Looks like the party's over, folks: Global PC sales set to shrink as Windows 10 upgrade cycle tails off, says Gartner - The Register - Canada News Media
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Looks like the party's over, folks: Global PC sales set to shrink as Windows 10 upgrade cycle tails off, says Gartner – The Register

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Smartphone shipments slightly up, personal computers to resume historical trends

What goes up must come down, or so it seems for the PC market.

The mini recovery in global shipments we have seen over the last year is forecast to be short-lived by analyst shop Gartner, and it’s mostly because many businesses have done the heavy upgrade work to Windows 10 by now.

Roughly 261 million computers were sold into channels globally last year, according to Gartner and this was up 0.6 per on 2018. It was the first time in eight years that the analyst has recorded an annual increase.

Those cheers of joy – at least from Lenovo, HP Inc and Dell, for it was only those three that grew – may now turns to anguish, that is if they give any credibility to Gartner forecast for devices sales in the coming year.

Traditional computers are reckoned to notch up 178.27 million sales this year, and premium ultra-mobiles by some 72.52 million. The numbers indicate the classic PC space will shrink by four per cent globally year-on-year. As is always the case with analyst forecasts, the stats are subject to quarterly changes.

The driving force behind last year’s shipment was business machines: after three years of growth on the back of a Windows 10 refresh cycle, activity will be muted over the course on this calendar year.

Gartner said that replacement levels will decrease, though reckons pockets of growth will exist, namely in China, and the “long tail” of upgrades in the small and medium-seized business communities that are reacting retrospectively to Microsoft ending support for Windows 7.

Looking farther ahead, the research house said the total PC market will drop to 246.68 million units in 2021 and fall to 241.7 million the following year. “The PC market’s future is unpredictable because there will not be a Windows 11,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner.

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He said Windows 10 will instead be upgraded systematically via regular updates. “As a result, peaks in PC hardware upgrade cycles driven by an entire Windows OS upgrade will end”.

Feeding into the overall electronic device shipping forecast for 2020 of 2.16 billion units, compared to 2.15 billion last year, is a return to growth for smartphones. Handset sales are said to expand 1.7 per cent to 1.776 billion in the coming year. Asia Pacific and 5G are said to be the reasons for this growth, though that doesn’t seem certain.

China’s economy is softer than in recent years and not everyone, including the GSMA, thinks the fifth generation mobile network will spur purchases. Atwal said 5G models will make up 12 per cent of total shipments in 2020 and reach 44 per cent by 2021 as prices fall and carrier coverage rises.

2019 was a bad year for phone sales, particularly for Apple, as a lack of compelling upgrade reasons saw customers extend the life of their gadgets and keep their money in their pocket. ®

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Apple’s iPhone 9 release is set for March, but the coronavirus outbreak could be a big problem – BGR

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The coronavirus outbreak is far from being contained with the official number of cases sitting at 4,474, a dramatic increase over Monday’s count. The death toll reached 107, although the good news is that more patients fully recovered. Researchers from Hong Kong said their models show the real number of infected people is in the tens of thousands, significantly higher than the number of confirmed cases. China is putting a massive effort to curb the spread of the virus, but 2019-nCoV has reached other continents, with cases being reported in the US, Japan, Korea, Australia, France, German, and other Asian countries.

Wuhan is still closed off, and people are advised not to travel near the area. Schools and universities nationwide are not to resume activities, and transportation in China has been restricted — Hong Kong announced plans to cut transportation to mainland China, per BBC. A prolonged shutdown of cities and activities in China, which supplies many of the world’s goods, including high-end electronics like the iPhone, might hinder product launches in the near future.

Several new products are expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks, starting with the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip phones in early February, and the new PlayStation 5 later that month. In late February, the world’s most important smartphone makers will meet in Barcelona, Spain, to unveil a new generation of smartphones, tablets, and computers. Many vendors will come from China for the event, and many of those devices will be manufactured in the region. Then, in March, Huawei is expected to launch the P40 Pro series at an event in Paris, with the phone set to launch first in China. Apple is widely expected to launch in March the iPhone 9, also known as the iPhone SE2, a device that should hit stores soon after the official launch.

The coronavirus might impact in one way or another all of these products, assuming cities will remain locked down as authorities work on a vaccine. According to Bloomberg, Apple is expected to start iPhone 9 production in February, and production could be impacted by the outbreak.

The main iPhone assemblers are Foxconn and Pegatron, both located more than 500 kilometers from the Wuhan region, but distance alone won’t ensure the virus won’t spread.

“Supply chain disruption is a worry if employees across Foxconn and other component manufacturing hubs in China are restricted,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told Bloomberg. “If the China outbreak becomes more spread, it could negatively impact the supply chain, which would be a major investor worry.”

Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, said it’s monitoring the situation and following all recommended health practices. The company added that it has measures in place to ensure that it can continue manufacturing products.

A person familiar with Apple’s supply chain said the company is prepared for extreme scenarios, and has significant components dual-sourced, in terms of vendors and geography. Therefore, an immediate impact on Apple’s iPhone production isn’t expected.

The coronavirus is already expected to impact the world’s economy this year, not just China, The Washington Post explains. Extending holidays and banning travel will have immediate negative effects on Asian countries and impact the global economy. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1.6% on Monday, while South Korea’s and Japan’s stock markets too similar plunges, at 3% and 2.5%, respectively, as investors brace for the coronavirus’s effects. China’s markets remain closed for the holidays.

