Yeah, right, responded comScore. In the language of the smackdown, Alistair Hill, a comScore analyst, said, “I think somebody's missed something out on the math there...I find that hard to believe. We know iPhone users buy a lot more apps than anybody else, but that [Gartner’s finding] still doesn't work.”
Is Gartner right? Maybe. Maybe not. Gartner doesn’t survey the entire app universe, so there’s a chance some data is missing. But, Apple reported 2.5 billion app downloads in 2009. Averaging revenues on downloads, Apple would only need to generate $1.67 per app download, so Apple’s revenue could be legitimate. (Gartner, responding to a follow up from Ars Technica, defends its figures as accurate.)
If market research firm Gartner's numbers are even remotely in the ballpark, then Apple just socked Android in the face, knocked its rival down, and then tea-bagged the little green open-source fanboy. Harsh? You bet, but there's really no way else to describe dominating the $4.2 billion mobile app market by grabbing a 99.4 percent share, leaving just .6 percent for the also-rans.
"As smartphones grow in popularity and application stores become the focus for several players in the value chain, more consumers will experiment with application downloads," Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "Games remain the number one application, and mobile shopping , social networking, utilities, and productivity tools continue to grow and attract increasing amounts of money."
And most of it falls right into Apple's pocket. Even if Apple should lose some of its market share this year -- and it probably will -- the company still stands to make a king's ransom. According to Gartner, some 4.5 billion mobile apps will be sold in 2010, resulting in $6.8 billion in revenue. Jump ahead to 2013 and Gartner says there will be 21.6 billion apps sold for a total of $29.5 billion in revenue.
Market researcher Gartner is making the call: the six-year decline in PC prices will come to an end later this year, so get ready to pay more. The culprit: a shortage of components.
Manufacturers are facing two problems. Problem one: with prices falling (and the economy crashing), manufacturers have been scaling back on production, resulting in a shortage. Problem two: manufacturers are in the process of ramping up new production lines, and aren’t yet able to meet current demand.
A perfect example is memory. DRAM manufacturers are shedding DDR2 capacity and adding DDR3 capacity. This results in shortages in both, as DDR2 demands are going unheeded, while DDR3 demands are going unsatisfied. Memory makes up about ten percent of the overall cost of a PC, which makes significant the recent 23 percent jump in DDR3 spot prices.
Also in short supply: LCDs and hard drives, with prices for each expected to jump 20 percent. Optical drives are also getting harder to come by.
OEMs can absorb some of these cost increases, but with margins as thin as they are they can’t absorb them all. Some will be passed along to the consumer. How much remains to be seen.
Despite a spattering of optimistic sales reports, chip makers aren't out of the woods just yet. According to market research firm Gartner, worldwide chip revenues are on pace to post a 11.4 percent decline in 2009, which would mark the first time the semiconductor industry has ever seen a decline in two consecutive years, and the just the sixth time posting a decline in the last 25 years.
The struggles in the memory sector have been well documented this past year, but surprisingly, memory revenues declined significantly less than the entire semiconductor industry, Gartner says. What's more, Gartner is predicting a recovery for memory makers, largely a result of memory vendors slashing capital spending in the previous years and supply constraints pushing up prices.
Not all memory makers can look forward to 2010, however, According to Gartner, neither the recession or its recovery were felt equally by all semiconductor vendors. Qimonda, for example, was forced into bankruptcy and some of the weaker Taiwan-based players have had a tough go, which allowed most of the major vendors to pick up market share and, in some cases, report revenue growth.
Nevertheless, Gartner says 2009 goes on the record as one of the worst years for the semiconductor industry since the burst of the dot-com bubble in 2001.
Compared to 2008, the worldwide server market has certainly had its struggles this year. According to data released by market research firm Gartner, global server shipments tanked 17.1 percent over the same quarter one year ago, while revenues for the same period dropped 15.5 percent. But it's all about how you look at the numbers, Gartner points out.
"It is important to put the yearly declines into perspective," said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. "Looking at the third quarter results from the sequential perspective, they showed an increase of 13.8 percent in shipments and 10.2 percent in revenues when compared to the second quarter of this year. That suggests that the market as a whole is showing signs of stabilization as we move toward the end of 2009."
It terms of revenue, IBM lead all others in the worldwide server market for the quarter, claiming $3.38 billion. HP wasn't far behind with $3.2 billion in 3Q revenue, and then it drops off with Dell taking the third spot with $1.42 billion in revenue.
