Friday, July 31, 2009

Samsung LED HDTV delivers excellent picture quality, connectivity and interactive features

RIDGEFIELD PARK, USA: Samsung Electronics America Inc. has unveiled the flagship model of its expanded LED HDTV lineup with the all-new 8500 Series.

The new HDTVs combine the award-winning picture quality and thinness of Samsung’s previous LED HDTVs, with the latest networking and interactive features, to provide an ideal option to all TV connoisseurs.

“For consumers who are looking for the ultimate HD centerpiece and high-level performance in their home theater, the Samsung 8500 Series delivers break-through quality and design,” said John Revie, senior vice president of Visual Display Marketing, Samsung Electronics America.

“The 8500 Series underscores Samsung's dedication to providing a full range of HDTVs that not only achieve the highest levels of picture quality, but also provide unique and immersive entertainment experiences through our Medi@2.0™ suite.”

Samsung 8500 LED HDTV Series Pricing and Availability
Price: 46-inch class: $3,599.99 / 55-inch class: $4,499.99
Availability: September 2009

Auto head units need to look to PCs for inspiration amid car downturn

EL SEGUNDO, USA: With the automotive industry in the dumps, shipments of auto head units are on the wane as well, an event that should compel OEMs to attract buyers by borrowing a page from the PC industry, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global OEM shipments of auto head units are expected to decline to 48.4 million units in 2009, down 25.1 percent from 64.6 percent in 2008. Shipments won’t recover to the recent peak level of 68.3 million units in 2007 until 2014, when they will reach 69.8 million, as presented in the figure.

iSuppli: Global OEM Head Unit Shipment Forecast (Thounsands of Units)Source: iSuppli, July 2009

The automotive head unit serves as the user interface for cars’ infotainment systems, traditionally providing control of simple functions like CD players but increasingly acting as the front end to a rising number of more advanced features such as navigation systems, Bluetooth cell phone connections, hard disk drives and iPod interfaces.

With the functionality of head units evolving, so must the automakers’ approach to designing them, iSuppli believes.

“Automotive infotainment system and head unit designers could learn much from the development of the PC,” said Richard Robinson, principal analyst, automotive electronics, for iSuppli.

“Early PCs offered a very limited range of default technologies on the motherboard, with additional features like networking, graphics-processing, storage-interface and audio support all handled by ‘plug-in’ solutions, which added to their Bills of Materials (BOMs) and often were difficult to set up.

“As a result of the commoditization all of these applications, it is now practically impossible to sell a PC without a very high baseline of standard technology. With this paradigm shift, typical users now see product differentiation at the software rather than the hardware level, with the PC environment becoming a generic platform, or host, for an extremely diverse range of software applications.”

This high-level of built-in functionality has allowed PCs to move beyond simply running business productivity applications and enabled the support of a wide variety of new entertainment and communications applications based on consumer demand.

“Part of the success of the PC platform is that it is a very customer-focused piece of hardware,” Robinson said. “In fact, with today’s PCs, most users are not concerned with the hardware, but rather with applications.”

Beyond hardware
iSuppli believes automotive manufacturers in their next-generation head unit designs need to rapidly adopt strategies that migrate away from hardware differentiation and move toward a software download/upgrade environment.

It is essential that the burden of mass firmware updates, such as Bluetooth profile updates or new application installs, be passed onto the consumer.

Enabling vehicle-owner downloads via a Web portal will be vital in the more dynamic environment created by consumer devices being bought into the vehicle. This approach would ensure that flexibility is “designed in” for the typical 10-year ownership cycle of a vehicle.

Universal head units
The increasing functionality available on inexpensive devices such as Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) and Personal Media Players (PMPs) is leading consumers to expect equivalent capabilities from their embedded head units at little or no additional cost.

Because of this, automakers must provide head units that carry sufficient functionality to support the downloading of software on all levels of cars, even low-cost entry-level vehicles.

“The typical buyer of a entry-level vehicle is likely to be younger and more tech-savvy, and will have higher expectations in terms of system requirements than other consumers,” Robinson said.

“Vehicle manufacturers can take advantage of this evolving competitive situation by supporting a critical baseline of head-unit audio, visual and interface features on all models. These high volumes will lead to lower per-unit-costs for head units and increased customer satisfaction.”

Synching with Sync
Ford’s Sync solution has shown that a full-featured hardware baseline and software-driven approach able to span all types of models can succeed, and is heralding a paradigm shift in the design of head units.

“Sync is a reasonably priced, standards-based platform that offers embedded Bluetooth and USB with voice activation for connecting phones and compressed music players,” Robinson said. “Critically, it was targeted at the mass market from the start rather than following the traditional path of starting in a higher-level-specification vehicle and then trickling down to more affordable cars.”

Going forward, iSuppli believes that the new default baselines for audio will include support for analog and digital radio, multichannel speaker support, as well as voice control for accessing flash-based media (iPod/MP3 players). LCD/OLED displays and low-cost navigation are default requirements, with Mobile TV and back-up camera support as strong optional requirements.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

ASUS launches Eee PC Seashell series netbooks in India

MUMBAI, INDIA: ASUS announced the launch of the Eee PC Seashell Series netbooks in the Indian market. The Eee PC Seashell series emanate the beauty of nature with exquisitely designed look and combine the most innovative technology to provide the consumer with a very user friendly, stylish and portable netbooks.

The ergonomically designed keyboard, intelligent energy management system and an intuitive, multi-touch track-pad, aims toprovide users with the best mobile computing experience, wherever theirjourneys take them.

The EeePC Seashell Series comprise of Eee PC 1008HA, Eee PC 1005HA & Eee PC1101HA. All of them sport the Super Hybrid Engine that intelligently monitorsthe programs in use and adjusts the power supply with performance to provide anoptimal power saving solution.

The Eee PC 1005HA has a battery life of 10.5 hours, while the Eee PC 1101HA has a screen size of 11.6 inches. The Eee PC Seashell series have a 2.5-inch SATA II 160GB hard disk drive with a 10GB of online Eee Storage facilities.These highly stylish and portable devices are targeted at the young adults,professionals and travelers.

Stanley Wu, Country Head for Notebookand Eee PC Business, ASUS (India), said: "Eee PC Seashell is yet another jewel in the crown of ASUS Eee PC family of netbooks. We want to make Eee PCs the premium brand in India.

"Our competitive engineering culture has helped us innovate both in terms oftechnology and eco-friendliness. Eee PC Seashell Series is the new benchmark for Netbooks. The three new seashell Eee PC models are truly glamorous and offer real time computing pleasure."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

JVC intros two in-ear headphones with color options

WAYNE, USA: JVC announced the addition of two new models to its line of in-ear headphones, both available in a range of colors.

For the active user, JVC offers a new sports clip headphone, the HA-EBX85, which comes with ear hooks for a secure fit and is offered in three colors. Also new are the HA-FX20 All Star headphones that come in five different popular color combinations.

To ensure high quality sound reproduction, both models feature powerful neodymium driver units and friction noise reduction cords of 3.28 feet (one meter) and 3.94 feet (1.2 meters) respectively for the HA-FX20 and HA-EBX85. The earpieces come with soft rubber ear cushions in three sizes to ensure a customized fit and hours of comfort for any wearer.

Designed for sports use, the splash-proof HA-EBX85 is both comfortable and practical, fitting securely in the ear and held comfortably in place by a soft rubber ear hook.

This makes the headphones ideal for exercise and fitness activities, as they remain secure and comfortable even when working up a sweat. JVC’s superior sound quality is further enhanced with powerful 0.43-inch (11mm) neodymium driver units.

The HA-EBX85 is available in a choice of three colors – white, pink and purple – and comes with a slim, gold-plated iPhone-compatible plug.

The HA-FX20 All Star headphones are available in five color combinations, offering something to please just about anyone. The powerful 0.33-inch (8.5mm) neodymium driver units provide excellent sound, while superior sound isolation from background noise is achieved with the in-ear canal design of the headphones. The HA-FX20 also offers the convenience of a slim, gold-plated iPhone-compatible plug.

The JVC HA-EBX85 sports headphones will be available in August for $19.95 and the HA-FX20 All Star headphones in September for $14.95.

JVC intros two in-ear headphones with color options

WAYNE, USA: JVC announced the addition of two new models to its line of in-ear headphones, both available in a range of colors.

For the active user, JVC offers a new sports clip headphone, the HA-EBX85, which comes with ear hooks for a secure fit and is offered in three colors. Also new are the HA-FX20 All Star headphones that come in five different popular color combinations.

To ensure high quality sound reproduction, both models feature powerful neodymium driver units and friction noise reduction cords of 3.28 feet (one meter) and 3.94 feet (1.2 meters) respectively for the HA-FX20 and HA-EBX85. The earpieces come with soft rubber ear cushions in three sizes to ensure a customized fit and hours of comfort for any wearer.

Designed for sports use, the splash-proof HA-EBX85 is both comfortable and practical, fitting securely in the ear and held comfortably in place by a soft rubber ear hook.

This makes the headphones ideal for exercise and fitness activities, as they remain secure and comfortable even when working up a sweat. JVC’s superior sound quality is further enhanced with powerful 0.43-inch (11mm) neodymium driver units.

The HA-EBX85 is available in a choice of three colors – white, pink and purple – and comes with a slim, gold-plated iPhone-compatible plug.

