Global notebook computer shipments from top-tier manufacturers are forecast to grow higher than expected in the fourth quarter as the corporate market becomes increasingly active, according to new research from British banking group Barclays PLC.
The bank now expects notebook shipments in this quarter to rise 5 percent from the previous three months to 37.5 million units, compared with prior expectations of 2 percent growth.
The top-tier contract notebook makers are all local companies such as Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), Wistron Corp (緯創), Inventec Corp (英業達) and Pegatron Corp (和碩).
The revision came after notebook shipments last month showed stronger-than-expected growth of 14 percent, driven mostly by orders of business models from US PC brands such as Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc, Barclays said.
However, the bank warned that it still believes Microsoft Corp’s upgraded Windows 8.1 software will not help raise consumer market demand, while contract notebook makers are still experiencing soft demand as consumers shift their interests to new mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
Among Asian PC stocks, Barclays recommended China’s Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) for its expansion into new mobile business, as well as Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) due to its creative notebook models, such as 2-in-1 devices.
“Lenovo is the only PC company that has managed to successfully expand into the new product areas,” said Kirk Yang (楊應超), head of technology hardware research for Asia except Japan at Barclays.
“We do not see many catalysts for most PC companies, unless they can find a breakthrough strategy in a new product space,” Yang wrote in a research note.