Impact of iPad on notebook market decreasing

Impact of iPad on notebook market decreasing

Summary: Some Taiwanese manufacturers think the iPad's "negative impact on the global notebook market is declining mainly because tablet PCs, including Android models, focus on entertainment rather than working and learning as provided by notebooks," says Taiwan's Digitimes.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Some Taiwanese manufacturers think the iPad's "negative impact on the global notebook market is declining mainly because tablet PCs, including Android models, focus on entertainment rather than working and learning as provided by notebooks," says Taiwan's Digitimes.

Wistron's chairman and chief executive Simon Lin (Lin Hsien-Ming) told the company's annual shareholders' meeting that "the notebook sector has revived," and he forecast a 20 percent improvement for the second half of 2012 over the first half, according to Focus Taiwan. He was optimistic about sales of notebooks, desktops, servers and handhelds but expected TV sales to be flat or to decline slightly.

Wistron, spun out of Acer, is the world's third largest notebook manufacturer. The company says it shipped a record 31.55 million notebook PCs last year, with revenues reaching NT$658 billion (£14bn or $22bn).

The Taipei Times reports that Lin said the notebook industry was hit by the success of Apple’s iPad, but customers were starting to realise that iPads can't replace notebooks. Tablets have created both a separate need and a separate market.

The computer market faces a number of challenges, including the Eurozone crisis and China's slowing growth. Against that, Lin expected the arrival of Microsoft's Windows 8 to have a positive effect on the market.

Wistron is not the only ODM (original design manufacturer) to see signs of improvement. As Digitimes reported today (Friday):

"Regarding the global outlook for notebooks in the second half of 2012, Acer, Asustek Computer and Samsung Electronics are optimistic while Hewlett- Packard and Dell are neutral, sources indicated. "Among ODMs, Quanta Computer expects shipments in the first and second halves at a ratio of 45:55 or 43:57, Wistron 45:55 and Compal Electronics and Inventec each expect 40:60, the sources noted."

CC Leung, Quanta's vice chairman said he expected notebook shipments to grow by 30 percent in the second half of 2012 compared to the first half, though rumours suggest some of Quanta's MacBook manufacturing has been shifted to Foxconn, the low-end manufacturer.

Microsoft is entering the market with its own Surface tablets running Windows 8, but manufacturing will undoubtedly be contracted out to Taiwanese ODMs, probably Foxconn (for the ARM-based RT version) and Pegatron, a spin-off from Asus. Meanwhile, Asus has developed the Nexus 7 Android tablet for Google.

Some consumers have been buying tablets rather than replacing their aged notebook PCs, but Microsoft hopes they will like the idea of having a multi-touch tablet that can also run much more powerful Windows software.


Topic: Tech Industry

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

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  • It comes down to several scenarios, where you can mix and match, and whether you're consuming content or producing it.

    The additional of an iPad generally has more positives than negatives, (it organised me-thats a postive, i'm told). Its a surprisingly useful device, once you own one - and I'd class myself as pretty sceptical-I didn't buy in until iPad 3 with retina.

    You have to give Apple some credit - the new iPad is a well rounded device with few flaws, very dependable - the retina screen really does bring it to life, its not all marketing. The base model is good value for money, considering the technical hardware.

    Hardware wise I think MS have done a good job bringing Windows Surface, and software (phone) wise - WP8 to market, well I say to 'market' - they are both months away. Bound to have a few rough edges, too. More sceptical would say concepts, vapourware. iPad is here now - its a very good tablet.

    What really comes across with the iPad is someone (and yes an individual) has tested it extensively (probably Steve Jobs) and every niggle, swipe action has been analysed. You get the feeling the testing must have taken years before release, if by miracle it was a flukey, first attempt - Apple did remarkably well.

    The upturn may well be a reaction against Windows 8, in the sense they don't see Windows 8 as an improvement over Windows 7, so are buying in now (Windows 7 Laptops). I don't think its a negative reaction against the iPad. For some, the iPad can be everything, for others it can be a postive, but its rarely a negative, probably when you are producing content and thought it would solve all your needs. But bottom line, its a good device to have around.