Demand for notebook computers (NBs) across the globe experienced an explosive growth in 2Q20 due to increased WFH and distance education demand generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Of all product categories within the NB market, Chromebooks are expected to exhibit the highest percentage of YoY shipment growth for 2020. TrendForce currently projects total Chromebook shipment for 2020 to reach 24.3 million units, a 42.4% increase YoY. As WFH and distance education demand continues to propel the NB market, TrendForce expects total NB shipment to reach 55 million units for 3Q20, a 4% increase QoQ.
TrendForce indicates that, in addition to educational-use NBs, consumer and gaming NBs have been seeing increasing demand in 3Q20. Furthermore, the tight supply of upstream NB components has become somewhat alleviated compared to previous expectations. As the pandemic-induced stay-at-home economy continues to galvanize NB demand in 2H20, various NB manufacturers therefore retain a positive outlook towards their shipment performances in 3Q20.
HP remains the shipment leader as demand surges for education and consumer NBs
With regards to the shipment performances of various NB manufacturers, HP benefitted from the increased demand for educational-use, consumer, and gaming NBs. The company’s NB shipment for 3Q20 is expected to reach 14.6 million units, a 0.8% increase QoQ, ensuring its leadership position in the industry. On the other hand, although Dell’s strategy historically centered on the mid-range and high-end segments, Dell increased its shipment of entry-level and mid-range NBs in 3Q20 in response to the education demand generated by the pandemic. The company’s shipment for 3Q20, expected to reach 8.2 million units, represents a 14% decrease QoQ because Dell’s strong performance in 2Q20 resulted in a high base period for QoQ comparison.
Lenovo made an aggressive attempt at capturing shares in the European and North American markets with its competitive prices. At the same time, Lenovo also received orders for educational-use NBs from Chinese clients, which contributed to the overall increased demand for its products. The company’s shipment for 3Q20 is expected to reach 11 million units, a 28.5% growth QoQ, but it remains to be seen whether Lenovo’s ODM partners possess enough production capacity to fulfill the massive orders from Lenovo going forward. In spite of the growing market demand for NBs, ASUS’ and Acer’s shipment performances are still contingent on the steady supply of upstream components such as panels, as well as on the ability of ODMs to meet the two manufacturers’ demand. ASUS’ and Acer’s shipments for 3Q20 are expected to reach about 5 million and 4.3 million units, with QoQ increases of 24% and 21%, respectively.
NB brands remain optimistic with regards to the market demand in 4Q20. Although 4Q20 demand may fall short of the two previous quarters, it still represents a massive YoY increase, resulting in a 15.8% YoY growth in NB shipment for 4Q20. Owing to momentum from the burgeoning stay-at-home economy brought about by the pandemic, NB demand throughout the 2Q20-4Q20 period has exceeded TrendForce’s prior forecasts. Total NB shipment for 2020 is projected to reach 187.63 million units, a 14.4% increase YoY and the highest figure since the NB market hit rock bottom in 2012.