Worldwide notebook shipments are forecast to increase 2.8% sequentially to their highest levels for 2018 in the fourth quarter thanks to strong seasonal demand and improving Intel CPU supply, according to Digitimes Research.
Despite the tight supply of Intel's mainstream and entry-level processors, worldwide notebook shipments still rose 4.8% sequentially and dropped less than 1% on year to arrive at around 40 million units due to rising Chromebook and gaming notebook sales, Digitimes Research's figures showed.
Of the top-tier brand vendors, Hewlett-Packard (HP) will stay in the lead in the second half of 2018, although it saw shipments slip both on quarter and on year in the third quarter, affected by the CPU shortages and pressure from competitors. However, the US-based vendor's shipments will rebound in the fourth quarter benefiting from year-end holiday demand.
Lenovo in second place officially merged Fujitsu's PC business into its notebook department in May, but the increased volumes from the acquisition are not sufficient for the China-based vendor to catch up with HP in the second half.
Dell was in third place and is expected to see decreasing shipments in the fourth quarter as its performance in the consumer sector will be far weaker than its competitors. Apple's newly announced MacBook Air has been in mass production since September and is expected to see a wave of replacement demand despite its US$1,199 starting price, which is much higher than expected. The new notebook is expected to help Apple secure the fourth place.
Acer is expected to achieve a better performance than Asustek Computer in the fourth quarter, widening the shipment gap between them.
As for Taiwan ODMs, Quanta Computer will take back the leadership from Compal Electronics in the fourth quarter with orders for Apple's new MacBook Air.