Notebook brands have recently adjusted their strategies in order to limit the impact tablets and smartphones have had on sales.
It seems that the strategy is going to work out for the holiday season. While overall notebook numbers are expected to see a small decline, in November it actually increased by 10%.
The two main reasons are strong HP enterprise sales and high demand in the low-cost consumer segment.
HP ordered 4 million units from ODMs, which is a 60% increase from the previous month.
All seven major vendors being Apple, Lenovo, Samsung, HP, Asus, Dell and Acer are expected to make further adjustment when it comes to their product offering which should shake things up in this space.
Microsoft has launched a new Surface Pro 3 ad which once again takes aim at Apple.
“Both a tablet and a laptop in one device? Crazy.
Well, not really. Surface Pro 3 is that and more. Pen, Kickstand, Adobe Photoshop, detachable Keyboard, Office and Windows. The list goes on. Surface Pro 3 – the tablet that can replace your laptop. ”
Let’s compare the two devices objectively: The 12″ Surface 3 Pro and MacBook Air are both powered by an Intel i5 processor, have 4 GB of RAM and the entry-level model has 128 GB of storage. The MacBook Air has up to 12 hours of battery life while the Surface Pro 3 only has 9 hours.
The main advantage of the Surface Pro 3 is obviously the detachable but you will have to buy that separately just like the docking station. The Surface Pro 3 alone costs $999, once you include the keyboard and docking station it will set you back another $300. The MacBook Air retails for $989.
According to Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun, consoles are not the best gaming platform anymore. He is praising PC gaming which according to him has overtaken console gaming, especially in emerging markets.
“My sense is that the game console platform is not likely to enjoy the hay days when it was really unambiguously the only and the best game platform to enjoy games. It’s just not true anymore. There are just too many other ways to enjoy games.
The PC has become the world’s largest game platform. China, the developing countries around the world, PC is a piece of platform they already own. They can upgrade it two, three, four times without having to change the basic platform. So the total of cost of ownership of a game PC is quite attractive,” Jen-Hsun said during the company’s earnings call.
The question is if this is actually true or does it have to do something with the fact that AMD is providing the processor for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 which are both selling in record numbers.
Security online is becoming increasingly important for consumers and as such it is a big focus for companies as well as they want to ensure users that they can be trusted with their data.
When the iCloud accounts of many celebrities were hacked back in September, many security specialists said it could have been avoided by implementing a 2-step verification process.
Google has now taken it a step further. They already had 2-step verification where you had to send a code from your phone to proof your identity.
Today the company announced Security Key, a physical USB second factor that only works after verifying the login site is truly a Google website, not a fake site pretending to be Google. Rather than typing a code, just insert Security Key into your computer’s USB port and tap it when prompted in Chrome. When you sign into your Google Account using Chrome and Security Key, you can be sure that the cryptographic signature cannot be phished.
The additional security feature is free but you will need to buy a FIDO compatible USB drive. You can find them on Amazon.
Apple can look back at a record quarter mainly thanks to the iPhone 6. The company reported a net profit of $8.5 billion (+12.7%) and revenue increased 12.4% to $42.1 billion. The company said it sold 39.3 million iPhones during the quarter.
The big surprise however came in regards to Mac sales which increased 21% to 5.5 million units. That is impressive to say the least considering the slow PC market.
For the entire fiscal year Apple reported revenue of $182.8 billion and net profit of $39.5 billion.
Not everything was great though. iPad sales decreased 13% to 12.3 million units and Apple only sold 2.6 million iPods which is a 24% drop.
There is no stopping the Cupertino based company it seems. The holiday season has historically been the best quarter of the year and Apple is forecasting revenue between $63.5 and $66.5 billion.
Earlier this month Apple send out the below invitation for an event on October 16.
It is rumored that Apple will release a thinner iPad Air. The new tablet is going to a higher resolution and also enable split-screen-multitasking in iOS8. In order to manage that the iPad Air 2 is said to get a more powerful SoC – the A8X. This is in line with what Apple has done in the past, both the third and fourth generation came with a modified SoC marked with “X”.
It is also expected that Apple will release Retina iMacs and some people are interpreting the slogan “It’s been way too long.”, saying the next generation iPod will be revealed.
We will have to wait until later this week to see. Apple will once again stream the event on their website: http://www.apple.com/live
IDC expects the volume to grow 6.5% on year to 230 million units, also lower than its original forecast of 12.1%.
NPD DisplaySearch expects global tablet shipments to reach 254 million units, up 2% on year, but far lower than its previous forecast of 14%.
The 7″ tablet segment is being hurt by large-sized smartphones and Chromebooks are hurting tablet sales as well since they are priced aggressively at $199.
During the fourth quarter all major notebook vendors are expected to launch additional windows based products in the price range of $199 – $249 which is why the research firms have adjusted their forecasted tablet numbers.