Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

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Does the surge in sales over the past year indicate a permanent rather than a pandemic revival for the personal computer?

Lex errs with the latter conclusion. Two years is enough time for domestic workers to upgrade their kit, it says, which means that the pandemic-driven boom will stop. PCs last longer than smartphones, so regular repurchases will not drive sales.

But analysts point out that the move to work from home has meant the cake is bigger. Purchases for telework were not replacements and their users represented a growing demand pool.

Research firms this week reported fourth-quarter and full-year computer deliveries, with Ishan Dutt, senior analyst at Canalys, describing it as a “watershed year” of double-digit growth following an impressive 2020, despite the constant cloud of supply constraints.

There have been large increases in computer penetration and usage rates. “PCs are now in the hands of both young students and older family members,” he said.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, a larger than normal portion of the computers shipped have been new additions to the installed base rather than replacement devices, especially in areas such as education and remote work. This has paved the way for continued success for the computer industry, because there is no turning back from how embedded they are in our daily lives. ”

IDC analyst Jutesh Abrani agreed. “We still believe that the overall computer market has recovered at a much higher level than before the pandemic,” he said. While Gartner’s research director, Mikako Kitagawa, believes that this is likely to be the end of the massive growth caused by coronavirus, demand has pushed prices up and created a healthier market, he noted. “As a result, annual computer shipment volumes are not expected to fall to pre-pandemic levels for at least two to three years,” he said.

The firms have different ways of measuring the market. Gartner said shipments fell 5 percent in the fourth quarter, but grew by 10 percent for the year to 340 million units. IDC said they grew 1 percent and 15 percent, respectively, to 348 million units for the year. Canalys agreed at 1 percent and 15 percent, but for 341 million units by 2021. Everyone agrees on the top five computer manufacturers: Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple and Acer in that order.

The computer market lacks innovation in form factors, with the twists and turns of folding screens apparently reaching their limit, but manufacturers were experts in segmenting the market to reach the wider spectrum of users. There’s a prize and a computer for everyone, from a Chromebook for kids and seniors to high-end computers for gamers. Add to that the homework revolution and the computer’s status and continued relevance seems to be assured.

The internet of (five) things

1. Ukraine hit by ‘massive cyber attack’
Russia is the main suspect as the source of an online attack which destroyed about 70 Ukrainian government websites. The US has said evidence of a Russian cyber-attack will “definitely” be classified as an example of renewed aggression against Ukraine, which could lead to sanctions against Moscow.

2. Google Bets on Returning to Office Work
Google said it will spends $ 1 billion to buy his office building near London’s Tottenham Court Road, in a big bet on his employees returning to work. The Silicon Valley giant is making the move even though he is also building a large new headquarters in nearby King’s Cross because he believes in the office “as a place for personal collaboration and connection”.

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3. Bolt raises fares for London rides
The Bolt app has raised its prices in London by 10 percent, which puts it in line with rival Uber, as tighter regulations and a shortage of drivers send costs higher.

4. Potential Ant Supporter pulls out
Jack Ma’s Ant Group suffered a setback for its government-led restructuring efforts after a state-owned asset manager unexpectedly pulled out of a transaction to invest in the fintech’s lending arm. China Cinda Asset Management, which is controlled by the country’s finance ministry, would invest Rmb6 billion ($ 946 million) in exchange for 20 percent of Ant’s loan business, but said it was withdrawing after “careful commercial consideration and negotiations with the Target Company”. .

5. Which technology stocks?
The Nasdaq is set to falter in 2022, says Richard Waters, and there is plenty of room for the market to take a bigger bite out of the most inflated valuations. But it is far too early to say that the January adjustment represents a deeper shift in the fortunes of the technology industry. Rob Armstrong’s Unhedged Newsletter investigates the herd that rising rates mean declining growth stocks.

Technical tools – Lenovo Thinkbook Plus Gen 3

I talked about computer screen distortions earlier and here is one example from CES in Las Vegas last week. With the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3, Lenovo introduced the industry’s first 17.3in laptop with a built-in secondary 8in screen. The ultra-wide 21:10 aspect ratio primary display is coupled to the second touch-enabled screen, which has an integrated digital pen. Examples of using it include a super-large calculator on the second screen or reflection of your smartphone’s display there.

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