Supply chain
Global notebook shipments to drop in 3Q19, 4Q19, says Digitimes Research
Jim Hsiao, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

Worldwide notebook shipments rose over 20% sequentially in the second quarter of 2019, but volumes in both the third and fourth quarters are expected to experience sequential declines, according to Digitimes Research's latest notebook tracker.

The growth in the second quarter was primarily due to brand vendors building up extra inventory as a precaution against the possibility of the US imposing a 25% tariff on notebook imports.

However, because of the high volume of the second quarter and the fact that Intel's new 14nm capacity will not become significantly available until September at the earliest, brand vendors' orders are expected to drop sequentially in the third quarter.

For the fourth quarter, the worldwide shipments will slip further sequentially as a result of a number of factors: China's weak economy; PC replacement demand from the enterprise sector reaching an end; and a lack of innovations despite Intel having resolved its CPU shortages.

With brand vendors stocking extra inventory in late May in response to the US-China trade tensions and Chromebooks' shipment expansion in the North America education market and their entry to the India market, worldwide notebook shipments performed much stronger than expected, growing by over 5% on year, Digitimes Research's figures show.

The globally biggest vendor Hewlett-Packard (HP) is expected to see its shipments grow every quarter in 2019 to peak in the fourth quarter. Although Lenovo's large-scale procurement orders from India that had begun shipments in March have already reached an end, the company will continue enjoying on-year shipment growth in the second half of 2019.

Dell's shipments will slip sequentially in both the third and fourth quarters as the replacement trend in the enterprise sector is approaching the end. Apple updated its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in July, but the new 16-inch MacBook Pro that is set to be released in October is unlikely to stimulate significant demand due to its high pricing.

Compal Electronics, which achieved a quarterly notebook shipment record in the second quarter, is expected to see volumes drop every quarter in the second half of the year due to the completion of some procurement orders and clients' order redistribution.

Inventec, which also achieved a shipment record in the second quarter, will continue enjoying rising orders from HP and Acer in the second half and is expected to be the only Taiwan maker to see sequential growths in both third- and fourth-quarter shipments.

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