Tag Archives: Analysis

Global Desktop 3D Printer Market Rises +27%

According to our latest figures, worldwide shipments of 3D Printers rose +25% year-to-date (YTD) through the first three quarters of 2016 thanks again to shipments of low priced Personal/Desktop 3D Printers.

Of the total 217,073 3D printers shipped year-to-date, 96% of these were Personal/Desktop printers, carrying an average price of just under $1,000.  This represents a 27% year-on-year growth for this sub-category compared to a decline in shipments of -12% YTD in the Industrial/Professional segment which saw only 7,726 units shipped through the first three quarters of 2016. While the market is still largely defined by the shipment of Industrial/Professional printers – which accounted for 78% of the global revenues – the market is clearly settling into two distinctive segments.

Vendor wise, in the Desktop/Personal 3D Printer segment, Taiwan’s XYZprinting remained the global leader so far in 2016, seeing its share grow to 22% through the first three quarters.  This side of the market saw the exit by the #3 global overall player 3D Systems and the continued repositioning of the #1 global 3D Printer market Stratasys of its MakerBot line away from the lowest end.

The Industrial/Professional segment was marked by the official entrance of HP into the space but printers did not begin shipping until the end of the year. While the Industrial/Professional segment has, in general, cooled off in the past few years, the shipment of additive manufacturing devices capable of printing in metal materials was one major bright spot within this category.  This Metal side was not immune to market changes in recent quarters either however, with a slow-down seen in this sub-segment as well in the 2nd half as General Electric (GE) acquired two of the top five metal making 3D Printer companies (Arcam and Concept Laser).

Projections for the full year 2016 remain reserved for the Industrial/Professional market and bullish for the Desktop/Personal market, largely in-line with trends seen through the first three quarters.  Forecasts turn more bullish in the Industrial/Professional sector in 2017 and beyond as the HP and GE ramp results in a return of growth; the Desktop/Personal market is expected to continue its unfettered growth.

by CC

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Windows 10 Pro adoption beginning to rise

Thirteen months after its launch, adoption of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is slowly beginning to increase amongst business users. By August, Windows 10 Pro (excluding the Windows 7/Windows 10 downgrade version) made up 24% of Windows Business PC sales in Western European distribution, up six percentage points compared to July. Whilst adoption in the first half of the year had largely been driven by the Windows 7/Windows 10 Pro downgrade version, July and August were the first months to see the share for “pure” Windows 10 Pro sales grow faster month-on-month than share for the downgrade version, albeit from a much smaller base. The share of Windows 10 Pro was up from 16% in June to 18% in July and 24% in August, while Windows 7/Windows 10 Pro moved from 65.5% in June to 66% in July, followed by a drop to 64% in August. Combined adoption rates for the two versions increased from 81% to 88% over the period.

The rise in Windows 10 Pro share, though moderate for the time being, is good news for the PC industry, which is looking at Windows 10 refreshes as the next larger growth driver in commercial PC sales. Certainly, some of the recent rise in adoption might be driven by the fee that we hear is being applied to the downgrade version, which is likely to cause budget-conscious buyers to move faster to “pure” Windows 10. But anecdotal evidence suggests that there is also a more “genuine” rise in interest for the new operating system, particularly within the small- and medium-sized business segment, as companies are slowly beginning to make the move from testing to deployment. In terms of volume growth, the business segment does indeed see a positive development: Windows Business PCs across our Western European panel were up by +7% year-on-year in the first two months of Q316, and while it would be taking things too far to say that this was entirely down to Windows 10, the new OS certainly did play a role.

Comparing adoption rates of Microsoft’s latest version of Windows to its most successful predecessor, Windows 7, the “pure” Windows 10 still has a long way to go to catch up. The 24% share of Windows 10 Pro that we’re seeing now, thirteen months after its launch date, compares to an adoption rate of 77% for the “pure” Windows 7 version at the same time after launch in October 2009. Things look better however when comparing the two OS’s combined shares of “pure” and downgrade versions: Windows 10’s 88% share in August this year is not that far off from the 98% held by the combined Windows 7 and Windows 7/XP versions in November 2010.

