Barclays Capital has forecast that global shipments of notebook computers in the second quarter will grow only 4 percent from the first quarter, slower than the about 6 percent sequential growth seen in recent years.
In a recent research note, Kirk Yang (楊應超), head of Asia ex-Japan tech hardware research at Barclays, said the weaker shipment growth forecast partly reflected delays in the launches of new models as international brands wait for Microsoft Corp’s next generation operating system and a new processing unit from Intel Corp.
A possible decline in demand from China and the rising popularity of tablet computers, which is eroding demand for notebooks, are also expected to affect notebook computer shipments during the current quarter, Yang said.
Meanwhile, with weakness in demand extending into this year from the fourth quarter of last year, Yang forecast that global notebook shipments for the first quarter of this year fell 17 percent from the fourth quarter.
The first quarter is traditionally a slow season for the global high-tech industry.
Echoing the caution showed in Barclays’ research report, domestic notebook computer makers agreed that their business will be sluggish in the first half of the year and that notebooks will account for only 40 percent of total computer shipments for the whole year.
Quanta Computer Inc (廣達), the world’s largest notebook computer ODM service provider, said that because Intel’s new processing unit will not hit the market until the middle of this year, many international brands are reluctant to place large orders with contract makers at the moment.
A panel supply shortage is also making it unlikely that touch notebook computer production will pick up until the second half of the year, when it is expected to boost overall notebook shipments, market sources said.