Systems and PC hardware


Market analysis

Global PC shipments declined 1.7% in Q1’14 totaling 76.6 million units. However, the rate of decline was less than the decline in previous quarters. Among the top five computer vendors globally, Lenovo posted the highest growth, with shipments increasing 10.9% during the quarter. HP followed with 4.1% growth and Dell was third with 9% growth. Acer saw a major decline in the number of computers shipped, dropping 14.8%. In the US, HP was the top vendor with 25.1% of the market. Dell was second with 21.5% of the market and Apple followed in third place at 11.5%. Apple’s shipments declined 3.8% compared to Q1 2013.

Worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 shipments slipped to 50.4 million units in Q1'14. The total represents a sequential decline of 35.7% from the high-volume holiday quarter and just 3.9% growth YoY. The slowdown was felt across operating systems and screen sizes and likely points to an even more challenging year ahead for the category.1

Tablet substitution of notebooks is expected to start to dissipate from this year onwards as consumers and businesses align the right device with the right usage pattern. As the overall device market starts to saturate, the increasing pressure on margins will continue, and vendors will look at different ways to cope with the ongoing issue of lower margins. While the trend of declining prices is inevitable, consumers increasingly will value other features in a device—beyond just the price.2

EMC reported Q1'14 revenue of US$5.5bn, an increase of 2% YoY and net income of US$392mn. Q1'14 revenue from the EMC Information Infrastructure business declined 3% YoY. Within this, EMC's Information Storage business declined 3% and EMC's High-end Storage business, increased 6% YoY. EMC's Emerging Storage business revenue growth accelerated 81% YoY, propelled by a number of products including EMC XtremIO all-flash storage, EMC ViPR software-defined storage, EMC Atmos distributed object storage and EMC Isilon scale-out storage. EMC continued its industry leadership in enterprise flash storage, selling more than 17 petabytes of flash capacity in Q1'14 alone, an increase of more than 70% YoY. Revenue from EMC's RSA Information Security business increased 5% in Q1'14, with Security Analytics and Archer each growing over 25%.

IBM net income was US$2.4bn, down 21% YoY. Operating (non-GAAP) net income was US$2.6bn a decrease of 22%. The results include the impact of a charge of approximately US$870mn for workforce rebalancing and a gain of nearly US$100mn for the divestiture of the customer care outsourcing business. Total revenues for the first quarter of 2014 of US$22.5bn were down 4% YoY. In Q1'14 IBM continued to take actions to transform parts of the business and to shift aggressively to strategic growth areas including cloud, big data analytics, social, mobile and security.

  1. IDC, April 2014
  2. Gartner, April 2014
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Scott Adams
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Computers & networking
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