Skip to main content

Compute Sticks: Good PC Things in Small Packages

If there's a 'new-rule' the consumer electronics and PC industry learned from the successful rise of low-cost Chromebooks in the global marketplace, it's that less product capabilities can equate to significant new upside market opportunity.

With the recent introduction of the compute stick form-factor -- such as ASUS Chromebit, Intel Compute Stick, and Lenovo Ideacentre Stick 300 -- key players in the PC sector have uncovered yet another gap in which existing devices are sub-optimal for specific use cases.

According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, compute stick shipments are forecast to top 5 million units by 2021. Truly, this would be a meaningful accomplishment, when you consider the other potential growth alternatives.

"With 2015 concluding compute stick's first full year of shipments, we anticipate the devices to show an impressive CAGR of 49 percent between 2015 and 2021 as the ecosystem continues to grow," said Jeff Orr, research director at ABI Research.

New Strategy for PC Market Development 

According to the ABI assessment, the early compute stick vendor leaders are likely to be Intel and Microsoft. Potentially, new opportunities for compute sticks could lead to the re-birth of the longstanding codependency relationship between these two companies.

With the growth of legacy laptop and notebook PC shipments under-performing for several years, plus ultra-portable 2-in-1 systems trending toward higher price points and ARM-powered tablets dominating, both Intel and Microsoft are seeking a product category that would backfill their losses in the traditional PC space.

Moreover, rather than continuing to rely upon their status-quo computer design models, both companies recently retooled their development teams to strategically uncover where new compute experiences will occur.

How Compute Sticks Offer Renewed Hope

Staying ahead of the curve, ABI says that Intel has focused on refining its Atom SoC processor platforms, while Microsoft has reinvented itself with the launch of Windows 10 -- and reached the realization that it is no longer the only leading PC operating system (OS) player.

"For the compute stick opportunity to scale, significant growth is needed in relationships, manufacturing agreements, and regionalization of lead market use cases,” concludes Sam Rosen, vice president at ABI Research.

For example, from a consumer standpoint, the compute stick market provides more functionality but less purpose-built entertainment experience in comparison to streaming media adapters, such as the Google Chromecast.

While there are an abundance of situations spanning both consumer and enterprise markets in which compute sticks would add great value, the most important next step right now is for vendors to appropriately articulate those best fit scenarios to audiences.

Popular posts from this blog

Hybrid Work: How to Enhance Employee Productivity

When you hire qualified talent for a key role and trust them to perform, you'll likely achieve the best outcome. Skilled and experienced people will deliver results, regardless of the challenges. That's a key lesson learned from the pandemic experience as most knowledge workers were asked to work from their homes. However, some resist returning to an open-plan office. It's unacceptable. Meanwhile, forward-thinking leaders decided a "return to normal" is undesirable, and in hindsight, everyone should aspire to be more accomodating than before. Therefore, location flexibility is okay. Hybrid Workforce Market Development How will people adapt to these changes? They'll apply the modern IT tools at their disposal. They'll learn new skills and thrive. Nearly 80 percent of employees are now successfully using online collaboration tools for work in 2021 -- that's up from just over half of workers in 2019, according to the latest market study by Gartner. This g

Mobility-as-a-Service Creates Disruptive Travel Options

Building on significant advances in big data, analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT), more innovative transit service offerings aim to increase public transport ridership and reduce emissions or congestion within metropolitan areas. By providing these services through smartphone apps, the transit services also significantly increase user convenience, providing information on different human mobility offerings -- including public transport, ridesharing, and autonomous vehicles. Mobility-as-a-Service Market Development According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) subscribers will generate $53 billion in revenue for MaaS platform providers by 2027 -- that's rising from $5.3 billion in 2021. Let's start with a basic definition. MaaS is the provision of multi-modal end-to-end travel services through single platforms, by which users can determine an optimal route and price. The study identified a monthly subscription model as key to incr

Upside for New 5G Network Transport Infrastructure

The global mobile communication sector is in the midst of a significant network infrastructure upgrade to support the introduction of new high-bandwidth and low-latency broadband service offerings.  Telecom service provider data centers have an important role in fifth-generation (5G) network deployments. Providers undergoing their transition to Stand-Alone (SA) 5G must understand the technical demands of telco data centers and the key enablers of those offerings. According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, the major prerequisites of 5G and the emerging transport solutions would help operators position themselves to successfully capitalize on the new revenue opportunities from delivering differentiated 5G connectivity services. 5G Transport Network Market Development "The rise of the telco data center has a high degree of confluence with the requirements of SA 5G architectures. SA 5G and its increasing reliance on telco data centers can be attributed to the incr