The HA-FX20 All Star headphones are available in five color combinations, offering something to please just about anyone. The powerful 0.33-inch (8.5mm) neodymium driver units provide excellent sound, while superior sound isolation from background noise is achieved with the in-ear canal design of the headphones. The HA-FX20 also offers the convenience of a slim, gold-plated iPhone-compatible plug.

The JVC HA-EBX85 sports headphones will be available in August for $19.95 and the HA-FX20 All Star headphones in September for $14.95.

New Energy Star guidelines spur changes in LCD TV design

EL SEGUNDO, USA: New US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines call for the energy consumption of some televisions to be cut by as much as two-thirds by 2013, compelling the LCD-TV supply chain to implement changes in its products and components, according to iSuppli Corp.

The EPA’s Energy Star Program Requirements for TVs: Version 3.0, which went into effect in November 2008, are guidelines that impact on-mode power consumption limits for TVs.

The EPA believes Version 3.0 of the regulation can reduce energy demand by millions of kilowatt hours per year. The EPA guidelines for TV on-mode power limits will grow more stringent over time with Tier-1 limits now in effect, moving to more restrictive levels during the Tier-2 and Tier-3 phases in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

“While not mandatory, these guidelines are likely to spur major changes in television design as brands move to maintain the coveted Energy Star label on their sets,” said Randy Lawson, senior analyst for digital TV and display electronics at iSuppli.

“The larger the television size, the more power consumption should be cut to comply with the guidelines.” For 26-inch sets, Lawson noted maximum power consumption when the television is turned on should be reduced to 42.3 watts by 2013, down 52.8 percent from 89.7 watts in 2008.

For 50-inch sets, on-mode power consumption should be reduced to 106.9 watts in 2013, down 66.3 percent from 317.5 watts in 2008.

The figure presents the EPA’s on-mode power limitations for televisions in the coming years as well as the schedule for phasing in different tiers of power-consumption limits for TV makers.Source: EPA/iSuppli, July 2009

Large LCDs mean large energy usage
Television power consumption is soaring mainly due to the transition from CRT to LCD display technology, as well as the resultant shift to larger screen sizes.

At screen sizes smaller than 26 inches, only a small difference exists between the power consumption of the two television types. However, LCD-TVs in the popular 37- , 40- , 42- and 50-inch sizes have dramatically greater power consumption than the
smaller CRT-TVs, which max out at the 35-inch dimension.

Previous global standards, including earlier versions of the Energy Star regulations, focused on reducing power consumption only during the off and standby modes. However, the new requirements focus on the on-mode, in which televisions consume the most power.

The Energy Star Program Requirements for TVs: Version 3.0 is the first such standard to go into effect, but will be followed by similar guidelines in other countries.

LCD-TVs adjust to changes
“The advent of these more restrictive government guidelines will have a significant impact on the development of LCD-TV technology and the television supply chain, impacting panel materials, LCD backlight unit designs and audio/video electronics,” Lawson said.

While many design changes will occur in television electronics and OEM-enabled features, including technologies like ambient light sensing to help facilitate intelligent backlight drive options, the largest gains will have to come from redesigns of the panel materials and backlight source electronics.

One very effective approach to address the need for on-mode power reduction will be the adoption of LED backlighting, especially the direct-lit type, which will can allow for up to 40 percent or more power savings in a typical 30-inch-or-larger LCD-TV.

Toshiba breaks into 3.5-inch external HDD market

IRVINE, USA: Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced the availability of a new Toshiba 3.5-inch External HDD, marking Toshiba’s first entry into the 3.5-inch external HDD business.

The product offers digital consumers and business professionals a stylish and affordable back up device with dual connectivity, robust software features and up to 1TB of capacity from a trusted brand.

“On the heels of successfully building a 2.5-inch external HDD business, we are ready to expand our hard drive expertise into the 3.5-inch HDD market,” said Michael Cassidy, director, accessories and HDD marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Digital Products Division.

“We designed the external hard drive to provide consumers an easy-to-use back up option that not only performs above competition, but is also a stylish accessory for their PC.”

The Toshiba 3.5-inch External HDD features dual connectivity with high-speed USB 2.0 and eSATA ports, as well as a robust software application that offers reliable and easy data protection. In addition, the software package allows consumers to not only back up and restore selected files, but also their entire system.

With its sleek glossy finish, Toshiba designed the 3.5-inch External HDD to match its family of consumer laptops, while the slim form factor design and space-saving footprint conserves desk space. The hard drive is priced competitively at $129.99 MSRP1 for 640GB2 and $159.99 MSRP1 for 1TB2.

All versions of the hard drive are PC and Mac compatible and are backed by a Toshiba three-year standard limited warranty.

Toshiba breaks into 3.5-inch external HDD market

IRVINE, USA: Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced the availability of a new Toshiba 3.5-inch External HDD, marking Toshiba’s first entry into the 3.5-inch external HDD business.

The product offers digital consumers and business professionals a stylish and affordable back up device with dual connectivity, robust software features and up to 1TB of capacity from a trusted brand.

“On the heels of successfully building a 2.5-inch external HDD business, we are ready to expand our hard drive expertise into the 3.5-inch HDD market,” said Michael Cassidy, director, accessories and HDD marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Digital Products Division.

“We designed the external hard drive to provide consumers an easy-to-use back up option that not only performs above competition, but is also a stylish accessory for their PC.”

The Toshiba 3.5-inch External HDD features dual connectivity with high-speed USB 2.0 and eSATA ports, as well as a robust software application that offers reliable and easy data protection. In addition, the software package allows consumers to not only back up and restore selected files, but also their entire system.

With its sleek glossy finish, Toshiba designed the 3.5-inch External HDD to match its family of consumer laptops, while the slim form factor design and space-saving footprint conserves desk space. The hard drive is priced competitively at $129.99 MSRP1 for 640GB2 and $159.99 MSRP1 for 1TB2.

All versions of the hard drive are PC and Mac compatible and are backed by a Toshiba three-year standard limited warranty.

Consumer confidence falls in July to lowest level this year

ARLINGTON, USA: Consumer confidence in the overall economy dropped in July to its lowest level this year, according to the latest data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET.

The CEA-CNET Indexes also showed that consumers’ confidence in technology and consumer electronics (CE) declined this month.

The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) slumped to 165.9 ending two consecutive months of positive gain. The ICE, which measures consumers’ confidence in the overall economy, is down nearly nine points from June and is at its lowest level since October 2008.

“Consumers faced a setback this month with the latest economy news,” said Anne Claudio, vice president of Research at CBS Interactive. “Recent unemployment figures hitting their highest level in 26 years, the rising cost of gasoline prices and declines in household net worth due to the housing market are causing consumers to feel hesitant about an economic recovery in the near term.”

Consumer confidence in CE and technology also fell to its lowest level in over a year. The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE) dropped to 76.6, a decrease of nearly eight points from last month. The ICTE, which measures consumer confidence in technology and consumer electronics, is down four points from this time last year.

“Consumer expectations around tech spending mirrored the decline in consumers’ confidence in the economy,” said Claudio. “With job employment concerns top of mind for many consumers, people are being cautious with their spending and could be saving for the back-to-school and holiday seasons.”

Consumer confidence falls in July to lowest level this year

ARLINGTON, USA: Consumer confidence in the overall economy dropped in July to its lowest level this year, according to the latest data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET.

The CEA-CNET Indexes also showed that consumers’ confidence in technology and consumer electronics (CE) declined this month.

The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) slumped to 165.9 ending two consecutive months of positive gain. The ICE, which measures consumers’ confidence in the overall economy, is down nearly nine points from June and is at its lowest level since October 2008.

“Consumers faced a setback this month with the latest economy news,” said Anne Claudio, vice president of Research at CBS Interactive. “Recent unemployment figures hitting their highest level in 26 years, the rising cost of gasoline prices and declines in household net worth due to the housing market are causing consumers to feel hesitant about an economic recovery in the near term.”

Consumer confidence in CE and technology also fell to its lowest level in over a year. The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE) dropped to 76.6, a decrease of nearly eight points from last month. The ICTE, which measures consumer confidence in technology and consumer electronics, is down four points from this time last year.

“Consumer expectations around tech spending mirrored the decline in consumers’ confidence in the economy,” said Claudio. “With job employment concerns top of mind for many consumers, people are being cautious with their spending and could be saving for the back-to-school and holiday seasons.”

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Large-area TFT LCD shipments reach record levels in June

AUSTIN, USA: June 2009 shipments of large-area TFT LCD panels reached 46.7 million units, up 8 percent M/M and 24 percent Y/Y, according to the most recent DisplaySearch Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database. This sets a new record for the highest monthly large-area TFT LCD shipments.

On a unit basis, LG Display was the leader with 24.5 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 24.1 percent and AUO with 16.6 percent. Large-area TFT LCD revenues reached $5.3 billion, up 14 percent M/M, but 17 percent lower than June 2008.

In terms of shipment volume, June’s shipment results indicate a continuation of the large-area TFT LCD industry’s recovery. DisplaySearch forecasts that shipments will increase again in July, but at a slower rate because the glass substrate shortage is limiting panel makers’ production. The panel supply situation will continue to tighten in July and August, which will result in higher revenues.

All three major applications—notebook PC, monitor and TV—showed M/M growth. DisplaySearch’s research found that LCD TV panels had the highest Y/Y growth at 57 percent, followed by notebook panels at 19 percent, and monitor panels at 12 percent (Table 1).