Image Source: Kin Cheung/AP/Shutterstock

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he’s not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Apple supply chain braces for disruption from coronavirus – BNNBloomberg.ca

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Apple Inc.’s China-centric manufacturing base is at risk of disruption after the Lunar New Year holiday as the company’s partners confront the coronavirus outbreak that has gripped the country and caused more than 100 deaths.

Virtually all of the world’s iPhones are made in China, primarily by Foxconn’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. at its so-called iPhone City in Zhengzhou and by Pegatron Corp. at an assembly site near Shanghai. Each of those locations is more than 500 kilometers away from Wuhan in central China, the epicenter of the viral outbreak, but that distance doesn’t immunize them from its effects.

“I can’t imagine a scenario where the supply chain isn’t disrupted,” said veteran industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. “If there’s one major hiccup in the raw materials, fabrication, assembly, test, and shipping, it will be a disruption.”

Apple has been increasing production to meet higher-than-anticipated iPhone demand, Bloomberg News reported last week. The company typically launches its new high-end iPhones around September, so the virus is unlikely to have meaningful impact on those plans, however the company is also preparing to begin mass production of a new low-cost iPhone in February, which is more at risk.

Apple has roughly 10,000 direct employees in China, across its retail and corporate entities. Its supply chain also has a few million workers manufacturing products like the iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. Many of those employees have been home the past few days for the holiday, and the company hasn’t said if it is asking them to stay home for longer to prevent the virus spreading. Chinese authorities have imposed severe travel restrictions and taken the drastic step of quarantining the entire city of Wuhan, a population of more than 11 million.

“Supply chain disruption is a worry if employees across Foxconn and other component manufacturing hubs in China are restricted,” said analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities Inc. “If the China outbreak becomes more spread it could negatively impact the supply chain which would be a major investor worry.”

An Apple spokeswoman declined a request for comment.

Foxconn said it is monitoring the situation in China and following all recommended health practices. It declined to comment on production in specific locations but said, “We can confirm that we have measures in place to ensure that we can continue to meet all global manufacturing obligations.”

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus are rising in Henan province — home to Zhengzhou facility — which may lead Hon Hai or the government to close factories to prevent further contamination, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Kanterman wrote. The province accounted for a quarter of China’s smartphone exports last year, while China’s exports make up 27% of global smartphone sales, he said, citing government and IDC data. Foxconn is estimated to account for more than 60% of Henan’s total trade.

The Cupertino, California-based company prepares for extreme scenarios such as the coronavirus by mandating that major components be dual-sourced — both in terms of vendors and geography — and a major immediate impact to its production plans is unlikely for now, according to a person familiar with its operations. Even so, the vast majority of its assembly work is done in China, and so a shortage of workers for assembly lines will have a direct impact on shipment numbers.

Apple put the redundancy policy in place after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan and led to component constraints for the iPad 2 that the company launched that year.

While Apple doesn’t have any stores in Wuhan, it does have dozens of retail locations across the Chinese mainland. The company hasn’t announced any closures yet, however it has shortened the opening hours of several stores in the country through Feb. 7, according to a review of its retail website. That shift could be due to the Chinese government extending the lunar holiday as a means to control the virus.

Along with its local workforce, Apple also relies on many of its U.S. staff going back and forth across the Pacific Ocean, with United Airlines Inc. last year revealing the company was spending US$35 million per year flying employees between San Francisco and Shanghai alone. That included 50 daily business-class seats, according to the airline. How the virus outbreak may affect the research and development efforts that those trips facilitate has yet to be established.

Investors and analysts will be looking to Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to make comments on the virus and its impact on Apple during Tuesday’s conference call to discuss the latest quarterly financial results. Cook tweeted over the weekend that Apple “will be donating to groups on the ground helping support all of those affected” by the virus.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks set for longest losing streak in four months as China virus spreads – Reuters Africa

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* EM stocks index set for fourth straight day of declines

* China coronavirus death toll passes 100

* Investors anxious about economic fallout from outbreak

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Jan 28 (Reuters) – Emerging market equities declined for a fourth straight session on Tuesday, set for their longest losing streak in four months, on rising worries about the economic impact from a virus outbreak in China as the death toll rose.

MSCI’s index for emerging market equities fell 0.7%, tracking stock market losses across Asia.

The coronavirus spreading across China claimed its first victim in Beijing, as the death toll rose to 106. A wave of risk aversion swept over global markets as investors worried about the potential impact of the outbreak on the world’s second-biggest economy.

“We are in the acute phase of the crisis, which means everyday there are reports of new contagions, new countries reporting cases… so the market will react to that and continue to adjust itself in a bearish direction,” said Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities in London.

“Now, is this going to be the reality by the end of the crisis? Probably not. The market is over reacting because it is still too early to determine the economic impact.”

Emerging market assets had received a boost on hopes of a pickup in economic growth after the United States and China reached an initial trade agreement, but analysts said an unexpected growth shock could leave them vulnerable to a renewed downturn.

In South Africa, beleaguered power utility Eskom said installing all the technology needed to meet stricter emissions rules coming into force in April could take the company two decades.

State-owned Eskom, mired in financial crisis and struggling to meet demand, is the top polluter in Africa’s most industrialised economy.

The South African rand fell against the dollar, reversing an earlier rise, as a weak domestic outlook continued to weigh on sentiment.

South African stocks fell 0.4%, while Russian stocks lost 0.3%.

Russia’s rouble strengthened slightly, in line with steadying oil prices.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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