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Commercial Replacement Demand Keeps Upholding Global PC Shipments in 2014

Published: Sep 22,2014

Shipment volume of global PC systems - comprising of notebook PCs and desktop PCs - is forecast to reach around 299 million units in 2014, down 0.1% year-on-year, according to MIC (Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute).

The global PC industry has been bolstered mainly by the PC replacement demand in the commercial market in 2014. Looking at the performance by sector, with the majority of desktop PCs shipped being commercial ones, desktop PCs have played a significant role to bolster global PC shipments in 2014.

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Global desktop PC shipment volume is estimated at 130 million units in 2014, up 3.1% year-on-year. Though continuing eroded by tablets, the notebook PC industry has seen its shipment decline slow in 2014.

The notebook PC shipment volume is anticipated to top around 168 million units, down 2.5% year-on-year. Notebook PCs' share of total PC products is expected to slip to 56.2% in 2014, down from 57.6% in 2013.

Figure 1 :   Worldwide PC System Shipment Volume, 2012 – 2016
Figure 1 : Worldwide PC System Shipment Volume, 2012 – 2016

"Commercial models have become the major engine of growth for the PC market in the wake of Microsoft's decision to end its support for Windows XP and reduce royalties for new software" said Charles Chou, senior industry analyst with MIC.

Among other things, major brands' support to launch Microsoft-powered notebook PCs priced at US$249 has also help stimulated the demand for low-cost notebook PCs. The global PC market has performed better than expected in 2014 by far.

Global Tablet Shipment Growth to Slow Further in 2015

MIC predicts that global tablet shipment volume will reach around 268 million units in 2014, with year-on-year growth dipped from 69.6% in 2013 to 12.4%. Aside from the saturating market demand, the prices of branded tablets go further down to close the price gap with white-box tablets, thereby squeezing Taiwan's tablet shipments.

In 2015, in the face of fierce competition from white-box and low-cost tablet vendors, major tablet brands are facing headwinds and losing steam. MIC estimates that global tablet shipments will still increase albeit at a slower pace at 9.2% in 2015, with shipment volume reaching around 293 million units.

Shipment volume of Taiwan's tablet industry in 2014 is forecast to reach around 95 million units, down 16.9% year-on-year, mainly due to the narrowed price gap between low-cost branded tablets and white-box tablets.

As a result, major tablet brands, namely Apple, Google, and Amazon, have seen their market share being cannibalized. In the second half of 2014, the industry's shipment volume is forecast to see 16.5% growth compared to the first half, driven mainly by the release of new models by Apple and Amazon.

Desktop PC Industry to Witness over 10% Growth; Notebook PC Industry to Decline 6.2% in 2014

MIC estimates Taiwan's desktop PC shipments will top around 67 million units in 2014, up 12.1% year-on-year, driven mainly by the continued demand for commercial models and the rollout of new Intel and AMD processors.

With cost and technology advantages in contract manufacturing AIO PCs and commercial desktop PCs, as well as the close partnerships with major brands, Taiwan's desktop PC industry will see the increase in shipments due to a rise in demand from the commercial market sector.

Meanwhile, shipments of Taiwan's notebook PC industry also lived up to expectations in the first half of 2014, thanks mainly to the emerging replacement demand for commercial models and the release of low-cost models.

Although the demand for low-cost notebook PCs will be unleashed in the second half of 2014, the industry is estimated to still see a 6.2% year-on-year decline in 2014, with around 140 million notebook PCs being shipped.

Furthermore, Taiwanese notebook PC makers' global share is expected to be reduced considerably in view of several detrimental factors in 2015, especially the volume of excess capacity to be added to the market by Chinese LCMC, said Chou.

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