SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–When the holiday stocking-stuffing season officially kicks off this
Friday, tech-savvy U.S. shoppers are in for a treat, as smartphone
competitors figure to begin offering special package deals and discounts
on those devices.
As they head to retail outlets and shop online on Black Friday, November
25, and through the holidays, American shoppers may also want to add 4K
televisions, tablets and notebook PCs to their wish lists. Due to a
variety of market factors, it’s a great time to shop for deals
specifically on those types of electronics, according to new analysis
from IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information,
analytics and solutions.
All eyes on Samsung
Ever since mid-October, when Samsung Electronics recalled its Galaxy
Note 7 smartphones due to their overheating, competitors such as Apple,
Sony, Google and LG Electronics have not yet been able to capitalize on
Samsung’s perceived weakness with their own offers. However, things may
soon be different, bringing good tidings to smartphone shoppers, said
Jusy Hong, analyst for IHS Technology.
“While the U.S. smartphone market has shown a definite stagnation for a
couple of years, it promises to pick up and Black Friday may mark the
start of that turnaround,” Hong said.
Samsung’s Note 7 incident may benefit Apple in a big way. Apple’s iPhone
shipments declined from 48 million in Q3 2015 to 45.5 million in the
most recent quarter. However, Apple is expected to enjoy strong demand
in Q4, partly making up for Samsung’s missteps. The iPhone 7 Plus, the
LG V20 and the Google Pixel XL are all high-end, large-screen devices
that compete directly in the space vacated by the Note 7.
Still a market leader, Samsung is shifting its efforts to push its
existing portfolio in place of the Note 7, said Gerrit Schneeman, senior
analyst for IHS Technology.
“The Galaxy S 7/edge devices had successful launches earlier in 2016,
and they appear to be refocusing their marketing and production efforts
on these devices,” Schneeman said. “Samsung is also bringing some
elements of the Note 7 user experience to Galaxy S7 edge devices, trying
to use as much of its new user interface on older devices to update them
with new functionality.
“Importantly, Samsung has a history of supporting its devices with
incentives for buyers,” Schneeman said. “This includes, for example, a
Gear VR headset in the purchase package. Such packages are likely to be
the focus for the company during the holiday season to drive sales of
the Galaxy S7 devices.”
Shoppers A-OK with 4K
There has been talk – and early adoption — of 4K TV technology for some
time now, but 2016 was the year 4K hit the mainstream. Also known as
Ultra HD, 4K refers to a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. That’s four
times the 1,920 x 1,080 pixels found in a full HD TV.
According to Paul Gagnon, senior manager with IHS Technology, shipments
of 4K TVs more than doubled during 3Q 2016, rising to more than 3.3
million units as manufacturers and retailers gear up for a strong
holiday season push. And, just in time for the holidays, shoppers will
find 4K to be less expensive and to feature larger screen sizes than
ever, Gagnon said.
“IHS Markit is forecasting that in Q4 2016, North America 4K TV average
prices will drop by more than 20 percent compared to Q4 2015,” Gagnon
said. “This despite a sharp increase in LCD TV panel prices in recent
months as Black Friday promotions were negotiated prior to the cost
As prices continue to fall, the popularity of larger screen sizes
continues to rise. The average TV size will grow to nearly 45 inches in
Q4 2016, with 55- inch 4K sales expected to be very strong and
promotional prices well below $600 for the holidays.
Bargains on tablets, laptops, too
Discerning holiday shoppers in the hunt for tablets should look for
strong offerings from two “A” companies: Amazon and Apple:
Amazon’s 7-inch, Fire Tablet is crossing over into stocking stuffer
territory for Black Friday at $33. Users who want a larger screen and
higher resolution for their Prime movies can pick up a Fire HD8 for just
Apple may not be launching any new tablets this holiday season but is
still poised to lead the market, with discounts of $100 and more
available across the Air, Pro, and Mini lineups. The steepest discounts
will come on the older products, but for those users waiting for a
better price on the Pro, Best Buy is promising a $125 discount on the
According to Rhoda Alexander, analyst for IHS Technology, tablet sales
are down year-on year, but Windows-based versions are surging, on track
to increase 32 percent in 2016, thanks to strong demand for detachables.
With an updated Pro 5 reportedly scheduled for launch in early 2017,
Microsoft and its retail partners are clearing out existing inventories
of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, with discounts as high as $400 on Black
As for laptops, some of the biggest holiday bargains are going to be on
larger, clamshell editions, with HP, Lenovo and Dell all offering
sub-$300 deals across a variety of 15.6-inch models. From Acer
Chromebooks for $99 to a 15.6-inch MSI gaming notebook and a wide
variety of products in between, PC vendors are working to lure
smartphone users back to laptops as well as to desktops.
About IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com)
IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information,
analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive
economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information,
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percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial
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