On the server shipment front, HP pumped out more servers in the third quarter than anyone else and now holds 32.1 percent of the market share. Dell came in second with a 22.8 percent share, and IBM a distant third with 12.8 percent.
One of the hottest trends in electronics right now is digital readers, but no matter how many companies jump on the bandwagon -- and several of them have -- prices will have to come down before the public embraces them, according to Gartner.
"At the moment it appears that $199 will be the lowest price for fully featured e-reading devices for the 2009 shopping season, but prices will need to drop closer to $99 to gain significant traction," Gartner noted.
At the same time, Gartner predicts e-reader "mania" in 2010, though getting to that point won't be without a few hurdles. The market research firm says a wider variety of retail channels is needed, and more publishers need to be seen buying into e-readers.
"It's the perfect time for a trial and to establish relationships with others in the value-chain -- that is service providers and digital warehouses -- that can be positioned to assist in a rapid deployment if the market takes off earlier than anticipated," Gartner added.
According to market research firm Gartner, worldwide software as a service (SaaS) revenue is on pace to reach $7.5 billion in 2009. That's a big turnaround from 2008 -- 17.7 percent, to be exact -- when revenue fell flat at $6.4 billion.
"The adoption of SaaS continues to grow and evolve within the enterprise application markets," said Sharon Mertz, research director at Gartner. "The composition of the worldwide SaaS landscape is evolving as vendors continue to extend regionally, increase penetration within existing accounts and ‘greenfield’ opportunities, and offer more-vertical-specific solutions as part of their service portfolio or through partners."
But that's not the only good news. Gartner says the market will show consistent growth at least through 2013, by which time SaaS revenue is expected to exceed $14 billion in the enterprise sector.
Google's open source Android platform will turn one year old later this month, and according to Gartner, the OS is about to hit a major growth spurt. While Android can be found on less than 2 percent of all smartphones today, Gartner predicts a seven-fold increase in global Android-based handsets by 2012.
That would put Android in second place, trailing only the Symbian OS, which today accounts for nearly half of all smartphones but is expected to drop to 39 percent in 2010, Gartner says.
Gartner acknowledges that T-Mobile's G1 -- the first Android-based smartphone -- was met with a mixed response among consumers, but the research firm believes Google's continued backing of Android and its focus on cloud computing capabilities will propel the platform to 14 percent of the smartphone market in just a couple of years.
"Google's other up-and-coming consumer and enterprise products should make [Android] a dominant platform," Ken Dulaney, VP of Gartner Research, told ComputerWorld in an interview.
Dulaney also predicts that there could be as many as 40 models of Android devices shipping in 2010.
According to Gartner, Inc., a business technology research company, cell phone sales totaled 286.1 million units during the second quarter of this year – a 6.1 percent decrease over the second quarter of last year. But, smart phone sales picked up considerable steam surpassing 40 million units in sales, a 27 percent increase from the second quarter of last year.
“Despite the challenging market, some devices sold well as consumers who would usually have purchased standard midrange devices either cut back to less expensive handsets or moved up the range to get more features for their money,” stated Carolina Milanesi, a research director at Gartner. “Touchscreen and qwerty devices remained a major driver for replacement sales and benefited manufacturers with strong, touch-focused midtier devices. However, the decline in average selling price (ASP) accelerated in the first half of the year and particularly affected manufacturers that focus on midtier and low-end devices, where margins are already slim.”
A great deal of this is credited to Apple’s expansion to a larger number of countries, which has had a clear effect on volume. Still though, companies like Nokia with their N97 and Research In Motion (RIM) with their popular BlackBerry line continued to dominate the number one and two positions respectively.
Even Gartner’s numbers confirmed that the PC market didn’t decline as sharply as was expected. Gartner had feared a very steep decline of 9.8%, but its crystal ball eventually turned out to be way off the mark. According to Gartner, PC shipments declined by 5%.
IDC expects the PC market to put its horror run behind by the end of 2009. "New product launches in the second half of the year combined with seasonal growth and greater economic confidence resulting from factors such as government stimulus, a more liquid housing market, relatively stable stock market and interest rates, and progress in the auto and financial industries, should support the expected return to growth by year-end,” said Loren Loverde, the program director for IDC's PC tracking unit.