Also noteworthy, notebook PC and LCD TV panel shipments both reached monthly record highs, with 14.7 and 13.1 million units, respectively. The 18 million LCD monitor panels shipped is the most since May 2008.

Table 1: Monthly Large-Area TFT LCD Panel Shipments and Growth (Millions)Source: DisplaySearch June 2009 Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database

In terms of area, large-area TFT LCD shipments reached 7.1 million square meters in June, up 7 percent M/M and 32 percent Y/Y, the largest amount yet. The growth in shipment area was mainly driven by TV panels. Samsung led in area shipments with a 27.2 percent market share, followed by LG Display at 24.9 percent, CMO at 16.5 percent, and AUO with 15.6 percent.

In addition to large-area TFT LCDs, the Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database also tracks 5.0” to 11.6” mini-note (netbook) panel shipments. Mini-note panel shipments were 3.5 million in June, also an all-time high.

HannStar took back the lead from AUO with 956 thousand units, passing AUO’s 920 thousand. HannStar started shipping 11.0” mini-note panels.

The Premium Version of the Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database includes shipment data by suppliers for each application and screen size. Penetration of 16:9 aspect ratio panels in LCD monitors reached 49 percent in June, a big leap from 42 percent in May.

The penetration of 16:9 in notebook PCs reached 41 percent, also a big leap from 36 percent in May.

According to David Hsieh, Vice President of DisplaySearch: “June results broke many monthly records, such as total large-area shipments, notebook PC and LCD TV panel shipments, shipment area, and mini-note shipments. This is representative of the strong recovery in end-market demand, which is not limited to TV, but also includes notebook PCs and desktop monitors.”

Hsieh added: “We expect the limited supply of glass substrates will limit the shipment growth in July, and given end-market demand, we expect that shortage conditions will continue. However, this will encourage OEMs and brands to aggressively build inventories for the holiday season. As panel customers build inventories in Q3’09 after shortages in July and August, we believe it will be very important to scrutiny the supply chain inventory in September.”

Vehicle scrappage to spur double-dip downturn for automotive?

EL SEGUNDO, USA: While government-sponsored scrappage programs may be mitigating the worst impacts of the automotive downturn in the short term, they may cause another sales downturn further in the future, causing a potential double-dip downturn for the global car market, according to iSuppli Corp.

Although iSuppli is forecasting global auto production will decline to 52 million units in 2009, down 25 percent from 2008, some commentators are talking about the green shoots of recovery appearing in the market, due to vehicle scrappage and incentive programs that are now being rolled out in many countries.

Such programs, sometimes referred to as “cash-for-clunkers,” offer discounts on the purchase of new vehicles to replace cars 10 years in age or older.

“These scrappage programs, however, could have a negative impact,” said Richard Robinson, principal analyst for automotive electronics at iSuppli, “They will simply bring forward—and some would say, distort—the natural buying cycle, creating a double dip. ”

Robinson continued: “Scrappage programs also are having a disproportionately negative effect on Tier-1 automotive infotainment system suppliers, as many countries have built-in green incentives with the maximum benefits given to those consumers who purchase lower-emission and, hence, lighter and cheaper vehicles.

"On the whole, these vehicles tend to be bought from the mid- and entry-level classes, which typically sport fewer added features. The result is fewer sales of feature-rich vehicles that offer a smaller number of the media, navigation and infotainment features provided by the top auto electronics suppliers.”

Navigating out of trouble
Nevertheless, as the car market stages a recovery starting in 2010, there will be a number of significant market opportunities for Tier-1 infotainment electronics and semiconductors suppliers. These opportunities include the growth of low-cost navigation systems that displace Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs), as well as the increasing demand for connectivity that will expand the supply chain to other segments of the electronics market.

This new supply chain will move the car well beyond the static environment of hardware and into the sphere of services, which will extend the sales possibilities for vehicle manufacturers and their service providers.

PND suppliers TomTom and Garmin, entering the automotive Tier-1 battle, are taking very different approaches as they look to extend their reach beyond the PND platform.

The figure presents iSuppli’s navigation shipment forecast for the OEM and aftermarket.

iSuppli: Global Forecast for Navigation Shipments by Platform (Thousands of Units)Source: iSuppli, July 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Axis strengthens presence in India

BANGALORE, INDIA: Axis Communications showcased a range of its latest IP-based network surveillance cameras and video encoders intended to address the growing interest for physical security solutions in the Indian market.

Axis, which set up its sales office in Bangalore, India in 2007, has in a span of two years, witnessed over 100% growth in India. Since 2008, the company has expanded its domestic partner network through its various partner programs to include over 300 partners, and has added a direct presence in Mumbai and New Delhi.

In April this year, Axis unveiled its new generation of high-performing, flexible and scalable network video solutions. The highly efficient H.264 compression format greatly optimizes bandwidth and storage use without compromising image quality. They also support Motion JPEG for increased flexibility.

Bodil Sonesson Gallon, Vice President, Global Sales of Axis Communications AB, said: “According to IMS Research, IP-based surveillance is an emerging sector that will continue to grow over the next few years. Axis is a market leader, with the No.1 position in the network video cameras market with 33.5 percent market share. There is great potential in the Indian physical security and surveillance sector, and we foresee India as a strategic region for Axis.”

Axis has customers in India across verticals and is involved in various projects including the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Mumbai, Hyderabad International Airport, City Surveillance project in Kolkata, Shivajinagar Bus Terminus in Bangalore, and Reliance Internet data centres- Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore. Serum Institute of India, Pune, BPCL, NTPC, Nokia, Yahoo and Target are some of Axis’ customers in the institutional and corporate sector.

Oh Tee Lee, Regional Director, South Asia Pacific said: “Across business and government, there is a growing realisation of the benefits of moving from analog to IP-based digital surveillance solutions. Axis is well-poised to drive the transformation with its technology and market leadership combined with a well-established channel partner program that comprises 24,000 partners globally.”

The market for CCTV and video surveillance equipment in Asia is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 12 percent to $4,122.8 million in 2011, from $2,342.8 million in 2006.

India is currently a fast growing segment of the overall Asia market, and is seeing tremendous interest especially from sectors which are booming and where security is a key concern, like infrastructure, city surveillance and transportation as network connectivity becomes prevalent in India.

According to an ASSOCHAM report, the physical security landscape in India is estimated to reach Rs 50,000 crores by 2011, from Rs 22,000 crores as of December 2008.

LCD market rebounds in Q2, recovery set for H2

EL SEGUNDO, USA: After declining for the previous nine months, global shipments of large-sized LCD panels rose sequentially by 41.4 percent in the second quarter compared to the first due to higher pricing and healthy demand, according to iSuppli Corp.

The large-sized LCD panel market rose to 129.7 million units in the second quarter, up from 91.7 million in the first quarter. This follows sequential declines of 2.3 percent in the third quarter, of 18.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 2 percent in the first quarter of 2008.

iSuppli defines large-sized LCD panels as those having a diagonal dimension of 10-inches or larger.

“On the demand side, strong sales in China spurred by a government stimulus program propped up sales in the first half,” said Sweta Dash, senior director for LCD research at iSuppli. “Meanwhile, notebook panel demand recovered in the second quarter and global LCD-TV sales remained strong.”

Low inventories throughout the supply chain, combined with the severe cut in LCD fab utilization rates and production, pushed the market to tight supply beginning in the first quarter of 2009. As a result, panel prices have been increasing since the beginning of 2009, especially for monitor and TV panels, although these prices were still below manufacturers’ costs.

However, while shipments rose on a sequential basis in the second quarter, the market actually declined in the first half compared to the same period in 2008.

“A full recovery in the large-sized LCD panel market is expected in the second half of 2009, when strong panel demand combined with higher prices will bring the market back to profitability and revenue growth,” Dash said.

Global shipments of large-sized LCD panels in the third quarter of 2009 will rise by a robust 28.9 percent compared to the same period in 2008. Shipments in the fourth quarter will growth by an even more impressive 57.1 percent from the same quarter in 2008.

For the full year of 2009, large-sized LCD panel shipments will rise to 516.7 million units, up 18.6 percent from 435.7 million units in 2008.

However, large-sized LCD panel revenue for all of 2009 is still expected to decline by 8 percent compared to 2008 due to the below-cost pricing throughout the first half of 2009. Revenue in 2009 will amount to $67.2 billion, down from $73.1 billion in 2008.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of quarterly, global shipments for large-sized LCD panels.Source: iSuppli, July 2009

Healthy inventories
Large-sized panel inventory remained at low to normal levels in the second quarter. Inventory is expected to remain healthy until the third quarter.

Panel inventory is expected to remain low, given that panel suppliers worried about overbooking will be controlling panel shipments to prevent inventory from building up at buyers. But panel buyers are starting to pull in orders in preparation for expected tight supply in the third quarter of 2009.

China’s strong LCD-TV growth
The Chinese government’s rural subsidies program has increased TV demand in China. Now that the program has been extended to nine cities, growth is expected to continue through future quarters.

Television panel demand, especially from domestic brands, is expected to be strong in the third quarter to support strong growth expectations.

Branded TV manufacturers are beginning to offer discounts on new models in the United States, especially sets based on LED backlights and products with higher frame rates such as 120Hz and 240Hz.

More aggressive television set pricing, combined with stabilization in the global economy, will drive further demand in the second half of 2009. Television panel demand, excluding monitor panels used for TVs, is expected to reach 130 million units by the end of 2009, up 28 percent from 2008.

