Global notebook shipments not including detachable models reached less than 38 million units in the first quarter of 2015, down 4.7% on year and 19.4% sequentially, according to Digitimes Research's latest report about notebooks. The shipment drop was due to seasonality plus inventory left over from the fourth quarter of 2014. Microsoft's frequent adjustments in licensing fee subsidies also made the inventory issues worse in first-quarter 2015 compared to previous years.
Among the global top-10 brand vendors, Hewlett-Packard (HP) had the sharpest sequential shipment drop in the quarter, down three million units from the fourth quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, Lenovo suffered an about two million unit drop; Apple and Asustek Computer both had about one million.
However, compared to the same quarter a year ago, HP, Lenovo and Apple still enjoyed shipment growths. Lenovo had the highest growth at 16.2% thanks to demand from non-China markets, Digitimes Research's figures showed.
On the other hand, Asustek saw its shipments drop 20.8% on year because of inventory problems, while the fierce fluctuations in the Euro exchange rate also prompted the Taiwan-based vendor to change its business strategy, to start raising product prices, stop pushing shipments, and focus on profitability. The strategy change is expected to have a significant influence to orders placed in the future.
Taiwan ODMs saw their combined notebook shipments drop 21.4% sequentially in the first quarter, while compared to the same quarter a year ago, the volume also dropped 12.9%. Because of the decline, Taiwan's share in global notebook shipments fell to 78.1%.