Today has been a big day for notebook industry reveals, though much of the news was particularly surprising. Samsung is said to be significantly lowering its notebook shipment estimates for 2014 and nearly abandoning the notebook sector altogether, with the exception of Chromebooks in the far future. Samsung’s outlook is a subset of the notebook industry as a whole, as analysts now believe that nearly all top notebook brands are revising down their notebook shipments for this year.
The only portion of the notebook segment that is showing growth is portable devices that can compete with tablets mobile convenience. Market research firm ABI Research today estimated that 22.5 million “ultra-portable” notebooks shipped during 2013, putting the category at over 12% of all notebooks shipped last year. According to ABI’s numbers, this represents 100% growth for ultra-portables between 2012 and 2013.
“Across 24 countries tracked in November 2013, we found average ultra-portable PC selling prices ranging from $940 to $1,540 with the majority of models offered above $1,200 in each country,” said Jeff Orr, senior practice director at ABI. “The ASPs suggest ultra-portables including the convertible and detachable 2-in-1 configurations remained at the high-end of the notebook PC category exiting 2013.”
ABI points out that Windows 8 has been a major sticking point with consumers considering their technology purchases. Along with the low consumer spending power seen in the last few years, Microsoft’s failed OS could be having a negative effect on the notebook segment as a whole.
Looking ahead to the future, ABI sees dropping tablet prices continuing to put pressure on traditional PC manufacturers. However, it also predicts that a more robust 4G infrastructure could help notebooks sell as part of mobile provider device plans.
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