Notebook panel demand recovered in the second quarter after a slowdown in the first due to the introduction of notebook product based on Intel Corp.’s Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) featuring a thinner form factor, 16:9 format panels and LED backlight.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Disruption in micro materials processing market opens opps for laser suppliers

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Sales of low-power lasers for so-called micro materials processing will fall by 40 percent in 2009, but growth will recover in 2010 to exceed $460 million by 2013.

While the market appears at first to be merely scaling to the world economy, the downturn is also likely to disrupt market share in many segments, in a game of musical chairs. These are some of the conclusions of a new report from Strategies Unlimited, the leading market research firm covering optoelectronics markets.

The strongest growth will be in fiber lasers, diode lasers, green lasers, mode-locked (ultrafast) lasers, and lasers for manufacturing solar cells. All segments will see some growth beginning in 2010, but there will be more shuffling of technologies and suppliers than is first apparent, given the evolving situation in these segments.

Coherent, Rofin-Sinar, and GSI Group (including the revenues for Excel Technology for all of 2008) are at the top of the list with over 50 percent of last year’s market share. This is because of the highly fragmented nature of the market.

These companies have strong shares in more than one laser technology in this low-power category, while many companies are highly concentrated in just one category, or their sales are split across other application areas not counted in this study.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Klipsch Image S4i in-ear headset

INDIANAPOLIS, USA: Klipsch plans to re-define the music listening experience with its new Image S4i, an in-ear headset that combines the company's acclaimed sound performance and amazing comfort value with a unique in-line microphone and remote.

"Designed for iPhone and iPod users, the Image S4i is a breakthrough product that simplifies on-the-go lifestyles—you can take calls while commuting or exercising, as well as control your music library," said Don Inmon, Klipsch director of marketing and product development for personal audio.

The Image S4i works seamlessly with the iPhone 3GS, third generation iPod shuffle, second generation iPod touch, fourth generation iPod nano and the iPod classic 120GB. The headset features Apple's advanced three-button microphone and remote system that easily handles the voice and/or music control of these Apple products.

Furthermore, the S4i remote is among the first to be fully compatible with the Apple VoiceOver feature on the third generation iPod shuffle, which allows you to hear the name of the playlist, song or artist with just the press of a button.

According to Paul Jacobs, president and COO of Klipsch Group, Inc., when you combine Apple's incredible products with our 63 years of experience in high-performance audio, you can expect one of the coolest, most advanced headset designs out there. "It's definitely a platform that will dynamically change the music experience for our customers."

Unlike most headsets, the S4i positions its in-line microphone and remote at the yoke—where the two cables meet at chest level—to create a more natural feel when answering calls and controlling music.

Because the microphone is a highly intelligible 360-degree design, you don't have to talk down into it; you can speak as if you're having a face-to-face conversation. Additionally, the microphone features echo cancellation, which keeps it from picking up the external noise around you.

Since durability is a major concern when it comes to headphone and headset cables, Klipsch has gone to great lengths to ensure the S4i cables are a well-balanced combination of being robust as well as discreet. The company has added appropriate strain relief at every cable connection point to help prevent wire damage, while also putting them through extensive "real world" testing.

The Image S4i utilizes the company's exclusive oval ear tips that provide comfortable long-term wear. Unlike circular-shaped designs that put stress on the pressure points inside the ear, Klipsch's oval ear tips naturally fit the contours of the ear canals. These ear tips also offer superior passive noise-cancellation, blocking out almost all ambient noise and providing excellent bass.

The key to the S4i's dynamic music performance is a moving coil micro-speaker with controlled damping, a feature that allows it to deliver smooth, full-bodied sound similar to a more expensive design.

A dual neodymium magnet motor structure, in each of the 8.5 mm drivers, establishes the S4i's damping characteristics. It's a quality that allows kick drums to "attack" and Intermodulation distortion, or IMD, to be significantly reduced.

Available in a piano black finish with chrome accents, the Image S4i comes with a two-year warranty and includes a premium carrying pouch; small, medium and large ear tips; small/medium dual flange ear tips; an ear tip cleaning tool; and a clothing clip. Priced at $99.99, the S4i will be available for purchase at klipsch.com, Apple, InMotion and Amazon in August.

ASUS leads PC hardware industry with new motherboard series

MUMBAI, INDIA: ASUS today announced the Xtreme Design series motherboards featuring ground-breaking design innovations and offering the best in performance and reliability.

The Xtreme Design series motherboards deliver exceptional overall system compatibility and enhanced reliability by proficiently managing and reliably controlling core processes operating in the PC. Drawing on two decades of engineering excellence,

ASUS believes a genetically superior motherboard DNA will provide the winning formula to surpass current user expectations and industry benchmarks. ASUS leads the industry with designs that optimize overall performance and reliability of PC hardware.

In the new Xtreme Design series motherboards, ASUS further raises the bar in motherboard designs for the ultimate in performance, reliability, and safe operations.

Commenting on the new series of motherboards, Vinay Shetty – Country Head – Component Business, ASUS (India) said: "The Xtreme Design concept recognizes the utmost important part of any product –- its design -– something that is an ASUS hallmark.

"Special circuit design and ideal material selection combined with optimized board layout and best integrated design ensure the best final result in these series of motherboards. The Stack Cool3+ technology deployed in these boards is an advanced version of the 2oz PCB design which offers 17 percent more cooling than reference designed boards."

Xtreme reliability for extended component lifespan
Xtreme Design features innovative Stack Cool3+ to enhance motherboard component longevity. It is a feature that was re-engineered from the original copper cooling innovation of the ASUS P5E64 WS motherboard.

With the perfect cooperation with Xtreme Design, Stack Cool3+ effectively cools motherboards with an enhanced PCB layer to provide a stable and low operating temperature for optimized data transmissions.

By substantially improving heat dissipation, the new series offers users exceptional reliability. This innovation builds on ASUS’ pioneering achievement as the first adopter of innovative cooling technology, which transformed the way motherboards were designed.

Xtreme performance for enhanced power and throughput
For the ultimate experience in performance, Xtreme Design features Xtreme phase to ensure the most stable and optimized power delivery; and Turbo V for a real-time, dynamic processing boost.

Both features allow motherboard enthusiasts to experience optimal power performance under various loading conditions as well as an overwhelming boost of up to 51 percent in processing throughput.

Xtreme safety standards for minimized health impact
Unsurpassed safety standards are incorporated in the Xtreme Design series motherboards for safer operations. By passing stringent Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) testing that is 30 percent more rigorous than industry benchmarks; the new motherboards have exceptionally low EMI emissions.

Together with a low electrostatic discharge (ESD) and an I/O bracket called Q-Shield, these features help to significantly reduce any negative health impact and potential damage to components.

Launching soon: Xtreme Design series motherboards
ASUS will be launching a range of Xtreme Design series motherboards. Among them is the P6TD Deluxe, an enhanced version of the record-breaking, high-performance, X58-based P6T Deluxe motherboard.

With an “Xtreme Design” DNA, the new series will appeal to the performance-demanding market and gain more fans by offering superior capabilities and exceptional reliability—traits that discerning users have come to expect from ASUS, the leading name in technology innovation.

20mn wireless networked TVs to ship in 2011

SCOTTSDALE, USA: As part of the continuing trend toward networked home entertainment, television sets will increasingly include wired or wireless connections to online content.

A new study from ABI Research forecasts that in 2011, some 20 million TVs offering wireless connectivity will be shipped worldwide. This segment is expected to show linear growth through the study’s forecast horizon of 2014.

Network connectivity does already exist in high-end models, and networked TVs are already quite widespread in Japan. According to industry analyst Michael Inouye, “North America, Western Europe, and select Asian countries are seen as the next growth markets, and the 2009 holiday season and 2010 will be the watershed periods when vendors will see whether networked TV should trickle down to mainstream models and really take off there.”

Ethernet will handle the wired type of connection in most cases, but will wireless technology prevail? If it does, the most likely candidate is Wi-Fi, although it’s true that 802.11b and 802.11g may suffer some latency and interference problems. 802.11n Wi-Fi, though, should provide a fully capable connection, and its growing adoption will improve support for networked TVs.

“Many current TV models are nearly capable of being networked, at least for basic functions,” says Inouye. “Basic networking often only entails additional memory, Ethernet support at the chip level (and active port), and software –- the hardware component being relatively inexpensive.”

What will consumers get with a networked TV? A wide variety of online content: news, weather, sport, material from Internet video sites, music, casual gaming, and social networking.

However, a critical factor for the success of this new kind of entertainment is the position of the owners of that content. “At the end of the day, if the content holders don’t let their content go to this platform in a timely manner, it’s just not going to get anywhere,” Inouye notes.

IEEE standard to enable audio/video streaming over 802 networks moves to sponsor ballot

PISCATAWAY, USA: IEEE announced today that the first standard in a project to synchronize audio and video communications has moved to sponsor ballot.

IEEE P802.1Qav, "IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks -- Virtual Bridged Local Area Networks -- Amendment: Forwarding and Queuing Enhancements for Time-Sensitive Streams," will improve streaming audio and video applications over bridged local-area networks (LANs) by providing performance guarantees that allow for time-sensitive traffic in a local area network and control delay, jitter, and packet loss for wired, wireless, and mixed wired/wireless L2 networks.

