Notebook Market Improves After Seven Quarters of Decline

The NPD report found notebook PC shipments reached 45.1 million units, an increase of 1 percent over the previous year, led by Lenovo.

Lenovo and notebook PC shipments

The global notebook PC market improved in the second quarter of 2014 after seven consecutive quarters of shipment declines, according to results from the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast report.

After declining 20 percent last year, year-over-year growth for the top five notebook PC brands collectively reached 16 percent in 2014's second quarter.

The report found notebook PC shipments reached 45.1 million units, an increase of 1 percent over the previous year.

With strong sales in Europe, China and Latin America, the Lenovo Group overtook HP to lead the market with an 18 percent shipment unit share. Asus claimed the No. 3 position from Dell, due to increased shipments in Europe, China and Asia.

In contrast, shipments of tablet PCs continued to fall in the second quarter, declining 12 percent year-over-year and negative growth by the top five brands.

"Lenovo’s increasing global branding power, dominant in China and strong in developed and emerging regions too, as well as very competitive cost and features, are the reasons for the company’s lead," Hisakazu Torii, vice president of smart application research at NPD DisplaySearch, told eWEEK.

Hisakazo also mentioned they also acquired or co-work with several regional brands such as CCE, Medion and NEC.

In the report, the company forecast 167 million units, down 8 percent year over year, of notebook PC shipment in 2014 and 163 million ( down 3 percent Y/Y) in units shipped in 2015.

"Although we have not started to make Q3’13 forecast, I expect there will be drastic recovery of demand in 2014 and 2015 especially, due to the timing of commercial PC replacement cycles and Windows XP migration," he said. "I think this replacement cycle will continue in 2015 at least."

By taking the recent supply chain information through panel shipment into consideration, he said it will be possible that 5-10 million units will be added on the demand of 2014 and 2015, which means demand next year will be recovered to be more than 170 million units.

He also noted that unless there will be drastic recovery of tablet PC by the proposal of new usage, contents and application from brands, notebook PC demand will be possible to be stable or flat (it means flat or little less year-over-year) in the period between 2015 and 2018.

"As notebook PC is a tool for working, unless there will be more efficient new product coming, notebook PC will be replaced by replacement cycles," he said.

Features which could help notebooks stay competitive, he suggested, include larger size (15.6 inches) and higher resolution (Full HD), which will be the basic features to be adopted, in addition to continued improvement of thin and light weight on mobility spec.