AMD Gains GPU Market Share in Q4 2015

After a precipitous decline in dGPU market share over the past few months and quarters, AMD is starting to reverse the trend. In the past quarter, Q2 2015, AMD managed to increase their market share by 2.3%, or a 10% increase in their total market share. While the number seems tiny especially given Nvidia’s numbers, any positive increase is good news for the beleaguered company. This comes even as the dPGU shrank by 4.9%.

The whole of 2015 was pretty terrible for AMD, with some of their worst financials yet, with both the CPU and GPU divisions flagging. However, it looks like AMD finally hit the bottom and the changes they are implementing are starting to take hold. If AMD manages to keep it up, the dire predictions that some analysts had of AMD doing even worse in Q1 2016 will likely not come to pass.

AMD still has a lot of work to do though as market share overall is still depressed compared to 2014. With this past them though, AMD can look forward to Polaris and Zen to drive their new growth. After all, once you’ve hit rock bottom, there is only one way to go and that is up. A final interesting note is that Q4 actually saw lower shipments than Q3, a surprising twist given the holiday season is in Q4. Maybe many are holding out for Polaris and Pascal?

AMD’s Market Share Predicted to Reach Lowest Point in Q1 2016

AMD’s current market position is quite precarious despite making gains in the graphics segment during the last quarter. The root cause of this revolves around the lack of competitive products in the CPU sector, and poor uptake of AMD’s latest graphics architecture. To be clear, The Fury line-up is worthy of praise, and offers great performance but this doesn’t seem to be impacting on AMD’s market share. Perhaps this is down to cost, low yield of HBM or other factors. Unfortunately, the situation doesn’t look like improving any time soon and according to DigiTimes, the company’s market share could hit a new low in the first quarter of 2016. Their sources claimed:

“Demand for standalone graphics cards has already been sluggish given a weak PC market, and the market for standalone grahics cards continues to decline. In the already-shrinking market, AMD’s rival Nvidia has eaten away at its market share.”

“In the PC processor market, AMD’s gap behind Intel has widened. And it remains uncertain whetrher AMD’s next-generation Zen architecture can help the company make a comeback.”

“In the standalone GPU segment, AMD will have to ensure that the launch of its Polaris architecture will be on schedule. Any delays of the launch or performance issues could interrupt its way to recovery.”

While this news is fairly concerning, it’s not unexpected because AMD is preparing for the release of both Zen and Polaris. Once they have updated the CPU and GPU range, there should be significant improvements in the overall market percentage. This is easier said than done, but the upcoming months are essential for AMD’s long-term future. I just hope they can produce something which really shakes up the market, and encourages consumers to purchase their products. Sadly, the company’s financials are pretty abysmal right now although I do expect to see a fightback from AMD in the next few months.

Windows Phone Market Share Falls

Microsoft’s entry into the smartphone market has been extremely challenging due to the popularity of Android handsets, and Apple’s loyal user base. Despite the company’s best efforts to hone a user-friendly operating system, it’s really struggled to make an impact. Unfortunately, Windows Phone users are a niche, and many app developers like Snapchat refuse to support the platform because of the small community. This makes sense because it’s not financially prudent to use resources for such a small market share. It’s such a shame because the Windows Mobile operating system doesn’t require a huge amount of power, and is quite intuitive.

According to the latest research from Gartner, Windows Phone global shipments have more than halved in the last year. More specifically, handset sales in Q4 2015 fell to 4.4 million units, which equates to a market share of 1.1 percent. This is a huge reduction from the 2.8 percent share in Q4 2014. Overall, smartphone shipments grew by 9.7 percent but this is the lowest recorded figure since 2008. I’m not surprised by this, because many users are content with their current model, and don’t see the need to upgrade.

Gartner research director Anshul Gupta said about the data:

“Low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, and strong demand for premium smartphones, continued to be the driving factors,”

“An aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the midrange and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones.

“For Samsung to stop falling sales of premium smartphones, it needs to introduce new flagship smartphones that can compete with iPhones and stop the churn to iOS devices.”

