Digitimes Research senior analyst Joanne Chien reports that while many notebook brand vendors have been aggressively investing resources into the development of notebook products that feature ultra-thin design (Ultrabook) as well as support of Windows 8 and touchscreens, these vendors are still unlikely to be able to compete against Apple.
Ms. Chien notes that Apple’s ultra-thin MacBook series products (MacBook Air) already account for 50% of global ultra-thin design notebook shipments, with MacBook Air shipments in the fourth quarter expected to surpass the combined shipments of non-Apple notebook brand vendors’ Ultrabook and ultra-like notebook products.
She observes that in June, Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) shipment weakness resulted in global top-six brand vendors achieving a meagre on-month growth of 2% combined; although the top-three notebook ODMs are expected to have achieve 21% on-month growth in June shipments after experiencing a weak April and May.
However Microsoft’s announcement of a $14.99 Windows 8 upgrade plan on June 2 that was intended to boost notebook demand didn;t achieve a result as good as the company originally expected, says Chien, whi projects that the top-six PC brand vendors’ notebook shipments in the second quarter are only expected to increase 1.3% sequentially, lower than the average performance of 6-8% in the previous years.
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