According to the NB shipment survey by WitsView, the display research division of the global intelligence provider TrendForce, the global NB shipment in Q3 2013 attained 43.4 million units, rising 10.1% QoQ, the only quarter that showed two-digit growth in this year. In view of the top nine brands’ shipment, it grew 6.3% QoQ.
Based on WitsView’s analysis, the Q3 growth was supported by the stocking momentum for new models in September, including the new lineups using Haswell’s entry-level processors corei3 and Pentium and models equipped with Windows8.1 OS both going on sale in October. After a shipment bottom in H1’13, brands pin their hopes on the new models to stir the year-end sales performance. Despite a growing shipment in Q3, the quarter had a YoY -5.1% performance, indicating the hardware and software upgrade had difficulty to stir the demand for the entire year. WitsView projects a NB shipment of 163.5 million units for 2013, trimming 11.6% YoY.
In view of individual brands, HP held the No.1 NB shipment volume, reaching 8.2 M units, rising 15.8% QoQ. In addition to the contribution of the bidding projects in India, the stable commercial model shipment and heating up demand for low-priced consumer models both led to its growth. The brand that deserved a thumbs-up for Q3 was Dell. The brand, focusing on the commercial segment, got rid of the Q2 turbulence and enjoyed a shipment of 5.1 million units, surging 20.8% QoQ. Apple, after the model reshuffle in H1’13, had a shipment of 3.1M units in Q3, rising 48% QoQ. And the brands suffered from a dim peak season were Acer, Asus, and Samsung, seeing near 10% drops for the single quarter.
Looking ahead to Q4, the October sales of new models will influence the restocking momentum for Christmas holidays. For the recent years, the NB sales seems less supported by the holiday shopping season, which remains a significant event for the U.S. and European retail channels holding promotional campaigns. WitsView expects a 4-6% QoQ drop for the Q4 NB shipment. Lenovo’s Q4 shipment is likely to surpass that of HP and come to the top spot, seeing a 6.9M-unit shipment, similar to that in the previous quarter. In view of the entire-year shipment, HP still secures the No.1 place.
The brands that are projected to see growth in Q4 are Toshiba, Asus, Apple, and Sony. Asus’ growth is estimated to come from the Transformer Book T100 10.1” unveiled in Q4, touting as the lowest-priced Window touch hybrid NB, for only $349, and expected to compensate the gap left by the withdrawal of Netbook. With the showcase of T100, Asus is challenging a target of 4 million units. Samsung is expected to show the deepest drop in Q4, a 35%-45% decline from the previous quarter, as Samsung NB is merged to Samsung Mobile and strategically trimming business on concern of the overall mobile device demand, which is reflected to the Q4 shipment figure.
Figure 1. Q3 NB Shipment and Q4 Shipment Forecast