The traditional PC industry has been in decline for over two years now, with mobile devices such as tablets eating into sales of desktops and notebooks. PC shipments during last year's holiday quarter continued to decline, and overall PC shipments were down 10% in 2013.
To turn sales around, PC manufacturers have tried a variety of gimmicks in the past year, including touchscreen notebooks and hybrid devices. The only thing that seems to have caught on so far are Chromebooks, the ultra-portable, inexpensive notebooks developed around Google's Chrome OS platform.
DigiTimes Research today predicted that companies have learned from the previous year and intend to focus more on Chromebooks in the coming year. The publication, based on its observations of this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) offerings, is predicting that Chromebook shipments in the coming year rise to around four million - over 100% more Chromebooks than were shipped in 2013. These notebook sales are expected to be led by major brands such as Dell, Asus, Toshiba, and Acer.
In addition to Chromebooks, DigiTimes sees PC manufacturers heavily pushing so-called 2-in-1 devices. Such notebooks are expected to run two different operating systems (Windows and Android for the most part), with many able to transform into tablet devices for portability.
The notebook industry has already seen such 2-in-1 offerings from major manufacturers during 2013. Though the devices have yet to catch on with consumers, manufacturers appear to be set on the idea of hybrid notebooks that they believe will curb the rapid market gains that tablets have been enjoying over the past few years.