Worldwide notebook shipments started seeing growth in September after over six months of inventory digestion. The growth was stimulated by Microsoft Windows 10 released at the end of July, and Intel Skylake's launch in August. Digitimes Research estimates worldwide notebook shipments grew 6% sequentially in the third quarter, but they still saw a 9.1% decline on year.
Among the top-5 brand vendors, Apple was the only vendor with both on-quarter and on-year shipment growths in the third quarter, while most other Wintel brand vendors only saw sequential shipment growths.
The worldwide top-2 brand vendors, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard (HP), both enjoyed over 10% sequential shipment growths in the third quarter. Most first-tier brand vendors have already started preparing consumer notebook inventory for the fourth quarter's year-end holidays. Dell, which focuses mainly on the enterprise segment, saw its third-quarter shipments stay at the same level as that of the second quarter. Asustek Computer had a close to 10% sequential decline in the third quarter because it took a longer time to finish digesting excessive inventory, Digitimes Research's figures show.
The Chromebook used to be one of a few product lines that were still able to maintain growth in the notebook market; however, the product line did not achieve growth in the third quarter and its overall shipments dropped back to the level of the first quarter and were down 6.8% on year, the first on-year decline since its debut on the market. With North America's education market already reaching saturation, Google will need to find a new source of growth for the Chromebook.