Up to this point, Acer has been able to sit on top of the netbook hill with a comfortable market lead over its competitors, and while Acer will probably maintain a shipment advantage throughout 2010, other vendors are quickly closing the gap, DigiTimes reports.
Acer managed to ship about 9 million netbooks last year, almost double that of its nearest competitor (Asus), who shipped 5.4 million. Meanwhile, HP and Samsung shipped 4.2 million and 2.9 million units respectively in 2009, posing no real threat to Acer's No. 1 spot. That's about to change.
Acer recently indicated it expects mostly flat performance on its netbook shipments in 2010, or slight growth in a best case scenario. That leaves the door open for Asus to close the gap, who reckons it will ship 8 million units this year. Samsung and HP also expect better performance in the coming months and hope to finish the year with 7-8 million and 6 million units, respectively.
Talk about ending the week with a bang. HP on Friday announced five point-and-shoot digital cameras and three camcorders, all eight of which are aimed at the mainstream crowd and priced no higher than $199. What's most remarkable about this is that half the new models sport a touchscreen display.
Of particular interest are the V5061u and V5560u camcorders. Both come with 3-inch touchscreen LCD displays and are some of the least expensive touch-enabled camcorders around capable of shooting in 1080p. The V5560 adds 5X optical zoom to the mix and runs $199, while the V5061u is priced at $169.
On the point-and-shoot front, the CW450t ($109) and PW460t ($149) boast 2.7-inch and 3-inch touchscreen displays, respectively, along with a newly designed touch interface for viewing photos with a swipe of a finger. Both also boast 4X optical zoom and support up to 32GB SD/SDHC memory.
QLogic recently announced that HP will add stackable QLogic 8Gbps Fibre Channel SAN switches to its server and storage portfolio for small and midsized businesses.
"QLogic continues to innovate and lead the way in Fibre Channel stackable switch solutions," said Jesse Parker, vice president and general manager, Network Solutions Group, QLogic. "Our 8Gb Fibre Channel switches provide industry-leading performance while allowing businesses to build scalable SANs with minimal business disruption at considerably lower costs and significantly reduced complexity."
The new switches, which come with 20 Fibre Channel ports on each one, are expected to replace Cisco's 4GB units, though not all at once. QLogic's switches can be stacked up to six per cluster, giving businesses 120 ports and up to 24 20Gbps interswitch link ports.
Sometimes relationships just don't work out, and that's the case between Cisco and Hewlett Packard. As InfoWorld reports it, Cisco was the one breaking things off, saying it will not renew its systems integrator contract with HP, effectively ending HP's status as a certified reseller and service partner.
"Over the last few years, our relationship with HP has evolved from a partner to companies with different and conflicting visions of how to deliver value to our customers," Keith Goodwin, senior VP of Cisco's Worldwide Partner Organization, said during a Webcast. "We've already reached out to HP to begin the discussion around a new agreement that ensures business continuity for existing customers but better reflects the current state of our relationship."
Cisco said it would continue to make good on its current customer service contracts with HP until they expire, but that doesn't mean there isn't any animosity between Cisco and HP. During the Webcast, Goodwin threw a jab at HP, saying the company no longer "aligns" with its "network-centric vision."
HP on Wednesday posted its first quarter financial results for 2010, noting net revenue of $31.2 billion, up 8 percent for a year ago and 5 percent when adjusted for the effects of currency.
"HP is well-positioned to outperform the market," said Mark Hurd, HP chairman and chief executive officer. "The strength of our portfolio, leaner cost structure, and accelerating market momentum give us the confidence to raise our full-year outlook."
It was a good quarter for HP's printer, enterprise storage and servers, and Personal Systems Group sectors, each of which posted increases in revenue, with the biggest bump a 26 percent hike in PSG. That's a different scenario from last quarter, when most of HP's main businesses posted declining sales.