It will be interesting to see if the first few signs of an increase in Windows 10 sales will translate into a more significant growth trend over the next few months. Expectations are for the commercial segment to start refreshes in earnest at the beginning of 2017, with larger enterprises transitioning over the course of the next two years. We will be monitoring this closely.

by MCP

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Investing in the long-term viability of the 3D Printing market is not difficult, but investing in 3D Printing stocks surely is

The popular press is filled with stories about 3D printing; some sensational, some more factual/measured. Headlines continue to highlight guns made using 3D printers, advances in medicine that make use of 3D printing and 3D printing of everything from food to houses and bridges – and everything in between including 3D clothing. The stories themselves may have their merits, and each news bite gives a snapshot of the current market or how it is growing and will continue to grow, but many of the headlines can be misinterpreted.

For instance, at the moment, the number of 3D printers sold that actually produce food is negligible and it is not yet possible to print complete organs. So, if you are just reading the headlines, you are only seeing part of the Additive Manufacturing/3D-Printing (AM3DP) market.

Likewise, if you are only following the stock prices of pure-play companies in the AM3DP space, then your impression of the market might be significantly different to the reality. Many an article has been written about the disconnect between the ebbs and flows of stock prices and the real and perceived growth of the industry. Investing in 3D Printing has turned out to be a real challenge, since there is little or no correlation between stock prices and industry growth.

A quick examination of the most visible publicly traded 3D Printing companies over recent years indeed shows that they continued to see solid quarter-to-quarter growth in their collective revenues but that their average stock prices went in the opposite direction in 2014. Before this period, there was an even greater spike in average stock prices as expectations for the 30-year-old technology became overinflated as a result of increased visibility brought on by events such as the annual Consumer Electronics Show and the proliferation of 3D-printed gun stories.

New investing challenges arise as market stalwarts Stratasys and 3D Systems reported lower-than-expected earnings again in Q2.  Each of these companies, and every company associated with 3D Printing, remains quite bullish on the market, however.

by CC

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An interview with CONTEXT’s new VP for Global Research Analysis: Chris Connery

What’s your role at CONTEXT, Chris?
As VP for Global Analysis and Research, I will be helping CONTEXT expand its technology tracking and forecasting services beyond the EMEA region to offer a top-down global view of various key ICT market segments.  We are introducing a new 3D-Printing service that offers a global view of these markets (and of the collective market total) by tracking the space quarterly by key regions and technologies as well as leverage supply-chain based forecast methodologies to project them going forward.

What attracted you to CONTEXT in the first place?
CONTEXT has been well known in the ICT industry for many years.  In a prior life, my Marketing and Marketing Intelligence teams were CONTEXT subscribers.  The value of deep, channel level sell through data has always been appreciated by me whether in my brand management roles in the first half of my career or on the analyst side here in the second half.

Where were you before?
I am now headed into my 25th year participating in the IT industry. The first half of my career was focused brand management, marketing and product development for leading US and Japanese brands in the IT sector including Zenith, NEC and Mitsubishi.  In the early 2000s I moved into the Analyst side of the sector with DisplaySearch, which leveraged key value-chain research to build insights and forecasts. US research company NPD acquired DisplaySearch in 2005 to expand its global presence.  At NPD, I continued to manage global efforts for research, analysis and forecasting for PC related markets but then turned my attention to the 3D-Printing space a few years ago.

What aspects of your career thus far are you most proud of?
I had the privilege of launching some of the world’s first notebook PCs while with Zenith Data Systems in the 90s and some of the world’s first flat-panel products when with NEC and NEC-Mitsubishi.  Being involved in product development and seeing core manufacturing from the factory-out was an invaluable experience for me early in my career.  Then being able to champion products to markets across the globe added to this excitement.

What never fails to bring a smile to your face?
Seeing children interact with technology for the first time. Young children seeing a 3D-Printer for the first time today, act much like those using their first PC in the 80s or their first Tablet not that long ago.  “I am not quite sure what it can do for me, but I WANT one” is often the sentiment.

What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
An early mentor of mine would often note “through chaos there is opportunity.”  I’ve always appreciated helping to bring order to chaos, such as when championing a product to market or when helping to bring focus to emerging market segments by way of hard, quantifiable data.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Aside from spending time with family here in the US, I very much enjoy travelling.  When travelling for work or for pleasure I continually think of the Mark Twain quote “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”



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