Apple pulled ahead of HP in the fourth quarter to become the largest player in the client PC market, a new report suggested Monday. The Cupertino-based company shipped more than 15 million iPads and 5 million Mac computers last quarter, and those figures represented 17% of all PCs shipped around the world during the fourth quarter. The report, which comes from market research firm Canalys, said PC shipments grew 16% annually to reach 120 million during the quarter, and the firm’s categorization of “PC” includes desktops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets in its figures. Tablets drove PC growth, however, and Canalys said the market would have declined by 0.4% without taking tablets into consideration. Read on for more. More →
Apple is now the largest buyer of semiconductors in the world, according to market research firm Gartner. The Cupertino-based company trailed both Samsung and HP in 2010, however Apple’s spending is estimated to have jumped 34.6% in 2011. The company spent $17.3 billion on semiconductors in 2011, or 5.7% of the total share of chip purchases. Coming in second was Samsung, which spent $16.7 billion or 5.5% of all chip purchases, and HP came in third with $16.6 billion. Leading electronics manufacturers spent a total of $105.6 billion on semiconductor purchases last year, representing a year-over-year increase of $1.8 billion. ”The major growth drivers in 2011 were smartphones, media tablets and solid-state drives (SSDs),” said Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Those companies that gained share in the smartphone market, such as Apple, Samsung Electronics and HTC, increased their semiconductor demand, while those who lost market share in this segment, such as Nokia and LG Electronics, decreased their semiconductor demand. Media tablets were also a growth driver for the semiconductor market throughout 2011.” Gartner’s press release follows below. More →
Acer, Asus and Lenovo will reportedly begin selling ultrabooks equipped with Intel’s fast and versatile Thunderbolt I/O port, which combines DisplayPort and PCI Express, during the second quarter of 2012. DigiTimes said mostly high-end computers will adopt Thunderbolt this year since it now costs more than $20 to add Thunderbolt connectivity to a computer. Apple was one of the first companies to adopt Thunderbolt and it currently equips a number of its computers and displays with the technology. A recent patent filing also suggested Apple may begin using Thunderbolt in iOS devices, too. More →
We swung by Intel’s booth to check out the Lenovo K800 during the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday. The Lenovo K800 is the first commercial device to launch with Intel’s brand new Medfield mobile processor. It currently runs Android and, unfortunately, all of the menus were in Chinese so it was a bit hard to navigate. Still, it was noticeably fast and we love Lenovo’s hardware design. The phone felt solid but still was able to be extremely thin. It offers an 8-megapixel camera and the Medfield platform technically supports shooting of up to 15 frames per second, although Lenovo wasn’t sure if the camera on the K800 was actually capable of doing that. It doesn’t appear that there are any plans to deliver the K800 to the United States at this point in time, but we’re sure to see Medfield devices from Motorola in the coming year. Check out our full gallery below.
Lenovo and Intel took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday to announce the world’s first Intel-based smartphone, the Lenovo K800. The device features a 4.5-inch HD 720p display and is heading first to China’s Unicom network during the second quarter of this year. Additionally, the K800 sports a 1.6GHz Intel processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Lenovo hasn’t announced when or even if the device will be available stateside.
Ahead of the company’s Consumer Electronics Show keynote, Lenovo announced a flurry of Android-based devices on Sunday evening. First up is the new S2 smartphone, and while it doesn’t feature a much anticipated quad-core chipset, the specs are more than suitable. The S2 sports a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor with a VGA front-facing camera and 8-megapixel rear shooter. The device will run Android 2.3 on a 3.8-inch display with Lenovo’s custom skin on top. The company also announced a new Android 4.0 tablet, the IdeaTab S2, featuring a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM and a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 IPS display. The IdeaTab will be released with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and have a docking ability similar to what ASUS has done with the company’s Transformer tablets. When connecting the tablet to the keyboard dock, the IdeaTab gains 9 hours of battery life for a total of 18 hours, access to two USB 2.0 ports, a multitouch trackpad and an SDHC card reader.
Lastly, the company announced the 55-inch 3D K91, the world’s first smart TV running Android 4.0. The K91 features a dual-core Snapdragon processor, HDMI, Wi-Fi, an SD card slot, and a 5-megapixel front facing camera. The K91 is not considered a Google TV device, however, but it has access to the Android Market and Lenovo Store for thousands of apps. The IdeaTab S2 tablet, S2 smartphone and K91 smart TV are currently available in China, with worldwide availability coming at a later date. Lenovo’s press release can be found after the break.