Fellow research director Roberta Cozza added:

“Android benefited from continued demand for affordable smartphones and from the slowdown of iOS units in the premium market in the fourth quarter of 2015.”

An an ideal world, I’d love to see more users give Windows Phones a try, but I doubt it’s going to happen as low-cost Android devices offer compelling value. I’m not entirely sure what Microsoft can do to change the future of their mobile operating system given its current market position.

NVIDIA Dominating Market but AMD Making Gains According to Q3 2015 Figures

Market share figures for the third-quarter of 2015 show that NVDIA, as always, is dominating GPU sales, but AMD has started to gain back some ground, though nowhere near its ratio from last year. According to figures released by graphic and multimedia consultants Jon Peddie Research (JPR), NVIDIA’s market share for the last quarter is 81.1%, with AMD taking just 18.8% of sales. However, compared to the figures from the second quarter of 2015, AMD has forced a 0.8% shift from NVIDIA, demonstrated by comparing Q2 figures of 18% and 81.9%, respectively.

“JPR’s AIB Report tracks PC add-in graphics boards (AIBs), which carry discrete graphics chips,” the report on the JPR website reads. “AIBs are used in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, and other devices such as scientific instruments. They are sold directly to customers as aftermarket products, or are factory installed. In all cases, AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry using discrete chips and private high-speed memory, compared to the integrated GPUs in CPUs that share slower system memory.”

AMD’s gains coincide with the release of its Radeon AIB graphics cards, the Fiji-powered Fury line, though NVIDIA may see a similar shift following the release of its Pascal GPUs next year. AMD has recently said that it is “confident” that the company’s fortunes will turn, and if it “invest[s] heavily” it can “[win] the graphics war.”

Dell Predicts 80% Market Share For Top Three PC Makers by 2020

Dell has predicted 80% of the dedicated PC market will be dominated by the top three hardware companies in the world. This includes Dell, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard Co. Currently, Lenovo controls 20.3% of PC shipments, followed by HP with 18.5% and Dell attained a figure of 14.5%. During a round-table with journalists in Bengaluru, India, Michael Dell claimed:

“In the first half of this year, we outgrew the two in notebooks and we have grown now 10 quarters in a row,”

“Being a private company has certainly allowed us to focus our future more on 3 years, 5 years, 10 years out and get away from the short-term orientation that public companies often find themselves in,”

“We have been able to grow even though the (PC) market is shrinking and of course our business goes well beyond the device into data center, software, services and security,”

“I think there are maybe only one or two companies who make a profit in the smartphone business today and there are quite a few companies that lose substantial sums of money in the smartphone business,”

“So, no thank you! I do not want to be in the smartphone business.”

The theory revolves around consolidating each company’s current market position as the competition struggles to extend their foothold in a very difficult sector. PC sales are dwindling, and at an alarming rate. Therefore, you need a significant market share to remain near the top. Dell is suggesting other companies with a reduced focus on the PC market will eventually give up and leave space for Dell to enhance their profile.

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information. 

Windows 10 Already Installed on More Than 75 Million Devices

Windows 10’s launch has been nothing short of extraordinary and recorded over 14 million installs within a 24 hour period. The latest data from Yusuf Mehdi, the Corporate Vice-President of Windows is extremely exciting and indicates over 75 million devices are running Windows 10. This remarkable feat was achieved in a mere 4 weeks, and illustrates how popular the transition to Windows 10 has been. In comparison, Windows 8 took 7 months to reach 60 million installs. However, there are still concerns about Microsoft’s privacy policy in regards to snooping which could have reduced the potential uptake.

Nevertheless, 2.68 million devices per day are being updated to Windows 10 across 192 countries. Yusuf divulged a number of other intriguing statistics which help explain the scale of Windows 10 success. For example, more than 90,000 unique PCs or tablets have upgraded to Windows 10 including devices manufactured in 2007.  In terms of games, 10 million achievements have been unlocked and over 122 years of gameplay streamed from Xbox One to Windows 10 powered devices. On another note, Cortana has told over half a million jokes to amuse Windows 10 users. Also, the Windows Store has received 6 times more app downloads per device than Windows 8.

