Global shipments of notebooks (excluding detachable 2-in-1 models) declined 4.2% on year to 40.79 million units in the third quarter of 2017 as weakening demand in the consumer sector and a corporate reorganization at Asustek Computer offset gains resulting from better-than-expected Chromebook sales and brisk sales of gaming models in China, according to Digitimes Research.
Notebook shipments are expected to see a boost in the fourth quarter as it is traditionally a peak season, fueled by year-end holiday sales and Double Eleven online shopping day in China. Google is gearing up efforts to promote Chromebooks in the consumer market, and Microsoft and other brands are promoting notebook sales, including leasing, in the business sector.
Global notebook shipments are expected to reach 41.72 million units in the fourth quarter, up 2.3% on quarter and 0.5% from a year earlier, Digitimes Research estimates. The slow pace of the shipment growth for the fourth quarter indicates that the current rebound in the notebook market is coming to an end.
For individual brands, HP will maintain its leading market position and see its shipments reach a new high in the fourth quarter, powered by brisk sales both in the consumer and business sectors. Lenovo will rank second as its shipments will resume momentum following the completion of its recent management reshuffle.
Dell will take third position as the vendor currently ships over 60% of its products to the business segment, where the sector growth is lower than that for the consumer market. Apple alone will see its shipments decline in the fourth quarter due to the absence of new models and the squeeze effects caused by the availability of iPhone X.
Asustek Computer will see shipments rebound in the fourth quarter, outracing Acer to capture fifth position. Xiaomi Technology has been performing steadily and will outperform Japan-based vendors to become number nine.
Among Taiwan-based ODMs, Compal Electronics and Pegatron will perform relatively strong in the fourth quarter. Compal's fourth-quarter shipments are likely to grow 30% sequentially, buoyed by increasing orders from Acer and HP. Meanwhile, Pegatron will manage to lower its shipment gap against Wistron thanks to increasing orders from brand clients.