Top personal computer vendors Acer and Lenovo are each preparing to launch Windows 8 tablets in the third quarter, a new report claims. Citing anonymous sources from within Asia-based component suppliers, DigiTimes on Monday reports that the PC makers are working on new tablets powered by Windows 8 and Intel’s upcoming “Clover Trail” chipsets. Intel is set to show off a variety of Medfield-powered smartphones and slates as the Consumer Electronics Show next week, but its Clover Trail chips are reportedly being eyed by PC vendors as a more powerful option offering better performance and more efficient power consumption. DigiTimes reported last week that devices utilizing Intel’s Clover Trail chips would not launch until the fourth quarter this year, but the site now points to a new timeline for Intel’s new platform. More →
Handset makers in China have formed an alliance to prepare for possible patent battles with Apple, Microsoft and Nokia. Coolpad, Konka, TCL, ZTE and Lenovo were among the companies named in a report by DigiTimes on Friday. The number of lawsuits filed in China is expected to increase as Microsoft, Nokia and Apple try to increase market share there, the report says. Nokia has already filed patent infringement suits against several Chinese phone makers and Microsoft has gone after Huawei to try to secure a patent licensing deal. Huawei responded to Microsoft’s threats in early November and explained that it has 65,000 patents worldwide. “We have enough to protect our interests,” Huawei Devices chief marketing officer Victor Xu said. “We are a very important stakeholder in Android.” Each of the Chinese companies reportedly has a large patent portfolio and, combined, they could create enough of a force to stave off at least some of the patent-related lawsuits that have plagued other companies. More →
Microsoft’s next operating system, Windows 8, will be the first Windows desktop OS capable of running on both x86 and ARM-based processors. However, a report from DigiTimes on Monday suggests that major Taiwanese vendors such as ASUS may not have a role in developing the new machines at all. It was originally thought that ASUS may have had plans to release an ARM-powered Windows 8 machine in 2013. Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and NVIDIA, three ARM processor builders, are reportedly allowed to choose two notebook partners each, one major and one minor, DigiTimes explained. Qualcomm will work with Samsung and Sony, Texas Instruments plans to team with Toshiba and Samsung, and NVIDIA apparently said it will build ARM-based machines with Lenovo and Acer. The three major computer partners are Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba. Pegatron, Winstron, Compal and Quanta have each initiated research and development in an effort to woo big ARM-based Windows 8 contracts from the aforementioned vendors. More →
Last year more than 100 tablets were unveiled during the Consumer Electronics Show and this year it appears the focus could shift to Intel-powered ultrabooks. Demand for ultrabooks — devices defined as powerful thin and light notebooks with long-lasting battery life — is expected to begin to heat up following the holidays and January’s Consumer Electronics Show. More than 50 new ultrabook models will be displayed during CES and the category is expected to be one of the hottest consumer electronic segments on the show floor, Taiwan Economic News said Tuesday, citing insights from a show organizer. Intel, which invested $300 million in the utltrabook platform, also said that there will be more than 60 different ultrabook models available during 2012, and the chip maker’s upcoming Ivy Bridge processors will power many of them. Initial reports suggested that ultrabooks are off to a slow start, with just 50,000 units shipped so far from Acer, ASUS, Lenovo and Toshiba combined. Additionally, weak sales of the first models from Asus and Acer forced both firms to scale back production by as much as 40%, another report suggested. More →
Lenovo may unveil a tablet powered by Google’s brand new Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system by the end of the year, Engadget has learned. Reportedly, the device will also utilize NVIDIA’s brand new quad-core Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, arguably the most powerful mobile processor currently available. The tablet will also reportedly be equipped with a 10.1-inch display, 2GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM, a fingerprint scanner that may also be used as an optical controller, a rear-facing camera and a USB port. The device is said to tout a “Fusion-Skin Body” as well, though we’re not quite sure what that means. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear an official announcement in the coming weeks if Lenovo wants its new tablet on store shelves in time for the holidays. More →
The devastating flooding in Thailand could hurt HP, Lenovo, Dell and Microsoft during the fourth quarter of this year, IDC said in a recent report. The research firm originally projected shipment growth of 5.1% for the PC industry during the quarter but it now expects PC shipments to fall between 2.2% and 3.4%. Moving into 2012, IDC said shipments could drop as much as 13.4%. “A lot of these plants are still under water, and it’s unclear how much damage they will find when the water recedes,” IDC analyst Loren Loverde explained in an interview with Bloomberg. “It’s also unclear how quickly the cleanup can begin and how much time it will take to bring in replacement parts to rebuild.” A recent report from Goldman Sachs also suggested that PC shipments could drop 8.5% during the first quarter of 2012. Hard drive manufacturers Western Digital and Seagate Technology both have plants that were flooded in Thailand. Seagate’s CEO Steve Luczo told Bloomberg that hard drive prices from his company could jump $10 to $25. “If you’re thinking of buying a laptop for Christmas, I’d buy it now,” Luczo suggested. More →
Global shipments of PCs grew slightly but less than analysts had predicted during the third quarter of 2011, Gartner said recently, citing preliminary findings of a new research report. 91.8 million PCs were shipped during the quarter, a 3.2% jumped from the same quarter of last year. The figures are lower than Gartner’s original estimate, which suggested PC vendors would ship 5.1% more units during the quarter. Gartner said the lower sales can be attributed to a weak Western European PC market. Read on for more. More →