Notebook PC shipments higher than expected in final quarter

Notebook PC shipments higher than expected in final quarter

Summary: Although the PC market has declined from its peak, Taiwanese manufacturers have seen better-than-expected orders and shipments over the past two months.

TOPICS: PCs, Hardware

The leading Taiwanese PC manufacturers are seeing increased orders and more growth than expected in the final quarter of 2013. As a result, Morgan Stanley and Barclays Capital have raised their expectations slightly. Morgan Stanley is now forecasting 4 percent growth to 37.23 million units, according to The China Post, while Barclays is forecasting 5 percent growth to 37.5 million units, according to the Taipei Times. Forecasts had previously been for 1 percent and 2 percent growth respectively.

Excluding Hon Hai (Foxconn), the top five contract manufacturers or ODMs (original design manufacturers) are Quanta, Compal Electronics, Wistron, Inventec and Pegatron. Wistron was spun off from Acer and Pegatron from Asus.

Asus's successful Transformer T100 Windows 8.1 hybrid. Photo: Asus

Morgan Stanley pointed to sales of Apple MacBooks helping Quanta, HP orders boosting Inventec, and growing demand for new Asus computers helping Pegatron. Barclays cited a growth in orders for business PCs for US companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell.

Barclays said demand was still "soft" as consumers shifted attention to tablets, and it still did not expect Microsoft Windows 8.1 to increase demand. However, the lead author, Kirk Yang, Barclay's head of technology hardware research for Asia excluding Japan, was bullish about China's Lenovo, because it was offsetting weakness in the PC market with growing sales of smartphones and tablets. Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo's CEO, has committed to raising these sales to 50 percent of total revenues.

Lenovo is now the world's third largest smartphone supplier after Samsung and Apple, according to Gartner research.

Today, Taiwan's DigiTimes confirmed that "ODM notebook shipments [were] higher than expected in 4Q13". It added that "ODMs are also optimistic about business prospects for 2014 as the impact of rising tablet sales on notebooks is expected to start tapering off, according to sources from the upstream supply chain."

It remains to be seen whether the death of Windows XP at the beginning of April will have any impact. Unless companies have very old PCs, they should be perfectly capable of running Windows 7 Pro, which is available pre-installed on business PCs as a downgrade to Windows 8 Pro. However, some may find it more economical to replace PCs that, because of their age, will be increasingly expensive to maintain. This would give PC shipments a temporary boost.

Topics: PCs, Hardware

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....

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Chromebooks

    It was all chromebooks.
    • Chromebooks are the ultimate

      LOCKED IN device and I'd be more inclined to say SUCKED IN suckers.
      • Less locked in than using Microsoft.

        The file formats are not proprietary, and are easily moved to other platforms. Windows? not so much.
        • Which file formats?

          "The file formats are not proprietary, and are easily moved to other platforms."

          Which file formats?

          Since Microsoft does not determine file formats (nor does Linux, for that matter: It is perfectly legal and technically possible to create Linux software that uses a proprietary file format), I'm going to assume you're talking about Microsoft Office.

          Microsoft Office currently uses a file format that's basically an XML file inside a ZIP file, and is standardized (ISO/IEC 29500).

          The formats can also be read by LibreOffice and, and written to by LibreOffice.

          If it is based on standards, is based on XML, and can be used by open source software - which also means it can be used on any platform that LibreOffice supports - how is it "proprietary?"
          • Just ignore him.

            He's been spouting out Anti-Microsoft propaganda for a while now.
          • Not standardised when the "standard"

            says to use windows 95 forms....

            They can't even document their own protocols - which is why they had to ask the Samba project on what CIFS does.
        • file->save as->choose your format

          Microsoft file format problem solved.

          Now as for Chromebooks, lets start with something simple. How does a user avoid being locked into using chrome browser? How do they install Mozilla, IE, Safari or any other web browser...
          • Only if the selected format meets standard specification...

            Most of them don't.
          • You are all bark and no substance

            I get it you hate MS, good for you.
      • Notebook PC shipments higher than expected in final quarter

        chromebooks are nothing but glorified wyse terminals and sun's "the network is the computer" terminals (in laptop form) that went nowhere, no new technology or paradigm shift here. it might work this time though, just like job's newton that flop before because it was ahead of its time and the technology was not available and consumers were not perceptive of the new paradigm ...
        • Chromebook terminals

          I remember those thin clients and "network appliances" from the 1980s-1990s! Of course, back then, consumers were still using dial-up, so those devices were not viable. BTW, even before the Newton, there was a tablet called the EO, which had been developed by a company called GO.
  • RE: Notebook PC shipments higher than expected in final quarter....

    Time to rethink "The PC is Dead" culture that has developed here on ZDnet me thinks !
  • Nor likely to happen. Once the first "slightest" of slowdowns occurs again

    the "post-PC" rants will be revived. Once someone is stuck on their

    iPad sales have been slowing down for a while now, but no blogger or tech writer has even considered the "post-iPad" world idea. The only time the "post" word is applicable, is when it's related to the PCs, or Windows and/or Intel. Go figure.
    • disregard the extraneous "Once someone..." in my post above...