Joanne Chien, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Tuesday 3 April 2012]
The notebook industry, which was in a downturn, seems to be in recovery in March as hard drive shortage issues have already been resolved, while consumer demand is also rising. In addition, since Apple's New iPad, which launched in late March, did not create an impact on notebook shipments, the result is an optimistic shipment forecast for notebooks in the future, according to Joanne Chien, senior analyst at Digitimes Research.
Among notebook brand vendors, Acer is achieving rather excellent performance after its operation and strategy adjustments in early 2011 and aggressive preparation for ultrabook product lines in 2012. If the company's former CEO Gianfranco Lanci, who joined Lenovo last year, is not able to affect Acer's relationship with retail channels, Acer will have a great chance to return to the top-3 vendors worldwide.
Ultra-thin designs are becoming a driver to boost notebook shipments in the future, in addition to ultrabooks, Intel is also pushing a project codenamed Thin Basic to promote ultra-like notebooks and further expand notebook product lines with ultra-thin designs, while providing a full-range of product choices from entry-level (below US$600) to high-end (above US$1,000). However, such a strategy will create difficulty for Intel to achieve its goal of raising notebook overall ASPs by promoting ultrabooks.
Apple, which entered into the market of ultra-thin notebooks with its MacBook Air, is also planning to adopt ultra-thin designs for its MacBook Pro product line and is set to start mass producing a 15-inch MacBook Pro in mid-April with initial monthly shipments of 200,000 units. The company will then mass produce a 13-inch model in June with initial monthly shipments of 300,000-400,000 units.