Microsoft’s free upgrade incentive has really helped push Windows 10 on such a wide scale. Hopefully, if they can reassure customers about their data usage plans, then the numbers could increase at a faster rate. Whatever the case, Windows 10 is a resounding success and Microsoft should be proud of this achievement.

Have you upgraded to Windows 10 yet?

GPU Shipments Fall 11% in Second Quarter

Jon Peddie Research has released a report outlining the declining shipments of GPUs in Q2 2015 which recorded a fairly significant drop of 11%. This figure accounts for discrete cards and APUs integrated into desktop and mobile form-factors. More specifically, dedicated GPUs performed quite poorly with a 16% reduction from the last quarter. According to the research, AMD’s shipments fell by 26% compared to NVIDIA which declined by 16%. Intel fared significantly better but still felt a hefty reduction at 7.4%.

However, there’s no immediate cause for alarm as the data reflects seasonal volume shifts. As a result, consumers could be waiting for the next line of budget GPUs such as the GTX 950 while high-end customers patiently save their money until HBM2 and 14nm products arrive.

Perhaps the most worrying statistic is AMD’s volume sales which reduced by 25.8% in the last quarter. The report says there was a 25% growth in APU volume but 53.3% decline in APU notebook deployment. Similarly, dedicated GPU sales fell by 33.3% whilst notebook GPU sales reported a 9.1% decline. In contrast to this, NVIDIA’s dedicated desktop GPU sales saw a quarterly decline of 12.03%, which indicates better performance during a difficult quarter.

Are you still holding out for the next GPU upgrade?

Thank you GamersNexus for providing us with this information.

Is HTC About to Go Under?

It seems like an age since HTC was the world’s smartphone market leader, long since usurped by Apple, Samsung, and Chinese upstarts Huawei and Xiaomi, and a horrendous crash in its stock value seems destined to cement the company’s position as the new Nokia.

HTC’s market price plummeted to NT$47 billion ($1.5 billion) on Monday, less than the NT$47.2 billion cash it boasted in June. Though the drop seems small, it marks a massive 9.8% fall in stock, signifying that investors consider the rest of the company has no value. As Calvin Huang of Sinopac Financial Holdings Co. in Taipei puts it, “HTC’s cash is the only asset of value to shareholders. Most of the other assets shouldn’t be considered in their valuation because there’s more write-offs to come and the brand has no value.” Sinopac has put an NT$46.50 price target on HTC’s shares.

HTC’s market capitalisation has been on the decline since 2011, during which year it exceeded NT$900 billion, and efforts to revitalise its brand with the One, Butterfly, and Desire smartphone models over the last four years have failed, leaving the manufacturer outside the top-10 smartphone producers in the world for the first time. Current sales are down 75% on its 2011 heyday.

Hopes of a recovery look increasingly slim, with third-quarter forecasts suggesting sales could fall to below 48% of estimates, leaving HTC taking a 35% cut to its projected earnings. Analysts are now predicting that the company’s bad luck will continue until at least 2017, forecasting two years of no profit.

“We think these efforts are not enough to turn HTC around in the next two years,” said Birdy Lu, analyst with Deutsche Bank AG. “HTC has little chance to compete with iPhone and Samsung given limited resources, and might continue to lose shares to Chinese brands in mid/low-end segment.”

If current trends continue, HTC could be not long for this world.

Thank you Bloomberg for providing us with this information.

Windows 10 Market Share Rises to 3.55 Percent

Despite some of the negative press surrounding Windows 10’s hidden snooping tools, the operating system appears to be roaring success and has extended its market share to 3.55 percent. The latest data comes from the weekly Statcounter report and shows a distinct shift from Windows 8.1 to Microsoft’s latest operating system. More specifically, Windows 8.1 dipped from 16.45 percent to 14.93 and Windows 7’s share reduced from 54.41 percent to 53.8.

These numbers are extremely impressive considering how new the operating system is and users are taking full advantage of the free upgrade incentive. Transferring customers from Windows 7 will be a more difficult task for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s a more desktop-orientated environment and doesn’t use the Metro interface. Secondly, Windows 7 is stable, fast and adopts a familiar user-interface most people are accustomed to. While Windows 10 implements the Metro style in a more desktop-friendly manner, it’s still integrated into the Start Menu.

