Someone at Asus deserves a raise. We're talking about whoever it was that convinced the company it was a good idea to put so much time and energy into the netbook market, because that strategy has paid off in a big way. For the first time ever, Asus has positioned itself as one of the top 5 PC makers in the world, and it's mostly due to Eee PC sales.
Market research firm IDC crunched the numbers and determined that IBM is the market share leader in Social Platforms, at least in terms of total software revenue.
According to the report, which IBM is plenty eager to share with anyone who will listen, worldwide revenue for the social platforms market climbed to nearly $370 million in 2009, representing a growth rate of over 55 percent.
"Social software helps enterprises define their collaboration agenda," said Alistair Rennie, general manager, IBM Lotus Software. "The use of social software can transform the way people work increasing the speed of business."
As far as IDC is concerned, the social platforms market includes IBM Lotus Connections, as well as its cloud-based LotusLive Connections toolset, IBM said.
Cloud computing has proved to be more than a passing fad, and though the common perception is that public clouds are where it's at, private clouds hold a slight edge, according to a recent survey.
Market research firm IDC pinged IT executives about their penchant for cloud computing, and somewhat surprisingly, 55 percent said that a private cloud was more desireable than a public one. By comparison, only 22 percent said they found both types equally appealing.
"If you scoff at the idea of a private cloud, you're in peril," said Frank Gens, an IDC chief analyst. "But public clouds will drive a lot of solutions, so don't be too cocky if you're a private- cloud evangelist. Virtually every customer, at least from the midmarket up, will have a mix of both."
Cloud computing is a booming market, and will continue to grow, said IDC. In 2009, revenue from IT cloud services climbed above $16 billion, and is expected to reach $55.5 billion in 2014.
NetApp was another top gainer with a massive 47.4% year-over-year increase in revenues. It is now within touching distance of second-ranked IBM. In fact, the first quarter proved fruitful for the entire industry. The total disk storage market witnessed year-over-year growth of 18.8% in factory revenues, which rose to $6.7 billion .
"The worldwide disk storage systems market is off to a strong start in Q1 2010, based on year-over-year growth, although annual comparisons are less indicative of market performance given the 2009 economic crisis," said Natalya Yezhkova, research manager, Storage Systems at IDC. "As such, sequential comparisons can provide more information on a market recovery. Although the market declined in Q1 2010 compared to Q4 2009, the decline was lower than usual. This is a positive sign, suggesting increased storage budgets and continued demand for storage solutions."
Tablet shipments will reach 7 million units by the end of the year and exceed 46 million in 2014, representing a sixfold increase, market research firm IDC reported on Thursday.
Apple's iPad will be the driving force in pushing tablets to the masses, but so too will tablets becoming differentiated from PCs and smartphones, said Suasan Kevorkian, program director at IDC. According to Kevorkian, apps, content, and services designed for tablets will increase the divide between these devices.
IDC's numbers might even be a bit conservative. Apple has already sold over a million iPads, and that was just in the first 28 days, and also before the international launch. In addition, several other players are taking aim at the tablet market, including Hewlett-Packard, Asus, Lenovo, and others, all with different screen sizes and OSes (Android, webOS, and Windows).
As the economy picks up, so too does the demand for cloud computing hardware, says market research firm IDC. In a report released this week, IDC said it expects server revenue for private cloud computing to grow from $7.3 billion (2009) to $11.8 billion in 2014.
The public cloud market, which is a significantly smaller segment, is also on pace to experience growth, with IDC predicting a rise in revenue from $582 million to $718 million the same time period.
"Now is a great time for many IT organizations to begin seriously considering this technology and employing public and private clouds in order to simplify sprawling IT environments," said Kathernie Broderick, research analyst, Enterprise Platforms and Datacenter Trends.
On a related note, the IDC report notes that public clouds won't see the same broad adoption as private clouds, partly because the public sector will be less enterprise focused.
Rebounding from a market contraction in the first quarter of 2009, mobile phone shipments surged by 21.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010, according to market research firm IDC. Increased demand for smartphones played a big role in overall mobile phone performance, with vendors shipping 249.9 million units in Q1 of this year compared to 242.4 million in Q1 2009.
The growing demand for smartphones also helped Research In Motion (RIM) wiggle its way into the top 5 vendor rankings for the first time ever. RIM jumped ahead of Motorola to tie Sony Ericsson for the No. 4 spot in IDC's 1Q10 vendor rankings.
"The entrance of RIM into the top 5 underscores the sustained smartphone growth trend that is driving the global mobile phone market recovery," noted Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker. "This is also the first time a vendor has dropped out of the top 5 since the second quarter of 2005, when Sony Ericsson grabbed the number 5 spot from BenQ Siemens."
IDC predicts the worldwide mobile phone market rebound will last throughout 2010, though not necessarily at the same clip as the first quarter performance.
"We are still expecting growth of 11 percent for 2010," IDC said.
According to research firm IDC, PC microprocessor shipments were up 39% in the first quarter, when compared to last year. The quarter by quarter numbers were better than expected as well. There is usually a decline from the holiday season into the first quarter, but it was more modest than most years. This could be yet another sign of a recovering tech sector.
This jives nicely with Intel's recently reported profits. The chip maker managed to pull in $2.4 billion in Q1. That's a 288% improvement over last year. Additionally, Intel inched up another 0.5% in market share to 81%. AMD on the other hand lost market share in all form factors.
IDC is predicting continued growth in the CPU market as the year goes on. They base this on expected IT spending, which makes up a sizable proportion of computer sales. Have you noticed new hardware rolling out in your place of business?
You knew the run would have to stop at some point. After all, as explosive as the netbook market has been in the past couple of years, the segment can't continue to grow forever. But has the netbook craze peaked?
IDC believes it has and later this week will release figures that back this claim, CNet reports. The figures will show a decline in Atom processor shipments as a percentage of Intel mobile chips, which is a 180 from before when Atom chips continued to swallow larger percentages of mobile chip shipments every quarter.
"Atom in netbooks is plateauing," Sane Rau, an analyst at IDC, said in a phone interview with CNet. "With the market recovery, I think end users are going to look for more value than just low-cost devices. This is an opportunity for higher-end mobile PCs, for example, that have better performance, bigger screens, bigger hard drives."
Citing figures to be published later this week, Rau says that Atom processors as a percentage of Intel mobile chips fell to 20.3 percent compared in the first quarter of this year, compared with 24.3 percent in th fourth quarter of last year and 23.5 percent in the third quarter.
PCs are starting to sell in a big way again, according to the latest data released by market research firm IDC. The worldwide PC market grew by 24.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010, representing a dramatic turnaround from one year ago when the market declined by 7 percent.
"The strong first quarter builds on the fourth quarter rebound and shows rising confidence in the PC supply chain and commercial client base along with persistent demand from consumers," said Loren Loverde, vice president, IDC Worldwide Trackers. "The commercial gains are a cornerstone of market rebound that we have been expecting and are now seeing in the data."
For the most part, the PC market has suffered through a series of quarterly declines dating back to the third quarter of 2008. IDC attributed the recent upswing to the continued recovery in emerging markets, improved business segments, and the growth of specialized products such as all-in-one PCs.
All the major PC vendors benefited from the growth, but none more than Lenovo, which saw a 58.3 percent year-over-year increase in sales. Not surprising, Acer wasn't far behind with a 42.5 percent increase.