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Global Notebook Shipments for 1Q18 Declined by 1.4% Year-on-Year; Market Headwinds May Continue to Influence the Shipments for the Rest of Year, Says TrendForce

Global market research firm TrendForce reports that the global notebook shipments for 1Q18 registered 37.27 million units, a quarterly decline of 15.7% and a year-on-year decline of 1.4%, influenced by the traditional off-season.

“Notebook components, including passive components, PC DRAM, batteries, MOSFET and display driver IC, have experienced supply issues in 1H18 due to the price upswing”, says Kou-Han Tseng, TrendForce notebook analyst. The market saw no shortage of relevant components in the first quarter, when the notebook shipments were low. However, the supply issues have emerged in the second quarter, when the demand picked up. Particularly, passive component MLCC has witnessed the serious supply issue, so notebook vendors have paid higher prices for this component or agreed on a postponed delivery time of it.

TrendForce expects that the supply issues of components will continue all the way to the second half of this year. Together with Microsoft's rising OS license fees for high-end UHD products, and uncertainties for Intel in shipping Cannon Lake and Whiskey Lake in the third quarter as previously scheduled, the notebook shipments for the whole year may be lower than expected. TrendForce therefore revised the shipment forecast for 2018, with the annual decline revised to 0.7%, slightly up from previous forecast of 0.5%.

Dell and HP demonstrated strong momentum in the first quarter, while Lenovo’s performance will be the focus of 2Q18

American notebook brands showed strong performance in 1Q18. Dell and HP have actively shipped their products to overseas markets, in addition to North America. They recorded shipments of 6.19 million units and 9 million units in 1Q18, a year-on-year growth of 14.5% and 4.4% respectively. On the other hand, Apple will boost the shipments in the second half of this year, shipping only 2.89 million units in the first quarter, a year-on-year decline of 15.1%.

In terms of Chinese brands, Lenovo has been influenced by the organizational changes in recent years. With dampened momentum, Lenovo shipped only 7.9 million units in the first quarter, a year-on-year decrease of 1.6%. However, as the company’s organizational changes settle down in the second quarter, if Lenovo can boost the shipment performance in the next few quarters, it would drive the overall shipments of Chinese brands.

Taiwan-based brands recorded weaker shipment performance in the first quarter since the brands have been making adjustments in their product mixes. The brands have been increasing the share of gaming products, which squeezed the share of entry-level ones. As the result, the brands have improved the shipments of niche products, but recorded lower shipment for their entry-level models together with the influence of off-season. These two factors have brought significant impacts on the shipment performance of Asus and Acer, which shipped only 3.31 million units and 2.78 million units respectively in 1Q18, a year-on-year decrease of 9.3% and 16.5%.

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