Thankfully, users have a full year to initiate the upgrade process and within a few months, most of the glaring issues should have been resolved. Also, it will be fascinating to see how Microsoft responds to concerns about privacy and their data policy. Whatever the case, Windows 10 continues to expand its market share at a rather impressive pace.

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information.

Samsung Has Quite the Lead in the World of SSDs

Samsung isn’t always the first company that comes to mind when thinking of SSDs, but they are doing more than great in this area. The market research firm IHS recently released the report for the global SSD market in 2014 where Samsung takes a strong lead over the competition.

There isn’t much doubt that this was started with the 840 EVO series that brought a high-capacity drive with good performance and an unbeatable price for the time. Samsung hasn’t been sitting still since then and launched several successful drives and the new NVMe-based SM951 SSD will no doubt help to continue that trend and strengthen Samsung’s foothold.

Samsung claimed the first place with a 34% market share and a full year revenue of $ 3,996,000,000, that is about the same as Intel and Sandisk put together who come in on a second and third place respectively with around $1.9 billion revenue and a market share of 17%.

Micron comes in on a fourth place with a 8% market share, Toshiba grabs the fifth with 7% and Lite-On comes in on a sixth place with just 6% market share. What surprised me most was Kingston’s place 8th place and just a market share of 3%, they have a lot of amazing drives on the market.

IHS’s future predictions don’t look like they change a lot and that Samsung will continue down the road to even more market share. The total SSD market revenue of 2014 was an impressive 11.5 billion and it is expected to raise close to 2 billion this year.

Windows XP Has More Users than Windows 8.x, Not Bad for an OS That Is 14 Years Old

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there are still many people using Windows XP. Though, it may be surprising to learn that the desktop market share of the 14 year old OS has more market share than the recent Windows 8 versions (Win 8/ Win 8.1).

According to Net Application’s collected data Windows 8.x ended March with 14.07% of the market share for desktops. Windows XP ended the month with 16.94%, beating Windows 8.x by 2.87%.  Going back to November 2014 Windows 8.x had a combined market share of 18.65% against XP at 13.57%. Surprisingly November 2014 was the only month that Win 8.x beat out XP. This is pretty surprising given that XP is no longer officially supported by Microsoft, with support having been ended a year ago. Could this be the reason for Microsoft saying that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade? It would be a safe bet just by looking at the numbers, and with Windows 10 actually looking pretty great, it is a win for everyone.

Source: Hot Hardware

NVIDIA has 76% of GPU Market Share

It seems that NVIDIA is dominating the graphics card market as, according to the latest data from Jon Peddie Research (JPR), it has a whopping 76% GPU market share, leaving AMD with the remaining 24%, and Matrox and S3 utterly squeezed out.

However, overall graphics add-in-board (AIB, but otherwise known a graphics card) shipments for the last quarter have shrunk by 0.68% to 12.4 million units. AMD’s AIB shipment units have dropped 16%, while NVIDIA’s are up 5.5%.

Source: Tweaktown

Archos Confirms Plans to Release Windows Phone 8 Handset

Other OEMs are rumored to not be happy with Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s hardware and services division, which happens to be the largest OEM manufacturer in the world. Nokia’s Windows Phone has accounted for 92% of the entire markets share last year, though not a lot of OEMs made Windows Phone devices.

However, that’s about to change this year since Archos is planning to do a Windows Phone handset, since Archos CEO stated that it will launch a Windows Phone device when it believes ‘the time is right’. Well that time is this year, and it is just about right for it.

Archos CEO, Loic Poirier, believes that WP market is now mature enough to enter, though that doesn’t mean Archos is going to shift focus entirely from Android. Google’s mobile operating system will continue to be a major part of Archos’ future. Archos is not the only OEM that has committed to Windows Phone recently, both Alcatel and ZTE have announced their own plans as well.

This undoubtedly serves Microsoft’s interests, as it looks to expand Windows Phone’s market share, having more OEMs onboard will enable its platform to reach millions of potential customers in markets where it hasn’t been that strong.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo