Monday, July 13, 2015

Gartner on Consumer Electronics Markets: Goodbye Growth

From Wolf Street:

The Chilling Thing Gartner Just Said About a Once Hot Engine of Global Growth
Hope took another hit from the reality of fickle, strung-out consumers.

Apple sold 1.5 million watches during the first week, about 200,000 a day, its most successful product launch ever. Before the launch, media hype had become a total-immersion program. No company has ever dominated the media like this. Today, MarketWatch reported that sales, based on data from Slice, might have plunged 90% since that week, to fewer than 20,000 watches a day, and on some days fewer than 10,000.

“The value of a smartwatch for the average user is still not compelling enough,” explained IT research and advisory company Gartner in its report on worldwide electronic device shipments.
But it’s not just smartwatches.

The other beacon of hope in the electronic device sector, the smartphone, got broadsided today by Samsung, which cut its Q2 guidance, expecting revenues to drop 8% from a year ago. Yet, in April, the company had launched its flagship Galaxy S6 which was supposed to boost sales. Samsung didn’t give details, but there are a few culprits, such as lousy S6 performance against its competitors, weak demand in China and Europe, and the old standby, currency headwinds.

Gartner now expects shipment growth in the once sizzling mobile phone market to slow to a barely perceptible 3.3% in 2015. The report points at China:
The global market has been affected by a weaker performance in China. We have witnessed fewer and fewer first time buyers in China, a sign that the mobile phone market there is reaching saturation. Vendors in China will have to win replacement buyers and improve the appeal of their premium offerings to attract upgrades, if they want to maintain or increase their market share.
So it’s going to get tough in the Promised Land of 1.36 billion consumers. Hence, hope has to move beyond China:
Vendors looking to grow their performance in the global smartphone market will be challenged to quickly enhance their expansion into emerging markets outside of China, where we still witness a sizeable share of feature phones and an opportunity for double-digit smartphone growth.
Crummy as 3.3% growth in mobile phone shipments may seem, it’s the only segment among these electronic devices that is growing at all. The others are shrinking.
Gartner expects global PC shipments to drop 4.5% to 300 million units this year. It blamed among others the end of the migration from Windows XP that had boosted sales last year, channel inventory reductions, and of course the corporate bugbear: the strong dollar, or more politically correct, “currency depreciation against the dollar.”...MORE
Possibly also of interest:
"The End of the Smartphone: What It Means for Investment Professionals"