Though there was some hope for the segment following a small shipment rise during the back-to-school weeks, the notebook market is still contracting. Market research firm IHS today released a report showing that worldwide notebook shipments during the third quarter of 2013 are down yet again.
The report does show that notebook shipments increased slightly (6%) from the second quarter of 2013, which IHS states is the largest quarterly growth seen since 2011. However, the estimated 47.9 million units shipped during the third quarter are still 9% lower than the number of notebooks shipped during the third quarter of 2013. According to IHS' numbers, this is the fifth quarter in a row to see a year-over-year drop in shipment numbers.
“Amid the onslaught of tablets, the notebook PC market now is desperately seeking any reason for optimism - and the sequential growth in the third quarter is offering a ray of hope,” said Craig Stice, senior principal analyst for compute platforms at IHS. “However, even with a respite from the sequential decline and a few other hopeful developments, the mobile PC business is still on track to decline for the full year of 2013. This means the notebook market will contract for the second consecutive year, a proposition that once would have been unthinkable for the formerly high-flying mobile PC business.”
IHS rests the blame for notebook declines once again on tablets, which are expected to be a major seller this holiday quarter. The firm also points out, though, that PC sales could pick up during the fourth quarter due to a number of factors, including the launch of Intel's new Haswell processors and Microsoft's coming shutdown of Windows XP support, which could force businesses to upgrade their PC infrastructures.
“All hopes are now pinned on the fourth quarter, which could end up as one of the most important holiday seasons yet for the PC industry,” said Stice. “With various new technologies launching, the PC trade believes it is playing its best hand in years. Many eyes will be watching to see how the rest of the year - to say nothing of 2014 - turns out.”