Worldwide notebook shipments are expected to drop 7.2% on year to reach less than 150 million units in 2016 because Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade program caused many consumers to postpone their new PC purchasing plans, while Apple's late releases of its new MacBooks will be another reason for the decline. But in 2017, Digitimes Research expects the decline to be much smaller at only 0.2% with shipments coming to around 146 million units.
Although the notebook market will still be impacted by several negative factors including a lack of new innovations and the rescheduled launch of Intel's Cannonlake processors, notebook shipments in 2017 will remain flat mainly thanks to demand from the enterprise sector. Since Intel's new processors including ones using Kaby Lake architecture are no longer supporting Windows 7, more enterprises will begin adopting Windows 10 for their PC systems and will trigger replacement demand.
As for brand vendors, Hewlett-Packard (HP) will continue enjoying a shipment growth in 2017 thanks to its strong and complete product lineup and contribution from the enterprise sector. HP will also surpass Lenovo to become the largest vendor in the year.
Lenovo will suffer from a shipment decline in 2017, facing fierce competitions in both China and other markets, and its channel strategy for Europe is also expected to create problems for the vendor.
Dell will also benefit from the enterprise sector's replacement trend in 2017, but the growth will not be as strong as in 2016.
Apple's three new notebook products are also expected to see strong sales in 2017, helping the vendor to regain a double-digit percentage on-year growth.
Acer and Asustek Computer are expected to see small declines in 2017, while Micro-Star International (MSI) will become a top-10 vendor due to Japan-based players' departure from the market.
For 2018, Digitimes Research expects the consumer sector to continue shrinking, while the enterprise sector will only see limited growths. Notebook shipments are expected to drop over 2% on year in both 2018 and 2019; however, after worldwide notebook shipments arrive at the level of 140 million units, the annual volume is expected to stay at around that level in future unless a new innovative product is introduced to stimulate new demand. Digitimes Research expects CAGR for worldwide notebook shipments from 2017-2021 to reach negative 0.9%.
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