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TrendForce: Tablet Shipments to See First On-Year Decline in 2014; Notebook Market Expected to Rebound

TAIPEI, Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- When the iPad was launched in 2010, it was an instant hit and spurred a tablet PC craze. Such was the popularity of tablets that notebook PC sales stagnated and eventually began to fall as consumers increasingly switched to tablets.

"Tablets have been revolutionary in the sense that they have created demand for a new product category – one that competes fiercely with netbooks and regular notebook PCs. Yet in 2014, their novelty seems to have worn off. Prices have bottomed out. Low-price notebooks are stealing away tablet market share. As a result, branded tablets will experience negative growth for the first time this year," said Caroline Chen, a notebook PC analyst with TrendForce, a Taiwan-based market intelligence firm. Chen expects 153 million brand-name tablets will be shipped in 2014, a year-on-year decrease of 1.8%. "Notebook shipments, on the other hand, will increase 1% on year to 171 million," she added.

"With the tablet supply chain mature and shipments growing fast, the retail price of tablets has fallen sharply," Chen said. As a result, among all producers besides Apple, there will be a long-term price war in the tablet market, she added. Apple will merely release a revised version of its iPad Air in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Samsung, another major player in the market, has only equipped high-end tablets under its own brand with its OLED screens, suggesting that the tablet market is flagging. TrendForce data back up that assertion. The data show that while tablet shipments will rise in the second half of the year, the main reason that increase appears substantial is that shipments in the first half were so low.

At the same time, because of rising demand for tablet PCs and the rapid decline in the retail price of notebooks, the market for netbooks has almost vanished. By contrast, demand for notebook PCs has started to rebound. "Time has shown that notebooks are irreplaceable," said Chen. "They offer larger screens than tablets as well as a keyboard and mouse, which are all important for those who use their computers primarily for work reasons. Tablets remain limited to Internet browsing and entertainment functions."

TrendForce believes notebook shipments will increase in the second half of the year for several reasons. First, with the tablet market flagging, they face fewer threats. Second, demand for notebooks in the commercial market remains. Finally, notebooks are priced very competitively. All of these factors will contribute to boost notebook demand, giving brand-name manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard (HP), Lenovo and others room to grow that side of their businesses. As such, TrendForce estimates the global notebook PC market has the potential to expand 4-7% in the second half of the year, making 2014 the year when slowing notebook demand may finally reverse.

For more detailed information on tablet and notebook reports, please refer to the "16. WitsView Monthly Mobile PC ODM Shipment Tracker" and "T5. WitsView Monthly Tablet Panel and Touch Module Price Book."

Figure 1: 2008-2014 Brand-name Tablet PC and Notebook PC Shipments Growth Rate

Contact

Ms. Lilia Huang
+886-2-7702-6888 ext 640
[email protected]

About TrendForce (www.trendforce.com)

TrendForce is a global provider of the latest development, insight, and analysis of the technology industry. Having served businesses for over a decade, the company has built up a strong base membership base of 175,000 subscribers. TrendForce has established a reputation as an organization that offers insightful and accurate analysis of the technology industry through five major research divisions: DRAMXchange, WitsView, LEDinside, EnergyTrend and Avanti. Founded in Taipei, Taiwan in 2000, TrendForce has extended its presence in mainland China since 2004 with offices in Shenzhen, and Shanghai.

SOURCE Trendforce Corp.

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