With stabilizing corporate PC demand in recent quarters, total shipments of notebook computers from Taiwanese contract producers are expected to decrease at a slower annual rate of between 2 percent and 5 percent this year, a SinoPac Securities Investment Services Co (永豐金投顧) report said last week.
Overall notebook shipments are expected to improve from an annual decline of 5 percent the company forecast earlier this year if a consumer segment pick-up does materialize meaningfully in the second half of the year, especially for two-in-one hybrid notebooks and Chromebooks, the report said.
Taishin Securities Investment Advisory Co (台新投顧) also forecast a recovery in the notebook market would extend into next year, saying in a report that global notebook shipments are likely to rise 2.5 percent to 177 million units from this year, when shipments were estimated to decline by 1.9 percent to 172 million units.
The latest forecasts came after the nation’s top five notebook original design manufacturers (ODMs) — Quanta Computer Inc (廣達), Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), Wistron Corp (緯創), Inventec Corp (英業達) and Pegatron Corp (和碩) — last week released their shipment results for last month.
In a research note released on Thursday last week, SinoPac researcher Eric Hung (洪國軒) said overall notebook shipments rose 6.3 percent last month from July to 12.4 million units, which was stronger than his estimate of a monthly increase of 3.5 percent and compared with a 10 percent decline the previous month.
“We expect the September shipments would remain high, maintaining at the same level as August, as notebook ODMs have started building inventory in preparation for China’s annual holiday season in October,” Hung wrote in the note. “Overall, ODM shipments for the third quarter would likely grow by between 5 and 6 percent from the second quarter, better than our previous forecast of a sequential increase of between 3 and 5 percent.”
However, the higher shipment forecast for the current quarter could raise the comparison base and lead to a larger shipment decline of 4 percent sequentially next quarter, rather than his previous forecast of a contraction of between 2 percent and 3 percent, Hung said.
Hung said he still expects strong shipments in the second half of this year, reiterating his forecast that the full-year ODM shipments split would be 48:52 for the first half and the second half.
Last month, Quanta, the world’s largest contract notebook computer maker, saw its shipments grow 11.9 percent month-on-month and 23.7 percent year-on-year to 4.7 million units, the highest level since November 2012, while Compal, the world’s second-largest contract laptop maker, reported shipments of 3.9 million units, up 8 percent from July and 39 percent higher than the previous year.
Wistron reported that its notebook shipments increases 6 percent month-on-month to 1.8 million units, in line with market expectations, but the figure was still 10 percent lower than the previous year.
However, the strong performances of Quanta, Compal and Wistron last month were offset by the weakness shown by both Inventec and Pegatron, as the former faced lower orders from Hewlett-Packard Co and the latter suffered from its relatively low scale of business.
Inventec posted a monthly shipments decline of 7 percent and an annual drop of 28 percent to 1.4 million units last month, while Pegatron reported that its shipments declined to 600,000 units last month from 700,000 units in July.
Last month, JPMorgan Securities Ltd said that the recovery in the notebook market would benefit Quanta and Compal the most in the second half of the year, given the ongoing stabilization of notebook demand and more orders placed by Hewlett-Packard, Acer Inc (宏碁) and Toshiba Corp
“In 2015, Wistron could be an unexpected share gainer as it turns more aggressive in recent RFQs [request for quotations], with likelihood to regain shares from Acer, Dell and Lenovo (聯想),” JPMorgan analyst Gokul Hariharan said in a report issued on Aug. 5.
RFQ refers to a business process in which brand companies invite ODMs to bid to make specific products or provide specific services.
“Smaller vendors such as Pegatron and Inventec, however, are likely to be crowded out as resources are being focused on Apple and servers respectively,” Hariharan added.
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