When completed, the standard will allow streaming audio, video and related content to be delivered with a very small and bounded delay. "Current proprietary networks are hard to configure and very expensive," says Michael Johas Teener, Task Group Chair for the Audio Video Bridging (AVB) task group within the IEEE 802.1 Working Group.

"Systems engineers want to use IEEE 802™ standards-based networks such as Ethernet and WiFi, but they also want a guarantee of low delay. They need a more self-configuring system, which the IEEE 802 AVB standards will provide without the need for time-consuming resource management."

"This standard has come together quickly thanks to the hard work and cooperation of the audio and video community," says Tony Jeffree, chair of the Higher Layer LAN Protocols Working Group, which is developing the standard.

"A wide range of groups has come together to develop the simplest and best approach, without any acrimony or controversy. This is a great example of how engineers can work together when they focus on solving a problem, and an excellent example of the IEEE standardization process at its best."

IEEE P802.1Qav is the first of the AVB standards going to Sponsor ballot. The next two are IEEE P802.1AS™, which specifies how to do precise synchronization (allowing, for example, multiple networked loudspeakers playing the same audio signal to operate in phase, synchronized within one microsecond), and IEEE P802.1Qat™, which specifies how to reserve resources in a network for delivery of video and audio streams.

IEEE P802.1Qav is sponsored by the IEEE 802 Standards Committee of the IEEE Computer Society.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bluetooth attach rates rise as TAM falls in 2009!

SCOTTSDALE, USA: Bluetooth is on track to increase attach rates in many key market segments, reports In-Stat. However, the recession is taking its toll on the end equipment markets for Bluetooth, as Bluetooth-enabled equipment shipments will shrink 4 percent in 2009.

Within the Bluetooth market, however, it is not all doom and gloom. The Bluetooth 3.0 + High Speed specification, a true breakthrough, was announced as the next official standard in April. It offers high speed data transfer, nearly 10 times the rate of current Bluetooth technology, while providing the same capability and preserving Bluetooth interoperability.

“The new standard is an integrated solution that capitalizes on the two most successful wireless technologies to date, Bluetooth and 802.11,” says Brian O’Rourke, In-Stat analyst.

“This will allow Bluetooth to move large data files, such as music, videos, and photos at a rate similar to Wi-Fi. Up to now, low data rates have been a big stumbling block for Bluetooth in the consumer electronic (CE) market.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
* Bluetooth semiconductor revenue will approach $4 billion by 2013. Bluetooth 3.0 will represent the largest share of semiconductor revenue by 2012.
* Shipments of devices with Bluetooth will rebound to growth in 2010.
* 43 percent of In-Stat’s survey respondents are very or extremely familiar with Bluetooth. Among those 34 and younger, the percentage is over 60 percent.
* The Bluetooth attach rate for mobile phones is expected to be 63 percent in 2009.
* Radio integration, using Bluetooth as the wireless platform, continues to gain serious market momentum.

Toshiba's digital media frames feature Wi-Fi connectivity

NEW YORK, USA: Toshiba America Consumer Products LLC has announced cutting-edge advancements for today's connected home.

Taking photo sharing to new heights, Toshiba's Digital Media Frames deliver real-time information through its partnership with FrameChannel, such as personalized weather, traffic, and sports scores as well as music and video to any room in the connected home.

Toshiba is creating a new trend-setting product category with its new Digital Media Frame models. Picture the possibilities of a fun, interactive product that not only displays photos but also makes it possible for users to automatically share priceless memories with friends and family anywhere in the world thanks to FrameChannel.

Simply set up a FrameChannel account and upload images or link favorite photos, music and videos from popular sites like Flickr, Photobucket, and Facebook. Friends and family can stay updated with new photos when their frames are connected to the account.

"Toshiba is dedicated to creating innovative and entertaining products to enhance the needs of today's connected home," said Jodi Sally, Vice President of Marketing, Digital A/V Group. "Through Toshiba's partnership with FrameChannel(R), our new Digital Media Frames allow the user to not only display and share photos, but also customize their frame with personalized digital content, all in one sleek package."

Not just a photo frame
The feature-packed channels available through Toshiba's FrameChannel partnership can be customized to an individual's passions. Currently there are over 1000 free channels to choose from in 19 categories with selections like People.com, Men's Tennis, 3-Day Forecast, Stock Quotes and Facebook, to name a few.

Users can subscribe to their favorite channels and their Toshiba Digital Media Frame will automatically update with real-time information.

"FrameChannel was created to provide a wide range of personalized content to the next generation of digital devices," said Alan Phillips, co-founder and CEO of Frame Media. "With over one thousand current channels, FrameChannel subscribers can find virtually anything they're looking for and Toshiba's new Digital Media Frames take this market to the next level with their intuitive interface and great looking design."

In a true function meets fashion manner, Toshiba's tradition of high-gloss design and brilliant screens adorn the frames; Toshiba's Digital Media Frames offer rich, vibrant, high-resolution screens that make photos pop with crisp color.

A tilt senor automatically adjusts to view photos in portrait or landscape formats when the frame is turned on. Easy-to-navigate home screens boast touch sensitive controls that light up when pressed. Home screens are customizable with a calendar, clock and streamed online feature channels to match personal interests and hobbies.

The new Digital Media Frames were announced at House Beautiful Magazine's Kitchen of the Year in New York City, an event celebrating the intersection of dining, entertaining and design. Kitchen of the Year is an ideal venue to showcase how Toshiba's Digital Media Frames can seamlessly bring engaging content to every room of the digital home.

Toshiba's Digital Media Frames come in two sizes -- 8-inch frames available in black (DMF82XKU) or white (DMF82XWU) with an acrylic front finish and eye-catching reflective trim and black 10-inch frames (DMF102XKU) offering a striking faceplate design and a slim profile.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

PC outlook improves as consumer spending stabilizes shipments

FRAMINGHAM, USA: As in the first quarter of 2009, global PC shipments again came in slightly ahead of expectations in the second quarter (2Q09), lessening fears over the extent of the PC market slump.

Worldwide PC shipments (including Desktop and Portable PCs, but excluding x86 Servers) were down 3.1 percent from the second quarter of 2008 –- a notable improvement over an expected decline of 6.3 percent, according to IDC’'s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

All regions either met or surpassed expectations. Although the global downturn is still making its effects felt in the PC industry, the slump has been mitigated by a PC market which has seen the computing experience evolve to be more personal, portable, and cost-oriented rather than performance-driven. Portable PCs continue to be the primary driver of volume and growth with all regions seeing strong Portable shipments.

"These results are a very positive indicator for the second half of the year," said Loren Loverde, program director for IDC’s Tracker Program. "We are seeing continued demand from consumers and limited impact from supply chain factors such as inventory balancing.

"New product launches in the second half of the year combined with seasonal growth and greater economic confidence resulting from factors such as government stimulus, a more liquid housing market, relatively stable stock market and interest rates, and progress in the auto and financial industries, should support the expected return to growth by year-end."

While the market has outperformed expectations for a second consecutive quarter, the lack of commercial activity remains a drag on growth. The commercial segment remains more conservative with spending, focusing on other priorities and preserving cash. As a result, the segment has not been as motivated by falling prices and new portable designs as the consumer segment.

“Despite continued contraction from a year ago, the US market managed a better-than-average sequential performance –- an indication of a stabilizing or improving market. While the sequential growth may be a hint of recovery, the market’s focus on lower-price PCs and Mini Notebooks is likely to drag the value of the market to lower levels,” says Bob O'Donnell, vice president, Clients and Displays.

“The market continues to rely on consumer purchases, with a substantial weakness in the commercial space. We expect to see more of the same as we enter the busy shopping season of the second half of the year. In the longer term, an expected recovery in the commercial segment should boost growth in 2011.”

Regional Outlook
United States: The US PC market declined by 3 percent year over year in the second quarter, matching forecasts for the market. Ongoing healthy volume through Retail spurred Portables to exceed forecasts, but that was offset by Commercial sluggishness and Desktop volume below expectations. Dell regained its lead by a small margin, but remains hampered by slow commercial spending.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA): In line with IDC's forecast, the EMEA PC market continued to contract for the second consecutive quarter. The Portable PC market performed ahead of expectations, maintaining single-digit positive growth, thanks to continued uptake of mini notebooks in the consumer segment and additional momentum generated by the telco channel. But whilst the consumer market held up well, spending in the commercial segment remained constrained across all form factors.

Japan: Shipments declined slower than expected in the second quarter, with year-over-year growth improving notably from the first quarter. Nevertheless, the Japanese market continues to be plagued by tepid Commercial activity and a Consumer market shifting towards lower cost Portables, which has benefited non-Japanese OEMs with a clear focus on Mini Notebook PCs.

Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ): PC shipments exceeded forecasts, fueled by very strong Portables growth, particularly in Southeast Asia. China was a bright spot in the region, while India came in close to expectations. Shipment growth returned to positive territory after several quarters of declining volume.

Vendor Highlights
HP: It made further inroads into Consumer Portables through the Retail channel and continued to gain share overall. The vendor grew 3.6 percent year over year worldwide with above-market performance in the U.S. The company also performed well in Europe and Asia/Pacific.

Dell: Although still heavily affected by the Commercial slump, Dell saw good growth from consumer-focused SKUs and reclaimed the number 1 spot in the US. The company continues to restructure operations, develop its Consumer business, and should benefit from an eventual rebound in the Commercial segment.

