Global notebook shipments, which are expected to decline 2.1% on year in 2014, will further drop 1.7% in 2015 to reach 168 million units, despite Microsoft's attempts to stimulate demand in the PC market.
Microsoft's termination of support for Windows XP will provide limited incentives to boost PC demand from the enterprise market, while enterprise- and niche-purpose tablets are also expected to undermine demand for conventional notebooks.
Microsoft's Windows 10, which will become available in the second half of 2015, is also unlikely to drive PC growth in 2015.
Digitimes Research estimates that global notebook shipments will see slight annual declines through 2018.
Notebook prices will continue to drop in 2015. In addition to Chromebooks, which may see their ASPs drop below US$170, Microsoft's US$249 Bing SKU project and Small Screen Touch (SST) project, which is expected to expand shipments for US$199 11.6-inch notebooks, will heat up the price competition in the notebook market in 2015.
Since Microsoft has placed extra limitations on its Bing SKU project for 2015 as well as raised the project's licensing fee, Digitimes Research expects the project to only achieve a performance far weaker than its original goal. On the other hand, the Chromebook, which is expected to achieve about seven million in unit shipments in 2014, will stand a good chance of reaching 12 million in unit shipments in 2015.
With the tablet market gradually trending towards larger-size devices and ones for the enterprise and niche segments, tablet shipments are estimated to rise in 2015. Among the tablets in 2015, Apple's 12.9-inch iPad and Intel's Education Tablets for the education sector in emerging countries are expected to become the spotlights, but they will impact notebook' shipment performance in the long term.