Tag: laptops

Airport security is dumping ground for orphan laptops

orphansMore than 70 people left their laptops security checkpoints at Newark Liberty International Airport last month.

The TSA shared a snap of more than 70 unclaimed computers just sitting on a shelf all lonely, waiting to be claimed since October, at that one airport alone. What is weird is that no one claimed them, even though they knew that was the only logical place they could have left them.

Looking at the snap there are a rather large number of shiny MacBooks in that pile, which can cost in the $2,000 range new. However, it is possible that the business person realising that the MacBook really is pants for business has just taken the opportunity to leave it on someone else’s door step and get a proper computer instead.

The Tame Apple Press is  questioning how it is possible to leave a MacBook, which is so expensive and essential in an airport, and then failing to claim it for a full month. “We would never abandon you,” one “journalist” wrote.

Airport security is the ideal place to abandon an unwanted laptop. Your company will assume that if you never get it back it is simply because of some byzantine TSA security law and just issue you a new one without thinking. It also means that you don’t have to answer any questions about the laptop contents before you get on the plane.


Chromebooks lead the notebook race

GoogleABI Research said that Chromebooks are leading growth for the notebook PC category, with Chrome OS systems expected to ship over eight million units by the end of the year.

And ABI analyst Jeff Orr said that growth for Chromebooks will show a 22 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years.

Orr said: “Industry professionals can expect the notebook PC marker, including Chromebooks, laptops and ultraportable PCs to remain roughly flat year on year in 2015, with flat to slightly positive growth projected through 2020.”

He said that next year will see a sales surge for both Chromebooks and ultraportables with people adopting Chromebooks in schools and 2-in-1 ultraportables representing the future.

ABI estimates that 164 million notebooks will ship this year.

The ultraportables and laptop will show a decline of 14 percent compared to last year.

Orr said that’s mostly due to unit volume declines at Acer, Asus and Lenovo.

Apple will have 32 percent share of the ultraportable PC with various Macbook Air models.

Enterprise market spurs tablet sales

Dell TabletWhile we reported earlier this week that sales of tablets were declining for individuals, it’s not all doom and gloom in the sector.

IDC released a report saying that enterprises in the UK, France and Germany are increasingly deploying tablets for employees to use for business.

Marta Fiorenti, a senior research analyst at IDC, said that more and more tablets are being used by employees as their only work tool. Tablets are either replacing traditional devices or used for work not supported by other computing devices, she said.

“We can only expect and increase in the share of stand alone tablets, as confirmed by the purchase intentions of the study respondents,” she said.

The survey showed tablets are the only business device for 40 percent of employees but that percentage is greater if 2-in-1 convertibles are added to the mix. This latter category is displacing portable and desktop PCs, mainly because they support keyboard use.

Fiorenti gave some examples of their use in the restaurant sector, to take orders; by doctors and nurses; and by pilots. Their use varies depending on what a person does in her or his job.

White collar employees, executives, sales people, engineers and journalists generally use tablets as well as desktops or laptops.

AMD laptops doing well

AMD-based laptops in Western Europe are doing well in Europe and are bucking the trend for PC sales.

According to Context research, sales of AMD laptops are up 10 percent so far in Q4 year on year in a shrinking market.

The first eight weeks of the fourth quarter saw AMD-based laptops increase while the notebook market as a whole shrank 12 percent year on year for that period.

Jeremy Davies, chief executive and co-founder of Context, said AMD-powered laptops saw their market share increase from 14 percent in early Q4 of 2012 to 18 percent for the equivalent period of 2013.

He said that that the PC market is fragmenting into more discrete customer segments.

“Home buyers want tablets, businesses want higher-specification notebooks and are willing to pay more, and where a consumer has chosen a notebook, value is a prime motivator,” Davis said.

Overall notebook category growth across Western Europe was driven principally by the UK, where sales of AMD notebooks made by HP, Lenovo, Acer and Toshiba expanded 70 per cent in unit terms.

Lenovo’s AMD-based IdeaPad Z585 multimedia laptop has been the top holiday seller in the UK so far. Laptop sales in Italy and Spain are improving too.

Labour MP asks Treasury about missing laptops, Blackberrys

Gareth Thomas, Labour MP for Harrow West, has asked questions about lost or stolen computers, mobiles, Blackberrys and other IT equipment to the Treasury and other government departments.

Thomas asked the Secretary of State for International Development just how many pieces of kit went missing or stolen from 2010 to now. In total 42 laptops went missing, 18 phones, nine Blackberrys, a 15 inch monitor and nine memory sticks, Conservative Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan, admitted.

Thomas put the same question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sajid Javid, Conservative MP for Bromsgrove, replied that since 2010, 28 Laptops have been stolen or gone missing, with just 11 of those having been recovered.

38 Blackberrys disappeared from the Treasury with just four of those recovered, while 74 other pieces of IT equipment were reported stolen or lost, with just three of that unnamed equipment having been recovered to date.

Javid assured Thomas that despite the missing equipment, all laptops were encrypted and “not accessible without a security token and more than one password,” and that the BlackBerrys were password protected too.

“No tokens or passwords were left with these items, and so there was no data loss,” Javid said. “Steps were taken as soon as the theft of these electronic items were reported, to ensure that they provided no means of access to any of the Department’s IT systems”.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was also asked, however, Conservative MP Michael Penning advised Thomas to approach the independent Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Norther Ireland directly.

HP snags top spot in Indian PC market

HP has issued a boastful press release that claims it is top of the pack for PC sales in the booming Indian market.

Using the latest regional IDC data, HP declared that it has 16.5 percent of the India market in Q4 2012, regaining the top spot with share growth of 3.5 percent year on year.