Acer: It continues to capitalize on its growing channel presence to ship Portables geared toward a wide range of cost-conscious consumers. The company maintained its lead in Mini Notebook PCs while its early entry into Atom-based Notebooks should also pay dividends later in the year. The company saw a significant gain in the US market, likely benefiting from the troubles of Dell and Lenovo.

Lenovo: Its renewed focus on Notebooks and emerging regions produced positive growth following declines in the past two quarters. Solid growth was reported in Latin America and APeJ while yearly declines in mature regions slowed compared to 1Q09. Its home court advantage in APeJ also has led it to focus on a myriad of government stimulus programs, which could pay dividends while riding through the Commercial downturn.

Toshiba: It had a solid second quarter where it outgrew the market in most regions and moved up to the fourth spot in the US. Toshiba's Mini Notebook offering has helped it to weather the storm comparatively better than other Japanese OEMs and it was the only major Japanese OEM to have positive yearly growth in Japan.Table Notes:

* Some IDC estimates prior to financial earnings reports.
* Shipments include shipments to distribution channels or end users.
* PCs include Desktop and Portable PCs (including Mini Notebooks)
* PCs do not include x86 Servers or handhelds. Data for all vendors are reported for calendar periods.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bose intros SoundLink wireless music system

FRAMINGHAM, USA: Bose has introduced the SoundLink wireless music system, a one-piece portable speaker system that allows users to play music from their computer -- wirelessly -- in and around the home.

The new SoundLink system was designed as a simple solution for people who listen to music stored on their computer, but don’t want to be at their computer to enjoy it.

Setup is easy. No software or Wi-Fi connection is required. Just plug the included SoundLink USB key into the computer, select music -- from iTunes, Pandora, or any other Internet radio or music source -- and the audio will stream to the SoundLink system via a long-range wireless link that works through most walls and floors.

“Many people use a computer as their primary source for music,” said John Roselli, category business manager for Bose. “But that convenience and experience is diminished by having to be at the computer to hear it. The Bose SoundLink system unlocks that music, streaming it almost anywhere in the home –- even outside –- quickly and easily.”

For added flexibility, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery is included, making the SoundLink wireless music system truly portable. It’s charged by the system’s AC power supply -- no outlet is required. The battery provides all the power the system needs for up to three hours when played at full volume or for longer periods at more moderate listening levels.

Advanced Bose engineering in electronics efficiency and speaker design enable the same high-quality audio performance whether plugged-in or operating on battery power.

The SoundLink system features a proprietary acoustics package, which combines exclusive Bose waveguide speaker technology and neodymium transducers to deliver room-filling, high-quality audio from a very small enclosure.

The system’s infrared remote control operates the power and volume, and can send transport control commands to most applications, allowing users to skip tracks or play/pause from a distance. Touch-sensitive volume buttons also are located on the unit itself.

Although designed primarily for wireless connectivity to a computer, the SoundLink system features an auxiliary input for connecting additional audio sources, including an iPod, iPhone, MP3 player or CD player.

The new SoundLink wireless music system comes in Gloss Black, and will be available from Bose beginning August 27, 2009, for a price of $549.95.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Computer accessories aftermarket sales to reach $7.64 billion by 2013

OYSTER BAY, USA: In light of the ongoing recession, businesses and consumers have been holding off on the purchase of new computer systems; instead, they’re turning increasingly to computer accessories as a means of supplementing the capabilities of the computers they already own.

According to a new study by NextGen Research, “The Aftermarket for Computer Accessories: Mice, Monitors, Keyboards, Webcams, and Other PC Add-ons,” the computer accessories aftermarket amounted to $6.575 billion in 2008, and will reach $7.64 billion by 2013.

The US market will see little growth over the forecast period, according to NextGen Research, while emerging markets, especially China, will be fertile ground for computer accessories.

Observes NextGen Research research director Larry Fisher, buying new accessories rather than replacing computer systems is “not unlike clothes shopping. You may not want to buy a whole new suit or a new dress when money is tight, but a new tie or a new necklace can help create the appearance of a totally new ensemble.”

Fisher notes that businesses and consumers alike are looking for accessories that support their mobility without sacrificing power, and which allow them to stay in touch with the home office and the home.

Accessories vendors hope to take advantage of strong growth in the burgeoning netbooks category by offering wireless devices that expand the ease of use of these smaller computers, as well as devices that connect these mobile devices to home systems.

An aftermarket PC accessories category that stands out is gaming controllers; manufacturers report strong sales as consumers respond to the recession by turning to stay-at-home gaming as an alternative to more expensive out-of-home activities.

Similarly, vendors of wireless connective devices that link computers, TVs, and audio equipment report that they are seeing breakthroughs as a result of consumers’ search for stay-at-home entertainment options. This trend is likely to continue.

Not all the news is positive, however. Traditional input devices such as mice and keyboards are seeing pressure from touchscreen monitors that allow users to perform many of the input tasks of those devices. “Manufacturers insist there will always be a need for the keyboard but don’t seem as adamant about mice, except in the gaming category,” Fisher said.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Video advertising networks emerging and surging to $493 million in '09 revenue

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Online Video Advertising Networks 2007 - 2010: Emerging and Surging" report to their offering.

This report analyzes video inventory and gross media spend in both up-and-coming and established avail verticals, including in-banner, remnant/third party pre-roll, video overlays, video search and podcasting.

Each video advertising network vertical is thoroughly analyzed by total inventory (exclusive, non-exclusive, monthly and annually), business models, sell-out percentages, CPMs for each avail format, gross ad billings and total revenues by network.

In-banner video networks led by Eyewonder, Pointroll, Eyeblaster and Google's DoubleClick are inventory, media spend and revenue generating juggernauts of the video advertising group, combining for over $1.5 billion in 2008 gross billings (video units only), forecast at $1.8 billion in '09.

Third party video networks representing premium pre-roll inventory aligned with major branded content include BBE, Brightroll, Tremor Media, YuMe Networks, Internet Broadcasting and Worldnow are forecast to contribute another $223 million to gross media spend during 2009, over 24% of all pre-roll media buys across an extremely competitive and rapidly-evolving sales landscape.

Overlay network inventory reached 19.8 billion total units in 2008, forecast to increase 70 percent in 2009. Participation revenue flowing back to networks like VideoEgg, Adapt.TV and ScanScout is expected to climb 100 percent in aggregate.

Online video advertising networks are forecast to make $493 million in participation revenue, hosting and insertion fees against gross CPM billings of $2.2 billion in 2009, according to this published report.

The report, Online Video Advertising Networks 2007 - 2010: Emerging and Surging, details video inventory and gross media spend for both up-and-coming and established avail executions, including in-banner video, remnant/3rd party pre-roll sales, video overlays, video search and podcasting.

Each video advertising network vertical is analyzed by total inventory (exclusive, non-exclusive, monthly and annually), business models, sell-out percentages, CPMs for each avail format, media spend and total revenues by network.

In-banner video networks led by Eyewonder, Pointroll, Eyeblaster and Google's DoubleClick are inventory, media spend and revenue generating juggernauts of the video advertising group, combining for over $1.5 billion in 2008 gross billings (video units only), forecast at $1.8 billion in '09.

3rd party video networks representing premium pre-roll inventory aligned with major branded content include BBE, Brightroll, Tremor Media, YuMe Networks, Internet Broadcasting and Worldnow are forecast to contribute another $223 million to gross media spend during 2009, over 39 percent of all pre-roll media buys across an extremely competitive and rapidly-evolving sales landscape.

Overlay network inventory reached 19.8 billion total units in 2008, forecast to increase 70 percent in 2009. Participation revenue flowing back to networks like VideoEgg, Adapt.TV and ScanScout is expected to climb 100% in aggregate.

Major video search networks Blinkx, Truveo and Magnify.net handled a combined 420 million average monthly search requests in 2008, and forecast to generate $30 million in corresponding revenue 2009.

Podcast inventory averaged some 84 million units per month in 2008, taking in gross billings estimated at $25.9 million, equaling approximately 55 percent of total paid media spend made against branded premium and semi-professional content categories.

"Video advertising networks are a vital economic engine of online video monetization," commented research director Paul A. Palumbo.

"These tenacious, entrepreneurial networks are endemic to the broadband publishing medium, propelling video advertising inevitably onward toward greater accountability, higher ROI and wider adoption by agencies and marketers."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

PC market to suffer first decline since Dot-Com bubble!

EL SEGUNDO, USA: For the first time since the Dot-Com bust of 2001, the global PC market will suffer a contraction in unit shipments in 2009, due to a combination of falling IT spending and plunging sales of desktop computers, iSuppli Corp. predicts.

Global PC shipments are expected to decline to 287.3 million units in 2009, down 4 percent from 299.2 million in 2008. iSuppli previously forecasted 0.7 percent growth in PC shipments for the year.

“An annual decline in unit shipments is highly unusual in the PC market,” observed Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms for iSuppli. “Even in weak years, PC unit shipments typically rise by single-digit percentages. The last decline—in 2001—was a 5.1 decrease in unit shipments due to the extraordinary impact of the Dot-Com bust, which caused inflated IT spending levels from the previous years to collapse.”

The primary factor driving the decline in the PC market in 2009 is an expected 18.1 percent plunge in desktop shipments. Unit shipments of desktop PCs will amount to 124.4 million in 2009, down from 151.9 million in 2008.

Entry-level servers -- which iSuppli includes in its definition of PCs -- also will suffer a decline, with shipments falling to 6.9 million units, down 9.5 percent from 7.7 million in 2008.

