ru_slider

ru_icon_slider

CONTEXT Research Updates deliver timely insights on key market segments.

  • PCs
  • Displays
  • Imaging
  • Enterprise
  • 3D Printing

PC Research update


Mobile PCs continue strong revenue performance in Q3 but falter compared to 2020

London, 29 October 2021 – European sales through distribution for tablets and notebooks trended significantly higher than 2019 figures in Q3, but desktops continued to struggle to recover to 2019 levels, according to the latest data from CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.


Displays




London, 9 April 2021 – Sales of large-format displays (LFDs) in Western Europe (WE) during 2020 were significantly affected by the pandemic and there have been little signs of recovery in early Q1 2021, according to the latest data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company. Declining sales reflected the impact of lockdown measures as LFDs are heavily used in public settings. On the positive side, sales of interactive displays remained relatively stable and have begun to grow in the last few months.


Imaging


Printer revenues fall over summer due to price increases and supply issues

London, 22 September 2021 – Printer sales revenues across Europe have slowed over the summer – due to pressures on price, supply and logistics – but a September rebound is on the cards, according to the latest data from CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.


Enterprise


European enterprise networking market has a solid start in Q4 despite supply chain issues

London, 02 November 2021 – European revenue sales of enterprise networking equipment are on an upward trend in the last 4 weeks after a lower than expected Q3 performance, while Enterprise storage revenues are on par with last year’s results but the server market has continued to slump, according to CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.


3D Printing


Global Industrial 3D Printer Shipments accelerated in H1 but still not back to pre-Covid levels

Fantastic year-on-year growth of 61% and +43% in Industrial and Design price-class printer shipments in Q2 2021 but levels still -10% and -5% below those of Q2 2019

London, 12 October 2021 – New 3D printer shipments continued to accelerate in Q2 2021 in both long-standing verticals, such as dental and aerospace, and new markets eager to explore technologies which can help mitigate current and future supply-chain hiccups, according to latest market insights by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.




Mobile PCs continue strong revenue performance in Q3 but falter compared to 2020

London, 29 October 2021 – European sales through distribution for tablets and notebooks trended significantly higher than 2019 figures in Q3, but desktops continued to struggle to recover to 2019 levels, according to the latest data from CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

CONTEXT’s Index Revenue Trend shows mobile PCs trending significantly higher than 2019 figures for the whole of 2021 year-to-date, and ticking up at the end of the third quarter. However, they recorded a year-on-year drop in revenue sales of 4% (notebooks) and 7% (tablets) due to strong 2020 comparatives. The exceptional performance last year was driven by rapid growth in remote working and studying, and government investment in the education sector.

Desktop revenue sales recorded a small improvement at the end of Q3 but overall have trended below 2019 figures all year so far. However, recent year-on-year recovery has come in some countries such as Italy, the UK and France on the back of strong declines in 2020.

Education ups and downs

“Government spending on school notebooks and tablets increased across Europe in 2020 as the pandemic struck and pupils were forced to take lessons at home”, said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at CONTEXT. “However, performance and education mix was quite varied across the region. Very often, sales growth depended on individual deals, levels of funding and whether distribution was the main go-to-market route for education sales.”

 

In the UK and Italy, current performance in the sector is below 2020 levels because of generous government investment last year. In the UK, centralised government funding promised to supply 1.4 million devices to schools, with a large proportion fulfilled through distribution and more still to come. Germany is trending in line with last year but the mix for the education sector is very low and there has been no significant rise in sales despite government funding.

Spain is also unusual in that it is trending strongly above 2020 despite last year also seeing strong performance. Whilst 2020 was dominated by larger education projects, we’re now seeing a raft of smaller deals. In Q3, revenue sales growth was driven by a vendor deal with a government agency.






London, 9 April 2021 – Sales of large-format displays (LFDs) in Western Europe (WE) during 2020 were significantly affected by the pandemic and there have been little signs of recovery in early Q1 2021, according to the latest data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company. Declining sales reflected the impact of lockdown measures as LFDs are heavily used in public settings. On the positive side, sales of interactive displays remained relatively stable and have begun to grow in the last few months.

In early Q1 2021*, increased demand for cheaper LFDs coupled with reduced average selling prices (ASPs) helped to drive sales growth at the cost of revenues: overall sales declined by −1% year-on-year while revenues fell by more than −6%. Sales of displays whose ASPs fell noticeably – those with 75" and 65" screens – grew in early Q1 but, in the meantime, those of more mainstream models with 55" screens continued to fall.

Large format displays: volume sales and year-on-year growth, WE distribution

Lockdown definitely put brakes on an LFD market that was thriving in 2019; however, the last twelve months have also shown that collaboration is vital to deliver results during a pandemic. This has resulted in sales of interactives screens quickly returning to pre-pandemic levels once companies established new ways of working By Q4, these models were in higher demand and the trend has continued into early Q1 with +37% year-on-year growth in volume sales and +12% growth in revenues. It appears the pandemic has accelerated modernising and digitalisation in education as well as business; classrooms across Europe are being equipped with collaboration tools as schools and universities develop creative learning approaches for remote- and hybrid-learning environments. The challenges these ways of working pose for both teachers and students require new hardware and software. Despite economic slowdowns and shrinking government budgets, many countries have realised that investment in public education is now more important than ever. Sales of touchscreen displays designed for collaboration and classroom use more than doubled in Italy and Spain during early Q1 2021. Distributors in the UK, Germany and France saw less spectacular – but still good – increases (10- 15%). Price drops again played an important role in spurring demand, with significant reductions in the prices of many popular interactive displays – in some cases, models cost as much as −20% less than in 2019.