In a deal first announced in November 2009, the European Commission has notified HP that it will not stand in the way of the company's $2.7 billion bid to acquire 3Com.
"The Commission concluded that the concentration would be unlikely to riase competition concerns," the EC said in a statement, adding that "the merged company would continue to face a number of global and effective competitors, giving customers the choice from a range of alternative providers for switches and routers."
No conditions were attached to the approval, and HP said it expects to close the deal by the end of June. However, China's competition regulator, the Ministry of Commerce, or Mofcom, hasn't yet ruled on the takeover, though the deal doesn't pose much threat to competition in China.
Both companies build networking products and by adding 3Com to its portfolio, HP will increase its position in the core networking space, as well as increase its competition with Cisco Systems.
Acer's never been shy about its plans to become the world's largest PC maker, but as it turns out, gunning for that No. 1 spot, at least in terms of notebook shipments, might be harder than the OEM thought.
In the last quarter of 2009, Acer shipped about 9.5 million notebooks, an impressive number, but not as impressive as the 11.38 million units HP managed to ship out. That gives HP a bit of breathing room after Acer previously closed the gap to 1.05 million units (the narrowest it's ever been) when it shipped 9.91 million units in the third quarter, compared to Acer's 8.86 million.
HP has the North American market to thank for increasing its lead, due mostly to a series of sales promotions during the holiday shopping season, including a sub-$300 mainstream notebook.
Looking ahead, HP expects to ship 44 million notebooks in 2010, while Acer will push its ultra-thin line in an attempt to move beyond its original goal of 40 million units.
IBM attributed its ability to lure customers away to its Migration Factory program introduced four years ago. Since that time, IBM says it's been able help nearly 2,200 companies switch to IBM systems from Sun and HP.
All in all, it's been a good year for IBM. The company managed to increase the revenue generated from Power Systems from competitive displacements of customers in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $200 million, which amounts to more than $600 million in sales from UNIX competitive takeouts for IBM in 2009, the company said.
We know you're anxious to learn all about Apple's upcoming tablet, and you will, but not until tomorrow morning when Steve Jobs plans to announce "a major new product that we're really excited about." So even though it might be pretty poor timing on HP's part, there's a new video making the rounds on the Web in which Phil McKinney, CTO of HP's Personal Systems Group, answers a few questions about his company's upcoming HP Slate.
Most of the video deals with the Slate's background and history, and we learn that HP first began working the tablet concept five years ago "around the concept of an e-reader platform." Based in part on user feedback requesting rich media content, the initial concept evolved into the Slate, McKinney says.
"What we predict is that users are looking for that consolidated device, that one device that they can use really as their ultimate content consumption experience," McKinney explains. "And also we saw this gap in the marketplace north of kind of what a smartphone was and smaller than the netbook and notebook. They wanted something thin and light, but again, allowing them to have that rich media experience."
According to McKinney, the Slate will be every bit as good as the current e-book readers on the market, but also capable of a whole lot more. What he didn't say, however, is what kind of hardware you can expect, though he did describe 2010 as the optimal year for the Slate because of a "perfect storm of innovation" consisting of a convergence of "low cost, low power processors, Win 7 with an operating system that is touch aware, the ability to create these kind of platforms with new kinds of touch technologies and hit that price point."
HP this week announced a new security services portfolio crammed full of over 90 services representing a mix of application, identity, cloud computing, managed services for businesses and government, and more.
"Organizations want to enable new models of collaboration inside and outside of their organizations, but can only do so if they comprehensively address security vulnerabilities," said Gary M. Budzinski, senior vice president and general manager, Technology Services, HP. "HP provides a heritage of trust and integrity that is key for a security services vendor, with deep capabilities that cover the security needs of simple to the most complex environments."
To make the services easiers to understand and less costly, HP said the portfolio uses the HP Information Security Service Management (ISSM) reference model, and IT Infrastructure LIbrary (ITIL) based architecture.