In contrast, notebook PC shipments in 2009 will rise by 11.7 percent to reach 155.97 million units, up from 139.6 million in 2008. Notebook PC shipments will exceed those of desktops on an annual basis for the first time ever in 2009.

“Mobility is winning out in the PC market,” Wilkins said. “Businesses and consumers continue to embrace notebooks PCs because of the benefits of mobility and the near-equal performance and feature set. This is cutting into desktop PC shipments.” Meanwhile, enterprise spending on IT technology is hurting PC sales.

“Tight budgets are putting the squeeze on corporate IT spending,” Wilkins said. “This is hitting desktop and server sales particularly hard.” The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of global annual PC shipments.

iSuppli Figure: Global PC Shipment Forecast (Thousands of Units)Source: iSuppli, July 2009

Rocky bottom
While iSuppli is currently correlating its data for second-quarter 2009 PC shipments, iSuppli’s forecast for the second quarter calls for flat shipments rising a scant 0.1 percent to reach 66.54 million units, up from 66.45 million in the first quarter.

In the third and fourth quarters, shipments are expected to rise sequentially by 11 and 8.9 percent, respectively.

“Although our expectation is for shipments to rise vigorously in the third quarter on a sequential basis, conditions remain weak compared to 2008.”

Shipments in the third quarter will be down 6.5 percent compared to the same period in 2008.

However, in the fourth quarter, shipments will rise by 3.6 percent compared to a year earlier. This trend will continue in 2010, with shipments rising on a year-over-year basis during every quarter of the year. For all of 2010, global PC shipments will rise by 4.7 percent from 2009.

Samsung adds two new cameras to SL-Series

RIDGEFIELD PARK, USA: Samsung Electronics America Inc. extended its SL-Series of easy-to-use, compact digital cameras with the introduction of the new SL720 and SL502. Offering 12.2 mega-pixels, 5x optical zooms and eye-catching style, the new SL720 and SL502 add additional depth to Samsung’s popular SL-Series, which now comprises eight individual models.

“These are two of the most full-featured compact digital cameras on the market,” said Reid Sullivan, senior vice president of audio/video and digital imaging marketing, Samsung Electronics America.

“Typically, consumers may feel like they have to sacrifice functionality in order to find a digital camera priced within their means, but that’s not the case with the new SL720 and SL502. Samsung is giving consumers the ability to experience the latest and most advanced digital imaging technology, helping them step up to a more robust, feature-packed camera which will help take their photography to a whole new level.”

With the SL720, users have access to a 28mm wide-angle lens, while the SL502 offers a standard 35mm lens. The SL720 and SL502 offer powerful 5x optical zooms and are each paired with image stabilization to help reduce blur caused by hand movements.

The SL720 offers Dual Image Stabilization, which combines both optical and digital stabilization technology. The SL502 features Digital Image Stabilization. Users can also frame their shots and review their images on the cameras’ large LCD screens. The SL720 features a 3.0 inch LCD and the SL502 features a 2.7 inch LCD.

The SL720 and SL502 incorporate a host of intuitive and smart features which simplify how users take and view their photos. Both cameras include Samsung’s Smart Auto shooting mode, an advanced setting which automatically chooses from one of the cameras’ 11 scene modes, to produce the best possible image.

When finished taking photos, the SL720 and SL502 feature Smart Album, a useful tool that allows users to easily search for a specific image they have saved on their memory card. Smart Album automatically organizes the user’s digital images and gives them the ability to narrow their search based on specific criteria such as the date or week the image was taken, the overall color tone, portraits or specific file types, including photos, videos, or voice memos.

The SL720 and SL502 are also the first cameras in Samsung’s SL-Series to feature Face Recognition technology. Samsung’s Face Recognition technology automatically stores up to 20 preferred faces to the cameras’ internal memory. While taking a portrait, the SL720 and SL502 will automatically recognize if one of the user’s 20 preferred faces is in the frame and identify them as a priority for focus and exposure.

Users can also save time sorting through their photos and instead search for photos that contain a specific face. Samsung’s Perfect Portrait System can also be found on the new SL720 and SL502, which includes Face Detection, Smile Shot, Blink Detection and Samsung’s Beauty Shot.

The new SL720 and SL502 offer consumers advanced video recording options. With the SL720, users can record 720p, high-definition video which can be played on an HDTV through an optional HDMI cradle sold separately. The camera also utilizes H.264 compression, an advanced codec that allows users to record video for longer periods of time.

The SL502 features high-quality MJPEG video recording at a resolution of 640x480. For added versatility, both the SL720’s and SL502’s 5x optical zooms can be used while recording video.

Cambridge NanoTech launches plasma ALD system

CAMBRIDGE, USA: Cambridge NanoTech, the world leader in Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) science and equipment for research and industry, today announced the launch of its first line of plasma ALD systems, the Fiji Series.

“The Fiji is a breakthrough in ALD system design,” said Dr. Jill Becker, Founder and CEO of Cambridge NanoTech. “We built it from the ground up for the specific purpose of plasma ALD, but with the ability to conduct thermal ALD as well.”

Built on the success of the Savannah, the Fiji delivers unparalleled flexibility and ease of experimental use for plasma ALD research. “We are pleased to announce that the success of the Fiji thus far includes the delivery of ten Fiji systems on three continents,” said Dr. Becker.

The Fiji will be on display at ALD 2009 conference in Monterey, CA during the week of July 19th and can be seen by visiting Cambridge NanoTech in booth #10 at the Portola Hotel. In addition, Cambridge NanoTech scientists will present the first peer-reviewed papers based on research performed on the Fiji.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Axis strengthens outdoor camera offerings

INDIA: Axis Communications, the market leader in network video, is strengthening its outdoor camera offerings by releasing a number of outdoor-ready products this summer and fall.

The new products include several unique features that make the installation and use of IP cameras in outdoor environments even more cost-efficient and reliable.

“We co-operated very closely with our end users and installers to develop our outdoor camera range,” says Erik Frännlid, Director of Product Management at Axis.

“As a result, we are now launching a series of outdoor-ready products that reduce installation time and are ideal for demanding outdoor conditions. Typical applications range from railway stations and university campuses to city surveillance and traffic monitoring.”

The new Axis outdoor cameras are outdoor-ready at delivery and do not require an external housing. When possible, they include pre-installed cables and brackets needed for the installation.

“In addition, our new outdoor-ready models are powered over the Ethernet via the same cable that carries video data. This means that the installer only has to connect one cable to the camera,” explains Erik Frännlid. “In large-scale systems with hundreds of cameras, such time-saving features significantly reduce the installation costs.”

To shorten the installation time even more, Axis introduces remote zoom and remote focus capabilities in its new fixed dome outdoor cameras. For fixed cameras, the installer traditionally has to adjust the field of view and focus manually on site, which may be both difficult and time-consuming. Now multiple cameras can be configured very efficiently from a single networked computer.

All Axis outdoor-ready cameras are IP66-rated, resisting dust particles as well as powerful water jets. The cameras are equipped with built-in heater and fan, ensuring optimal performance in all weather conditions. Axis will also continue to offer a wide selection of cameras, housings and accessories for outdoor use to meet various installation needs.

PC sales in India record 7 percent negative growth first time ever

NEW DELHI, INDIA: MAIT, the apex body representing India's IT hardware, training and R&D services sectors, today announced the findings of its Industry Performance Review for fiscal 2008-09.

The total PC sales between April 2008 and March 2009, with desktop computers, notebooks and netbooks taken together, were 6.79 million (67.9 lakh) units, registering a decline of 7 percent over the previous year.

IT consumption in 2008-09 was severely impacted, especially in the second-half of the fiscal year, by the slowdown in the Indian economy. Impact on consumption of notebooks was most pronounced as growth plummeted to a negative 17 percent compared to a high of 114 percent in the previous year.

Sales of desktops declined 4 percent. The October-November-December quarter was the most adversely impacted, subsequent to which growth in PC consumption started to show signs of revival. With business sentiment gradually gaining momentum, PC consumption in fiscal 2009-10 is expected to cross 7.3 million units, registering a seven percent growth.

Commenting on the findings of the study, MAIT Executive Director, Vinnie Mehta said: "Consumer sentiment was subdued due to uncertainty in the economy in 2008-09 which impacted the consumption of IT in the country. While consumption in the first-half of the fiscal was satisfactory, less than expected offtake in sales in the second-half pulled down the overall growth into the negative quadrant.

"A silver lining in the second-half of 2008-09 was the emergence of a new product category, the netbook that took the fancy of the consumers. This new form-factor appeared to be better insulated from the prevailing market sentiments."

He further added: "Although the sales growth in both the enterprises and the households headed southwards, the overall consumption in the PC market was led by telecom, banking and financial service sectors, education and the e-governance initiatives of the Union and the state governments.

"Verticals such as BPO/IT-enabled services, manufacturing, retail and households, which traditionally account for significant proportion of the IT market, were very conservative in their IT spends in 2008-09.

"Sales of desktop clocked 5.27 million (52.7 lakh units) declining 4 percent, and that of notebooks, with netbooks taken together, another 1.51 million (15.1 lakh) units with a degrowth of 17 percent. Consumption of netbooks exceeded 70 thousand units in fiscal 2008-09.

"The year also witnessed deviations from the traditional downward trend in pricing for IT products as the dollar continued to be significantly strong compared to the rupee. This was mitigated, to an extent, by price drops due to technology reasons and also due to intense competition. Going forward, with signs of revival in the domestic economy, we expect positive growth for PCs and other IT products for the fiscal 2009-10."