Interactive displays: year-on-year sales growth and ASP, WE distribution

The outlook for the industry is positive, despite the difficult environment which means the pace of recovery may remain slow. There are opportunities for the LFD industry as lockdowns gradually ease, societies begin to reopen, and the world finds out what the new normal will be. Digital signage will definitely be an effective tool for many restaurants, shops and large venues facing challenges such as safe and efficient communication and indoor traffic management. LFDs and interactive screens are likely to become integral parts of public spaces: necessities rather than novelties. The sector therefore has a good chance of making a full recovery – especially if current opportunities to innovate and contribute are fully realised.

‘* excludes last week of March 2021




Printer revenues fall over summer due to price increases and supply issues

As of week 34, CONTEXT’s Revenue Trend Index for refillable ink-tank devices remained above 120, meaning that revenue is more than 20% higher than the average for 2019. This compares well with the performance of inkjet machines, for which the same measure stood below 80.

 

Ink-tank devices are refilled with ink supplied in bottles, and the tanks have a higher capacity than traditional cartridges. Although the printer hardware has a higher upfront cost, the price per page is significantly lower, making them more cost-effective. They therefore became an increasingly popular choice among consumers during the pandemic. In recent weeks, sales have also benefitted from stock levels that remain relatively good, unlike those of cartridge printers.

 

The recent performance of ink-tank printers has been particularly impressive in Germany, France and Italy, which together account for around 40% of European revenue from this type of device.

 

Consumer vs business

 

Business sales have rebounded after a tough year and revenue began to increase from around week 21, thanks to office re-openings and rebalanced budgets. However, it started to slide again in July and the holiday season exacerbated the trend.

 

The continuing shortage of components and raw materials means vendors will be seeking to make the best use of available components to optimise profits. They are thus likely to alter their mix of offerings toward products such as business printers that generate higher margins. A further incentive to shift production in this direction comes from increasing demand for business models as large private and public projects resume alongside new projects that will further stimulate sales in the segment.

 

Underperformance of the consumer market in Q2 2021 was also a consequence of the supply shortages. Shipments did increase towards the end of the quarter, meeting pent-up demand, and remained high in July. This, along with suppliers raising prices, led to the revenue index growing from week 22. However, revenues fell significantly again in August as demand dropped and the global component shortage left manufacturers competing for limited materials, with ink cartridges and inkjet printers particularly affected.

 

Raw material shortages and logistics challenges are forcing prices up and reducing revenues across the industry. Should the situation improve in September, it is not unreasonable to anticipate a rebound in sales – particularly those of entry- and mid-level devices aimed at consumers




European enterprise networking market has a solid start in Q4 despite supply chain issues

London, 02 November 2021 – European revenue sales of enterprise networking equipment are on an upward trend in the last 4 weeks after a lower than expected Q3 performance, while Enterprise storage revenues are on par with last year’s results but the server market has continued to slump, according to CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

The latest data on sales through European distribution show something of a turnaround for parts of the infrastructure market over the past four weeks. A month ago, networking sales were slowing after an impressive run starting at the beginning of 2021 and storage and server performance was lower than 2020 levels. However, since then, networking sales have matched 2019 levels despite the chip supply issues which have severely impacted this category. These are forecast to last another year, raising prices and, in turn, positively impacting channel revenues.

Storage and servers lag behind

Impressive performance in the backup and flash array segments enabled the storage sector to end Q3 positively. However, HCI sales continue to slow, despite a small positive year-on-year growth in Q3 21. Q4 has started soft and this could be the story of the quarter for storage, but as supply problems dissipate in Q1 2022 we could see some improvements.

Unfortunately, the server market is not showing many signs of improvement. We were expecting a small bounce in the final two quarters of 2021, but recent discussions with CONTEXT partners and clients have not provided cause for optimism. Underlying trends affecting the sector—including the move from on-premise to cloud solutions and the increasingly software-centric nature of the datacentre—are negatively impacting sales, and this won’t improve much in coming quarters.

We have also observed a decline in units sold, with Q3 2021 being the lowest volume in four years, at 91,021 units. Both rack and tower form factors have been impacted, although the former increased slightly year-on-year in the last quarter. Shortages of components aren’t helping either and have had an impact on sales configurations: “stock and sell” products are the main revenue driver for the market now rather than build-to-order systems.

Germany and the UK are the main factors of soft demand in the server market. This could be explained in part by uncertainty created by the recent German elections, and the UK’s HGV driver shortages and Brexit-related port congestion. The latter continue to exaggerate global supply problems and increase backlogs.

