Tech market snapshot: Smartphone sales to slow, Global ethernet switch market up

We round up the latest news from analysts and firms to see which tech categories are doing well and which aren’t, as well as future predictions and the latest trends.

Worldwide smartphone sales to slow in 2016

Gartner predicts that global smartphone sales will continue to slow and will no longer grow in double digits throughout the year.

Worldwide smartphone sales are expected to grow 7 per cent in 2016 to reach 1.5 billion units. This is down from 14.4 per cent growth in 2015. In 2020, smartphone sales are on pace to total 1.9 billion units.

"The smartphone market will no longer grow at the levels it has reached over the last seven years," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. “Smartphone sales recorded their highest growth in 2010, reaching 73 per cent.”

Today, the smartphone market has reached 90 per cent penetration in the mature markets of North America, Western Europe, Japan and Mature Asia/Pacific, slowing future growth. Furthermore, users in these regions are not replacing or upgrading their smartphone as often as in previous years.

"In the mature markets, premium phone users are extending life cycles to 2.5 years, which is not going to change drastically over the next five years," said Cozza.

Global ethernet switch market up 1.4% in Q1

The worldwide Ethernet switch market recorded $5.48 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2016, an increase of 1.4% year over year, reported IDC.

Meanwhile, the worldwide total enterprise and service provider (SP) router market finished at $3.47 billion in revenue in 1Q16, growing 3.3% on a year-over-year basis.

10Gb Ethernet switch revenue was just above flat year over year, coming in at just under $2 billion, growing 1.2% year over year while 10Gb Ethernet switch port shipments grew a robust 29.8% year over year with more than 8.3 million ports shipped in 1Q16 as average selling prices continued to fall.

40Gb Ethernet revenue finished at $679.6 million in 1Q16, growing 32.9% year over year, while shipments reached a record 1.8 million ports, for an increase of 112.0% year over year. 10Gb and 40Gb Ethernet are expected to be the primary drivers of the overall Ethernet switch market in 2016.

1Gb Ethernet switch revenue decreased 5.1% year over year, despite a 9.7% increase in port shipments in the same period.

Worldwide enterprise storage market sees continued decline

IDC has also reported total worldwide enterprise storage systems factory revenue declined 7.0% year over year to $8.2 billion during the first quarter of 2016.

Total capacity shipments were down 4.0% year over year to 27.8 exabytes during the quarter. Revenue growth declined within the group of original design manufacturers (ODMs) that sell directly to hyperscale datacenters. This portion of the market was down 39.9% year over year to $681 million. Sales of server-based storage were up 2.0% during the quarter and accounted for $2.1 billion in revenue. External storage systems remained the largest market segment, but the $5.4 billion in sales represented a 3.7% year-over-year decline.

"On the heels of a busy end-of-year spending cycle, the enterprise storage system market reverted to a familiar trend," said Liz Conner, research manager, Storage Systems, IDC.

"Spending on server-based storage was up, spending on traditional external arrays continues to decline, while the nature of hyperscale business leads it to fluctuate heavily with that market segment seeing a heavy decline in 1Q16.”

mPOS to process over 40% of retail point-of-sale transactions by 2021

A new study from Juniper Research has found that smartphone and tablet-based mobile point-of sale terminals will take on a significant role in businesses, handling 40% of all retail transaction value by 2021, up from an expected 12% in 2016.

Juniper forecasts that the use of mPOS systems will account for more than one in three POS terminals by 2021, driven by larger retailers adopting mPOS as part of an array of point-of-sale options.

“We are seeing several vendors tailor their software to the needs of specific industries, integrating mPOS capabilities as part of broader cloud-based business software,” remarked research author James Moar.

“These additional services can then make use of the sales data directly to manage inventory, monitor staff performance and other functions, which can all add more value to a business and justify a higher margin.”

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