Bad Times Continue for PCs

Carl Weinschenk
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4 Enterprise Technology Trends to Be Mindful of in 2016

PCs as well as tablets have seen better days. Gartner saw a dip of 8.3 percent to 75.7 million units shipped during the fourth quarter of last year. The release noted that the decline happened despite Microsoft’s introduction of the Windows 10 operating system.

The quarter, according to an analyst quoted in the release, was the fifth consecutive in which shipments declined. The release implies that there is hope on the business side for Windows 10: It has gotten generally positive reviews and, because of the length of enterprise testing, the OS’s fate in the sector is still undetermined.

There is a faint glimmer of hope, however. After all, people still use PCs, and the ones they now have are aging. The need to update may lead to at least comparative good news this year:


Gartner’s outlook for PC shipments in 2016 is for a decline of 1 percent compared with 2015, with the potential for a soft recovery in late 2016.

ABI: Tablets Will Have 3 Percent CAGR Through 2020

Though the situation is not as dire as it is for PCs, tablets also are on the edge. ABI Research says that 156 million tablet computers will ship in 2020, which would mean that the category will achieve a 3 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between last year and that date. The news, while not good, doesn’t seem to be cataclysmic for the category, which has been fading.

The firm says that the marginal gain will be achieved despite the “continued pressure on shipments and revenues by Apple, Samsung and other leading vendors.” Last year, branded tablets had revenues of about $55 billion, which was $13 billion less than 2014. Revenues will remain flat next year, the firm said, despite average sales prices that for the first time fall below $400.

Five Modems Get DOCSIS 3.1 Cert

The cable and telephone industries’ decades-old speed war continues apace. This week, cable industry consortium CableLabs certified five modems as compliant with the latest version – 3.1 – of the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS). The devices are from Askey, Castlenet, Netgear, Technicolor and Ubee Interactive.

Docsis 3.1 supports as much as 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) of capacity to cable subscribers. The release at CableLabs’ site says that five products was the highest number for a first certification wave in the history of the DOCSIS specification.

Fake IoT Data Black Market to Explode

Yesterday, I posted a blog that looked at a commentary at Dark Reading by Steve Morgan, the founder and CEO of Cybersecurity Ventures that suggests it will cost $1 to secure each thing connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Today, Datamation posted a story about a Gartner study that says that, by 2020, a black market “for fake sensor and video data” will exist and be worth more than $5 billion. The study is evidence that Morgan is right and that securing the IoT will cost a tremendous amount:

By 2020, Gartner expects firms to devote 20 percent of their annual security budgets to locking down their IoT environments, up from less than one percent last year. Sensing an opportunity, the top ‘cybersecurity vendors and service providers are already delivering roadmaps and architecture of IoT security,’ noted Gartner vice president, Earl Perkins, in a statement.

Verizon to Roll Out LTE-U This Year

One of the more interesting dust-ups of the past few months is between some wireless carriers and Wi-Fi providers. Wi-Fi is inexpensive because it operates in unlicensed spectrum. Some wireless carriers – pressed for spectrum capacity and eyeing a cheaper way to do business – are planning to move some LTE services into that spectrum.

The fight is not over the wireless companies’ right to do so. They can. It is about how. Verizon told WirelessWeek at CES that it will make the move in the second half of the year. The carrier previously had said it would test LTE-unlicensed (LTE-U) with Samsung “in hopes of a 2016” launch, according to the story.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.



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