According to WitsView, the display research division of the global market intelligence provider TrendForce, the global NB shipment in Q4 2013 rose 4.7% to 46 million units after a 10.2% growth in Q3. HP consecutively held the No.1 place with an 8M-unit shipment while Lenovo came to the 2nd place with 7.4 M units. (Acquired brands’ shipments are excluded.)
WitsView assistant research manager Caroline Chen indicates the Q4 shipment increase was due to several factors as the year-end holiday-shopping atmosphere lifted sales, Samsung loosened its operation in the European market, and Acer was in the middle of the corporate overhaul. The brands that have their markets overlapped, such as HP, Lenovo, Asus, and Toshiba, were actively restocking in hope to gain more market shares, while HP and Lenovo’s competition for the No.1 title begun. Dell’s promotional strategies successfully boosted its shipment in North America.
In Japan, due to the raised sales tax and Windows XP suspending service, consumers and enterprises advanced the procurement, supporting the shipment performance of Japanese brands including Toshiba and Sony. Moreover, the labor shortage risk at the end of January during Lunar New Year Holidays prompted some makers to ship goods early to secure the smooth distribution in January and February.
Chen emphasizes despite the heating up Q4 shipment remaining a positive indicator, the retail channels’ actual result will be more crucial to determine the Q1 2014 shipment. Entry-level models were the most favored of the Q4 shipment, showing consumers’ expectation about NBs focused on the price reduction. Consumers’ focus on prices will challenge brands’ pricing strategies for several 2-in-1 NBs in the year to come, and as low-priced items become mainstream, the room for design will be tested. The annual NB shipment drop in 2104 is projected to narrow to 2% with the touch NB likely to cut prices, while strongly-promoted Chromebook touting its appealing price possibly injects momentum to the NB market, which is worth anticipation.
Q4 2013 Top Nine Brands’ Shipment (M units)