Worldwide notebook shipments climbed 23.1% to 247 million units in 2021, after rising over 20% on year in 2020. But shipments are likely to register a slight decrease this year, according to DIGITIMES Research.
The inflation brought by rising component and logistics costs as well as shrinking demand from the education and consumer sectors is all expected to create negative influences on global notebook shipments in 2022.
DIGITIMES Research expects global notebook shipments to experience a 5% on-year decline in 2022. Shipments of consumer models, which accounted for near half of the global volumes in 2021, are expected to slip 5.2% on year to arrive at 114 million units due to decelerating demand from the consumer segments of mature markets, including Europe, North America, and Japan.
Since most governments worldwide are no longer implementing lockdowns to combat COVID-19, stay-at-home activities are expected to shrink gradually, resulting in slower notebook sales.
Notebook prices, which were increased in early 2021 because of rising costs, are expected to stay stable in 2022, but brand vendors are likely to raise the proportion of mid-range to high-end models as a way to improve their gross margins. However, such a move is expected to constrain shipments of consumer notebooks.
Enterprise notebooks accounted for one-third of the global volumes in 2021, but their 2022 shipments are only expected to dip 0.1% from a year ago, reaching 81 million units.
Return to office demand and hybrid working schedules fueled sales of enterprise notebooks in the second half of 2021 and there are still orders unsatisfied at the beginning of 2022 as a result of panel and power management IC shortages.
Enterprises are keen on procuring notebooks instead of desktops to meeet hybrid working schedules and ongoing demand for notebooks from small-to-medium-size enterprises and PC rental markets. This demand will help offset the deceleration of demand from large-size enterprises, and the enterprise segment will become the key shipment driver in 2022.
Education notebooks, which accounted for one-fifth of the 2021 volumes, will see the worst on-year shipment decline among all product categories. The shipments will plunge 13% from 2021 to come to 40.17 million units.
As most mature markets have already completed their education projects, related shipments have been dropping since the second half of 2021 and will remain in decline in 2022. Because of education products' weak margin, brand vendors are not keen on investing resources in education product development.