Notebook computer sales expected to plunge 14%

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 - Page 5

Notebook computer shipments from manufacturers in Taiwan and China are expected to drop 14 percent this quarter from last quarter on conservative outlook, local market researcher Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) forecast.

This quarter, shipments could shrink to 37.22 million units on seasonal factors, MIC predicted.

“Looking forward, most manufacturers are cautious about the market demand in 2013,” MIC said.

Notebook shipments in the Greater China region grew at a lukewarm 1.5 percent to 43.22 million units during the traditionally high season, compared with the same period a year ago, MIC said in its latest report issued on Friday last week.

Apparently, the launch of Microsoft Corp’s new Windows 8 operating system did not help boost notebook sales, MIC said.

For the whole of last year, notebook shipments in Greater China edged down to 171 million units from 2011, MIC said.

MIC analyst Brian Chen (陳彥合) attributed the decline in market share to erosion from new South Korean brands in the market.

Chen expects contract PC manufacturers from China and Taiwan to regain market share this year as Japanese PC brands are expected to farm out more production to such companies.

Last month, Ray Chen (陳瑞聰), president of the world’s No. 2 contract notebook maker, Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), said the company would ship 45 million units this year.

This up 12.5 percent from last year, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported.

Wistron Corp (緯創), the world’s third-largest contract notebook maker, expected its notebook shipment to remain flat this year as growing demand for tablets eats into the PC market, the newspaper said, citing company chairman Simon Lin (林憲銘).

Brian Chen expects there will be no rebound in seasonal demand in the second half of this year, as has occurred in the past because of macroeconomc uncertainties and the continung cannibalization of mobile devices such as tablets.

By revenue, sales of notebook computers in the fourth quarter of last year grew 2.9 percent to US$20.9 billion from the third quarter as PC makers shipped more low-cost models to stimulate demand, MIC said.

Average selling prices increased 1.4 percent to US$485 last quarter from the third quarter of last year.

The uptake of slimline notebooks with touch functions would be key to driving up the average selling price, MIC said.