After experiencing shipment slump in the first half of 2015, branded notebook vendors aim to finish the year off with a strong recovery by making a comeback with an all-out effort to expand their shipments. Notebook demand remained strong in the U.S. and started to pick up in China. The stabilization of currency exchange rates has also resulted a gradual turnaround in the European notebook market. According to analysis by the global research firm TrendForce, global notebook shipments grew above expectations by 11.1% quarterly to 43.17 million units in the third quarter. However, this figure also represented a 5.7% year-on-year drop.
Anita Wang, TrendForce notebook analyst, said that notebook brands will continue to expand their shipments in the fourth quarter. Besides introducing new models carrying Windows 10, vendors will also lower their prices to generate sales. This is done by further cutting the costs of an entire notebook set. Wang expects that the total shipments in the fourth quarter may reach around the same level as those in the third quarter. Vendors and retailers will therefore have to dispose much of their inventories during this final quarter, or else accumulated inventories will drag notebook shipments in the first quarter of 2016.
American brands and Lenovo see strong shipment growth; Apple achieves stellar results with the new MacBook
HP retained its first-place title in the third quarter shipment ranking with a quarterly growth of 10.4%. The increase was due to operational efficiency caused by the restructuring process that split HP into two companies in the third quarter. Therefore, shipments of various products have been impressive; and the notebook shipments beat expectations owing to strong demand in the U.S. and the upturn in the European market.
Lenovo’s shipments recovered in the third quarter as the vendor got rid of excess inventories and benefited from seasonal demand. The vendor maintained its No. 2 position in the ranking with a quarterly growth of 11.1%.
Dell’s shipments benefited from the surging consumer demand in China and North America, with the latter regional market also seeing a rise in demand for commercial notebooks. These market forces lifted Dell’s third-quarter shipments by 18.3%, placing the vendor securely at No. 3.
Apple saw high shipment growth for MacBooks in the third quarter due to strong demand from North America, which is the vendor’s main market. The new 12-inch MacBook Air that was launched in the second quarter was well received by consumers and also added a new market segment for this product line. Furthermore, there was a surge in shipments of updated MacBook models in the third quarter. These factors resulted in a huge quarterly rise of 19.8% in the overall shipments during this period.
The third quarter was the peak shipment period for Acer notebooks as the Taiwanese vendor stepped up its efforts. In addition to the positive North American and European markets, Acer’s latest Aspire One Cloudbook also generated a lot of interests from consumers because of its pricing. With a shipment growth of 13.8%, Acer surpassed ASUS to become the No. 5 in the third-quarter ranking.
By contrast, ASUS has used the same period to lower its inventory level and adjust its product mixes instead of trying increase notebook shipments, which suffered a 15.3% decline from the second quarter. Wang pointed out that ASUS will return its focus on expanding shipments in the fourth quarter after it has rectify its strategy. Moreover, the vendor will see a sharp and huge shipment growth of 25~30% despite the seasonal headwinds at the end of the year.