The company said the top spot was thanks to strong sales and marketing, as well as “good mind-share among consumers”.

Portable computers, HP said, still have strong traction in PC market segments despite the weaker picture overall.

HP pointed to its latest HP Envy x2, which doubles as a tablet, as well as a scheme in partnership with Universal Music India to launch HP Connected Music, a content service for that market.

HP, the company said, sold two PCs every second throughout 2012 globally – 32 million shipped per week. 

Arch HPer Meg Whitman, who has been embarking on restructuring efforts to save the company’s bottom line, recently claimed at its channel partner conference that the firm is on the mend

Intel explains the secret to peddling laptops in Lagos

Intel has been revealing a few of its secrets at Snowbit and one of them is a surprising figure about the sales of high end laptops in Lagos.

Christian Morales, who runs Intel’s operating in Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Forbes he was recently in Lagos, Nigeria, and discovered that most vendors were sold out on laptops based on the company’s core i5 and i7 processors; you can still find hardware with the slower i3 processors.

But hang on, thought Morales, that is not right. Lagos is not exactly the richest place in the world and the only people who appear to have money are those who are in the money laundering trade.

He reasons that people in any market like BMWs, Mercedes and premium technologies.

Morales said that if they think they are buying a de-featured product, they turn their backs.

Netbooks were a case in point. They were originally created for educational use in emerging markets, but they actually sold were in developed markets as secondary devices for people who already had more fully featured laptops.

It was mature markets where buyers first bought more notebooks than desktops but now the mix is similar in the rest of the world.

He said the main barrier to development in developing countries is not the price differentiation over desktop PCs but the fact that it still costs and arm and a leg to connect to the world wide wibble.

This is caused by monopolies in some countries, and the need for infrastructure upgrades in others. 

Intel plans cheap and cheerful mobiles

Intel has revealed new mobile plans for its partners and it shared some pricing guidelines for future products.

Fudzilla has found a slide with the catchy title Mobile Landscape in 2012.

In it, Intel said it wants to sell mobile phones powered by its CPUs for as little as $199 to $299.

Intel sees a gap in the market for cheap and cheerful phones .

It also places netbooks in the same price range while Intel based tablets should be between $399 and $499.

Tablets will go up to 12.1 inches and the starting price for these bigger machines should be $299, Intel said.

It is looking like hybrid devices, such as the AsusEee Pad Slider and Transformer, will also stay at less than $699.

Intel wants to sell its laptops for less than $400. Top notch notebooks based on Core i7 chips will start at less than $799 and Ultrabooks with 11-inch or larger screens might be coming down to $599 to $699. 

The PC market starts to grow again

While the tech media appears to be banging on about how tablets and smartphones are killing the PC, it seems that the actual figures do not bear this out.

NPD Group has released some figures which indicate that the grey box is still doing pretty well and if tablets and smartphones did not exist then PC makers would be none the wiser.

Last year, the number of PCs sold, which includes both laptops and desktops, increased by 20 percent, while revenues jumped 14 percent. Shipments for the period also increased by 20 percent.

To make matters worse, for those who chant that the iPad and smartphone killed the PC, 2012 will be even better.

NPD Vice President for Industry Analysis Stephen Baker told PC Week that the figures point to a healthy PC market with prices actually going up.

The average selling price for laptop PCs was $764 in 2011, and while that is a five percent drop from 2010 it is still $4 higher than 2009, which was the height of the recession.

Desktops sold for $638, down three percent from 2010 and up $13 from 2009.

Baker said that PC prices are a positive story for computer makers.

The reason this year will be better is because of things like Ultrabooks and Windows 8, which promise to bring to the PC a lot of what makes mobile devices so popular.

It is worthwhile that PC sales should have fallen, along with their price, thanks to the fact that Europeans are not that keen to buy new gear while their economies are down the toilet.  If shipments can increase by 20 percent under these conditions, imagine what they would be if the econonomies were sorted.

Of course all these figures fly in the face of what Gartner said recently.  Still 90 percent of statistics are fabricated. And 100 percent of microprocessors are fabricated.


CES 2012 surprises named: more tablets

An executive of the Consumer Electronics Association has let slip that the upcoming CES 2012 will be more of the same, with a range of Intel-powered laptops thrown in for good measure.

Tablets are expected to steal the show, yet again, despite murmuring among PC manufacturers that the fad is losing consumer interest. PC Pro reports Shawn DuBravac, director of research for the show, telling journalists at a CES Unveiled event that there will be a similar number of tablets as last year’s show. Which was roughly 100. None of them managed to usurp Apple’s iPad, though the future of Cupertino holding onto its top spot is debateable. 

The other big announcements will be with Ultrabooks. Intel Capital has assigned a $300 million war chest to ensure the ultra-thin, instant-on laptops become the most prevalent form factor. It’s hoping that in 2012 it will have captured 40 percent of the market. Analysts are skeptical about the dates, but DuBravac’s prediction indicates Intel partners have been busy bees getting to work on the subsidised hardware.

If Intel is going to make its mark with the Ultrabook, industry watchers predict it won’t be until further down the line when all of the ego-systems converge. Convertible, touchscreen-capable that also have keyboards, buoyed by Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Intel’s Ivy Bridge, 22nm processors will help. 

Head honcho Otellini is penned in to make an appearance where he will likely show off Ivy Bridge running on a swish looking Ultrabook.

For now, a cynic could suggest the world’s biggest tech conference in seedy Vegas, will bear certain similarities to this year’s: laptops, smartphones and tablets. But probably a bit faster.