Western India followed by the South, led PC consumption accounting for 37 percent and 23 percent of the market, respectively. Sales in the West grew by 12 percent over 2007-08, while in South it declined 22 percent. PC consumption in the East increased by 18 percent accounting for 22 percent of the market, a reflection of IT activities gaining ground in the region. The Northern states witnessed a decline of 34 percent in PC sales, they accounted for 18 percent of the market.

Unlike the trends in the previous years, where sales in the second half of the year have been significantly higher than those in the first-half, 2008-09 witnessed a rather subdued second-half as delineated below:Source: MAIT

The bi-annual MAIT Industry Performance Review – ITOPs, conducted by India’s leading market research firm IMRB International is a survey of the domestic IT market, its potential and trends.

This round of the study involved face-to-face interviews with over 25,000 respondents selected randomly across twenty-two cities in India. The MAIT-IMRB study was initiated in 1996-97 and encompasses five broad product segments -— computers, networking products, printers, other peripherals and Internet connections.

Apart from the half-yearly review, a supply-side estimation module has also been introduced to monitor industry performance every quarter, alternating with the half-yearly review.

Delineating his thoughts on the current policy environment and the need for spurring IT consumption in the country, especially in these challenging times, MAIT President, S.S. Raman said: "We are glad that the outcome of the Union Budget 2009-10 has been satisfactory. Stability in the rate of excise duty at 8 percent for all IT products and components augurs well for the IT industry. Further, the government has, to an extent, resolved the impasse regarding the classification of packaged software, which shall henceforth attract service tax on the licence portion.

"Issues that remain unresolved are the continuance of the 4 percent Special Addition Duty (SAD) which is a significant cost for the local manufacturers as also the low rate of abatement for MRP based excise duty assessment for IT products such as notebooks, printers, modems, etc. We have requested the authorities to resolve these at the earliest."

He further added: "It should be made mandatory for nationalised and PSU banks to earmark funds for easy and subsidised loans for purchase of IT products and solutions for the SMEs and the home consumers, especially for education. Similarly, Governments -– Central and State -- should extend interest free loans to all their employees for purchase of IT products.

"Further, as several e-governance projects are being rolled out, these need to be replicated across all the states in the country and completed at an accelerated pace. Providing for local-language interface will be critical for the success of such projects, especially those aimed at Government-citizen interface."

Stressing the need for redoubling efforts by the Government and the industry to accelerate growth of the domestic IT market in the country, MAIT Vice President, Ravi Swaminathan said: "MAIT has set for itself an ambitious target, 'Goal 511', 500 million internet user, 100 million broadband connection and 100 million connected devices by 2012. This calls for strengthening of the national IT infrastructure along with the physical infrastructure on a priority basis. In this regard, we need early roll-out of 3G and Wi-Max networks.

"These will not only enable consumption of front-end devices, CPEs and other back-end devices, but will also create a new economic paradigm through various applications, services and other avenues created through the network-multiplier effect. Urgent and significant efforts are also needed to build efficiency and reduce wastage in all industry verticals through deployment of green and energy efficient IT products."

Some salient findings of MAIT Industry Performance Review 2008-09:

The Desktops Market:
Organised vs. unorganised segments: Multinational brands accounted for 51 percent of the total desktop market in 2008-09, registering a growth of 8 percent over the 45 percent share last year. The proportion of Indian brands fell from 22 percent to 18 percent, registering a decline of 22 percent. Assembled desktops and unbranded systems witnessed a degrowth of 10 percent in absolute units accounting for 31 percent, down from 33, of total desktop sales in 2008-09.

The establishments segment accounted for 66 percent of the desktop sales, registering a growth of 5 percent on a year-on-year basis although consumption of notebooks in establishments declined 27 percent. Owing to conservative attitude, establishments do not seem to have shifted preference in favour of notebooks. The consumption in small, medium and large enterprises grew by 3 percent, 17 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Household consumption of desktops fell by 18 percent, accounting for 34 percent of the total desktop market, with sales crossing 1.78 million (17.8 lakh) units. Within the Households segment, SEC A and SEC B each accounted for 39 percent of the market although consumption in these declined by 26 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Sales to SEC C at 22 percent market share remained flat.

Market segmentation by processor sales: Desktop consumption in 2008-09 was dominated by P4 based units, which accounted for 59 percent of total sales. However, the market was quick to adopt other next generation processors such as Core-duo, Core2duo and Core2quad accounting for 2 percent, 22 percent and 2 percent of the market, respectively. Other processors like the AMD, Cyrix etc. accounted for 10 percent of the market.

Market segmentation by town-class: Consumption of desktops in towns and cities outside the top four metros has been progressively increasing over the years. In 2008-09, these accounted for more than three-fourth of the total desktops purchased. The top four metros accounted for 25 percent of the total desktop market with a sales growth of 5 percent.

The Notebooks Market:
Notebook sales recorded a degrowth of 17 percent due to decline in consumption in both the establishment and the households with sales declining 27 percent in the establishments and another 3 percent in the households. The decline in consumption in the second-half of 2008-09 was more pronounced as sales of notebooks fell 35 percent compared to the same period last year. Towns and cities outside the top four metros contributed to nearly 80 percent of the notebook sales.

The establishment segment accounted for 49 percent of the notebook consumption, the small and large establishments recorded a decline of 53 and 47 percent, respectively in 2008-09, while consumption in medium enterprises grew 27 percent. The SMEs accounted for 68 percent of the total notebooks consumption in the country.

The household segment, accounting for 51 percent of the overall notebook sales in the country, registered a decline of 3 percent in the last fiscal. The SEC A and SEC B households, together, contributed to over 90 percent of the notebook sales in the household segment. Notebooks have also started to make rapid inroads into the SEC C as well.

The Server Market:
Sales of servers declined 2 percent in FY 2008-09. Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad, the key centres of IT/ITES witnessed a decline of 78 percent in consumption of servers. However, driven by the need for consolidation, server consumption in large enterprises grew by 35 percent. Sales to small and medium enterprises declined 1 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

The Internet entities:
The number of active Internet entities increased to 8.6 million (86 lakh) subscriptions by March 2009, while the figure was 7.2 million (72 lakh) units in March 2008. With this, the number of Internet users exceeds 60 million. Internet penetration by entities in the top 22 cities was 47 percent among businesses and 24 percent among households. The businesses segment now accounts for 28 percent of the total active Internet entities and households account for the remaining 72 percent.

DSL/cable remains the most commonly used means of Internet connectivity among businesses: 45 percent of businesses were found to use DSL/cable, 31 percent dial-up connections, 7 percent leased-line, 4 percent used data cards, 1 percent used VSAT, and 11 percent ISDN services.Source: MAIT

Mini-note (netbook) shipments to double Y/Y to over 30mn units in 2009

AUSTIN, USA: DisplaySearch expects shipments of almost 33 million mini-notes (netbooks) in 2009 as penetration of these products into the notebook PC market grows to 20 percent worldwide, according to its Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report.

At the same time, DisplaySearch expects the market for “traditional” notebooks (those with displays 12.1” and larger) to be flat Y/Y for the first time (see Table 1).

Table 1: Mini-Note and Notebook Shipments and Growth by RegionSource: DisplaySearch Q2’09 Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report

Penetration rates for mini-notes are forecast to exceed 26 percent in Latin America, and 22 percent in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), with the lowest penetration rates in Asia-Pacific, North America and China.

In emerging markets like Latin America, the low prices of mini-notes offer a more affordable product. In 2008, 45 percent of all mini-notes were shipped into EMEA markets. While this figure is forecast to drop to 40 percent in 2009, this share is well in excess of the region’s total share of the notebook PC market.

In many regions, telecom providers have been offering subsidized mini-notes for several quarters, which helped propel growth. In North America, the three largest telecom providers (AT&T, Sprint and Verizon) are aggressively marketing mini-notes.

As smartphone penetration continues to increase in North America (and a number of other regions), it will become increasingly necessary for telecoms to find their next revenue stream as the incremental revenue increase from smart phone subscribers slows.

Penetration of mini-notes is one of the primary factors behind DisplaySearch’s expectations of flat Y/Y demand for notebook PCs. The other factor is a dramatic reduction in demand from enterprise customers. Businesses responded quickly to the economic downturn by cutting purchasing, especially of expensive IT-related products.

DisplaySearch believes that there is significant pent-up demand in the B2B market as many enterprises did not upgrade from Windows XP to Vista.

The launch of Windows 7 in late October this year, if combined with economic recovery, could lead to a rapid recovery in enterprise notebook PC demand; however, DisplaySearch does not expect this to occur until 2010.

In its Q2’09 Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, DisplaySearch analyzes the breadth and depth of mini-note and notebook PCs demand in the major geographic regions, and identifies the key variables influencing changing demand patterns in these markets.

“Mini-notes are forecast to continue to be a significant portion of the market. However, as display sizes of these devices have quickly moved from 7.0” to 8.9” to 10.1”, and now with the emergence of 11.6” and 12.0” mini-note products, it is clear that buyers want a light-weight device, but that they also want a bigger display.

“While these devices have certainly created a new market, our research indicates that they are predominantly used as secondary PCs by consumers, and are not replacing notebooks,” said John F. Jacobs, Director of Notebook Market Research and author of the report.