Year 2011/12 Results

Lenovo Group today announced results for its fourth fiscal quarter and full year ended March 31, 2012. With full-year record sales of $US29.6 billion, an increase of almost 37 percent year-over-year, Lenovo finished its financial year as the world's second largest PC vendor with a record full-year market share of 12.9 percent. Throughout the year, Lenovo continued to demonstrate its ability to execute against the Company's strategy of "protect and attack," in established markets and new markets respectively, while achieving balanced growth in all geographies, customer segments and product lines. The result was a record full-year pre-tax income of $US582 million, an increase of 63 percent year-over-year.

During the fourth fiscal quarter, Lenovo’s consolidated sales increased a healthy 54 percent to $US7.5 billion. For the tenth quarter in a row, the Company was the fastest growing among the top four PC vendors, with worldwide PC shipments up 44 percent year-over-year. Compared to an overall industry growth rate of just 4.6 percent year-over-year, Lenovo outgrew the overall industry for the 12th quarter in a row.

Micron and Hynix Close Gap on NAND Flash Market Leaders in Q4

Solid manufacturing and strong pricing allowed Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. to post strong performances in the global NAND flash business in the fourth quarter, allowing them to narrow the gap in market share between them and the industry leaders, and setting the stage for further advances in 2012.

No. 3-ranked Micron Technology Inc. of the United States achieved 11.7 percent revenue growth in the fourth quarter compared to the third, according to a new IHS iSuppli Data Flash Market Tracker report from information and analytics provider IHS. Meanwhile, fourth-placed Hynix Semiconductor Inc. of South Korea expanded its revenue by 5.4 percent, as presented in the table below.

AMD Gains CPU Market Share at Intel's Expense in Q1

AMD gained CPU market share at Intel's expense in the first-quarter of 2012, according to the latest data by Mercury Research. Intel's CPU market share dropped from 81 percent last quarter, to 80.2 percent, while AMD's rose from 18.2 percent to 19.1 percent. Principal analyst at Mercury Research, Dean McCarron said that AMD benefited from improvements in hard drive supplies. AMD is strong in desktop processors, with 43 percent of the market, the same as last year. Customers also opted for lower-priced laptops, many of which had AMD's chips. Supplies of AMD's A-series chips code-named Llano were restored after manufacturing issues were resolved, McCarron said.

Source: PCWorld

Apple 10 Years Behind Microsoft on Security: Kaspersky Lab

A Flashback trojan that affected over 600,000 OS X machines with relative ease, earlier this month, exposed gaping holes in the OS X software architecture and got industry experts discussing how competent Apple is at dealing with the threat of malware, on its end. Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of security company Kaspersky Lab, believes that Apple is "10 years behind Microsoft in terms of security," and the ease with which scores of OS X machines could be compromised by malware in the recent times formed the basis of his assertion.

"For many years I've been saying that from a security point of view there is no big difference between Mac and Windows. It's always been possible to develop Mac malware, but this one was a bit different. For example it was asking questions about being installed on the system and, using vulnerabilities, it was able to get to the user mode without any alarms," Kaspersky commented. Increase in malware and cybercrime against OS X machines, according to him are "just a question of time and market share. Cyber criminals have now recognised that Mac is an interesting area. Now we have more, it's not just Flashback or Flashfake. Welcome to Microsoft's world, Mac. It's full of malware."

Source: CBROnline

comScore Releases March 2012 U.S. Search Engine Rankings

comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly comScore qSearch analysis of the U.S. search marketplace. Google Sites led the explicit core search market in March with 66.4 percent of search queries conducted.

U.S. Explicit Core Search

Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in March with 66.4 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 15.3 percent and Yahoo! Sites with 13.7 percent. Ask Network accounted for 3.0 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.6 percent.

Embedded Graphics: Imagination Tech Supplies More GPU IP than all Others Combined

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated mobile devices graphics chip shipments for 2011. Mobile devices include smartphones, tablets, cameras, vehicles, and game consoles.

The market for smart mobile devices is soaring. Mobile devices are not necessarily replacing the PC, but they are outselling PCs. Increasingly mobile devices have a graphics processor and those processors are integrated in the device's system on a chip (SoC) application processor.

"Steady as She Goes" for the Workstation Market in Q4'11, Reports Jon Peddie Research

The workstation market proceeded ahead in the fourth quarter of 2011, completing a long climb back from the 2009 depths of the global economic recession that had slashed its shipments by over 40 percent. But that fourth quarter advance was more a case of "steady as she goes" than "full speed ahead", reports Jon Peddie Research senior analyst Alex Herrera.

The leading market research firm has completed its data collection and analysis of results from the quarter, and finds Q4 followed the same basic storyline Herrera had been laying out over the previous few quarters. The market has not only fully recovered from the recession, it's showing continued stability and some undeniable signs of strength. But at the same time, there remain scattered pockets of concern, as the market has yet to resume the pace of growth it sustained back in the years 2005 through 2008.
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