Tech Market Snapshot: Global wearable sales up, tablets and DRAM down

Total shipment volumes for wearables reached 19.7m units in Q1 2016, an increase of 67.2% from the 11.8m shipped in Q1 2015
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We roundup 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 WEARABLES MARKET INCREASES 67.2%

A combination of device releases, price reductions, and company rationalisations marked the first quarter of 2016 in the worldwide wearables market.

According to data from IDC, total shipment volumes reached 19.7 million units in Q1 2016, an increase of 67.2 per cent from the 11.8 million units shipped in Q1 2015.

The first quarter saw its fair share of significant events to entice customers, with multiple fitness trackers and smartwatches introduced at the major technology shows; post-holiday price reductions on multiple wearables, including Apple's Sport Watch; and greater participation within emerging wearables categories, particularly clothing and footwear. Conversely, several start-ups announced headcount reduction or shut down entirely, underscoring how competitive the wearables market has become.

"The good news is that the wearables market continues to mature and expand," noted Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team. "The wearables that we see today are several steps ahead of what we saw when this market began, increasingly taking their cues from form, function, and fashion. That keeps them relevant. The downside is that it is becoming a crowded market, and not everyone is guaranteed success."

GLOBAL TABLET SHIPMENTS FALL 12% IN THE PAST YEAR

An estimated 44.89 million tablets shipped globally during the first quarter of 2016, falling 31.3 per cent on quarter and 12.1 per cent on year, according to Digitimes Research.

The shipments consisted of 10.2 million iPads, 18.4 million from major brands, and 16.3 million units by white-box vendors/makers, respectively decreasing 36.6 per cent, 36.5 per cent and 19.7 per cent on quarter.

GLOBAL DRAM INDUSTRY REVENUE DOWN IN Q1

DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, reports that the global DRAM industry posted $8.56 billion in revenue in this first quarter, down 16.6 per cent from the previous quarter. Market oversupply and sliding average selling price were the main culprits behind the revenue decline.

DRAMeXchange Research Director Avril Wu noted: “While there was some demand from smartphone inventory restocking in China, the first quarter was traditionally the slow period, and downward revisions on notebooks and iPhone shipment estimates further exacerbated the oversupply problem in the DRAM market.”

In the first-quarter revenue ranking, Samsung securely held its position as the industry’s leader. Although Samsung’s revenue fell 16.6 per cent quarterly to $3.97 billion, its market share remained constant at 46.4 per cent. Sliding prices significantly impacted SK Hynix’s revenue, resulting in a 19.2 per cent quarterly decline to $2.32 billion. SK Hynix retained second place in the revenue ranking with a market share of 27.1 per cent. Micron also continued to fill the No. 3 spot with a market share of 18.5 per cent.

BRITAIN’S SHOP VACANCY DROPS TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 2009

Britain’s shop vacancy dropped to 12.4 per cent in April, the lowest since December 2009. This is down 0.6% from the same time last year (April 2015), according to LDC.

Analysis of vacancy rates by occupation type compared to the previous month shows that Shop vacancy in April was 12.4% (-0.1% change), Leisure vacancy was 8% (-0.1% change), and All (Retail & Leisure) vacancy rate was 11.2% ( -0.1% change).

Scotland was the only region/nation to see an increase in its vacancy rate of +0.8% in the last 12 months (since April 2015).

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