Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Drop in notebook shipments likely, researcher says

ANTICIPATION:Intel plans to launch its new Bay Trail Atom-based processors next quarter designed for notebooks, market researchers said

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s notebook contract manufacturers could see their total notebook computer shipments decline 22.95 percent sequentially this quarter because many PC brands had begun inventory clearance in anticipation for Intel Corp’s new-generation “Bay Trail M” processor platform, Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute (MIC) said.

Total shipments of notebook computers from Taiwanese makers were estimated to fall to 30.82 million units this quarter from 40 million units last quarter, MIC said in a report on Thursday.

MIC researcher Jane Yeh (葉貞秀) said that some PC vendors replenished their inventories in January in order to meet increased demand for laptops during the Lunar New Year holiday.

“Contract notebook makers’ total shipments are forecast to drop at a double-digit rate quarter-on-quarter this quarter partly because of their clients’ anticipation for Intel’s new chip products and also because of seasonality,” Yeh said.

Yeh said Intel plans to launch its new Bay Trail Atom-based processors next quarter, adding that one of the US chipset maker’s new processor products had been codenamed “Bay Trail M” and designed for notebooks, rather than mobile devices.

A drop in notebook contract makers’ orders for new laptop products offset an increase from increased market demand ahead of Microsoft Corp’s planned termination of its after-sale services for Windows XP operating system-powered products, she added.

While the closure of Microsoft’s technical support for Windows XP notebook users might help stimulate replacement demand for Windows 8 PCs, “the effect is likely to be limited,” Yeh said.

Notebook makers’ total shipments fell 12.4 percent to 150 million units last year from 171.27 million units in 2012, MIC said.

However, their global market share stayed high at 86.9 percent, down slightly from a 89 percent in 2012, MIC’s report showed.

Although most PC brands had been increasing their orders for touch-enabled notebooks, market demand for touch notebooks was estimated to remain lukewarm for this year, Yeh said.

Despite more support from PC brands, the global penetration rate of touch-enabled notebooks was estimated to grow to 15 percent this year, slightly higher than the 8 percent share last year.

“Although the costs associated with touch components have reduced, touch-enabled notebooks are still not quite appealing to consumers, mainly due to the radical changes to the user interface, limited added-value of touch, and the relatively high prices compared to traditional models,” Yeh said.

“Other than to reduce costs associated with touch modules, having a platform that provides support for modifications and a user-friendly user interface may be another way to go to further boost market penetration,” she added.

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