Positive news

More positively, total server RAM capacity consumption continues to increase with 11.1% growth in Q3 versus a year ago. This is confirmed by market share gains for both 64GB and 128GB capacity units, especially in Q3 2021, where the latter increased its market share to 5.4%, from just 1.8% the previous quarter.




Global Industrial 3D Printer Shipments accelerated in H1 but still not back to pre-Covid levels

Fantastic year-on-year growth of 61% and +43% in Industrial and Design price-class printer shipments in Q2 2021 but levels still -10% and -5% below those of Q2 2019

London, 12 October 2021 – New 3D printer shipments continued to accelerate in Q2 2021 in both long-standing verticals, such as dental and aerospace, and new markets eager to explore technologies which can help mitigate current and future supply-chain hiccups, according to latest market insights by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

As economies around the globe continued to recover from, battled against or learned to live with Covid-19, organisations began to settle in to their new normal. While capital expenditures were largely put on hold a year ago, spending had opened up by the second quarter of this year and this led to phenomenal year-on-year shipment growth rates.

3D Shipments grew +61% and +43% for the most expensive types of printer on the market, those in the Industrial price class (costing more than $100K for a system) and Design class ($20K–$100K). Between them, these printers accounted for 64% of global system revenues over Q2 2021 – and were also those most negatively impacted by Covid shutdowns. In spite of this phenomenal growth, shipments were not yet up to pre-Covid levels with those of Industrial printers being -10% down on Q2 2019 and those of Design printers -5% down. For the quarter, the increase in Industrial printer shipments was most significant in North America while new shipments in Western Europe only rose modestly and China shipments levelled off after super-acceleration in previous quarters. All but two of the Top-10 vendors of Industrial printers saw shipments rise from a year ago with notable exceptional organic shipment growth seen from UnionTech, Stratasys and 3D Systems.

Chart 1: Global Industrial and Design 3D Printer System Shipment Growth

At the other end of the market, shipments of Personal and KIT&HOBBY printers went in the opposite direction. Demand from hobbyists locked at home meant there was fantastic growth in these classes during 2020 but sales are now waning: in Q2 2021 shipments of DIY printers were up +18% year-on-year – a level far below that seen in recent quarters – and shipments for fully-assembled printers costing less than $2.5K were down -32%. With no near-term demand catalyst for these consumer-centric models, many vendors have looked to add new types of printers to their portfolios. The hottest area at this low end of the market is resin-based LCD vat photopolymerisation printers which accounted for 46% of all shipments of fully assembled 3D printers over the quarter, up from just 10% in 2019 as a whole.

Chart 2: Global Personal and KIT&HOBBY and Professional 3D Printer

System Shipment Growth (Separate Scales)

Professional price-class printer shipments were less impacted by Covid shutdowns last year than those of Industrial and Design models but demand had not been as robust as that for consumer-targeted printers. While some vendors saw growth a year ago as demand from at-home workers rose, others were affected by supply-chain disruptions and key end-markets shutting down. Although shipments now seem to have recovered from the pandemic (they were up +38% from Q2 2020 and even up +33% from Q2 2019) this is related more to the introduction of new products from leading vendors than to Covid-related changes in demand – most growth in the category is seen following rollouts. The new, larger form-factor, resin SLA printers from Formlabs have so far been very successful and the ramp-rate for the same company’s SLS polymer powder bed fusion machine is also encouraging. All of the Top 10 vendors saw year-on-year shipment growth in Q2 2021: besides Formlabs, the quarter was also particularly good for Stratasys, Markforged, Zortrax, UNIZ, 3D Systems and Desktop Metal (with most of their products in this price-class coming from their EnvisionTEC division).

Companies, especially those based in the US and China, are increasingly bullish about prospects for growth in H2 2021 as in-person trade events begin again around the world. This optimism needs to be tempered when it is based on marketing activities associated with new public listings, or have the nuances examined given that many individual companies are looking to grow by adding non-3D printing technologies to their portfolios. The outlook for the 3D-printer-only market is further clouded by the fact that individual companies have seen growth as a result of mergers and acquisitions. Even parsing out individual technology trends and focusing only on net-new 3D printer shipments, forecasts for 2021 are robust.

CONTEXT’s expectation is that 2021 will not only see great year-on-year growth but also see shipments rise above 2019 levels: for example, industrial printer shipments are now forecast to be up +35% compared to 2020 and, more importantly, up +6% from 2019.

*Price-class categorisation is based on fully assembled finished goods for Personal, Professional, Design and Industrial systems; Kit & Hobby models require DIY assembly.

 

 

 

ru_form

Receive the latest Research Updates in your inbox

 

ru_channel

Research Updates are drawn from CONTEXT’s full suite of analysis tools covering the whole technology supply chain.

  • Market Intelligence

    Position yourself in the competitive landscape


    + Track units, sales, revenues and pricing

    + Size the Total Available Market

    + Analyse routes to market

    Find out more
  • Business Analytics

    Set targets, take action and measure results


    + Define your strategic market point of view

    + Take fact based decisions

    + Assess results at each stage of the value chain

    Find out more